Oscar Mmbali's Newsletter
February 2021

Creating Compassionate Situations where People come to Christ

News about what Jesus had done spread all over that area...

Matthew 9:26

Did you receive this e-mail forwarded by a friend or posted on soci...
Belize Friends Church has continued to experience a steady growth even though meeting for worship routines have been restricted by government, due to Covid-19 regulations. During this period, we have received five more youths from the community who have maintained a steady church attendance and have integrated well with the rest of the congregation. This shows that the peer-to-peer outreach model that we started here continues to bear fruit. We thank God that Belizean young people who come to know our church, and love it, share in this exciting call to invite their friends and family members to church. This is a great gift to this emerging congregation. We pray that it will continue to grow.
Almost the entire church service—except on a few occasions where Nikki or I get to preach or offer closing prayer—is run by Belizeans. This is encouraging because every Sunday, Belizeans continue to build their sense of ownership of the congregation. They lead worship, prayer and sharing sessions, they set the agenda for field trips and community activities, they serve in church committees, they preach. They inform the congregation if they will not attend service on a particular Sunday and ask for prayer. I continue to encourage this ministry arrangement where local Friends gradually continue to play the central role in church ministry, while the missionary plays a supportive and facilitatory role.
One of the special gifts local people bring to a congregation is the ability to be in places missionaries cannot be. Local people are in every family, where they share in conversations about the things that matter most to those families. They are in the neighborhood, talking to their friends across the street, sharing stories, experiences, hopes, joys, concerns, and shared values. They do so in the local narrative. Local people can be the best bearers of good news. Their presence in the family and community makes them the best people to be called to gather people around Christ.
The author of Mathew brings to light the idea that ministry is grounded in compassion and is driven by workers (Mathew 9: 36, 38). After Jesus had chosen Mathew and ate with sinners (Matthew 9:9), raised a dead girl to life, and healed the bleeding woman (Mathew 9: 18-25), the news about what Jesus was doing spread all over the area (Matthew 9:26). I assume it is the local people who spread the news. Many people who needed healing came to him—the blind, people with all kinds of sickness and conditions. Jesus had compassion for them and he called for more workers. Matthew 9 is a story of local people and how they tell the story about Jesus in such a way that those who hear come to find Christ.

Compassion is essential to ministry because ministry is about healing. Workers are essential to ministry because they bear, share, and create the compassionate relationships and communities where people come to find healing. These workers can be pastors, teachers, bearers of good news, and all those called to create compassionate situations, relationships, and communities, so that the blind can see, tax collectors can have an opportunity to be called to discipleship, those labeled as sinners can have room at the table where Jesus is invited to eat with his disciples, and those who are called but do not fast can be affirmed as genuine disciples of the Lord.

This year, I will focus on the following tasks.

  1. Complete the ministry formation training for Belizean ministers.
  2. Work with Kelly to find advanced pastoral training opportunities for Belizean ministers while they complete the ministry formation training.
  3. Continue to mentor Belizean pastors while they pursue advanced pastoral training.
  4. Start a Quaker membership class.
  5. Continue to strengthen/support peer-to-peer outreach work.
  6. Explore ways Belizean Friends Church can be involved in global ministry connections in ways that enrich and support Belize Friends Church to grow.
Here are ways you can support the Belize Friends Church ministry:
  1. Pray for Belize Friends Church ministry, Belizean Friends and missionaries serving in Belize.
  2. Give to support Belizean missionaries.
  3. Give to support the Belize Carter Fund for the growth of Friends churches in Belize.
Thank you for supporting the work of Belize Friends Church! Thank you for supporting us!
Thank you so much for all the support you've given me over the last three years, since I started ministering in Belize. In August I started my second three-year term, and under normal circumstances I would have spent the summer raising my full support for the next three years. However, because of the restrictions of Covid-19, I'm still working on renewing pledges of financial support and finding new supporters to replace those who are unable to continue due to changes in life situation. As of February 28th, I've raised 50% of the total needed. Please click here to indicate new support, or to tell us that you plan to continue your current level of support. Please click here to set up a new monthly credit card transaction. If you're not sure whether you're counted as a supporter for my second term, email Karla Jay and she can look it up.  You can also mail a check designated to Oscar Mmbali to Friends United Meeting 101 Quaker Hill Dr, Richmond IN 47374. Thank you for your constant support and prayers!
Stay updated on the ministry in Belize!
Join us on Facebook at Belize City Friends Center!

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