Snapshots from the Jungle: Darkness Can’t Hide The Light

One of my all-time favorite things that happen on every trip is when God shows up in unexpected ways. When something happens that you didn’t expect and it just blows your mind.

This happened multiple times during my trips this summer but one instance in particular still comes back to me. We were in this little village up in Northern Belize called San Lazaro. One of our projects for the week was to put a roof on their church, so while that was being done we held church under this tent right next to the church. On this particular night, we were ending our service and about to walk back our respective houses to sleep when all of the sudden it started to down pour.  And I mean Hard! Like really hard. We could barely see 10 feet in front of us hard. THEN, the lights went out and when they go out in this village its pitch black.

The first thought in my mind was to get the truck for lights and then maybe start shuttling people back to where they were staying when one of the team members started to sing. Then, everyone started to sing. The team, the children, the members of the church, everyone. We didn’t have lights, we were under a canopy, it was raining but we sang. We sang every single song from Vacation Bible School and then some. It was hands down the best night of the trip and all because God Showed up and we let him take the moment. He showed us the most important thing of all.

You don’t need lights, a building, a clear blue sky to praise him. You can praise him in the rain. You can praise him in the darkness and in the light. Although it wasn’t a rough night to begin with I think this was something important for me and for others to learn. When we are in the midst of a storm, when its raining and raining hard; when your life isn’t going how you planned and you feel like you are in the dark without a light, Just Praise God. He will show up if you are willing to let him have control.

Snapshots from the Jungle: Loaves & Fish

One of my all time favorite ministries in Belize is the grocery ministry and the breaking bread ministry.

For the grocery ministry, I love being able to go up and down the aisles in a store picking out all sorts of food items and other necessities for families in the communities we serve. It’s exciting to watch the teams as they are running around with carts in the stores and then going pack and having a blast as we divide up all the rice, flour and beans that we have bought and then dividing everything up into piles for each family. It is a beautiful blessing to have the means to give.  It is also an amazing thing to see the generosity of those we connect with in the stores. There have been multiple occasions as I am checking out that a store manager or someone will come up and ask us what we are doing and after telling them they will throw in something for free or offer us a discount we weren’t expecting. Praise God for his provision!

During this ministry I have been reminded several times of the miracle that Jesus showed during the feeding of the five thousand. As we are packing and praying over the food, no matter how many times I have counted and recounted, for some reason there is always left over. There is always more. If we planned for 20 families we’ll have enough for 22. Or we will end up with enough for our cooks or to give to the pastor and his family.  God gives us the opportunity to bless even more. I love these times where I get to see God move and to see Him work. I love watching how He works through the teams and how he shows them how mighty He is. I love the opportunities that come to pray with the families and to love on them and show them Christ’s love.

The breaking bread ministry is also one of my favorites mostly because of the fellowship and camaradie that comes out of those nights. It’s so much fun to spend all afternoon preparing and packing up food whether its fried rice or lasagnas and then heading out into the communities. For this ministry, the pastor will pick out families in his community and for that evening we will divide up and take food into their homes and share a meal with them. Being able to sit around with these families playing games, sharing a delicious meal and just enjoying each others company is a beautiful thing. Getting to share your life with someone in that way is an experience that everyone should have.  I encourage you to gather a group of friends and perhaps begin a meal ministry like this in your own church or community. Make a habit of sharing a meal with others every once in awhile. You will be glad that you did.

God is so good. He is so mighty. He is so beautiful.