By Tim Shoemaker
At the present time, the church here at Deerfoot is supporting three works in the nation of Belize. We are supporting two full-time ministers: Melvin Davis in Belize City and Clayton Guzman in Corozal. Brother Melvin was the last convert of Luther Savage and six years later he became the full-time minister for the church in Belize City. In addition, he rode the bus to Corozal every other week to preach there. In 1981, he graduated from the Preston Road School of Preaching in Dallas, Texas. Following graduation he returned to Belize City to continue preaching for the church there.
Clayton Guzman was converted during our campaign held in Independence in 2004 and, with our support, he attended the Jamaican School of Preaching. Upon graduation he returned to begin preaching full-time in Corozal where he continues to serve as one of our missionaries in Belize. Clayton is very enthusiastic in his work and is well known by the people of Corozal.
Both Melvin and Clayton have been very active in helping us during our campaigns, traveling with us to the city where we will be working. Both have used their vans to help transport our luggage and the campaigners, and both have been active in helping to set up home Bible studies in the city where they live. Both have also helped in conducting the personal in-home Bible studies. Both Melvin and Clayton are Godly men, faithful to the Lord and His church. We are blessed to have such capable men working with us in the country of Belize.
The church here at Deerfoot has been conducting campaigns in Belize since 1971 and there have been thousands of people who have heard the gospel preached in our meetings and home Bible studies and hundreds that have responded to become children of God. The campaigns have been conducted by a number of our members who are responsible for paying their airfare while the church, through the giving on Mission Sunday, pays for the motel and eating expenses.
To continue to carry on this good work we need those who are willing to go and those who are willing to send. Paul had the support of the Philippians church (Phil. 4:15-17) and those going from here have had the support of the church when it was located in Woodlawn, in Roebuck, and in Pinson as the Deerfoot Church of Christ. If this good work is to continue we will need to continue to give as generously as we did last year on Mission Sunday.
The third work we are supporting in Belize is the Belize Bible Institute. This is a branch of the Sunset School of Preaching located in Lubbock, Texas. The school has two primary goals: one is to provide Christians with a deeper knowledge and understanding of Scripture, and the second is to make Christians far more effective in ministering to the church and to the lost.
Sunset International Bible Institute has schools set up in 12 of the Pan American nations. The school in Belize is number 13. The classes are taught by professors at Sunset from Lubbock, Texas, in real time. We have taken the responsibility for the hub of the school that is meeting in the building of the Belize City Church of Christ.
The study program includes eight intensive courses taken over two years. There are four terms per year with each term lasting eight weeks. There is one course being taught each term. There is also a supplemental weekend seminar with the teachers. Deerfoot has been asked to supply the tools needed. These tools are: (1) an internet connection (High speed and HD); (2) a web camera and a large screen, and (3) software download (Vidyo, Skype, and Google Meetings).
Each of these works is important but, like any work, they also require money. That money has always been through the free will offerings of this church. We have always been encouraged by the generosity of the brethren here and are praying for and expecting a great response this May 7th on Mission Sunday.