Belize was not the focus of the initial post. But it was a necessary, Biblical example of courageous commitment. And now we can connect that look at the commitment of the Apostle Paul with two things:
- Wrapping up our work in Belize
- Meeting the call on our lives with courageous commitment
So please take a minute and engage for yourself and for others!
Belize: Courageous Commitment
The previous discussion of Acts 20 & 21 has a direct connection to this week’s work. It also connects to the commitment we are called to live out in our day-to-day world. Paul called (Acts 20) for the elders of the Ephesian church. He knew it would likely be the last time he could see them. He wanted to encourage them. And he did. His message to them can be summarized: Faithfulness > Life. That’s because faithfulness truly is greater than life on earth. He lived that way and encouraged them to do the same. And his encouragement to them remains as instruction and encouragement for us. But a truth follows committed believers. It is one we must acknowledge and dare not ignore!
Courageous Commitment: No Easy Path
It was Paul that reminded us in Ephesians 6 that we have an enemy. And that enemy wants every follower of Christ to feel discouraged and defeated. But we can only feel that way. We are over-comers and conquerors in Christ Jesus. That is truth of who and Whose we are. But that won’t stop our adversary from doing all within his power to discourage us. If he is successful then we put ourselves down in the dumps and on the sidelines when we need to be in the game!
It seems that adversary has worked overtime to dump discouragement on this week’s work in Belize. Paul invested in the lives of others and encouraged them to be faithful to their purpose. Mission: Hope does the same in many places. You do that within your local field of ministry. Our enemy hates all of that for all the reasons mentioned above. So in one sense it isn’t surprising that so many things about this week in Belize have been more than challenging.
Courageous Commitment to Encouragement
This faces of this week’s mission team will represent all those of (ROW) Mission: Hope that have given labors of love to the believers here in Belize. As Paul encouraged those Ephesian elders we want to leave these dear people with a great sense of celebration, affirmation, and encouragement to keep doing what they are doing.
The churches in this area of Belize are healthy. That is due in part to the time and energy so many have invested here. We are extremely grateful for that. But wrapping up and leaving on a high note has been difficult. Staffing and funding for this week’s mission was problematic through our time of departure. My pastor friend, Marv, drove to Pittsburgh to catch his flight . The flight was cancelled. He is coming in today. And then there are the things we could do and would do but funds are not there to do them. That said…
Is God surprised? Is heaven having an emergency committee meeting to figure out what to do in Belize? You know the answer!!! But our struggles bring us to an experiential realization:
It is the love of Christ that compels us…
Courageous Commitment: Belize & Home
Paul penned those words, too. Said another way, faithfulness > life. And as we were driving down from Belize City to Punta Gorda all these thoughts were rolling through my mind. I am not Paul and our struggles don’t compare to those of Acts 20 & 21. But the challenges you and I face are real in the lives we live. And that’s true whether we live in Belize, Alabama, Texas, or Kenya! So whatever our individual difficulties, I challenge you to remember and embrace my recurring thought from yesterday’s drive:
Faithfulness to the call of the Gospel is worth the difficulty!
As you think about these things please let that cause you to pray for us as we work here in Belize. And pray that as we return home those we love will have a deep, true sense of encouragement in the call upon their lives. And check the Facebook page and this page for pictures and updates.