Summer 2016 Update

“But we believe – nay, Lord we only hope,

That one day we shall thank thee perfectly

For pain and hope and all that led or drove

Us back into the bosom of thy love.”

― George MacDonald, A Hidden Life and Other Poems

Hello Friends, I hope this blog finds you well. Many years ago, when Saturday mornings were reserved for cartoons, there entered into one of the stations a strange half hour show. It was led by a person playing the guitar and it was just a kaleidoscope of pictures, like a slide show going quickly. It never made sense to me, but was interesting. I guess that is kind of the picture I have over the last few months- many events going by quickly!

Lisa and I had come to the US at the end of January to visit churches for a couple of months. We had finished our “itineration" and were prepared to make our way back to beautiful Belize. On March 22nd I was finishing up a project to our home in Wilmore, in preparation to rent the house. I made one last climb up the ladder to retrieve the tools of my effort. I fell down from a height of 8 feet and that began a journey, as Lisa calls it, “my Job period”. An ambulance ride to the emergency room with several x-rays and CAT scans showed I had a broken heel and a fracture in my back. I also had plenty of soft tissue damage. It could have been a LOT worse, but it sure did hurt.


Jamie with back brace and boot.

Before the accident I was on a quest with my surgeon as to why my shoulder (which had been replaced with an articificial one 5 years ago) was hurting so much and seemed to be deteriorating. After several tests and an exploratory surgery, it was discovered I had an infection in the shoulder and the prosthesis was loose . In May I had surgery to remove the artifical joint and begin IV antibiotic transfusion for six weeks. On August 15th, a new shoulder was put into place. Whew!

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On Memorial Day, my in-laws and I went to the Winchester cemetary to Mom’s, Dad’s and my sister’s grave site.

I wish I could give you some profound, deep reflection over my experience over the last few months, but I just have a deeper empathy for those who hurt. There have been many tears and cries out “why?” As Phillip Yancey said, "When suffering happens, it forces us to confront life in a different way than we normally do.” I have had to rely on on everybody else to get me through the healing process. Lisa’s parents, my children, doctors, nurses, and of course my wonderful wife, Lisa. Our dog Kizzy even came up from Belize to comfort me!

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Lisa has managed to keep things going with her Belize work while she is taking care of me. She has also enjoyed filing a few half days at Southland Vet Hospital in Lexington while the other veterinarians were on vacation. Just in the past couple days I am encouraged about the new shoulder and hope we are seeing the light at the end of a tunnel

Lisa made her way back to Belize in May to prepare for the coming summer teams. She also continues to work hard in not only coordinating teams, but in raising funds for the High School in Belmopan. We are so close to having phase 1 completed but have experienced shortfall in funds and changes in plans that slowed things down.

One of the blessings of being stateside is being with family and friends! A trip to Raleigh, NC and a trip to Denver seemed to be in order during the times when I could travel!

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Lisa, Becca, Jared, and Rachel in Raleigh. NC

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My brother Jud, Julie, and Shannon in Colorado with Ross and Enzo

…and just being home with family and friends:

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Our dear friend Kim Sayre and Cricket. Kim always makes Lisa take her glasses off!


Brandon, Rebecca, Rachel, and Forrest, plus Kizzy and Ernie and Muschu

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The Patrick and Rachel Whipple family came to visit!!!

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Lisa’s parents have gone beyond the call of duty to care for Jamie. Jamie and Lisa stay with them a lot and are enjoying this unexpected time together. They are such a blessing! At 85 and 87 they are still actively serving other people!!!!

While in Colorado we made visits to some of the churches to which we are connected Montrose UMC, Grand Junction First UMC and Highlands Ranch UMC. It was great to be with with these fine folks! We were able to eat fresh Olathe corn on the cob in Montrose!!! Best we have ever tasted!!!

The SUPER great news to share is in JUNE the first walks for the Belize/Honduras Emmaus Community occured near the capital city of Belmopan! (For you non Emmaus people out there this is a spiritusl retreat done all over the world. It is often life changing! And if you haven’t done it you should SIGN UP!!!) This was the result of over two years of intense preparation and MANY years of prayers. We continue to hear wonderful stories about the walks. We give God thanks for all of the team members from the states, from Belize and from Honduras. I especially want to thank Rev. Bruce Hiner who stepped up to the plate to lead as the Spiritual Director of both walks in my place when I was unable to attend. It was a great dissapointment for me not to be present for the walks, but my heart has been joyful with what God has done and continues to do through this ministry! Thank you to The Lexington Emmaus Community, The Pioneer Emmaus Community, The Phoenix Emmaus Community, and The North Houston Emmaus Community. I also want to thank our colleagues from The Upper Room, Rev.’s Stephane Brooks and Victor Perez. They guided us through the process and did it well.

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I am also excited to share that the B.L.A.S.T. Youth Ministry got a needed boost of energy from the Lost Creek UMC from Oklahoma! The youth building got a new roof and ceiling!!! I cannot wait to get back to the youth in Corozal and Libertad!

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The Oklahoma team also did VBS in Libertad and Corozal.

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As I shared, the Belmopan High School is so close, but we still need more resources to finish. This is the latest picture we have, though there has been some progression since this photo.


One of the things we are excited about in Belize is the growing of our medical missions efforts. The eye surgeons have increased their visit to Corozal from 2 times a year to 3. We have a brand new mobile dental program thanks to Salado UMC in Texas. And here are a few pictures of a dental team that recently went into Toledo and worked at Forrest Home. This group had suspended trips for a few years and we are so happy to have them return to Belize. Thanks to Dr. Jim Flach and First UMC of Mount Dora Florida.

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Belize 2016, Gag 432firespa, tires,

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There are many projects and stories from our Volunteer in Mission Teams. I wish I could share them all! If your church would like to make memories as well as making a difference, contact Lisa. She would love to inform you about the many opportunities to serve in Belize! Here are more pictures of the 2016 VIM teams:

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Peach tree Road UMC in Atlanta, GA

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Wesley Foundation Arlington, Texas with Corozal Youth

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Libertad Methodist School with a new coat of paint thanks to ALEDO UMC youth

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Groups touring Mayan Ruins

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Jamie scratching his backside! Or, a monkey seen en route to Lamanai Mayan Ruins

Encourage your church to become "Covenant Partners” with us. We can share more about how our connection with United Methodist Churches is so important for all of us.

Lisa and I are most anxious to get back to Belize. I miss my circuit members and colleagues. Many thanks to all the people in Belize who have been covering my duties. Hopefully after 2-3 months of rehab, we can get back. I have been overwhelmed by the prayers and words of encouragement. Thank you all!!!!!

Blessings! Jamie and Lisa