To receive the Mudges' prayer mails and newsletters, or to contact them by email for any reason, please send a message to Shaw or Julie, which goes directly to them, through the Diocesan clerical directory webpages for priests.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Prayer Mail

Dear Friends,

This is our public prayer mail of Monday, 14 December 2015. 

This week:

A) My Global Passport application has been tentatively approved. The interview part of the passport process has been scheduled for 8 March. 

B) I continued working on the design and development of a Christian Ethics/Moral Theology distance learning course. This will be an awesome course.

C) The distance learning Preaching course is winding down this week. A good number of students participated, lay and ordained. 

D) Christmas tree and nativity sets are up!

E) My brother and I continue to check out potential suitable retirement community arrangements for our mother. We have regrouped and are proceeding tentatively on a possible option. 

Your prayers are requested for the following:

A) For the printing of the Province of the West Indies Spanish Prayer Book in a timely manner. I have been invited to the public release of the book when it is printed.

B) For the scheduling of my next trip to Belize. I plan to begin discussions this week.

C) For the financial support in 2016 that would enable me to do that which the Bishop of Belize and the Holy Spirit may have in mind.

D) For parish visitations, sermons, potential trips, and other matters over the next few months. For safe and timely travel. 

E) For family members who continue to face major decisions, including suitable arrangements for my mother.  

F) For Lydia and Julie as their semesters wind down this week. For Christmas plans. For family members' health related issues. They are having very good semesters and the work is fitting in on time.

G) For God's provision for all our needs.

Thank you for praying. I pray for you every day.

God bless you. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Prayer Mail


Dear Friends,

This is our public prayer mail of Sunday, 6 December 2015, the second Sunday of Advent. 

This week:

A) Part of the week involved my brother and I checking out potential suitable retirement communities for our mother. 

B) Made the first steps towards obtaining a Global Entry Passport. 

C) Supplied at St. Mary's in Manchester. We have a good rapport.  

D) Competed the development of the General Church History and Liturgy distance learning course.

E) Began working on the design and development of a Christian Ethics/Moral Theology distance learning course.

F) The distance learning Preaching course continues; it will be winding down over the next two weeks.

Your prayers are requested for the following:

A) For the printing of the Spanish Prayer Book in a timely manner. 

B) For parish visitations, sermons, potential trips, and other matters over the next few months. For safe and timely travel. 

C) Family members continue to face major decisions, including suitable arrangements for my mother.  

D) For Lydia and Julie in their studies as their semesters wind down over the next two weeks. For Christmas plans. For family members' health related issues.

E) For God's provision for all our needs.

F) Being in Connecticut, the 3rd anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings will be remembered this coming weekend. Pray that Jesus can work in that anniversary to turn people's hearts and minds to him.


Thank you for praying. I pray for you every day.

God bless you. 

Shaw, and on behalf of Julie.
Manchester, CT

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Prayer Mail

Dear Friends,

This is our public prayer mail of Sunday, 29 November 2015, the first day of Advent. 

This week:

A) Enjoyed Thanksgiving with Julie, Hannah, and Lydia. Touched base with other family members. Brought Hannah down from Albany and returned her to Albany. 

B) Finished a family history scanning project, choosing from among materials formerly belonging to Julie's aunt (now deceased), the next step of which now involves sending 10 boxes of materials to my brother-in-law in Virginia.

C) Held an interactive preaching class on Saturday. Possible Internet disruption at the Belize end of things in the middle of it. But since this is a distance learning course, I posted my notes for students' later consumption as they are able. Regardless of what happened today, I like this course.

D) Planning for 2016 continues, one step at a time. I have had several State Department world-wide travel warnings for U.S. citizens this week. Even though I doubt I would ever run into such incidents in my own travels that these warnings are concerned about, my immediate plans do not involve airline transportation. At the moment I am busy in Connecticut with what I need to do for the Diocese of Belize in relation to my courses. 

Your prayers are requested for the following:

A) For the current preaching course that I am teaching, and course scheduling/planning for 2016. For the printing of the Spanish Prayer Book in a timely manner. 

