Hello everyone! If things weren't busy before, we are now in full speed preparing ourselves for the Christmas holidays. Let me give you a brief update about how things are going.
The semester at our primary schools is wrapping up this week, and a good semester it has been. This week I held our final chapel services and teacher devotions, though the cycle of daily prayer will continue through the break. I will miss being with the children and teachers, but I will see most of them around in the villages even if they're not in school.
Last week had a good Clergy Advent Retreat with the Bishop in Burrell Boom, and we had a profitable conversation about many important aspects of leadership and direction in our churches. In particular, we ended up discussing ways to bring about successful change, particularly the changes and hurdles that will inevitably come in these years ahead. The diocese as a whole has great needs to revitalize its congregations, evangelize and plant churches, and raise up new leadership to push us into the next decade. It was great to be there and take part in the ideas being shared.
Our new move to begin a children's choir in Georgeville has been successful, so far! We have about seven children who regularly come to choir rehearsals on Thursday, and we are trying to get a few extra songs ready for the ecumenical Lessons & Carols service we are planning for Christmas Eve (it will be an early service, with a midnight Eucharist later on that night).
We are also thinking seriously about beginning a Spanish-language service at St. Hilda's at an early point in 2014; in fact, simply bringing it up with our students has generated considerable interest, and ask you to pray for the Spirit's guiding about the decisions leading up to this kind of initiative.
In other news, some financial needs have come up for me in the last few weeks. First, I have remarked in previous missives that I have a great need for a vehicle, and I have received gifts that have brought me to half the amount necessary. I am getting great at hitchhiking, but it reallly isn't a long-term solution to my transportation needs! Second, I am expecting to have a significant shortfall from churches that are no longer able to give their full monthly pledge. Third, I have been given notice by the owner of the house I have been renting, and I need find a new place and move out by January.
All this to say, please pray that
- God provides me with the one-time funds necessary to purchase a vehicle.
- God provides me with the monthly giving necessary to sustain my budget.
- God provides me with inexpensive and decent housing a short distance from my ministry locations.
These are pretty immediate requests, and they go hand-in-hand together. Thank you all for your regular prayers and interest in what we're doing here in Belize. Take care!