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.
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,
Belize City, Belize