B) For parish visitations, sermons, potential trips, and other matters over the next few months. For safe and timely travel, no matter what the mode of transportation, especially as the weather gets colder. 

C) Family members continue to face major decisions, and your prayers for all of us are always welcome on these matters both now and into 2016.  

E) For family members. For Lydia and Julie in their studies. For Christmas plans. For family members' health related issues.

F) For God's provision for all our needs.

Thank you for praying. I pray for you every day.

God bless you. 

Shaw, and on behalf of Julie.
Manchester, CT

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Prayer Mail

Dear Friends,

This is our public prayer mail of Sunday, 22 November 2015. 

We are wishing you a very blessed Thanksgiving.

This week:

A) The editing of the Spanish Prayer Book was completed. The next step is the printer. I have been invited down to Belize for my work on the project at some point in the future. There was a lot of going back and forth this week making it happen.

B) The distance learning Parish Development and Stewardship course is now ready for students as of this week. It begins at the end of January, and it may be presented in either live or 24/7 format. Now, onward to the tests for the General Church History and Liturgy course. Survived some interesting moments on the Internet.

C) Planning for 2016 continues.

D) Completed the follow-up matters from my recent Belize trip.

Your prayers are requested for the following:

A) For the current preaching course that I am teaching, and the course scheduling for 2016. For the printing of the Spanish Prayer Book in a timely manner.

B) For parish visitations, sermons, and other matters over the next few months. God has graciously arranged for me to do only one service on Christmas Eve, so now I can spend time with my family, after the 4 pm service.

C) Thanksgiving time with family. Some plans are still in the works. 

D) Family members continue to face major decisions, and your prayers for all of us are always welcome on these matters both now and into 2016. The Holy Spirit is doing a fantastic job of pulling things together, and at the same time, life could be interesting for some folks in 2016. 

E) For Lydia and Julie in their studies. Julie's courses are planned to be complete in mid-to-late December. Lydia is planning her course schedule for next semester. 

F) For Hannah's health - she met with a specialist this week, and she is waiting on test results.

G) For my mother getting settled back into her area dwelling after several months away.  

H) For God's provision for all our needs.

Thank you for praying. I pray for you every day.

God bless you. 

Shaw, and on behalf of Julie.
Manchester, CT

Monday, November 16, 2015

Prayer Mail

Dear Friends,

This is our public prayer mail of Sunday, 15 November 2015:

This week:

A) Have been working on several projects, and following up on matters from the Belize Trip. Hopefully we can bring closure to the final editorializing of the Spanish Prayer Book soon.

B) Preaching course continues. 

C) I am in the early stages of planning for calendar year 2016.

Your prayers are requested for the following:

A) For more on the follow-up to the trip, for continuing to develop the final courses in the curriculum, and for the current preaching course that I am teaching. For closure to the Spanish Prayer Book project.

B) For parish visitations, sermons, and other matters over the next few months. I am at St. Mary's in Manchester for the balance of the year.

C) Family members continue to face major decisions, and your prayers for all of us are always welcome.

D) For Lydia and Julie in their studies. Julie's courses are planned to be complete in mid-to-late December. Lydia is planning her course schedule for next semester. 

E) For Hannah's health - she meets with a specialist this week.

F) For God's provision for all our needs.

Thank you for praying. I pray for you every day.

God bless you. 

Shaw, and on behalf of Julie.
Manchester, CT

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Prayer Mail

Dear Friends,

This is our public prayer mail of Saturday, 9 November 2015:

This week:

A) Last Sunday, All Saints Day: attended All Saints Anglican Church in Belize City (All Saints Day is its patronal feast), also its 60th anniversary and 21 confirmations. Turns out that confirmation class met weekly for two years, with a final exam, and apparently, whenever I was teaching something in my online courses, that was being passed to the bulk of the class. The principal catechist is one of my students. By the way, in a case you are wondering, this is not the norm for catechetical instruction except for this parish. Service was 3.25 hours long, with an hour of interaction afterwards.

