Friday, November 21, 2014


            Hero. What do you think of when you hear that word? Hero. Do you imagine the stereotypical, extraordinarily strong man in tights with a cape and a mask and underwear on the outside? What are some of the qualities that make someone a hero? What do heroes do? How does someone become a hero? Who can be a hero?
            During our evening worships in the month of October, we studied a bit about the influences that we have over other people. We all have an influence over people, not only in our words, but also in basically everything we do. In order to do more than just talk about that influence, we took the next step and did something more. On Sabbath, November 8, we invited all the churches in our district to join us for an afternoon of heroes. We shared some stories of how ordinary people did something above the call of duty and became heroes. We shared ideas of how they can become heroes. We shared with them the call from God for each of us to be a hero. The beauty of it all is that anyone can be a hero. It does not matter if you have a professional degree. It does not depend on your bank account. In fact, there are not really too many pre-requisites for becoming a hero. One of the fundamental characteristics of a hero is to be willing to serve in any circumstance that calls for help. Most people want to be a hero because of their action in an extremely dangerous situation where the whole world looked on. But more than that, we have heroes in this world today because there are people who want to give of themselves in times and places where nobody sees. They have no shame to lower themselves to the feet of another to meet the need. Did you know that Jesus is calling each one of us to be a hero? God wants a hero that can kiss owies and wipe little, runny noses. He wants a hero that can carry groceries for an older gentleman. He wants you!

            Have you ever considered Jesus to be your hero? Did it ever even cross your mind that what He did for you was heroic? As I study more and more the life of Jesus, I find out time and time again that He was more than just a man. He was a super hero. But more wonderful than that, He has inspired countless others to be heroes as well. He begs us to look around and see the needs of others. But don’t stop there. The heroism comes when you not only see the necessities of others, but you move into action immediately. The call from God today is clear:
                                           BE MOVED BE A HERO

Monday, September 22, 2014

Independence Day

Today marked the celebration of 33 years of independence for the country of Belize. So how did we, here at MOVE, enjoy the festivities?
            We started by getting up early so that no time was wasted for this holiday. By 5 a.m. we were on the road. We met up with the rest of the group down the road a ways. Sigourney made some classic Belizian food for breakfast: Journey (pronounced “Johnny”) Cakes and black beans made with coconut oil. When we finally arrived to the village, we were greeted by many of our Belizian friends. This marked the beginning of the celebration. Throughout the morning, there was laughter, happiness, juice, games, and of course Rice and Beans! That is very Belize. After leaving the village, we returned home to begin the beautifying of the country to show our support of the aesthetic aspect of the nation. Supper finished off the celebration with beans and tortillas.

            Want to know what really happened today? We went to church to pour the floor for the new Sabbath School rooms. There have been many in the church here in Belize and back in the United States who have worked hard and sacrificed in order to build these classrooms. The children’s department will soon be expanding from one old church building, a mango tree, and a thatch roof to a three-division classroom building! How exciting to see the difference and not have to worry about threatening rain. God has blessed this little project immensely.

            In thinking about today being a day of independence, I like to think more about the independence I have in this life. I am free to be a missionary. I am free to speak about Jesus to my local friends. I have the freedom to worship God on His true Sabbath Day.

            But there is something that I have not been liberated from: my own sinful desires. I take hope, though, because I know that although this will be a struggle for me, I know and have felt the power of God working in me to help me continue on this journey. This last week really slammed me, but every day I continued to pray for God’s strength to be like Him even when I was completely exhausted. There is not other power more invigorating than divine power.

            I would like to ask that you pray for this project, for the students, and for the staff members. God has given us many opportunities to exercise our religious freedom in this place, but Satan is always looking for a way to get in. Please pray that God can unite us and give us the needed strength to go from one day to another.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Anticipation (Picture Version)

My last blog shared a glimpse of the feelings that I faced when I first arrived in the United States 70 days ago. A lot has taken place since then. Let me share a little bit of my journey:

