Project Description

MOVE, (Missionary Outreach Volunteer Evangelism) is a volunteer-staffed, faith-based missionary training school located near Orange Walk, Belize. MOVE exists to inspire, equip and mobilize missionaries to serve in difficult places around the world.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Summer “Break” Mentorship Projects

Lyli and I will still be on the move during the two-month hiatus between class sessions. We have been assigned to work on a curriculum for the Bolivia Industrial School. Also, we were recruited to help two of our classmates, Keren Ketz and Josue Lima with their summer project, which is to organize and execute a two-week miniMOVE missionary training event in Bolivia. A number of young people there have expressed interest in studying at MOVE, but it is difficult for Bolivians to obtain Belizean visas, so we are taking MOVE to them. Classes will be held on the Bolivia Industrial School campus from June 25 through July 7. I will be co-teaching the evangelism class as well as trying to teach the mechanics elective and giving a week-long seminar on music in the evenings.
The Lord provided exactly what we needed for travel expenses at exactly the right time, and we leave for Bolivia on the 19th from Mexico City. This weekend and next we are doing missions awareness meetings in Merida on the Yucatan peninsula and in Puebla. The latter has been planned since several weeks past, but the former was sprung on us this morning after we arrived here in Merida for other reasons.  I think it was in answer to my prayer that God would use us for something useful during our stay here. So tomorrow we have the afternoon program for a multiple-church laymen’s evangelism Sabbath.
The week before last I had the opportunity to work on a construction project with Jeff and my classmates from mechanics class and we all got some more practice cutting and welding steel to fabricate framing beams for a second-story house. We took the base plates to get punched at a Mennonite machine shop in Shipyard, while Jeff had some other pieces bent with another Mennonite and then we took everything to a third Mennonite who does sandblasting. I discovered that Shipyard is one of two very sizable Mennonite communities within an hour’s drive of MOVE. I hope to learn more about the Mennonites over the next few months and find some ways to connect.

Putting the pieces together. Our second-story construction project, Sarteneja

Uber, Leo and Josue. Uber points toward Chetumal across the bay

Leveling up the support beams

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Generation 7-7-7

Original group of MOVE students during world missions festival
This seventh month of 2017 finds the seven students in MOVE’s 7th missionary training program beginning their six months of service in the field as the final requisite of their training program. We should have added another month of service to round out the sevens.
This year’s theme at MOVE is “Without Retreat.” Ironically, only half of the original group has made it to this mile-marker. The faithful remnant however has made a pact to enter their mission assignment immediately, and most of them are already at their new post of duty. On May 21st we gathered for the commission ceremony to dedicate the students to their next field of labors. Below is a list of the students and their field assignments.

Names and destinations of this session’s missionaries

Vianey Soto: Manos Ayudadores, a health clinic in Guatemala
Javier Bustamente: Bolivia Industrial School in Guayaramerin, Bolivia.
Linda Quimbayo: Bolivia Industrial School in Guayaramerin, Bolivia.
Viviana Bonilla: Reach Honduras, orphanage in Honduras, C.A.
Elionai Ortiz: Hospital, Togo, Africa
Abigial Moro: Sharon Family Project: school in Thailand.

Carl Acevedo: Elda MadaĆ­, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Gerzom, a missionary from Togo, gives the commission ceremony address.

The final faithful seven take their missionary pledge. No Retreats. 

Mechanic Evangelists?

  Our first three-month session came to a close with a flurry of activities including a week-long mission trip to the picturesque mountain village of San Jose in southern Belize. The MOVE students planned and led the trip as part of their final project. In San Jose most of the population speak Mayan and make their living growing organic cocoa. During the day we worked in groups according to our elective classes. Some groups taught health classes and did community service and visitation. Leo, Josue and I, the mechanics students, spent the week fixing old chain saws, lawn mowers, weed whackers and a menagerie of other items. 

While I appreciated the learning experience, I found myself wondering what kind of evangelistic impact we could possibly make by fixing old rusty junk. Otto Koning and the Pineapple stories came to mind, but Otto was at it for years before he began to see results. What could we do in one short week? Not much, but God certainly knows how to have a productive week! I mean, he made the world and everything in it in six days, not to mention the sun, moon and stars! So as I worked I prayed that God would use us somehow, although I must admit my faith was rather small. 