Later that day, led the service, celebrated Holy Eucharist, and preached at Church of the Good Shepherd in Lord's Bank in the late afternoon. My role for this second service gradually unfolded as the Bishop was driving me on the way over to the Church. When we started on the way to the parish, all I knew was that I might be doing something in the service, and the full scope of what I was to be doing did not unfold until we pulled into the parking lot of the parish. The Bishop was a congregant. I am pleased with the results, and apparently, so was the congregation. Praise God for the leading of the Holy Spirit!

B) On Monday, arrived back in the United States: to continue with the ministry for Belize from here, as usual. The Diocese of Belize calendar for 2016 has not been printed yet, and I wait to see what unfolds for future trips.

In the meantime, I continue in my role as intermediary with the companion Diocese in England, and continue in my role as Examining Chaplain and Director of the Anglican Theological Institute of Belize. As with more and more missionaries these days, much is accomplished by Internet as well as in person on the ground. This kind of hybrid world mission work is becoming more popular, I am finding out, made possible by the Internet. In this way, I continue as a full-time SAMS missionary, year-round.

C) From Tuesday through Friday, this week, attended the priests retreat in the Diocese of Albany this week, led by the Rt. Rev. Kenneth Clark, Mission Director of SAMS UK & Ireland. Totally awesome. In hindsight, the whole retreat. Everyone there.

D) Upon returning home, I faced a mountain of items that needed attending to. It is now a small hill.

Your prayers are requested for the following:

A) For the follow-up to the trip, for continuing to develop the final courses in the curriculum, and for the current preaching course that I am teaching. Two transitional deacons have joined. 

B) For parish visitations, sermons, and other matters over the next few months. I am at St. Mary's in Manchester for this Sunday (8 Nov), than am preaching and making a missions presentation as part of parish mission conference at St. James in Farmington, next weekend (15 Nov).

C) Family members continue to face major decisions, and your prayers for all of us are always welcome.

D) For Lydia and Julie in their studies.

E) For God's provision for all our needs.

Thank you for praying. I pray for you every day.

God bless you. 

Shaw, and on behalf of Julie.
Manchester, CT

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Newsletter

November 2015
Mudge Making a Diffference Newsletter
Belize City, Belize

 Dear Friends,

 This month, I am including excerpts from an article that I wrote about Belize Cursillo 11, October 22 to 25, entitled “The Pathway Ahead”, at the request of Bishop Philip of Belize: Cursillo weekends in the Diocese of Belize have been held every other year; this was the 11th such Cursillo weekend. Over 230 people have been on a Cursillo weekend in the Diocese of Belize at one time or another since Belize Cursillo weekend number 1, about 22 years ago.

In the tradition of Cursillo, this weekend (number eleven) was a substantial retreat, starting on a Thursday evening and continuing through a Sunday Eucharist, held this year at the Baptist Training Center in Camalote. 32 men and women arrived as candidates. They came from various parts of the Diocese, such as: St. Andrew’s in San Ignacio, Christ the King in Dangriga, St. John the Baptist in Belize City, and elsewhere. Among the candidates, there were several non-Anglican teachers from Anglican schools, whose principals had invited them to attend in order to learn more about Anglicanism. In addition to those who came, about 10 other people who were signed up for the weekend could not attend, for various reasons.

At least 24 support team members helped make the weekend a success, from preparing meals and arranging for transportation, to clearing tables, guiding the program along, and leading all aspects of the worship services. Special mention for outstanding work throughout the weekend goes to the Rev. Lynda Moguel as Spiritual Director, Mr. Austin Onyia as Lay Rector, and the music ministry from Christ the King in Dangriga (their primero and segundo drums provided the only instrumental music at the retreat). Many people had supported the weekend financially and in prayer, and quite a few had sought out participants to apply. This was a huge diocesan-wide undertaking of time, talent, and treasure, including the participation of clergy (bishop, priests, and deacons) as well as many lay people. Bishop Philip celebrated the closing Eucharist, at which time Fr. Sinclair Williams from the Diocese of North East Caribbean and Aruba (NECA) delivered a powerful sermon on the Cursillistas’ pathway forward from here. Fr. Williams received a standing ovation. Clergy and lay people delivered many excellent inspirational talks and meditations throughout the weekend, including talks related to piety, study, and action, such as the phenomenal talk by Bishop Philip on the sacramental way of life. It was brilliant. Photos which were taken during his presentation are on the Diocesan FaceBook Web page.

