It's been too long, way too long, since I posted an update here! And a lot has happened ... let me see if I can give you a highlight of the last month!
First of all things have really been moving along since Juan and Maria Marentes came back from vacation! We have settled back into our routines of ministry, and we've been moving ahead with further developing our homeless ministry, catechism classes, Juan's doctoral thesis, youth group, and much much more. In that sense, there has been very little "new" that has been going on, but the regular course of ministry is grueling but exciting from week-to-week!
A few weeks ago we experienced grueling at its highest point: Diocesan Synod. The Synod rolls around only every two years, and we spent two whole days assembled in deliberation and discussion. As an observer, I was privileged not only to attend but to participate in discussions surrounding the issue of ministry and an encouraging young people to hear and pursue calls to ministry. Many issues were touched at Synod (land rights, the death penalty, schools, pornography, violence, and wome's ordination, etc. etc.), and there's too to say here. But it was wonderful to be there, and it was great to spend time with people from all over the diocese, building friendships and eating tacos (ah, that's a long story!).
I was also privileged to head out with the Bishop last weekend as we hit up some of the "river missions": St. Philip's (Willows Bank) and St. Thomas (Double Head Cabbage). I was able to bring the Word from Mark 10 about blind Bartimaeus, and I really enjoyed meeting the people in those places and spending time with the Bishop and some of the other ministers working in these villages. I was also able to sit down with the Bishop and discuss my future prospects for ministry here in the diocese, a conversation which seemed to hold out some fairly good possibilities for my staying. While I don't want to be overly forward at this moment, I think it is safe to say that all major interested parties, including myself, have a desire for me to continue serving in Cayo with Juan and Maria. We'll see where the Lord takes me in the next few months!
Thank you all for your prayers, and I look forward to giving a regular update in the next week or two! A blessed All Saints' Day to you all!