I Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day or Commonwealth Day weekend. In any case, I hope you had a blessed Pentecost Day.
This is our public prayer mail for Tuesday 26 May 2015.
Among the highlights of this past week:
1) Ministry in San Ignacio, Georgeville, and Central Farm continues. My current pastoral ministry includes about 1,000 elementary students, including perhaps the best elementary school in the country, and faculty and staff for the three schools. There are chapel services during the week for students and faculty. Sundays include St. Hilda's mission in Georgeville, and St. Andrew's parish in San Ignacio. I had the opportunity to visit about 16 classrooms this week in San Ignacio, or about 450 students.
The students had an opportunity to ask me questions. A very few thought I was the Bishop of Belize. I mentioned that though we might look alike, I am not he. One very young student said that everyone over 40 looks the same. If you have ever seen a photo of the Bishop of Belize, you might chuckle.
This all takes place close to the Guatemala border. My understanding of Guatemalan Spanish improves. My Spanish is very helpful. I am also in Mayan area, and I am beginning to become familiar with Mayan ways. I have learned that "Ko-ox Han-nah" is Mayan for "Eat at Hannah's" (and is the name of an eatery I have been frequenting; it is pronounced "Kosh" Hannah; "Kosh" is pronounced like the character on Babylon 5).
2) Then, there is the diocesan ministry work, and this weekend I participated in a workshop for select individuals regarding ministry (Lay Ministry/Ordained Ministry) in Belize City, which is about 2 hours away from the other ministries. Belize City borders the Caribbean. During the trip, I had an opportunity to visit the only escalator in Belize, in a home maintenance type store.
3) I have begun making pastoral visits, and those are also one of my favorite activities, except there is nuance here. Most people's street addresses are a mystery. So, I do what I can.
4) I am involved with training a Postulant in the Diocese of Belize. That is fun.
5) Have been working on preparations for various pending events, appointments, and courses.
This week, the Bishop asked if I would be willing to serve at St. Ann's in Belmopan on June 7th instead of the other parishes, for just that week, for St. Ann's Hurricane Service and possibly a baptism. If you know the history of Belize, the capital (Belmopan) became the capital because of the 1961 hurricane that Torre Bissell lived through.
This week, the date of the upcoming pastoral ministry workshop was set for June 13th, and I have the outline roughed out. I will be working in tandem with a deacon in the Diocese.
6) I am working on exercise (walking, even in the heat), and trying to eat healthy (read: Daniel Plan, Belize style - there real advantages to being in Belize for this.
1) Please keep each of the above items in prayer: health issues, our mission work, parish supply work, driving the truck that I use, the various language opportunities, food, the time in Belize, and the weather (rainy season has started; hurricane season begins in June). Pray for safe and timely travel, smooth transitions, that the grant be granted for the publication of the prayer book, and the Holy Spirit's priorities for us.
2) Pray for my visa extension about the first week of June. I will be heading for Belmopan to make that happen. It is routine, but pray that all would go smoothly in a safe and timely manner as the Holy Spirit wishes.
3) Please keep various family members in prayer about: relationships, events and appointments, decisions to make, educational goals, gainful employment, fruitful ministry, and God's presence while I am away.
4) Please pray for Lydia as she continues to work on her Fall education plans.
Your prayers are very important. I am praying for you every day.
God bless you,
Shaw, and on behalf of Julie.
San Ignacio, Belize, Central America.