Monday, November 9, 2015

Ginormous Game Night

Game night keeps growing in popularity.  This past Saturday we had about 60 people.  It began with a devotion about seeking God's direction in prayer so we are sure to know His will. The verse was 1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing." The drama part had us all laughing as 10 children rushed to the designated pew while Nathanael modeled stopping to ask God which way to go.  After everyone understood this point, that we need God's direction daily to show us where to go, even if we think we know, we tried again. "1, 2, 3...Go!".  Off they ran except for 4 who bowed to God in prayer first.  Those who ran eventually realized their error and turned around hurrying back to the stage area to pray. We need to do something like this again, but it was fun way to illustrate the idea of needing to pray often for God's guidance.

After the devotion we had a light supper (a hot dog, dip, chips, carrots, and a cupcake).  The teens all helped to serve the food.  It's always a challenge to try and figure out what to serve that serves a crowd of ....who knows how many until they arrive.  I was shopping for the food and had planned on 56 hot dogs and buns, but got this nagging feeling to get one more package to make it 64.  Our largest group thus far had been 48, but I had a feeling that we would have a barn-buster evening especially because I wrote "Bring A Friend" on the invitations. Thank you God for the "one more pack" nudge. It was good to see some new faces and to see some of the new people show up at church on Sunday, too.  Please pray that they continue to come.

After the food we had about an hour of games.  We set up several tables of BINGO, a table for Jenga, and a table for UNO.  For the first time people were allowed to chose what game they wanted to play and later I heard some say, "I picked Jenga." or "I played BINGO."  It affirmed that they enjoyed having an option.  The options was a good thing because it would have been too many people for any one game.  At the half-way point we let people switch.  Although the other games had people switching all night, at BINGO the player had to be there from the beginning, so the half-time switch gave people the opportunity to leave BINGO or join.  The freedom was good. The teens also helped lead BINGO by being the callers.

Enjoy the pictures!

Carmen spent about 45 minutes holding Selena's baby and walking him to sleep outside of the noise and busyness of the game activity.  She did this just because she is such a sweet girl and wanted to let Selena have a break.  I praise God for our teens.  They are learning to serve God with their whole hearts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Glimpse of our Bible Study

Our Friday Night Bible study is kind of fun, I think.  I enjoy watching the people try to remember the verse from the past week.  Sometimes it makes me smile because it is a young child like Yuhayna (9) or sometimes someone like Misael who rips through the verse so quickly that I know he practiced for a while, maybe a day or afternoon mulling over it until they learned it well. I love to see Alma sign hers.  She never learned how to read, but each week she learns the words for the verse. God is surely at work in this.

Enjoy the videos I have attached below. The verse they are signing is:
"When you are angry, do not sin. And be sure to stop being angry before the sun goes down. Do not give the Devil a way to defeat you."  Ephesians 4:26-27.

After everyone signs the verse, if they remember it, we clap for them.

I then teach a new verse usually with an object lesson. In the photos below Gineli and Misael are trying to "get free".  They each have a rope tied to their wrists.  The rope is looped through the other person's rope. They enjoyed trying to step over it, twist around and try to find a way to get be free.  After they struggled for a while I showed them the trick.  It helped us grasp the concept of how God's grace has made us free. How that freedom is so desirable.  Without Jesus' death on the cross we would still be stuck....bound. (Ephesians 1:7).

Praise God for His grace that makes us free.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The 10th Anniversary of Jesus' Deaf Church

 Happy 10th Anniversary Jesus' Deaf Church!
I'm praising God that He has brought us this far, to this glad day.  We had 42 adults and children for our anniversary celebration last Sunday, October 11.

       We sang, prayed, and thanked God for his love and faithfulness.  Then I showed a slide show with about 60 pictures from our first Sunday in 2005, some celebrations, Bible studies, VBS, baptisms, and our worship up until now. 

