Director of Belize Friends Ministries, Friends United Meeting
As Friends United Meeting's Director of Belize Friends Ministries, I will be caring for the building and facilitating its use by the three entities that make up FUM’s ministries in Belize—the School, the Church, and the Center. I’ll be leading the staff of those entities and participating with the board of the school. I will be joining ministry programs and events as my gifts enable me. I’ll be managing how the resources of the ministries are used, and working with the team to develop donor relationships and grant applications. But these things, while they are interesting and exciting (some of them, haha), are mostly the nuts and bolts kind of stuff. The heart of what I’ll be doing is somewhat more abstract.
My ministry calling is one of spiritual hospitality. I am called to make space for people to rest and grow in the love of God. At Belize City Friends Center, I am being called to listen well and discern ways that I can make space for the staff to unite as a team, trust and find rest with each other in the love of God, and then grow their ministries based on that solid foundation of spiritual teamwork.
The ministry in Belize is in a critical stage of transition. It started as a very small school. In 2015, the vision expanded to include the school, a church, and a community center. All three of those ministries are already present and led by people with strong vision, and I’m so excited to get to be part of their process of solidifying what’s there already and realizing their visions.
Press release announcing my appointment to the position of Director of Belize Friends Ministries
Friends United Meeting has called Nikki Holland to fill the position of Director of Belize Friends Ministries! This full-time, long-term field staff position will have primary management responsibility for coordinating all of FUM’s work in Belize, including supervising the staff, managing the facilities, developing donor relationships and coordinating with the FUM headquarters in Richmond, Indiana, USA.
Three years ago, Friends United Meeting committed itself to pursue a significant expansion of its ministries in Belize. Building on more than twenty years of success in operating a small non-traditional school for at-risk inner-city youth in Belize City, FUM is now working to:
Gather a worshipping body of Friends in Belize through incarnational and relational evangelism in the Southside neighborhood of Belize City
Grow the Belize Friends School to serve more young people, to offer primary-level education to adults, and to provide pastoral counseling to students and families
Facilitate the Southside community’s transformation from a place of hopelessness and violence to a place of hope and peace through multiple ministry initiatives, beginning with the re-launch of the Alternatives to Violence Project in Belize
Identify and develop suitable facilities to house the expanded Friends work in Belize
As the Director of the Belize City Friends Center, Nikki will lead the staff team: the school Principal, teachers, administrative assistant, Pastoral Minister, and other staff and volunteers. She will participate actively in the ministries of FUM in Belize, serve as a member of the Belize Friends School Board, write grants and develop donors, manage the physical plant, and host Living Letters visitors and volunteers. Nikki will also work with the FUM Communications and Global Ministries staff teams to share compelling stories of what God is doing in Belize, cultivate relationships with government and non-governmental entities in Belize, and build networks among the various stakeholders in the Southside neighborhood, and, as way opens, build relationships among the wider Friends community in the Caribbean region.
Nikki is a member of The New Association of Friends and has spent the last four years living in Mexico. During this time, in addition to raising a family and working, she has been part of starting a Quaker worship group; has been studying for an M.Div at Earlham School of Religion; and has been investigating potential solutions for problems with domestic violence that exist in her city.
Nikki writes, “Each of these activities has taught me about what kind of ministry I have been created to do. I am called to a ministry of spiritual hospitality. I am called to make space for people to rest and grow in the love of God. I believe that my calling is consistent with the role of Director of Belize City Friends Ministries.”
As a member of the FUM field staff, Nikki will work with the Global Ministries staff to raise prayer and financial support sufficient to sustain the ministry. Communications staff are already at work preparing her magnets, pledge cards, and more.
General Secretary Kelly Kellum says that Nikki brings a lot of energy and capacity to the work in Belize, and that “her teachable spirit will serve her well in a new cross-cultural environment and her experience in working internationally will greatly benefit the Friends Center. Most importantly, Nikki is enthusiastic about Jesus and about being a Friend.” In addition, Kelly says, “I’m certain that she will fit well within the FUM community and become the leader she is being called to be,” and he encourages the beloved community of Friends to support her with prayer and financial pledges.
About her sense of call, Nikki writes: “The work that I see happening in the Belize City Friends Center (BCFC) is about transforming difficult situations. It’s about offering second and third and fourth chances. It’s about believing in youth to live into their potential. BCFC makes space for young people to rest from turbulent pasts so that they can grow in a loving and encouraging environment. An inspiring team of people are doing this work in the same spirit that I see in the gospel work of bringing the Kingdom of God to this world.”
“Peace overcomes violence. Hope grows in frustrated circumstances. Love never fails—
“It is beautiful work and I feel honored and excited to have the opportunity to participate in it.”
Nikki, her husband, Brian, and their three boys, are hoping to make the move to Belize by July 1.
Belize Friends Ministries Mission Statement: Building on the existing Belize Friends School ministry, Friends United Meeting will engage in a holistic Christian Quaker ministry that is deeply grounded in the discernment of God’s direction in Belize. We seek to witness to the transforming power of Jesus Christ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit through our witness, including worship, discipleship, education, leadership development, alternatives to violence, community building and economic empowerment.
To see the original press release, go here: https://www.friendsunitedmeeting.org/news/new-director-of-belize-city-friends-center-called
We are really hoping to get to Belize by August 15th, so we can be there for the start of the school year – both for my kids’ sake and also for the sake of Belize Friends School! We have some new staff, including me, and it would be amazing for us all to start the school year together. My kids are also starting school in English, which is new for them – all their school up to now has been in Spanish-speaking Montessori schools – so everything about their more traditional, English-speaking school will be new for them.
FUM’s policy is that I must be fully funded for three years before I can begin my job. Does this mean that I need to have ”in hand” all the money I will need for three years’ salary and ministry expenses? NO! It means that I need to have gifts, pledges, and intended future gifts entered into my spreadsheet! That’s all!
And I’ll be honest – I still have a ways to go. We’ve met so many fabulous people during this season of support-raising, and now I need everyone who is feeling led to partner with what God is doing in Belize, to come forward and tell me about it.
So far 71 people or groups have sent FUM generous gifts in support of my ministry in Belize and I’m so grateful! It’s amazing! What we need now are pledges for future support. I believe that many people intend to be sustaining financial partners with my ministry. If you hope or intend to send money to support my ministry at any time in the next three years, please tell me about it! Whether you hope to send me occasional gifts, or whether you intend to be a sustaining financial partner by sending support annually or monthly – let us know about it so that we can enter those numbers in my spreadsheet and I can go to Belize and get started! This is not meant to be a contract – all the numbers can be adjusted later, if your circumstances change and you end up able and willing to send more or less than you know about right now. But what are your hopes, intentions and leadings today? Tell us about them!
Something I have heard a lot is, “I can’t send you very much, but I do want to help.” This is Amazing! There is no amount too little to help. Some people send $5 or $10 each month – but think of that amount over 3 years – it adds up! We are grateful for all gifts and support – what matters is what are you led to send? That is the perfect amount.
To partner with me financially, please go to www.donorbox.org/nikkiholland
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