 I think it was our first day of work when we met Eventor. It turned out he is the local Baptist minister, and he had a weed-whacker, lawn mower, chain saw and four-wheeler that needed fixed. Jeff brought the machines to the Community Center where we had our “shop” set up, and then went and fixed the four-wheeler while we diagnosed and serviced the other equipment. Pastor Eventor was so pleased, he invited us all to do special music at his Wednesday night prayer meeting, and asked Jeff to speak. The church was full and the people were very appreciative. 

 Later I learned that Pastor Eventor was born with a stub foot, so the four- wheeler is a big deal for him to be able to get around on the hills of his cocoa farm. Jeff is also checking into getting a better prosthetic for him. At the end of the week we invited the community to a sacred concert on Friday night. I was surprised and pleased to see that most of the men who attended were the ones who had sat watching us fix their machines all week long. 

 As usual, probably the most fruitful area of labor was with the village children. They love to sing and listen to Bible stories. Lyli, Yaneth and Keila are already planning a future trip to do a vacation Bible school. 

 Oren and Ana, two of the mere handful of Adventists in San Jose, hardly left our sides during the entire week. They ate with us, had worship with us and joined in nearly every activity. Oren only left a couple of mornings to plant corn. We encouraged them to continue strong in the faith and active in gospel labor. 

Concert in the San Jose Community Center

Mechanics is a spectator sport in San Jose. No pressure. 

Leo welds  a broken skillet. 

Morning worship behind the community center in San Jose
Lyli and I on our way to invite people to the concert

Peaceful village

Afternoon visitation in San Jose 

Sunday, April 16, 2017


            I wish I could keep you current on all our happenings, but I can’t keep up with it all. Sorry they are a month late, but here are a few highlights.
I learned an easy way to make activated charcoal by burning dry woodchips in an old metal barrel. You just have to pay attention and smother the fire before your charcoal turns to ash. You can use a plastic garbage bag filled with water, which nicely seals off the barrel.   
            In mentorship class we have homework to develop a visual that will motivate local churches to more active evangelism. Josue and I were assigned the topic of local church involvement in global missions. We came up with an initiative called Operation Missionary Dispatch, and are quite excited about it. The idea is for every local church to S.E.N.D. a missionary to a needy field, (preferably to somewhere in the 10-40 window.) S.E.N.D. stands for Select, Subsidize and Educate Now Disciples for Dispatch.  We found inspiration in the following quote:

“The home missionary work will be farther advanced in every way when a more liberal, self-denying, self-sacrificing spirit is manifested for the prosperity of foreign missions; for the prosperity of the home work depends largely, under God, upon the reflex influence of the evangelical work done in countries afar off. It is in working actively to supply the necessities of the cause of God that we bring our souls in touch with the Source of all power.” {6T 27.5}  

You can watch our short promo video here.

Lyli is working on a project with Tanzi, MOVE’s resident graphic designer, describing the difference between being an entrepreneur and being simply an employee. And the third group is developing a plan for church-school home-schools that would function similar to a charter school where trained teachers check in periodically with home-schooling parents to teach them tips, administer evaluations, and make sure things are on track.

