Summer is officially behind us, and it is high time that I get an official update out to all of you! I can't believe how time has flown!
Since I last wrote in early July, a lot has happened. July was our month of mission teams from the United States. We were so incredibly blessed to be able to put on a VBS in conjunction with Christ Church (Savannah), which went really well, and in their spare time they also helped paint the pews a beautiful off-white! And as usual, our mission team from New York and New Jersey led by Gus Calvo and Geoff Miller was able to accomplish an enormous amount in their brief time with us. In addition to tiling and painting a lot of classrooms at St. Andrew's school and leading teaching series in our parishes, they helped fund and construct a walkway from the road to our Spanish-language congregation in Selena Village, Santa Cruz. We are enormously grateful for everything they were able to do alongside of us, and what God was able to bring about over the busy summer.
August had its own projects, though it tends to be a "down month" between the busyness of July and the start of school in September. In addition to doing some hosting, I have been steadily working at moving into the rectory in San Ignacio, making it less of a house and more of home. Bit-by-bit, I have been able to buy furniture and decorations, though it still looks like a bachelor is living in it. My hope is that by the end of the year, it will be fully functional in every way as a center of life, rest, and hospitality.
In September, I was grateful to be able to take a few weeks of vacation (my first in years!). I made the trip to Peru to spend time with my father who is teaching in Lima for the next few months, and to get to see old friends. One of the wonderful parts of a vacation like this is that it allowed me to experience again the old joys I had when I once served in Peru, and yet confirm again for me that I am exactly where God has called me and wants me. Unfortunately, I managed to come down sick a few times, in part because of the change of season and temperature, in part because the elevation (Cuzco is over 11,000 ft), and in part because travel is stressful and my body thought it would be a convenient time to rebel. In any event, I arrived back in Belize on Saturday, a bit under-the-weather, but happy to be back.
Starting tomorrow, we begin again with children's chapel services and teachers' devotionals in the three schools, as well as Sunday School, preparation for baptism, preparation for confirmation, pastoral visits, and many other regular things that happen through most of the year. Also, with the help of some new young leaders in our congregation, we hope to begin youth group again very soon, as well as a university campus ministry which we have been invited to begin. All in all, there is much to give thanks for, and there is much I need prayers for as I begin a new phase of ministry with St. Andrew's and St. Hilda's.
Finally, please keep me in your prayers for this coming Sunday. The Bishop is planning on coming to San Ignacio on Saturday to assist at a pre-ordination retreat, and from there he will come by St. Andrew's on Sunday to install me as the incumbent of the parish. Please keep the installation service, the retreat, and the diaconal ordinations (Monday) in your prayers, along with everything else!