Dear partners in prayer,
This is our weekly public prayer mail.
This week's update:
A) Today, I think back to where I was in September 11, 2001. I did not watch much of the video coverage of the event at the time. I have not seen too much to this day. Too close to home, in fact 32 funerals in my home town. Personal stories from the living. A story of at least one person I knew who perished helping others get out; he had a strong commitment to the Gospel.
B) But the Gospel is not stopped by human events. God is bigger. And so, in Belize we are raising up a seminary from virtual extinction, now with a greater potential to reach people across Belize, and Africa, and the US: online, because of what is happening in Belize.
There is no one else doing it for the Diocese of Belize. I am more and more awestruck as I stand in the gap for the entire diocese of Belize with goals: to bring more people to Christ, to raise up clergy, to train people to do the work of ministry in the midst of difficult circumstances: healing, prayer, Bible, leading congregations, transforming communities for the gospel.
I sense your prayers, every day. I am awed by what God is doing. You are making a difference.
C) Other updates:
1) We had a great time at Trinity Church in Granville, yesterday. Awesome. In the midst of it all, Julie preached a great sermon; we concelebrated with Fr. Art, and my presentation went well.
2) I have made plane reservations for the Diocesan Synod in Belize in October; Bp. Philip would like me to talk about the online program at the Synod.
3) We have a mailing coming out, and Julie and I have been working on that.
4) Hardware installation in the Diocese of W. Tanganyika in Tanzania is now projected for sometime in March/April 2013; this is better timing than before. I am planning to make a visit there at that time, to check out the system and to meet with people. It is possible that I may be teaching students in Belize from Tanzania during the trip.
5) At the suggestion of several students, on Friday, I created a set of two slide presentations and turned them into videos, (some people prefer video but not everyone can access video); both sets became immediately accessible online and turned out to be right on target. What I did not realize (and what really turned out to be a home run) is that the method and the combination that I used feeds right into the kind of educational learning style that most of the world uses, in a way that is really helpful to the students. I sensed God's hand in it, in a powerful way. In the forefront, I pray about what to do.
1) For the students taking the Fall online courses in Belize.
2) For the continued course development of the on-line programs for the dioceses of Belize, Albany, and W. Tanganyika. The goal is 58 courses over 3.5 years. We create one set of live courses, and use those to develop the 24/7 courses; the combination of the two types is 58 courses.
3) For our family.
4) For plans to visit Belize City in October, during the Diocesan Synod.
5) For the response to the mailing.
6) For the plans to visit the Diocese of Western Tanganyika in Tanzania.
God bless you, and thank you for praying for us. Your prayers are really important for us, and I pray for you every day.
Shaw+, and on behalf of Julie+
SAMS missionaries, as well as missionaries of the Diocese of Albany