Lately we have been asking you all to pray for discernment, yet not with any preconceived agenda in mind. At long last and in the past day or so, it has become really clear to Julie and myself that the way forward that God has in mind is for us to become Associate Missionaries with SAMS. Sometimes the answers are about timing.
What does this transition mean?
In terms of Belize et al, we are moving in new directions and away from missionary work (official change date is October 1st, and because there is a fair amount to do, please keep your financial support and prayer support coming our way through September).
In addition, we are planning to continue as canonically resident clergy in the Diocese of Albany, and we plan to continue with our other avenues of ministry which started out simply as ways to supplement our mission work and which have developed a life of their own.
1) Prayer support would be appreciated as long as we keep the prayermails going.
2) The following are anticipated matters related to Belize that may continue after October 1st:
2a) I may need to keep the distance learning Web site open for another year for any residual courses if a student may need to take to finish up, and for anyone else who might be taking courses. One of our supporters pays annually to keep the site open - thank you. In terms of distance learning at this point it is more:
i) my monitoring the student's progress,
ii) my issuing certificates of completion for the student's two remaining courses, and
iii) my issuing a certificate for the student's having completed the overall program.
2b) If the Bishop of Belize needs an officially designated person as Examining Chaplain and/or Director of ATI, I may need to keep my name there as a placeholder, so that there is some continuity, until he finds my replacement. Most of my work might be by email or Skype. He may want to be thinking about replacements in time for Diocesan Synod this year, in October.
2c) Shut down what I can of my temporary Diocese of Belize Web site as soon as I hear from the Diocesan Secretary that the new permanent site is set up. I have begun transitioning in that direction this past week. The Diocesan Secretary in Belize told me this week that at long last (since 2014) they finally have a way forward for a diocesan Web site.
2d) I might keep a title such as "Director of the ATI Distance Learning Program" until the Web site closes down, so that one of the students has a way forward.
2e) I may make a trip for the unveiling of the Spanish CPWI Prayer Book if there is one. The Prayer Book is scheduled to be printed in September.
You have been very faithful supporters, both in prayer and financially. We can't thank you enough. We have enjoyed your company since we began our odessy in 2008, through our adventures together in Peru, East Africa, and what God has had in mind for us in Belize.
4) We (all of us - you included) have made a tremendous difference wherever we have been. I plan to keep the prayermails and monthly newsletter up and going through September.
5) Each of you has been important to us. In particular, Torre got me started on this prayer mail idea. Jeanne has been faithful in getting the word out. Tom Gizara has been our advocate. Bill Schrull has been our faithful tech support person. And you have been faithful. The cast of helpers has been thousands more. And thousands of people have affected/will be affected by what we have been doing in one way or another, on at least three continents.
6) We have many friends because of our mission work. You are one of them.
7) I also appreciate all that my family has been through on our behalf through it all, especially Julie and Lydia, as well as the help that we have had from all our family members in their supporting roles.
Next prayermail will be coming out next week. Now, we pray for the transition and what lies ahead.
Best wishes, and may God bless you in your endeavors.
I continue to pray for you, every day.
In Jesus' Name,
Shaw, and on behalf of Julie,