It's been a muddy week in Georgeville and Central Farm. Yesterday I broke down and went and bought myself a pair of calf-high rubber boots, and I cannot imagine why I didn't do this long ago. In short, ministry continues unabated, and somewhat hightened, as we head quickly toward the Christmas Feast.
The Youth Leaders Retreat that took place in Burrell Boom last weekend went well: representatives from all of Belize gathered and discussed the challenges we face, and solutions we've found, in our various contexts. For me, one of the best parts of meetings like that are the continuing relationships that can continue in the months and years ahead. The other highlight for me was helping facilitate the presence of some of the youth from our Spanish-speaking congregations: not only is it important to integrate the many (and often opposed) cultures in Belize, but we always have a good time when they're able to make it.
Speaking of Spanish-language ministry, we've been moving ahead with preparations for beginning a Spanish-language worship service at St. Hilda's, probably on Saturday evenings. Some of the youth from the Spanish-language Anglican church in Santa Elena (the splendidly named "Church of the Annunciation") have been accompanying me in visiting mestizo families in Georgeville, and time will only tell what fruit \these new relationships will bear in days to come. My hope is that our formal services in Spanish may begin as soon as mid-January, or at least in time for Candlemas.
In other news, our new children's choir marches on, preparations for Christmas march on, and ministry to the sick and the suffering march on as well. Please pray for our small community, as just this week we have had two chronic diagnoses: one of our 16-year-olds has developed an aggressive diabetes, and a 26-year-old woman has found out she has lupus. We're trying to assimilate these realities and discern how best to minister as a community to them and their families.
Finally, let me add that my house search continues! I am holding out hope that I may find something in Central Farm or Georgeville, though the houses for rent are very few and very far between. Please keep this process in your prayers, as well as my related search for funds to buy a vehicle (which will become increasingly necessary as I move out to the villages). Thank you, everyone, for your prayers for my ministry, our churches and schools, here in the Cayo District of Belize!