“In the same way, let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
We are in San Pedro, Belize. On Tuesday night, our team of missionary ladies was having a SHINE program for young women on the island. They were doing an art program for teen girls designed to speak to their value and uniqueness as daughters of God.
As the only male on our team, I was not a part of this program, so I had some time to be with the Lord. I sat on a dock overlooking the town of San Pedro and started reflecting on our mission work there.
As I sat with the ocean lapping at my feet, I asked God to continue to give me His heart for this island and these precious people. The image of the sun shining over the island spoke to me. I saw light streaming from the sun over a place that has much darkness. It gave me hope for the future. I felt God’s love for Belize and San Pedro in particular.
On the plane ride to Belize, I had a strong urge to pray for the victims of the huge fire that took place just days before we came. Eight families had lost everything they had in the fire. I had no idea how we would meet the families, but I said a quick prayer, “Father, I would love to be able to show AGAPE to one of these families.”
On Friday night, we were worshipping and praying with friends when Eddie, one of the pastors on the island, said to me, “Tom, I feel like we need to worship and pray at the site of the fire.” Everyone present instantly felt like that was from the Holy Spirit. Together we made a plan to worship and pray at the fire site on Sunday night at six o’clock.
Sunday evening came, and we gathered on the very ground where homes once stood. I led some worship with a guitar and we began to pray for God to rebuild the homes and lives of those affected. Then one of the leaders suggested we pray for the Ancona family, two women who were present and worshipping with us. God had answered my prayer!
We laid hands on them and blessed them and prayed for their hearts and lives. Then we asked if we could bless them somehow. They suggested we go to the home of Matilda, a grandma who lost her home of 45 years where she had raised all five of her children. They said she was devastated and losing her faith in God.
At Matilda’s home, we circled around her and sang a worship song and again prayed for blessing, healing, and restoration. In minutes, Matilda went from broken, hurting, and hopeless to smiling, laughing, and talking eagerly with us. We watched God touch her heart before our eyes.
What I learned from this story was the power of presence. Bringing light with us wherever it is needed. Darkness is constantly beating down people in Belize and in Asheville. Satan loves to kill, steal, and destroy. Jesus loves to bring life and light more abundantly. It was such an honor to be light for Matilda and her family that night.
Another thought that struck me was how simple it was to play a guitar, sing a worship song, and pray for them. It didn’t take an elaborate plan. We didn’t spend any money. We were just sensitive to the Holy Spirit, obedient to go, and poured out some love.
Simply put, we let our light shine. In the midst of a warm Belizian night, we brought light where it was needed. We brought love, smiles, hugs, music, faith, and prayers to men and women in need of some light and life.
The biggest blessing of all is that all the glory went to the Father. He was the light-giver. We were just candles that brought our flames together to make a brighter light. A family was lifted. A grandmother without hope for the future started laughing and smiling. We all had this small but growing sense that everything was going to be okay. God, the Father, had a bright future for us all.
Light overcomes darkness. This is our call. This is our privilege. This is our mission. Today, let your light shine before men. It doesn’t have to be a big elaborate thing. Do something simple. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Bring some love where it is needed.
As you do it, give all the glory to God. Love is really powerful. Simple acts of love can have a huge impact. Light will overcome darkness. Hearts right near you need a touch from the Father. Reach out.
Let’s go love our city.
San Pedro, Belize
July 9, 2016