And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Luke 1:46, 47
I cannot begin to fathom what was going through Mary’s mind when she heard those words from the angel that would change her life, the lives of countless others and the course of entire world forever. Her response was that of worship from the depths of her soul and spirit and so should it be with us as we recall the change of our lives at very moment Jesus took up residence in our hearts. And when we see Him doing the same for those lives that we’re involved with when they make that life changing decision of receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I pray that you will be greatly encouraged by the life changing power of God in touching lives that will be highlighted in this Update and may we truly find ourselves magnifying His Holy Name! (Picture: Clive opening the New Year’s Eve Event in Central Park with prayer.)
End of the World Marathon:
The title has nothing to do with what you’re thinking but was adapted from the last years Maya Calendar which led many to believe that 2012 was going to see the end of the world. Well, this year they kept the name and began a tradition the End of the World Marathon & Half Marathon in Placencia, Belize which is in the southern district. Several of the guys who have participated in the Summer Sports Camp over the years with Lighthouse Christian Radio Ministry with the help of several mission teams, has put on each year showed, expressed interest in this years’ half Marathon. Through several generous supporters like yourselves who donated funds to allow us the privilege of sponsoring 4 runners. This excited me because these guys who participated previous Sports Camp were influenced in one way or another by mission teams. There are not many choices of activities for them on the island and it is good to see how sports became an avenue to take rather than getting involved with drugs and alcohol. Several of the guys were also involved with this past summer Swim Camp as well as Action Sports Camp and keeps themselves active in various sports throughout the year so when they approached me asking for help I sensed the Lord was in this. Keep in mind that most of these guys were born and raised in San Pedro Town and seldom or never travel to other parts of the country so this was a first in many aspects for them. First time to Placencia , first time in a half marathon, the youngest to participated in the race, and all 5 finishing in the top 20 category with over 140 runners. Thank you to those who participated in sponsoring these guys and being a part of developing their characters through sports and sowing seeds for the gospel through Lighthouse Christian Radio! (Pictures: Top-Lighthouse Radio Ministry co-sponsoring runners representing San Pedro Town. Bottom- Roger Rivera finishing his very first 1/2 Marathon in the top 20 runners!)
Lives touching lives:
Kian Ancona was 11 years old when he met Nick and Tommy who taught him to play Ultimate Frisbee in 2010 with a mission team. He was greatly inspired by Casey Bateman, the Olympian Swimmer/Triathlete who conducted a Swim Camp this past summer and continued to train and workout in swimming and running. He began coming around the radio station and expressed concerns about getting involved in training younger kids in the community in swimming, cycling and running. I was impressed by his desire to be a role model and example at such young age. I had several opportunities to share with him and the difference between attending church and a relationship with God through Jesus. Months later after sharing with him, he told me that he was listening to Lighthouse Christian Radio and telling me some of the programs he was enjoying. One night I received a text asking me to pray for him and if we could meet so he could find out how he can get his life right with God. Wow, is exactly how I felt! After meeting and sharing with him, he told me he was ready to commit his life to Christ and asked if I could show him how. He has since read the gospel of John and while on a family trip recently, he texted me asking what book in the Bible he was to read next since he finished reading John’s gospel. This is what it’s all about, lives touch lives and pointing the way to Jesus Christ; please pray for Kian’s new walk with the Lord! (Picture: Kian glancing through the new believer’s tract after receiving Christ!)