The official goal of Cursillo is “to Christianize our environments through apostolic action of Christian leaders in all areas of human activity.” And, this weekend was about laying a foundation for that way of life, to paraphrase what Fr. Williams eloquently and passionately stated. The people attending the weekend have made a first step in that direction. Like all spiritual disciplines, a way of life takes practice over time to become good at it. Attending Cursillo reunion groups and ultreyas can be helpful in this regard. This Cursillo weekend held up a vision of congregations making a difference in the country of Belize, transforming workplaces and communities where we live and work, one person at a time, a way of life summarized perhaps in the vision of the Diocese of Belize: “a Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, vibrant, growing community of believers who are making a difference in the lives of all God's people.”

Many good testimonials came out of the weekend. Some edited comments from FaceBook about the Belize Cursillo 11 weekend include: 1) It was a beautiful and blessed experience, filled with lots of laughter and love. 2) It was a well spent four days with some good experiences, singing and praying with friends we met for the first time. 3) An awesome weekend and closing Eucharist. 4) Got to meet so many people. 5) A very powerful retreat!

Weekend number 12 is on the horizon for 2017. Cursillo is an international movement that started in the Catholic Church in Spain in the 1940s, and for many decades there has been an Anglican version (which we use) particularly in the United States since 1970, and in the U.K. since 1981. The Catholic version has been endorsed by four popes, including Pope Francis. Anglican Cursillo has been commended by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as well as by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. Cursillo is active among Anglicans elsewhere in the Caribbean. Other versions of Cursillo have emerged over time, such as Tres Dias (generic Protestant, but used by some Anglicans) and Walk to Emmaus (Methodist, used by some Anglicans). Much information about Episcopal or Anglican Cursillo in the Caribbean, the U.K., and the U.S. can be found on the Internet.

The article above may privide you with some perspective about the context of mission work in Belize. I pray for you every day, and may God bless you in whatever you are doing, Shaw Examining Chaplain, Anglican Diocese of Belize Assistant Spiritual Director, Belize Cursillo 11 SAMS missionary Support. Please pray and continue to make checks out to: "SAMS". Put "Shaw and Julie Mudge" in the memo, to support what we are doing. Your continued support makes the work in Belize possible. Mailing address: SAMS, P. O. Box 399, Ambridge, PA 15003-0399. Or on-line, at http://goo.gl/nll8ut

Prayer Mail

Dear Friends,

This has been another eventful week.

A) Have a blessed All Saints Day, and may your time change be minimally disruptive. We do not change time here. Our temporal equivalency with the United States shifts from US Mountain Time to US Central Time. 

B) I am attaching our November newsletter which focuses on the Cursillo weekend.

C) Our English visitors and I met with the Bishop and Commission on Ministry yesterday. I am pleased with the outcome. There was a lot that happened. Interesting dynamic: I was representing the Diocese of Belize along with a few of my colleagues on the Commission on Ministry in discussions with the English companion diocese. That rocks. 

And in the evening, there was a reception for our English visitors in the evening, and I enjoyed that, mingling with folks, and networking. It is part of the relational culture and deepening ties with people in the Diocese of Belize.

D) We traveled to the north Thursday, to St. Peter's in Orange Walk, then to St. Paul's by the Sea in Corozal, and since we were close to the Mexican border, we drove near it and caught a glimpse of the other side.

D) Wednesday, the English team met with Diocesan clergy and myself, and this was followed by a visit to Mission churches along the Belize River as I have mentioned earlier. As per the previous report, various matters were attended to in the early part of the week.

E) Today, I had the initial interactive distance learning session of the preaching class. Then, Belizean Lay Ministers, Clergy, and I attended the workshop on How to be a Welcoming Church, presented by two members of the English team. Very good one.  

