Monday, January 13, 2014

Cultures and the Way of Life in Belize

We have so many different cultures and ways of life here, I don't know where to begin. 

Mennonite's Out Shopping
CULTURE: The Belizean culture is made up of influences and people from Kriol, Maya and Kekchi Indians, Garinagu (also known as Garifuna), Mestizo (a mixture of Spanish and Native Americans), Mennonites who are of German descent, with a blend of many other cultures from Chinese to Lebanese and numerous North Americans.

LANGUAGE: The primary language of Belize is, English. We also have Spanish, K'ekchi", Mopan Maya, Creole (Kriol), High and Low German, Garifuna, Chinese and various other languages. They also speak Kitchen Spanish, or what is better known as, Spanglish. It is a mixture of Spanish and English/Kriol. 

HOMES: In our village, Guinea Grass, you will see homes built like a shanty with wood and cement homes that are being built by family, living in the US. These cement homes are only built as the money is sent here. Therefore, you well see rebar sticking out of a second or third story. You may also see homes built out of a material, kind of like bamboo. It's called pimienta, with a thatch or metal roof. Most have outdoor toilets.

In the Mennonite villages, you will see the old order homes built by them out of a cement form that looks like brick, or homes of metal siding. They have no electricity.

The K'ekchi' and Maya villages will have homes like longhouses. These homes will have dirt floors, rough wood walls and thatch roofs. Most of the time, it is only 1 large room, where several families will sleep.

All of these cultures of people build an out door kitchen. They will build a fire, with blocks around it for placing their pots on. This is called a Fire Heart, or in Kriol, "Fiya Haat."

The main towns will have a mixture of these homes, with your well to do people living in nicer homes, most of the time. Their homes would be more than 1 bedroom and include an indoor bathroom.

ENTERTAINMENT: The children in our village love to play marbles, soccer, jacks, jump rope, and a game where they'll take a bouncy ball, throw it against a wall, clap once, catch it, then adding more number of claps until they can't catch it anymore. Not sure what you call it though. :)
The Mennonite children's toys, bikes and games would be built by them.

FOOD: Depending on who's home you are in, the meals will vary. Belizeans eat a wide variety of foods. You will often find homemade flour tortillas, johnny cakes, or fry jacks. These are generally served with beans. Also for breakfast, you will usually see street vendors selling empanades, (fried maize (corn) shells with beans, fish, chicken, or beef) tacos and meat pies, 
For the midday meals, you'll usually find, beans and rice, or rice and beans (cooked together), with or without coconut milk, tamales, escabeche (onion soup), chilmole (black soup made with black recado), stew chicken and various dinners featuring some type of rice and beans, meat and salad or coleslaw. 
On the weekends, at night, you'll usually find a street vendor selling garnaches, (fried corn tortillas with beans, cheese, and cabbage sauce) burritos, or tostadas.
In the rural areas, meals are generally less extravagant; the Maya use recado, chicken soup and corn or maize for most of their meals.)
I have heard that the Garifuna are fond of fish and other seafood, cassava (particularly made into hudut) and vegetables. I wouldn't know, I have yet to try it. 
At 11:30AM, up until 12PM, you will find that the children leave school to go home and eat lunch, then back to school for 1PM. Some businesses close at midday for lunch, reopening later in the afternoon.

INFRASTRUCTURE: There is one main, two lane, paved road through the country. All others are dirt, filled with sand, gravel and maul. Not very nice at all. :( We have sleeping policemen (road bumps) for stop signs.

We live in a village 8 miles from a main town. Those 8 miles feel long though. Our roads are not paved and our vehicles tear up pretty easily.

TRANSPORTATION: Buses are a common means of transport. Each bus would have their fee to transport the person to their destination. Bikes are the most common. Cyclers have the right of way. We also have taxi's and private transportation as well. 
The Mennonite's will hire a truck to bring their handmade wares to the main cities to sell. Their common mode of transportation is horse and buggy.

I believe that is all I can give you about the cultures and way of life here in Belize.

Our daily lives seem normal to us and to me there is nothing "exciting" to share, but if you have questions about it, I would gladly answer them.