Shining the Light with patience:
December is one of our busy months as we seek to provide Christmas greetings and promotion for local businesses and so we could pay our annual broadcasting license. While soliciting sponsors, writing scripts, recording and editing the various advertisement along with the further training of Guillermo on the Daily News preparation and Jeff on the Daily Operations since Elmer will be leaving us at the end of the month. As mentioned in previous Updates, it became very challenging with Jeff not being a Christian and the inability of him to fully understand why we do what we do. Along with the fact that he is 18 year old and his very first job as well as being out on his own. I found myself in a dilemma as I had vowed to never hire a nonbeliever and a teenager. I felt compelled to do so as I talked to him during his interview. I had no idea what was in store but I really sensed the Lord was in this and couldn’t deny it. I’m always seeking an opportunity to extend grace to young people and give then the grace many has given to me. Things got very difficult and extremely challenging with many hours of going over and over the basics of following instructions and the importance of being a team. He began attending churches with guys I introduced him to and repeatedly asked why I thought he was on the island and working at Lighthouse and my response was because of God’s great love for him and desired him to begin a relationship with the Him. It became very obvious that there was a battle ensuing for the soul of this young man and I felt the intensity of spiritual warfare several times. I consulted my Board Members about the situation and it was obvious that it was not working out and I had the difficult task of telling him so and to figure out what I’d do since Elmer leaving at the end of December. What I felt was going to be the very last and long conversation with him and not one I was looking forward to. I felt the Lord’s presence and peace and I was about to shared with him the Board’s decision. He thanked me for putting up with his disobedience and all that he put me thought and for giving him the opportunity to know about God and then muttered that he had committed his life to Jesus the day before. What? I asked him to repeat what he said and he shared that he gave his life to the Lord after Guillermo asked him what was keeping him from giving his life to Jesus. I was stunned and was very skeptical about what I had just heard and at the same time tried not to explode with excitement to answer prayers. God fulfilled His purposes in bring him to Lighthouse and all of the difficulties were worth it. After several weeks, Jeff decided to go back to the mainland upon the request of his mother. Please pray for him that he grows in his new found relationship with Jesus! (Pictures: Top- Guillermo & Elmer recording Christmas greeting ads! Bottom- Jeff Usher checking out his new Bible with great excitement!)
Lives touching lives:
I met Keagan Blancke almost a year ago at the NRB when he expressed a desire to come to Belize and serve alongside of us at Lighthouse. He has since graduated from Northwest University in broadcasting and spent time working at a Christian Camp in Michigan; he contacted me a few months ago and asked if the opportunity was still available. We talked, prayed, and discussed what he could do in the short 3 months of mission work with us. Elmer’s last day was December 31 and the thought was for Keagan to work alongside of Jeff and Guillermo and train them in radio broadcasting. Keagan arrives tomorrow, January 2 and already will be facing the challenges of being in a new country and no one to really familiarize him with our operation and setup since both Elmer and Jeff is gone. Please pray for wisdom as he tackles the challenges ahead and a quick adjustment to both Lighthouse and San Pedro Town! (Picture: A recent bike race in San Pedro Town; reaching kids through sports!)
Apart from the broadcast training, Keagan was to work with the various guys in sports since he is a tennis player and all around sports guy. The thought was that he would develop friendship with the guys and use his athletic talents to train them while using sports as a bridge to sharing the gospel and discipline guys like Kian is very excited to meet him and learn from him. He will be able to do what I’ll never be able to do and is an answer to my prayers as I’ve been seeking opportunities to reach they guys who have participated in the various sports outreach of Lighthouse Christian Ministry over the years. Please pray for God to fulfill his purposes in Keagan’s life while he is here and that He would use him to touch lives for Christ! (Picture: Kian is one of the young athletes that Keagan will be working with and discipling!)
Upcoming Events to pray for:
January 2 – Keagan Blancke arrives for 3 months, short term service!
January 23, 24 – Seminar on Cults: Jehovah Witness & Mormonism with Joel Groat; Director of Institute for Religious Research.
Prayer Request & Praise Reports:
Please pray for vision for the radio ministry; changes in broadcast format, programs, financial situation with high electric bills, need for likeminded staff, discipleship of new believers, involvement in community and mentoring/counseling! (Picture: San Pedro residents bringing in the New Year in Central Park!)
Please pray for the immediate need for station operation staff with Elmer moving and Jeffrin returning back home on the mainland.
Please pray for Jeffrin and his new walk with the Lord; for growth, discipleship, and a healthy church to attend on the mainland!
Please pray for Kian, growth in the Lord and discipleship! Please pray for Elmer as he moves on from Lighthouse after 3 years!
Please pray for long term missionaries; mature and qualified media staff for radio operations!
Praising God for answers to prayers; New Believers- Kian and Jeff!
Praising God for an eventful hurricane season in Belize! Praising God for many open doors to hearts for the gospel in San Pedro Town.
Praising God for the consistent support of family, partners in ministry both in Belize and US over the years!
May the New Year be filled with a deep passion and renewed commitment to Jesus as Lord in your lives.
In His love and grace,