As a result of networking with the English team (and as of today), I am now using my Twitter account. It has been dormant for about 3.5 years ever since I created it. Much to my surprise, apparently, I have had 60+ followers who have watched me do absolutely nothing with the account for 3.5 years. Why Twitter? That is because it is the English route of preference for me to be able to communicate with my 50-something English counterpart.

F) Tomorrow, I travel with Bishop Philip perhaps to two parishes for All Saints Day, one of which is the parish of All Saints, so it is its patronal feast day, and then to Good Shepherd in Lord's Bank, near Ladyville, out by the airport. I believe confirmations are the order of the day, and while I have not heard anything directly, based on what I have heard indirectly, I suspect I will have a role to play at Good Shepherd.

G) Working in Belize: the path may not be what we expect at any moment in time (and may change many times without warning in the course of a day), but in the end, the Holy Spirit does great things. The way to think this through is to walk expectantly into the future, and not try to hold on to the present. What may initially appear as annoying detours to some are in fact the main event. So, I have started to look at detours here as the next step or as a main event.

Chart it out this way. You have a plan. It moves from point A to point B, but what God does in Belize is take you by way of points C, D, E, and F, and in fact you accomplish much if not all of B, long before you get to B. I can sense your prayers in this amazing and very rewarding process. The Holy Spirit is at work here in a wondrous fashion that leaves me in awe. It is truly amazing.

Your prayers are requested for the following:

A) This is election week. US elections on Tuesday, and national Belizean elections on Wednesday. Pray that God's will be done.

B) For my remaining time in Belize, for safe and timely travel home on Monday.

C) For a meeting in Connecticut on Tuesday morning, the ability to get out and vote on Tuesday, and for the Diocese of Albany clergy retreat from Tuesday evening through Friday lunch.

D) For what Jesus would like me to do as follow-up to this trip.

E) Family members continue to face major decisions, and your prayers for all of us are always welcome.

F) For Lydia and Julie in their studies.

G) For God's provision for all our needs.

Thank you for praying. I pray for you every day.

God bless you. 

Shaw, and on behalf of Julie.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Prayer Mail

Dear Friends,

Life continues on the mission front. Many blessings. The path of Jesus is awesome. Things really do come together by the Holy Spirit in a way that makes sense, but not in the way that we might expect. Among the highlights in the past day or so:

1) I have written an article on the Cursillo Weekend for the Diocesan newspaper, and I have been asked to write a general critique of the weekend for the Cursillo Community here.

2) More interaction with the English team has taken place, and today we traveled to missions in Belize District along the river. These are otherwise known as the River Missions.

2a) First stop, St. Philips in Willow Creek. A small mission. At the end of our visit, the deacon who was leading us said: "Fr. Mudge, want to see some killer bees behind the Church?" I asked, "is this a metaphorical statement or are these really killer bees?" The reply was "they are killer bees." I ventured forward yet respected their privacy. At the end of the day, I looked up Killer Bees and found out that they are African Honey Bees, and they can be dangerous if their nest is threatened.  

2b) Second stop, in the vicinity of St. Thomas in Doublehead Cabbage. No one knows why the town of Doublehead Cabbage is thus named. St. Thomas is "between buildings". Lots of mosquitoes. Not so much a problem outside, but quite a few decided to come inside the van we were using. This was followed by an international effort to rid the van of mosquitoes, with some participants not wanting to harm God's creatures, and instead moved them along to others who were more than willing to hasten the mosquitoes demise. I did not get bit. Sizable mosquitoes.

2c) Third stop, site of proposed parish building for St. Thomas at property close to one of the government schools. I felt something inside my trouser leg and looked down to see fire ants commuting around the toe of my left shoe. Moving quickly, I did not get bit.

2d) Fourth stop, St. Francis in Burrell Boom, one of the key locations for mahogany log processing sometime ago. Great parish, building built in 1972, and the parish is in great shape financially and typically has attendance numbers in the mid 30s to mid 40s. Challenge for us here: potential group dehydration. I had brought a sizable water bottle with me. Our van driver (who is co-Chair of the Commission on Ministry for the Diocese of Belize) provided water as well. After group consumption of water, everything was fine. The small community of Burrell Boom has 14 churches of all sorts of denominations, and has a Salvadoran community and a Honduran community.

