In February 2011, after planting and pastoring Life Church (Katy Foursquare Church) in Katy, Texas, for nine years, Lee and Robyn Brockinton and their three children (Joshua, 16; Victoria, 13; and Erika, 5) left everything familiar behind and began their journey to Belize, a country of just under 328,000 people on a land mass slightly smaller than the state of Massachusetts. Belize lies on the eastern coastline of Central America, bordered on the north by Mexico, and on the west and south by Guatemala.
As noted by the U.S. Department of State, Belize has a very high crime rate—the per capita homicide rate of 39 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011 ranked it as the sixth highest in the world at that time.
Spiritually speaking, the nation is 49.6 percent Roman Catholic, 25.5 percent Protestant, 1.5 percent Jehovah’s Witnesses, 14 percent classified as “other,” and 9.4 percent with no affiliation.
Belize is currently in stage two of Foursquare’s Four-Stage Development Model. Stage two is the nurture (strengthening) stage, the goal of which is to make responsible, reproducing leaders.
We recently spoke with the Brockintons about their ministry in Belize. They live in Belmopan, a beautiful city that also serves as the nation’s capital and business center.
What led you to missions work in Belize?
Robyn: Lee and I have been married for 20 years this August. We have pastored four churches, and planted three of them. Our most recent church was in Katy, Texas. We were content serving God in Katy, and we thought we would be there for the rest of our lives.
When God first spoke to us about Belize, I did not even know where Belize was on the map. Over a time span of 10 years, our church in Katy participated in short-term projects to Belize. During one of our trips, we heard God call us to sell everything we had and move to Belize to plant a church—LifeNet Church—in Belmopan.
What is life like in Belmopan?
Robyn: It’s a fairly small city, with a population of 20,000. Belmopan is the center of the nation and a mixture of all the cultures around the nation of Belize. Most of the foreign embassies are located in Belmopan, as well as the University of Belize.
Belize is a young nation, and most of our congregation is under 25 years old. The challenges to ministry are great: Belmopan has a very high crime rate, substance abuse is rampant, and many children are fatherless.
Young people are hungry for spiritual moms and dads, and for an authentic relationship with the Lord. Young people want a church that cuts through the routine, ritual and traditional religion of the church, and that gives them a real and relational body of believers. That is why we focus our efforts on small group ministry in our church.
What is your heart and vision for Belize?
Lee: Our vision for the country is simple: to establish a healthy, reproducible church in order to raise up and send out young leaders to reach other cities and villages in the nation. We are passionate about raising up reproducible disciples. Leadership development is our priority.
Since moving to Belmopan, we planted LifeNet Church. Right now, I am called the senior pastor of LifeNet Church, but eventually our goal is to raise up a Belizean pastor to lead this church and to plant more churches. The word L.I.F.E. is an acronym that defines our mission in Belize: Leading others to Jesus, Instilling a love for God, developing Fellowship as a family, and engaging Every member as a minister of the gospel.
What results have you seen recently?
Lee: We have implemented a relational discipleship process in order to foster one-to-one discipleship, first and foremost. We have almost 50 young people (17-25 years old) who meet at our house every week, and we have seen 45 people saved and baptized in our first year. We have established six discipleship groups, and we birthed three more in April. In one year, we have grown from 13 people in March 2011 to over 100 in March 2012.
We baptized nine people this February. These are all young believers who describe how God is transforming them into powerful men and women of faith.
Also, we recently experienced a miracle when a young lady in our church delivered a baby at 29 weeks. The baby was born at 3 lbs., but is now growing stronger each day. The hospitals here in Belize do not have the technology that those in the U.S. count on, so for this baby to live was truly a miracle. God truly had His hand on this baby right from the beginning.
How to Pray for the Brockintons:
- Pray for the continued raising up of reproducible, relational disciples.
- Pray for strong discipleship to continue.
- Pray for the right timing and financial resources to buy land for a church building.
How You Can Bless the Brockintons:
Our Foursquare missionaries are always encouraged by and grateful for any prayers and correspondence they receive. Whether it’s a gift sent on a holiday, or simply a letter or note of encouragement, you can make a difference by expressing your support in a practical way. Short-term missions trips to Belize are also welcomed.
To send an encouraging word or to receive the Brockintons’ newsletter, email Lee. For more information on their ministry, log on to their website. Correspondence may also be sent to the following U.S. address:
Lee and Robyn Brockinton
PO Box 1261
Katy, TX 77492
For more giving opportunities, visit the FMI World Missions Map.
Interview conducted by: Amy Swanson, a pastor’s wife and director of women’s ministry at New Life Church (Santa Barbara Foursquare Church) in Santa Barbara, Calif.