In 2013, when Jamie and Lisa Williams were appointed to serve in Corozal, Belize as Global Ministries missionaries, they did not expect to cross paths with a little magazine that frequented the foyer of the churches Jamie had pastored in Kentucky.
“As a pastor for twenty years, I know The Upper Room is important to many people,” Jamie said. “But, I did not realize how important it is internationally.”
In an online chat with his cousin during the first few months as a missionary, Jamie mentioned that one of his two congregations in Belize shared a single copy of The Upper Room among many members. Good church resources, he explained, are few and far between. The people asked where they could find more copies of the devotional guide.
Jamie wondered how he might get more. His cousin then emailed more cousins to see if they could pull together and buy devotional guides for Jamie’s churches. Within weeks, they collected enough funds to purchase a bulk subscription of The Upper Room for the Williams’ to distribute in Corozal. When the November/December 2014 issue arrived to the churches in Belize, and the congregations heard of the gift from Jamie’s family, they began to collect small donations themselves, saving funds so they could purchase the subscription on their own in the future.
When two women from the northern village of Ranchito traveled to a 2014 Christmas Eve service to hear Jamie preach, he planned a visit to Ranchito. In January, he found 14 Methodists, but no Methodist church there. They showed him a worn copy of The Upper Room and explained that one of his church members in Corozal had sent it. For two months, they used the “Easy Plan to Use The Upper Room in Small Groups” found in the back of the magazine for prayer and Bible Study. This group shared a single copy of the devotional guide among many. Now, Jamie travels to Ranchito to lead worship services once a month.
Then, there was a stop by a local open-air bakery, where a recent visitor to one of Jamie’s churches works. When the young woman saw the pastor, she explained that one of the church leaders comes to the bakery and brings along a copy of The Upper Room. Over time, they began sitting on the side of the street each day, reading the daily devotionals together. The little magazine, she says, changed her life and led her to the doors of the church.
“I want to thank my family: aunts, uncles, and cousins for making The Upper Room daily devotional guide available to my congregations here in Belize,” Jamie adds. “And to staff and supporters of The Upper Room, a great big ‘thank you!’ The impact of these devotionals is far reaching!”
Did you know?
• The official language in the country of Belize is English.
• The Upper Room daily devotional guide is distributed in 100 countries, in 35 languages.
• The Upper Room receives no apportioned funds from The United Methodist Church or any other denomination.
• For more information about the International Editions of The Upper Room, visit http://international.upperroom.org/
• Subsidy money from generous donors help support the translation and distribution of the devotional guide around the world.
Gifts to The Upper Room help subsidize the areas of our ministry with needs not met by the product sales or the fees of participants. Your gift can help deliver a message of hope around the globe!