I can’t believe we are four years old! In August 2017, I was at the lowest point in my life spiritually. My husband and I were empty nesters, we had recently been through job changes, a house fire, and so much more. I wanted to hold on to what was and cling to what I knew but God had plans for me. As I prayed, God showed me that as I looked around at every area of my life, things were shifting and changing and I felt so lost. Then, he gently told me to look up. He had not changed. He was faithful and dependable. When life changes, God can be trusted.
In 2012, I went with my two daughters on a mission trip to Belize with our church. We partnered with Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus. We made a return trip in 2013 and a passion for missions was born in me as I saw the impact of going back to the same village. We returned again each year until 2019. In 2017, some logistics shifted with the mission trip and I was fearful that it would end. I had a passion for this place and these people and I had my agenda of what I wanted to do. But, I knew that if it wasn’t in God’s timing then I would simply be striving and on my own. I wasn’t willing to go before God. For the next two years, I prayed. I learned more about Him. I surrendered my plans. I waited – broken and scared.
In August of 2019, during my early morning prayer, God spoke to me through Psalm 32:8 which says “I will instruct you in the way you should go.” I knew that God was about to give me steps to take and I was all ears! I made time to be still and to listen. It was then that God told me to start a non-profit organization. Not only that, he told me what to name the organization and who to call to join me. What should have taken a year to accomplish was done in less than a month. God was IN this! He was making a way! The ministry started with 5 board members committing to give $50 each. We offered our little and God has multiplied it!
At our launch party in October 2019, we had the support of so many family members and friends. There was so much excitement about what God would do through 28:19 Ministries. We were so excited! People were so encouraging and they were giving to help us get started.
We were so excited to launch and get a team together to return to Belize in 2020. So many people had been sparked by our passion and before we knew it, we had a team of 25 people signed up to go. We were fundraising and trip deposits were paid. We were SO excited! Then, the world shut down in March of 2020 and we couldn’t go. But, God. He taught us so much in this season about what it means to GO.
During this entire first year as a ministry, we couldn’t physically GO many places but God had so much planned for us! The team decided to redirect their trip deposit money and we were able to activate! We learned to GO by sending money to a partner on the ground to purchase groceries and hygiene items for the village that we had come to love so dearly. During a time when people were feeling so lonely and stuck, we were able to let them know that God sees them and that God loves them. Being able to pour into them and meeting physical needs over this year was such a blessing.
In August 2020, over the course of one week our donors gave over $6,000 to pay the school fees for every child at the local primary school in Belize! This provided critical funding for the school and once again, during the pandemic when times were hard, families could know that God sees them and that he cares for them.
In early summer of 2020, I was confident that God would provide an opportunity for us to GO on mission by actually going somewhere. I trusted with my whole heart! I waited. I had my eyes wide open. I listened. I waited longer. Then, one day I was on Instagram and a video started playing. I listened intently as a lady shared about her desperate needs at a warehouse to sort and package supplies to send to people in need all over the world. My heart was filled with so much joy as I watched. I KNEW that God was directing me to take a team there. But, where? Where is this place? Some of the details were jogging memories. I had read a book by this lady. It was in Lynchburg, Virginia! Two hours away! I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to gather a team and go and that we did! It was incredible. We served for 3 days at World Help and we loved every minute of it and we couldn’t wait to go back. We made a commitment to serve as often as we could at World Help and we went back in December 2020.
We returned to Lynchburg with a team in July 2021 and this time we expanded our serve to multiple non-profit organizations. Annamay, our friend from Belize, was able to travel to Virginia and be an official team member on this trip. As we served at World Help, the staff took notice and 28:19 Ministries was able to connect World Help to a partner on the ground in Belize to provide 22,000 meals at the exact time that the food supply from a previous partner had ended. God ordered every step!
During this same timeframe, a friend connected me with a missionary in Nigeria who is on mission in some of the darkest areas to educate the children and teach them about God’s love. God connected our hearts and we began to encourage one another. She shipped 150 children’s books from Nigeria to my house in Virginia because she wanted to bless the children in Belize!
Look at all of the hands God joined together to build the kingdom! We didn’t plan these connections. We simply walked in obedience and God did the rest!
As the world began to open back up, we knew it was time to form a team and physically go to Belize. In 2022, 28:19 Ministries took our first team to Belize. We had a team of 13 that were called to go. We hosted our first Transformed Women’s Conference, and it was the first time we had planned an event for adults in Belize. The response was more than we could have ever imagined. Women were hungry for authentic relationships and thirsty for more of God. Our hearts were expectant!
In December 2022, a few of the board members took a trip to Belize to surprise the village with a Christmas party and stockings, and we attended a women’s conference. Again, we knew that more was needed. The women needed more!
Our hearts were burdened. Our eyes saw the need. Through prayer, God confirmed the needs and showed us that we had a role to play. We found ourselves in a season of waiting and listening again. These seasons are bittersweet. We know that God will speak, but it is difficult to be patient.
As we planned for our return trip in July 2023, we planned for a four day camp for kids, a teen girls conference, a boys camp, the second Transformed women’s conference and a Night of Worship. We had a team of 22, and we were so expectant for how God would move! God exceeded our wildest dreams! Each day of the Mission Experience confirmed over and over again what God had burdened our hearts with over the past year. We could not wait for the Night of Worship. We rented two tents, 100 chairs, and invited a worship team and two pastors from several hours away to come and lead. That was the extent of our plan. We made a space for God to show up, and we invited people to come. And boy did they come! Over 200 people came that night. They didn’t know what to expect! God showed up! The football field became Holy Ground as praises rang out and Jesus was glorified. People surrendered their lives to Jesus, People were healed! Freedom was found! People flocked to the altar to be prayed over and to bask in the presence of God. One 14 year old young lady who I have known since she was three came forward. She wanted to accept Jesus as her Savior. We held each other and cried together as she took this bold step! It was surreal! We were standing on Holy Ground. We were living in answered prayers.
We left Belize this year knowing that there was so much more to be done. There had been a spiritual shift and God was moving! We continued to be expectant for God to move and, again, he exceeded our wildest dreams as one of the pastors there that night felt called to partner with us to reach this village. This village. Our people.
God is continuing to write the story, but what I am sure of is that God’s timing can be trusted. He will provide. He can be trusted. Where He calls, we need to GO.
This is just the beginning. Let’s GO.
Amy Gordon, Founder and President of 28:19 Ministries
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