15 years ago, this month, my family moved to Belize. 15 years ago, I put less than half my heart into making "me" work on being a missionary. 15 years ago, my brother put his whole heart into this. Mark instantly fell in love with the country, the people, the work, while I, on the other hand, just did what I had to do. I sat on a bench, backslid, yet being a big hypocrite acting like nothing was wrong, but dying on the inside in a place I HATED! Just trying to make it to the 1 year mark my dad had promised me. Promising me that after a year, if I wanted to go back "home," he would let me. Slowly, but surely, God placed a love in my heart for the people, for this place I call home.
Forget about me, let's go back to my brother, a hero to me. My brother got in here at the tender age of 16 and gave it his all. Getting up in the wee hours of the morning to go work on the church on the off nights, which were few and far between. We'd get to church in time to set out the equipment, seats and anything else that needed doing. He'd get it done, to only pack it away a few hours later, getting home late at night. We were lucky if we made it home without a flat tire. Flat tires were a common occurrence that mark and dad would fix. Here we are, 15 years later, and my brother is still going strong. Mostly behind the scenes, making sure things are running smoothly. No, he's hardly ever in the spotlight, but that doesn't make him any less, nor what he does any less for the kingdom of God. Mark T. Joiner II, I don't say it enough, but I appreciate you and all you do for God and to help with things around here. I love you and want to say thank you for giving sacrificially of yourself so many times over the years. Many times without recognition. Although you may feel it goes unnoticed, note that I see it, I admire you and I really appreciate it. I love you!