A number of Christians and pastors from across the country are participating in Belize’s first ever Empower Conference. The aim of the event is to uplift the pastors and their wives. The conference is being spearheaded by the director of the Children’s Cup Organization of Belize, Derrick Pitts. He explained the initiative and the overall impact the conference is expected to have among its attendees.
Derrick Pitts Director of Children’s Cup Organization: “Children’s Cup is an organization that partners with the local churches to bring about community transformation through holistic child development and what Children’s Cup does is that we partner with the local church and we reach out to the children through feeding programs, after school programs, discipleship and medical check up but we also know that the church is the only institution which Jesus left behind that can bring about transformation so children cup in itself cannot do that and so we partner with the churches and we work with key pastors in key communities and so we have like five of these programs set up already up and running and we cater at each one of them we have like 150 kids attending and then we have some feeding sites and we are in Belize City, we are in Orange Walk and we are planning on expanding that. What we have realized working with several of these churches and pastors, it’s a lot of work and so we want to reach out to the pastors and as much as they pour out we see it is necessary that someone pours into them and encourage them, inspire them and so that is what we are here to do alongside experience church. Pastor Justina is here all the way from Ohio and her church is the church that sponsoring everything here and they flew all the way here. They have been in Belize before and they have met some of our pastors and god put it upon their heart to like mein you guys have to come back to Belize and do something for the pastors so the unique thing about what we are doing here today is that we are having churches from across the denomination and across the the cultural lines. We have people that are travelling like 8 hours away from down south to be here today and so it really blessed my heart to know that Pastor Justina and her husband Cal which is preaching right now they all came here to do this for our pastors in the country of Belize. We have key partners that we work with in every district and so we reach out to these key partners and said hey who are some pastors in your community that could benefit from something like this and so key pastors in those communities have identified pastors that they have been working with and so they have invited them to come to this as well and so it is not only for pastors but it’s also for pastors and wives so there wife is here with them because we know that god doesn’t call one person, he calls a family and so we saw it that it was necessary that the wives be here as well so the holy spirit can pour into them as well.
The Empower Conference was also made possible with the support of the Experience Church in Ohio. Justina Brownley, who along with her husband funded the Experience Church, shared more about the reasoning behind being in Belize and supporting the conference.
Justina Brownley Pastor of Experience Church in Ohio: “As pastors my husband and I know how weary and discouraged you can become in trying to make a difference in our community and so our Heart for Empower conference is to bring in other pastors that they have to come in actually prepare or have a message or have to minister to anyone and that they can be ministered to and that is a part of why we came to Belize to really pour into them, to encourage them to come alongside a lot pastors that maybe have thought about quitting or maybe feel like they are not making a difference in their community in the region to come along and say you are making a difference and you continue to make a difference and sometimes you just need somebody to come along and say you can do it and that is really what we are here for for Empower Conference so we have worship during some of the sessions and we have teachings during some of the session and we have about eight total sessions planned and some of them are going to be just to encourage pastors and their wives personally and other sessions are going to be about how can you build the church and how can you make the biggest difference in your community with the resources you have and so we are just coming to share what we have learned and what we have experienced as well as allow pastors to connect and network with one another because a lot of times those relationships that will be left here in Belize long after we are gone. We want them to be able to pray for one another, encourage one another and have friendship with one another so when they are struggling they can encourage one another but also share ideas with another. What’s the need in the community and how can we meet that other? So we brought a team with us and there is all different gifts among the team that we brought with us and some of them are pastors that came along with us and we are able to do some of the sessions in both english and spanish. We have a spanish speaking pastor with us as well and then we have worship leader with us so that we can have a worship moment during all of the sessions and then we also have just bought some resources that we want to share with the pastors and impart to them and really the team dynamic is bringing a lot of different elements that we cannot bring by ourselves just Pastor Kyle and I.”
The conference is being held at the Best Western Plus Hotel.