Sad news about Dale Graves

The global community of Friends United Meeting grieves the loss of Dale Graves, who died on December 10, 2018, eleven months after receiving a cancer diagnosis.

praying for Dale

The Belize Friends School community praying for Dale Graves on the day last January that he abruptly left Belize because of unexplained health concerns. A few days later, he learned it was cancer.

Until January, 2018, Dale served as Interim Director of Belize Friends Ministries, an FUM field staff position. In this capacity, he gave tirelessly to fulfill God’s call on Friends to witness to the love of Jesus Christ among the Southside community of Belize City. He was instrumental in helping FUM reach clarity on that call, and led the work of finding, buying, and rehabilitating a new facility in which to house a burgeoning ministry.

Dale and his wife, Sylvia Graves, are beloved by Friends from around the world, who experienced their humble and generous gifts of service over many years. Eden Grace, FUM’s Global Ministries Director, shared these thoughts:

“Each morning in Belize, Dale would rise before the sun and set out on a jog along the seashore. This morning routine was not only a time for physical exercise, it was a time for spiritual sight, in which he attuned himself to the beauty and wonder of his surroundings. Many mornings, he would return from his run to post a breathtakingly-beautiful sunrise photograph on Facebook as testimony to the glory of God and the gift of a new day. Dale’s collection of sunrise photographs have served as many things for me – background images for powerpoint presentations, memes, and screen savers – but also as visual reminders of the wonder and joy of each moment in each day, in all things vast and minute. Dale’s unique combination of good cheer, hard work, and spiritual perception have left an indelible mark on countless people, and he will be dearly missed.”

A service of thanksgiving for the life of Dale Graves will be held on January 5, 2019. Details will be shared as they become available.


Dale sunrise in Belize


Dale Bliss lighthouse

New volunteers in Belize!

Adrian and RosalieWe at FUM are very pleased to announce that Adrian Bishop and Rosalie Dance, of Baltimore Yearly Meeting, will be traveling as Living Letters to the Belize Friends Center! Adrian and Rosalie first visited the Belize Friends School in 2008, while living on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Adrian says, “We were completely entranced by the school, and their mission of giving students who had failed the national exams an opportunity to re-enter the educational system.”

Adrian and Rosalie attended last summer’s FUM Triennial in Wichita, where they met Dale Graves, Oscar Mmbali, and Candi Young. In Wichita, they heard about the need for Friends to invest in building a beloved community in Belize. Adrian’s background is in community organization and leadership development, and Rosalie is a retired math educator and a mentor of math teachers; together, they realized that they were equipped to make a powerful impact.

Adrian and Rosalie continue to feel called to their current work in Baltimore, also, so they are not making a full-time commitment to living in Belize. Rather, they are generously volunteering their time toward community coordination, supporting staff and curriculum development, and fundraising through short-term visits to Belize and long-distance work from Baltimore. They will begin a two-month term of service on April 15, 2018, and will discern the dates for future 2-3 month stays, hopefully 2-3 times per year. Please hold Adrian and Rosalie in the Light as they take on this new work! One of their responsibilities will be to revive this blog, so stay tuned!!

—Eden Grace, Global Ministries Director

PS. Are you interested in working in Belize, or know someone who might be? We’re still searching for a Director.