Today has been full of life and joy! We had breakfast this morning at 7:30am to start our day. It was an early morning after a late night at the Tree Lighting. We had tortillas, eggs, bacon, beans, fruit, and orange juice. Christy never ceases to amaze us with her talent.
After breakfast, we started prepping for our morning with the ladies from The Gathering. We wanted to have a brunch with the women who have consistently shown up for The Gathering each week. Before they arrived, we decorated, put cookies on trays, and set up the gift bags for the women. Christy made the most delicious food for us to share with them. We had banana chocolate chip muffins, spicy chicken salad sandwiches, meat pies, and fruit cups. It was so nice to have beautiful and delicious food while we spent time in fellowship. We had 15 women show up. We started with worship and brunch, then Amy shared a message using the Nativity Scene, and we broke out into two small groups for a quick devotion. It was so sweet to hear testimonies of life change during this time together. To end the event, each woman received a gift bag and handwritten note. The notes were written by Amy’s small group back home. The women loved them and felt so special as they read them.
If you’re new around here, or just need a recap: The Gathering started as a response to our Night of Worship in July. A night where we offered God a tent, some chairs, and a football field. He turned it into Holy Ground and brought over 200 people into His presence. It was life changing for all of us, and it was a catalyst in Pomona. That night, Pastor Fredrico Lord gave a message and felt called to do more in Pomona. Little did he know that 28:19 Ministries had been praying for a pastor to come alongside us on the ground in Belize. Now, The Gathering has met for 15 weeks and people’s lives are changed. They have new hope, fresh joy, and are experiencing a hunger for God like never before. It has been so beautiful to see the Lord’s plan unfold before our very eyes. We’re so grateful for Pastor Lord and his investment in this community. His feet are on the ground when we can’t be – God is doing abundantly more than we could ask or imagine.
After the brunch this morning, we got to sit down with Pastor Lord and reflect on all that God has done and look to the future. It was so great to catch up face to face. So much has happened. So much IS happening. God is moving, and we’re so grateful He chose us for this assignment. We sat for a couple hours talking while we ate lunch. Christy delivered chicken quesadillas for us. We ended our meeting by planning details and praying over the Christmas Candlelight event tonight.
Once we finished with our meeting, it was time to pack up and head to the football field for the Candlelight. We prepped the candles and loaded up the van. As we drove to the football field, the sun was setting over the hills in the distance. The sky looked just like it did on the Night of Worship in July – absolutely breathtaking. Kevin, a friend of ours, offered to bring his sound system to the Candlelight. We set up our luminaries on the football field and people started arriving. Timmy and Abigail, friends of Pastor Lord and Kevin, drove all the way from the city to lead worship for us. They led us in the most beautiful and worshipful Christmas songs. Amy shared a message about keeping Jesus at the center of our lives. After the message, Pastor Lord shared a short message and prayed over our time together. Then, we started singing Silent Night as we lit our candles. There were over 60 people gathered in a circle singing with candles. We had planned to end the event after Silent Night, but everyone was having so much fun that we kept singing more songs. We sand Goodness of God, Feliz Navidad, Joy to the World, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. We also sang Go Tell it on the Mountain. After singing this, one of the little boys we’ve watched grow up turned to Amy and said “Miss Amy I really enjoyed that one”. Something so simple, but a precious memory we’ll always hold onto.
After the Christmas Candlelight, we packed up our stuff and rode back to the hotel. We sorted a few of the supplies and got to chat a little before dinner. We had dinner around 9:30 tonight because of our Candlelight event. Christy made the most delicious chicken parm (complete with a side salad, bread, and lime juice), and no other chicken parm will EVER measure up. We didn’t think we’d be hungry enough to eat, but I can assure you we all joined the clean plate club.
Now, we’re hanging out and enjoying each others’ company. We love getting to use our down time to fellowship. There are so many details I’m probably missing – God is doing so so much!
We can’t believe tomorrow is our last FULL day in Belize! This trip has flown by, as they all do. Thank you so much for reading! We’ll share more tomorrow!
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