            This week was English week-of- prayer and my English students lead song service, shared memory verses, and sang "Keep on the Sunny Side." Our guest speaker was Lisa, a church planting missionary in Pederson, central California. The importance of mission… “We are in an abusive relationship with sin.” Like the foster boy her friend is caring for, satisfied with dog-food. The climax came Friday night with a powerful message on the everlasting gospel of the three angels’ messages.
            This weekend I felt a strange sadness and discouragement. Part of my problem was that I had to “batch” it while Lyli was gone to a mission congress at Montemorelos University in northern Mexico. (There wasn’t room for both of us to go in the four-seater mission plane.) But Sabbath morning I woke up late and missed my personal time with the Lord, and that didn’t help things either. I managed to make time to eat breakfast, however, and as I did so my conscience felt pricked on my out-of-order priorities.
I taught the adult Sabbath school lesson, and later, after lunch in the afternoon, I planned to prepare my Sunday afternoon Bible study with Enrique (you may remember him from my last report) but I was overcome by drowsiness, and lay down in the hammock. The next thing I knew, my alarm was ringing, and I thought I heard someone calling. Sure enough, the truck was leaving and the group was shouting my name.
The next morning I was dragging again, and it was all I could do to make it to the 6:00 staff prayer meeting. Afterward I was asked to drive the mission group to Chan Pine Ridge in the bus for the morning church work-bee. I haven’t driven bus since my time at Leoni Meadows summer camp, and never on public roads. I tried not to let the passengers see how nervous I felt.
“God, keep us safe” I prayed as I navigated the curves.  I also prayed for wisdom and direction for the afternoon Bible study, but for some reason I still felt hollow.
At the church we installed real toilets to replace the old squat pot, and another group started building wall divisions for the Sabbath School classrooms. After digging a 40-ft section of ditch, sifting sand, and mixing cement for the masons, I must have sweated out my dumpy feelings, because I began to feel more positive. We returned to MOVE for lunch, and then showered and headed back to Chan Pine Ridge for our afternoon outreach activities. The Ambassador club (think informal Pathfinders) did community service building speed bumps and cutting the grass, and I organized the rest of the adults into groups for visitation. Rondi and Jirah, two Filipino young people from the California group came with me. I found out that Jirah has been Adventist for only two years, and Rondi since he was 14. I prayed silently that God would give us an experience that would help their faith grow and inspire them to continued missionary service.
Our first visit was with Mr. Rogelio and his wife Luz. Mr Rogelio loves music. He was more than happy for us to sing, and he got out his guitar right away, along with a stack of songs. Many of them we know. I was the music stand as Mr. Rogelio strummed away enthusiastically. Since I held the music, when I saw a song on the rapture, I decided to skip it. But wouldn’t you know, after singing a couple more songs, Mr. Rogelio asked took the stack and began to shuffle through it.
“I want to teach you a song” he said.
“Which one are you looking for?”
“It’s called ‘The Rapture.’”
“Oh yeah, I saw that one in there. I think it’s at the bottom of the pile.”
For some reason I felt like he wanted to make a point with us on that topic and I began to pray as Rogelio sang. As I listened to the lyrics, a plan began to formulate in my mind.
“Thanks for sharing that song! You know, I appreciate that that song says that the rapture is the second coming of Christ…” I started with a piece of the lyrics that I could agree with.
“But you know, the part that says ‘I thank you Lord that I won’t pass through the tribulation’ made me think of a passage in Revelation chapter seven where John describes those who will be saved. Let’s see, we find it in verse fourteen. It says:  ‘These are they that have come out of great tribulation.’  If they came out of great tribulation that means they were in it and they came through, doesn’t it? Remember that Jesus said “I ask for these, not that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from evil.”
“But I am sure there is going to be a tribulation after the rapture.” Rogelio insisted.
“That’s interesting, I have never read about that in my Bible, but I would be interested to see it, where does it say that?” He admitted he doesn’t know, so I asked him to find it for me and show me next time we get together.
An impromptu Bible study ensued, covering the second coming and first-resurrection and the millennium and the second resurrection. I was sending up prayers between, and God blessed me with agility and clarity and the Bible passages sprang to mind one after another. Both Rogelio and Luz were very engaged and asked many questions. Rondi and Jirah were also very attentive, and I was thankful that Rogelio’s English is quite good so everyone could participate in the conversation. As the visit was coming to a close, I could sense that Rogelio was wrestling with conviction.
“You know the problem here in Belize, there are plenty of churches and Christians but there is no real love.”
“That is very sad, but it is just another sign that we are living at the end of time. Christ prophesied that that would be the condition of the world right before the second coming.” I quoted 1 Tim 3.
“Kody, but if I come to your church do I have to give up meat? I love my meat for every meal. Why don’t you eat meat?” I was surprised at Rogelio’s question because I have yet to invite him to church, but he is obviously considering coming! We have discussed the diet question before however, and so instead of repeating all my reasons for being vegetarian, I focused on the root issue of surrender.
“You know, we all have things that we love that we need to surrender to God. I don’t struggle with meat, but I have a real sweet tooth, and God has convicted me that I need to control my appetite for sugary desserts that harm my health. It is a small sacrifice really when I remember how much Christ has sacrificed for me!”
At this point Jirah spoke up and shared a wonderful testimony of her recent struggle to give up meat, and the power of prayer in helping her to overcome. The hour was late, and we had to excuse ourselves.
 “Wow, God really led that conversation” Jirah beamed with joy afterward as we speed-walked toward Enrique’s house. “I felt God impressing me to share my personal struggle with meat” she enthused.
“I’m so glad you did!” I replied.
My hollow emptiness was more than gone as I praised God in my heart for answering my prayers again in such singular fashion, in spite of my weak and wayward self.