       For the sermon I talked about the future.  Though we don't know the future, we know that churches,  like people,  go through unique stages of development. In the beginning we were like babies who cannot care for themselves. Babies soak in everything, learn and holler about their needs. Primary age children start to take some responsibilities.  They dress themselves, feed themselves, maybe even sweep the floor.  During this time our church people grew up and started to take responsibilities, cleaning, sharing God's word, learning the Bible, inviting people to church, and singing.  The teen years are times or rebelliousness.  Some people rebelled in all areas of their lives, and some also rebelled by turning away from God.  Thankfully I think we are approaching the adult stage.  This is a stage of independence and vision.  As adults we have dreams for the church and ask God how we can apply His Kingdom goals.  We work and take responsibility.  We think spiritually and dig deeper into God's Word to find what he wants from us.  We honestly confess sin and try to follow Jesus' example.  I'm looking forward to this new stage of development in our church and pray that God will look upon us saying, "Well done, my good and faithful servants."

After lunch we ate rice and beans chicken.  Yum!

Several of the women helped to serve.

We had visitors from Belize City.  LL has been taking the hour long bus ride to visit out church every other week.  I'm so impressed at his commitment and sacrifice.

I thank God for a great day and pray that the next 10 years will glorify Him.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Doing Ministry Togerther



I was looking for a way to include the Davis children in the ministry of Jesus Deaf Church. Some wonderful people donated money for dental health kits.  When I bought the materials I thought, "Yes!  This will be fun!  We will put it together as an assembly line."

So we did.  Selah was the first person who put the name sticker on the bags and told Zephaniah and Zion what to put in.  (Each bag differed according to how many people in the family would get toothbrushes.) Ni and Zion put in the number of toothbrushes and toothpastes that Selah read to them.  Abigail tied the bags with a ribbon and put the finished bag in the box.  Whoo hoo!

Great teamwork!  After we were done, we prayed for the people who would receive the toothbrushes.
Dear God, thank you for children who want to minister to other people.  Bless them.   Amen.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Happy 34th Birthday Belize!

Belize celebrates it's peaceful independence from England on September 21.  The celebration includes two distinctly different parades. I'm going to show you pictures from both parades.

The Friday before the 21st is the School Rally.  Every school in Orange Walk lines the streets in school uniform.  Some have bands, others have floats, and some have dancers in pretty costumes.  Each school marches in a very orderly fashion, wanting to show pride in their school and country.  The children who are too young to walk the parade route are lined up on the sides of the street.
 Here is St. Peter's lined up in front of the Town Hall for the opening ceremony.

Nathanael interpreted the ceremony.  This is the invocation.

We are waiting for the parade to start. This is the class in which I interpret/tutor for Morine.  Morine and her sister Adrienne are in the same class. They are hugging in the photo.  I asked the children to wave their flags for the pic.  Aren't they cute kids?  I love this class!  I've been with them three years, since they were in preschool. 

 Watching Chapel Primary School march with their banner.

 Here we come!  This is Jaheed  and another standard 6 student carrying our school banner.

Our float shows children dressed in cultural clothing.

Whooohooo!  We all waved our flags and made noise when St. Peter's marched by.

 Some dancers from another school.

These are the dancers from Bishop Martin High School, Sulmi's school.

The parade on September 21 is called a Carnival.  Many of the costumes resemble Mardi Gras parades in Jamaica and Trinidad.

Every year there is a float with Jamaican steel drums.

It was fun to watch the parade with the Davis family. Nathanael interpreted the speeches and then we had arranged to meet on the steps of Luigi's.  When I walked up, I was surprised to see Maggie and her whole family there.  What great luck! Maybe some of you remember Jessica.  This is a picture of her and her husband, Darwin, and their two children.

More dancers.. I like the little ones.

Yes, this guy really has a snake on his shoulders.  

 This is my friend, Libertad Cal, from Yo Creek who taught Sulmi and her classmates how to do Mestizo dancing. In the parade she was doing a ceremonial Maya fire thing while some men demonstrate Maya football in the middle of the parade.  Very cool.

We had 18 hours of drizzling rain overnight and through the morning, but graciously God held the rain clouds for the 3 hour parade. Thank you Father for preserving Belize, carrying it through the first 34 years of independence,  Guide the people to pick honest leaders and then give them wisdom to make choices that benefit everyone. Amen.