3) I have been helping transitional deacons and their supervisors with satisfying requirements pertaining to the Belizean ordination process.

4) Have been participating in matters related to the strengthening of bonds between the Diocese of Belize and its companion diocese in the UK. The Diocese of Belize has companion relationships with two other dioceses, elsewhere, as well. It all adds up. 

Prayers, 

1) That I would do and say what the Holy Spirit would like me to do and say:

1a) Am trying to connect with an editor for the Spanish book of Common Prayer. Everything is a go, but we are awaiting any final editorializing that he might suggest. We are hoping he can submit any changes by the end of the month.

1b) Travel mercies for the trip to the north tomorrow, and for a visit to Belize City schools on Friday morning.

1c) Friday afternoon, I meet with the Commission on Ministry to discuss diocesan ministry strategies ahead. Just myself and the Commission, without the English. We pick up from the conversation of last week.

1d) Saturday, preaching class begins.

1e) There are other matters as well on this trip. Bishop Philip of Belize has some interesting plans ahead.

1f) Prayers for decisions and plans, not just for Belize, but for various members of the Mudge family.

Thank you for praying. I pray for you, every day. 

God bless you,

Shaw
Belize City, Belize

Monday, October 26, 2015

Prayer Mail

Dear Friends,

This has been an eventful week.

The storm of last weekend turned out to be more than exceptional. In fact, I think I downplayed it a bit much, as I continue to listen to stories that people have been telling me about the results of the storm  this week. 

According to one newspaper report, the storm was the biggest weather event for Belize City since Torre Bissell survived Hurricane Hattie, here, in 1961. (Torre's story is much more dramatic.)  

And since then, just about all water has receded. The river did not overflow its banks. And the weather is now mixed: with sun, overcast, and occasional rain.  

I have done some traveling around Belize this week, particularly to parishes and Anglican schools in the Dangriga and Hopkins area (to the south). 

Our English visitors and I met with the Bishop and Commission on Ministry this week, a conversation to be continued this Friday, in terms of planning for the future of the ministry of the Diocese.

Last evening, I came back from Belize Cursillo 11, at which there were 32 candidates and a team of about 24. I served as the Assistant Spiritual Director for the weekend, presenting 2 rollos and a meditation, as well as serving in other capacities. A FB link to a short video from the closing can be found at this Web page. https://www.facebook.com/shaw.mudge

In hindsight, my tour to the south came in handy in preparation of the Cursillo weekend because quite a few of the candidates were from that area.

I have touched base with people in the ordination process based on the outcome of the meeting with the Bishop and Commission on Ministry, several of whom were on the Cursillo weekend. One of the leaders of the weekend is also one of the co-chairs of the Commission on Ministry.

I am attaching a photo: Belize Cursillo 11. The person who took the photo with my camera was the driver for the Belizean government's Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports. 

And people have already begun to turn their attention to Belize Cursillo weekend 12, to be held in 2017 (two years from now).

Your prayers are requested for the following:

A) This week, I plan to:
1) continue with more diocesan meetings and travel, 
2) become acquainted with additional participants of the English short term mission trip, 
3) probably do some course development work, 
4) begin a new course on Saturday morning (internet connection permitting), all things being equal, and
5) write ministry reports for Bishop Philip.

B) Family members continue to face major decisions, and your prayers for all of us are always welcome.

Thank you for praying. I pray for you every day.

God bless you. 

Shaw, and on behalf of Julie.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Trip Update

Dear Friends,

Belize Mission trip 12 moves forward.

Today, I met with our English guests, the Bishop, and members of the Commission on Ministry to discuss ordination process matters for the future. Most of the Commission could not make it because of water related issues, and finding a suitable meeting place was an issue, in part because of water related matters. We finally met in the Bishop's office. In the hopes that more of the Commission could benefit from today's discussion, another session has been scheduled for a week from Friday. It was an awesome experience. The presence of the Holy Spirit was very evident.

