The Beautifully Broken Place We Live
We have been serving in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye a tropical island south of the Yucatan Peninsula in the Caribbean sea. I know what you are thinking; tough “beach” ministry. While this is an area with beautiful blue water filled with colorful fish, it is also a very broken place that is often overlooked because of its incredible natural beauty. Just beyond the perfectly manicured resorts you find many different ethnic groups living in basic shacks above raw sewage. Home upon home and shack upon shack, abuse, in all it’s forms, is the norm. The great majority of kids grow up in one room, single parent homes or living with their mom and her current boyfriend. To quote a local missionary, “this is an island of kids.” The clique phrase kids having kids truly exists here and because of the lack parental presence or involvement in their lives, they never grown up. In the glow of the beautiful blue sea, coral reefs, and tropical fish, exists an environment ripe for drug and alcohol abuse, gangs, and spiritual oppression from satanic practitioners as well as cults like Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons.
SoundS of Hope
Our team has partnered with local ministries to share the hope we have in Christ. We were first drawn here to support a local christian radio station, next we connected with an elementary school to use music to start a mentoring program. At the school we have also assisted with the excellent existing literacy program. Part of the Sound of Hope team have medical skills and have plugged-in to the local clinic assisting the nurses and doctors. And there are Christian churches but none with the ability to reach the island like Sagebrush Community Church. Sagebrush is a large church based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. For years on the island they had prayed about a live worship team. On one of our last trips of preparation before moving here we connected with Sagebrush and began to dream about a partnership. We were truly an answer to each others prayers. Our responsibilities include leading weekly worship service, training future worship musicians and discipleship. Of all the ministries we’ve been part of in San Pedro, past and present, Sagebrush has been our sweet spot. Ministry hasn't always been easy but it’s where our team seems to have had the most success. The church has grown in our time here by roughly 100 people. Every week more than 100 kids show up without parents on their own for the children’s program.
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Sound of Hope Ministries is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Any donations made are tax exempt. Thank you for your gifts.
Boxes of Joyful Noises (Instruments of Hope)
Through the generous help of our partnerships and supporters we were able to ship 40 musical instruments and assorted musical supplies to Belize in two 800 pound, refrigerator-sized crates. Learn more about Instruments of Hope.
Singing with Friends (Leading Worship)
Moving to a new country, getting settled, and beginning ministry was a challenge. Thankfully our partner church Sagebrush has already gone through these growing pains and was well established. Even though we were ramping up ministry with our other partnerships and figuring out details, we almost immediately were able to pour our energy into leading worship at Sagebrush.
Growing with Friends (Discipleship)
Along with leading worship, discipleship is our main work at Sagebrush. The men of Sound of Hope jumped into participating in and now lead a men’s group. This has freed up the campus pastor to work more intentionally training up future Belizean church leaders.
The women of Sound of Hope began a women’s Bible study. Meeting every week has provided a rich time of fellowship and biblical discussions. The women who show up have received some much needed healing prayer and caring friends to share life with.
With the mission of training up future worship leaders, we began a Jam night. Jam night is an informal time where musicians of all skills get together to learn and play music. The evening begins with a brief teaching on worship, followed by prayer and then instruction and playing through about 5 or 6 songs.
Lastly is our personal relationships beyond the group times. Team members have built life-long friendships in which spiritual growth is happening. Some are already brothers and sisters in Christ, others are resistant to church and some are faith-curious and have visited church a few times. Encouraging conversations, personal prayer, sharing meals, and bible studies are happening weekly to encourage our friends into deeper relationships with Jesus.