Right now, I can't think of anything else, but seriously, if you have ANY questions, please feel free to ask and I will answer them to the best of my ability. God bless you all and thanks so much for the prayers throughout the years.

Check out our church website:

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”  ― Maya Angelou

"Don't Worry, Be Happy"

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Worship (AdoraciĆ³n)

I was pondering this tonight.

A few years ago, dad went to Honduras, where there was a man who's 1 arm and 1 leg on one side of his body had been severed. He had been outside working and was electrocuted, causing the amputations. Dad came home and begin telling us about this man. Dad was able to be in service with a group of believers there and  everyone worshipped The Lord, including this man. He couldn't clap like people that has 2 hands, nevertheless, he clapped. He couldn't dance like someone with 2 legs and feet could, yet he managed to dance, in a way, I'm sure was pleasing to The Lord. You see, he could be dead from that high voltage of electricity, but he's not. He could've chose to give up on God, yet he didn't. He chose to trust in the One who made him and to worship Him for what he does have.

As I was thinking about this, I got to wondering, what if we, with all of our limbs intact, begin to worship The Lord wholeheartedly? Would it stir the flame? Wouldn't it please The Lord? Then, in turn, spiritual satisfaction could be gained, because we worshipped Him with complete abandonment.

I have been guilty of going to church and just going with the same ole ritual. Not completely giving myself away. What can I do to better myself in the church, I ask? Begin to worship Him, as the gentlemen mentioned above did. Those of you that have both arms/hands and legs/feet, think on these things. How can you do better? Go into the house of Worship with only the thought of worshipping The Lord. Forget about yesterday, what happened today and what will happen tomorrow. Focus on Him, watch what He does. Begin to completely give yourself away in to worship Him. Then, you'll see a difference.

I'm ready to start worshipping Him the way He deserves to be worshipped! Are you? I'm ready to see what the difference in me will be!

Who will join me in 2014, worshipping Him in complete abandonment?

“What is the use of praying if at the very moment of prayer, we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer?” Written by Thomas Mertin
"Don't Worry, Be Happy"

Monday, January 6, 2014

URGENT Need in Belize for Passenger Buses and Vans!!!


In the last service of the old year a vision of revival was cast for the Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Belize for 2014. It is a vision of revival and nationwide church growth and development with a push toward evangelism to be implemented like never before. With many previously closed doors suddenly opening wide in the last few months, it would appear that the field is mo
st certainly white unto harvest! In villages and communities where there has previously been no openness to the Gospel, opportunities are presenting themselves and converts are being made.

However, revival is not without hindrances. In Belize, one of the greatest of these is transportation problems. Because of the horrible road conditions a short journey of only 10 or 15 miles may take 45 minutes or longer. Along with the excessive travel times, the wear and tear on vehicles is extreme. Imagine driving your vehicle for 20 miles in stop and go traffic and you have some understanding of the amount of damage caused by only 1 mile of travel in Belize.

Repairs are made weekly and, sometimes, almost daily on any one of the handful of vehicles available for transporting souls from their homes to Church services. And although the burden of spending thousands of dollars a month in repairs on rapidly decaying vehicles is taxing it does not weigh as heavily on the heart as the fact that often people cannot be brought to service because of frequent, sudden vehicle failures. As a result, people are left on the side of the road waiting for a ride to Church that never arrives. With the overwhelming amount of time, effort and resources that goes in to trying to win each convert, it is heartbreaking to know that a lack of transportation hinders them from being able to come to the House of God.

WE ARE IN URGENT NEED of passenger vans and buses that would meet a few small specifications:

- Age is not important but millage is.

- Diesel buses are needed while either diesel or gasoline vans would be useful.

- Small and large buses are needed but not the “shuttle bus” style because of durability issues.

It is our earnest desire to see Belizeans well represented in the Kingdom of God when our Saviour comes again to gather His Church. Can you help us bring them through the Door of the Kingdom by helping us bring them through the door of the local Church?

Please contact us today if you are able to help meet this most urgent need.

You can send monetary support through Paypal:

Checks can be sent to address below and earmarked for Bus or Van for Belize:
P.O. Box 745
Ball, LA 71405