Clean-up continues in storm affected areas. Even though every day between now and the end of the month is supposed to include thunderstorms, what made this past weekend's rain particularly unusual was the length of time of the rain. Usually a thunderstorm pops up in the early hours of a day, and by the beginning of the commute there is a slight drizzle and that is that. What made this an exceptional storm was 16 straight hours of rain. This does not happen very often.

The Anglican Church in Belize City has been providing meals for about 289 people affected by the flood, at the urging of the government (with the government providing materials for the food).

Roads are still a bit affected by the flooding as one proceeds out of Belize City. Fortunately, there has been no river overflow because Cayo District (where the river comes from) was not really affected by the rain, and in fact, the farmers out that way are suffering from a 3 month draught that has ruined some crops.

There has been some property damage due to street flooding in general.

Two Anglican schools in Belize City may have serious leak issues in some part of their roofs. They are also cleaning up from the water having deposited mud in the classroom. Students in those situations have been sent back home until cleanup is further along. Any substantial rain is a concern for the roofs of those buildings. 

Since the waters have subsided, the weather has been reasonable.

Tomorrow we go out and about a bit farther south in Belize and return. How many places we will visit will depend on the shape of the roads. 

Thursday, I head to the Belmopan area for the Cursillo weekend. At that point you probably will not hear from me until next week some time.

God bless you, and pray for this trip in general, for travel mercies, and for the clean up.

Shaw, and on behalf of Julie.  
Belize City, Belize.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We have had a bit of rain over the weekend, with more expected on the way.

There are two parts to this event:

Part 1: We had an exceptional amount of rainfall in a short period of time. That was evident by the layer of water that covered the first floor where I am staying. It is said that if there was that much water on our floor, then in other parts of the city there was a lot more water in people’s homes. Such water is not pure, yet has receded. And my host has took care of the internal water yesterday afternoon, including disinfecting the floor.

Photo by Fr. Shaw Mudge, 18 Oct 2015

Part 2: If the river (that runs the width of the country) should be overflowing its banks about mid-way into the country before it arrives at the sea, then by the time it get to the sea in a day or two after that, we would have a “flood” by insurance definitions. So, we are waiting to hear and are praying that all will be well or minimized in the next day or so, by the time that area of water reaches us. As of this morning, I do not believe that we are in a Flood Watch at the moment, though I have not heard an update as of this writing.

Not everyone is feeling the effects of the rain in equal proportions, in part because of the storm drain infrastructure that the government has been installing, particularly in Belize City. Some roads, which were like small rivers Saturday evening, were completely dry by Sunday afternoon, about 2.5 hours after the water started to subside. Superb effort. Superb results, though some people’s neighborhoods have not been improved to that standard, quite yet.

Effects of the national storm vary region by region. A special case is that of apparently migrant squatters who have built dwellings to their own standards over lagoons, and they get their electricity via extension cords across wooden bridges (called “London bridges”), electrical cords which do not always stay above water level, and shall we say, it is rumored that this is so because they do not always acquire their electricity through normal means.

For most people, there is a varying degree of water damage to homes, particularly those built on the ground as opposed to those that are on raised foundations or on stilts, much damage being to internal possessions including electrical appliances, and this further varies by neighborhood. But no one has died because of the storm. Repair work is in process, and there is more to do.

The forecast is for continual thunderstorms throughout the month of October, an anticipated break being the scattered thunderstorms forecast for the Cursillo weekend, this next weekend. Typically, based on past experience: of the 42 people who are candidates for the weekend, there are likely to be about 25 who show, depending on schedules and the weather. Please pray for another kind of outpouring on the weekend, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

 Photos by Fr. Shaw Mudge, 18 Oct 2015.

There is a certain solidarity here for having survived an historic event. People are bouncing back. Merchants are reclaiming their stores.

To summarize the mood of the nation, as Bishop Philip of Belize said as part of his email to us clergy yesterday evening:

“I trust that all is well with you and your family.  For those in the areas affected by the current weather and flooding, I hope that you and your congregants are coping as well.”

On the home front, Julie is celebrating her birthday, this week.

I pray for you every day, and may God bless you in whatever you are doing,

Shaw
Examining Chaplain, Anglican Diocese of Belize

SAMS missionary