-       Slept maybe 10 hours in the two days before I left Belize because I was sick and could not sleep well.
-       Woke up early to drive to Mexico and take the 8:30 a.m. bus from Chetumal to Cancun. (Thanks Tanzi and Phoebe!)
-       Landed in San Francisco where I had the pleasure of sleeping on the airport floor. (Sleeping is a relative term here. I started to fall into a good sleep when some random man started talking to me and making a lot of noise around midnight. I returned the favor by singing while he tried to sleep at 2 a.m. since I was awake and had nothing to do.)
-       Flew out the next morning and arrived in Burbank where my cousin picked me up.
-       Spent about a week and a half with my family in Cali while also visiting many friends from college.
-       Flew to Seattle, WA to spend a long weekend with my brother. We went camping and I about froze to death. I COULD SEE SNOW FROM MY HAMMOCK!
-       Took Amtrak from Seattle to Sandpoint, ID (~13 hrs) where Phoebe and Shama picked me up and took me to Montana.
-       Attended Idaho campmeeting where the temperature highs were in the 50s and raining. (Still not ideal weather for the Belize in me.)
-       Rode Amtrak from Sandpoint to Minot, ND (~17 hrs, but really took 23 hrs because there was a lot of traffic from the oil fields and then the staff had worked too long so we sat in a field and waited for new workers to take the next shift. Oh yeah, the police had to come because customer satisfaction was not breaking any record.)
-       Learned how to drive lots of big things! And visit some of my missionary friends while staying with my missionary family.
-       Milked a goat and caught a 31 in. 9 lb. fish
-       Found out that someone had donated a bus and another person donated money to buy a new truck for the project!!! Praise the Lord
-       Thought my sister and husband were coming to America soon so I rushed home on a flight from ND to Ohio.
-       Met my new niece and had lots of fun with her older sister.
-       Spent a couple of long days sewing some “broken” clothes.
-       SLIP-‘N-SLIDE
-       Rachel and Keo finally arrived in the USA!
-       Drove to West TN for my family reunion (Eugene’s side made a big hit this year)
-       Drove to St. Louis and did the tourist thing with my brother-in-law since this is his first time in America
-       Drove to Kansas the next day to visit Papa (have not seen him in probably15 years)
-       Drove back to St. Louis two days later.
-       Drove to Collegedale the next day. (But found a Laos café which was a great surprise for my sister and her husband)

Now for the picture book version of that same story:

So far, my travels have taken me:


And my mileage for the summer has been: (Central America & USA)

But more than any of my other summer journeys, I am looking forward to:

Not much longer!

I feel so blessed to call Belize my home. God has truly shown me that His plans are better than anything I could have imagined and that He knows me much better than I know myself. I can’t even imagine how great it will be to go to Heaven.

“Sometimes I think I can stay here no longer; all things of earth look so dreary. I feel very lonely here, for I have seen a better land. Oh, that I had wings like a dove, then would I fly away and be at rest!” EW 19

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Sickness

            It’s that feeling when you go over for the first sleepover as a six year old. The next time is during the first week at summer camp when you are nine. Then it happens again when you leave for academy at age fifteen. You think you have mastered the emotion by eighteen, but it comes right back when you get to college. Does it ever end? Will I ever be too old for such a sentiment? Can I ever feel right again?

            I have been back in the United States for about 2 weeks now. Michael, my cousin, greeted me at the airport in Southern California and took me straight to my grandparents’ retirement living facility. The next week and a half afforded me many opportunities to visit with some of my closest friends from college. On Thursday, I headed north to Seattle, Washington, where my brother and I enjoyed the adventure of camping out at the foothills of the snowy-capped mountains. A babbling brook as a next-door neighbor allowed for a pleasant ambiance while the mummy bag and winter coat provided necessary warmth. But the adventure hasn’t stopped yet. I enjoyed a tour across the country on Amtrak and have spent the last week with the Eller family. And after the Eller’s farm…
          That sensation of homesickness is setting in. No, has set in. It all started about 2 weeks ago as I left my sisters at the bus station in Mexico. Fear and anxiety gripped my heart. I would be missing so much in my time away from home: family leaving for other parts of the mission field, crazy adventures of every day life, birthdays, new experiments in the kitchen, mission trip to Mexico, completion of buildings, welcoming in the Sabbath with my whole family, rainy days and rubber boots, movie nights with pipoca, AY, keeping the fields mowed, late night pep talks. Life would not be stopping because I was leaving. But even now, I can feel encouraged. I can have the assurance that, if God permits, I will be returning home to Belize in just a short time.

            The reality is much larger than this, though. The truth is that I am homesick for heaven. Just this weekend, I heard two people speak of friends who lost small children as victims of cruel death. Family can be seen losing health. Evil is abounding on all sides and the intensity is growing constantly. Troublesome times are here! So what am I doing to make ready for going home? Am I doing my part in helping the family to grow by reaching out to my lost brothers and sisters? I say that I am desperate for Jesus to come, but do my words and actions have the same message?

            There is a hymn in the Himnario Adventista called, “La Biblia Nos Habla de Cristo” (In English it is called “The Theme of the Bible is Jesus”). The refrain speaks to me every time I hear this song:

¿Te hallas listo a encontrar al Señor?
¿Lo haces todo con fe, con amor?
¿Has peleado por fe la batalla del bien?
¿Pueden otros a Cristo en ti ver?
¿Eres fiel por doquiera que vas?
¿Puedes tù contemplarlo en su faz y triunfante decir: Este es mi Dios?
¿Puedes tù encontrar al Señor?

Are you ready to meet your Savior?
Do you do everything with faith, with love?
Have you fought the fight with faith?
Can others see Christ in you?
Are you faithful wherever you go?
And come face to face with it and say “This is my God”?
Can you come to the Lord?

            Are you suffering from the same heavenly homesickness? The best cure for such a debilitation is to live a life in service for the one we are longing to see. He is preparing a special place for us to live with Him forever. Are you ready to go?