Before the Hurricane
Recently, Hurricane Harvey and Irma arrived in Houston and Florida, both located in North America. Houston and Miami airports are very popular airports for connecting flights to and from Belize. Many short-term mission teams have connecting flights in Houston or Miami in order to reach our Chinese folks here in Belize. Often, they just passed by these two airports, maybe just grabbed something for their stomachs. Anyhow, no one will consider that these places are important to their mission journey. Mandatory evacuation was not required in Houston, but not in Florida before the hurricanes. How do hurricanes relate to mission? Houston mayor Turner said, “You literally cannot put 6.5 million people on the road.” And Florida Gov. Scott said, “If you have been ordered to evacuate, do not wait. Not in an hour, you need to go right now.” Similarly, as Christians, we all realize that the call from God to make disciple is definite, but our responses may be divergent.
In the Hurricane
With rainfall topping 50 inches in some areas, “Our whole city is underwater.” While in southern Florida, many areas had fuel shortages, as well as downed power lines and standing water. “It’s horrible what we saw.” Our city, San Ignacio in Belize, also experienced flooding last year, as people could not evade mother nature. In the same token, people without God are helpless. The lives of the Chinese in Belize are tough, and sometimes just like living in a hurricane. Unfair treatment, corruption, and misunderstanding, etc. all lead to unpleasant, miserable, pressure, and so on. Perhaps, everyone has difficulties wherever they live. As a missionary, share and face their burdens are not easy. I am still a newcomer to the town even though I have lived here for almost three years. I am still humbly learning how to solve and deal with every different daily needs and cope with each emergency situations.
After the Hurricane
In Houston, at least 39 people died, and survivors face hurdles of their own. Managing the shelters that are housing tens of thousands of them remains “the biggest battle that we have right now.” There were six people died in Florida, boats lay partly submerged and petrol stations had roofs blown off. Floridians returned to shattered homes, leaving more than half of all state residents without power and city streets underwater. People will die in natural disaster. People also will die forever if they do not have Jesus Christ. I am sure you all know this from the Bible. But after the hurricane, people will continue to die without Jesus. What is your reaction? Hurricane surely destroys life! But are you the lifesaver or just a weather watcher? Despite the recent hurricanes and earthquake, the sun and moon still shine on Belize. Our brother and sister are learning God’s word diligently, and most importantly that they practiced their faith bit-by-bit, and day-by-day. Pastoral approach is totally different compare to elsewhere, but still, the key is the love from our wonderful God!
- Pray for another three short-term mission teams who will come in October and November. May God bless them as He blesses the people in Belize.
- Pray for follow-up work to both believers and non-believers, may God prepare the desirable environment for the moment.
- Pray for wisdom from God for our church development both short-term and long-term.
…And a storm of wind came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in danger…saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?" Luke 8:23-25