Israel and Tonya Alvarez Prayer Letter: Celebrating 13 Years as a Church!Greetings from Orange Walk, Belize. The weather here is beautiful this time of year. The temperatures have been a bit low, reaching down into the 70s. (Ha!Ha!) We are about to get a shock, as we will begin our short furlough in Indiana. The kids are excited to see snow, hopefully, and wear closed-toe shoes instead of sandals. I wonder if we can get our toddler to finally keep his shoes on?!

In October, our church held its 13th anniversary service. Each year, as we reflect back on how the church started and what God has done, we are humbled that He would use our family for HIS work. There are so many situations where it is evident that only God could have been the One to work it out. Our family only desires to continue to labor where He has placed us.

We hope that you had a great Christmas and New Year’s. Our church family here enjoyed celebrating the season with a kids’ Christmas activity, where the Gospel was given to over 75 children. We also had each member bring a special offering for Jesus on Christmas Day as a way of honoring our Saviour. That same Sunday, we had 2 baptisms. One of the men who was baptized has been in church for a few years, and the Holy Spirit had been working in his heart for quite some time. His wife is a faithful member and had been praying for her husband. Praise God for answered prayers!

We started out our New Year’s Eve celebration with two Baby Dedications for a sweet couple who met in the youth group and eventually married. That evening, our church also discussed our goals and plans for this new year. We are praying for the many needs in our community and looking for ways to meet them. Please join us in praying that our church might be a blessing to those around us.

We have recently added some new members to our congregation. One such lady is Sister Irene. She started coming because of one of her daughters. Little by little, Irene has been bringing her three other daughters and encouraging her husband to come to church. Please pray that this dear family would grow in the Lord.

During December, I went soul winning with another pastor from the area. He asked me to join him to distribute groceries to the needy in the neighborhood. Along the way, we were able to see several adults trust Christ. It’s a wonderful thing to have good pastor friends who encourage you to serve.

These past few weeks have been busy, getting our leaders ready for our departure. Through several meetings, planning, and a lot of prayer, we feel confident that God’s work will continue in our short absence. As we begin our furlough, we do have some prayer requests:

1. We are raising some support for new ministries we would like to start, such as another mission church.
2. We are adding rooms to our house since we have just two bedrooms for our family of six; this requires more finances.
3. While on furlough, several of our men here will be preaching for the church services. We also have a few evangelists coming in as well. Please pray that God would use these men and that the work would move forward.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. God is good!

In Christ,

The Israel Alvarez Family