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Dale Graves to Serve as Belize Interim Director

Dale GravesAs Sam and Becky Barber and their family prepare to transition back to the United States, we in Friends United Meeting wish to express our profound appreciation for their ministry. Their unique gift of Christian relationships has touched many Belizeans and made a significant impact for God’s community. We also want to thank all those who have supported, accompanied and prayed for the Barbers, and we invite you to continue to do so during this transition. In order for them to end well, we need to clear the deficit in their ministry account of approximately $90,000. We urge you to consider a generous donation today in honor of the Barbers’ years of commitment and sacrificial service.

Friends United Meeting will continue to operate the Belize Friends School program. In addition, over the next 12 months we will build on the groundwork the Barbers have laid toward an expanded Friends ministry. Towards this end, FUM has approached Dale Graves of Western Yearly Meeting to assist in an interim capacity. Dale’s educational background, knowledge for and love of the Belize mission and availability as a recent retiree make him ideally suited for an interim appointment in Belize. He will go to Belize in August to serve for one year with a focus on research, community needs assessment and program planning for a holistic Belize Friends Mission that addresses the unmet needs of the South Side neighborhood of Belize City.

We see this as an opportune moment to raise up local leadership for the school. We plan to appoint an interim Principal and to work with the Principal and the local Board to restructure the staffing of the school. A new staff configuration will allow us to continue to expand our highly successful program and to do it in a way that is efficient and cost effective. We intend to strengthen the Board and invite its members to work alongside Dale and the interim Principal to lay the foundation for an expanded holistic gospel ministry in Belize City. We ask all Friends to join us in praying for faithfulness in this discernment process and for courageous imagination as we seek to follow Christ in Belize.

Posted 5/1/14