It's a big day in Belize: Election Day! Some weeks ago the Prime Minister called for the dissolution of the legislature and for national elections to take place on November 4th. Since then, supporters for the two main parties, the UDP and the PUP, have been campaigning day and night in preparation for today. Please pray for peaceful, safe, and fair elections, and please pray for those who are being elected to govern the country of Belize.
In the meantime, I have withdrawn to a location in the countryside to get some work done in peace and quiet, far from the crowds of campaigners and voters. It also serves to give me a spot of rest after what was a very stressful previous week. I want to thank you for your prayers for my immigration process! With God's help and the cooperation of the government workers in Belmopan, my application for residency has come close to concluding. On Friday I was allowed to pay the standard fee to become a permanent resident ($1,000 USD for U.S. citizen), and I surrendered my passport to be stamped with the appropriate seals. Waiting for this stamp takes weeks, and it is unnerving to be without my passport for so long. Please pray that nothing happens to my passport, and that this immigration process is concluded smoothly and quickly!
In the meantime, life and ministry continues here in Western Belize. This past Sunday we rejoiced to baptize six new Christians at St. Andrew's! Two of them are adolescents who have been considering baptism for months, and we are so excited for them to step into the new reality of the new life in Christ! One of them was willing to sit down with me for a little interview about following Jesus for a young lady her age is really all about:
Please keep Dekada and these other new followers of Jesus Christ in your prayers!
November is a busy time for us as well as we prepare for our episcopal visit just in time for the Feast of St. Andrew on November 29. We have about a dozen candidates for Confirmation at St. Andrew's, and about half a dozen at St. Hilda's, and we are working hard to make sure that they are prepared to profess their faith in Christ and receive the laying on hands when the Bishop comes.
In other news, life and ministry continues. It's a joy for me, as I prepare for my own wedding in January, to preside over the renewal of vows this coming Saturday for the acting principal of St. Barnabas' School and her husband! Having been married for 25 years, I asked the two of them to share some of their insights for young couples like me and Mary Beth who are just starting out, and this what they said:
I ask that you continue to pray for the two of us. Our wedding is just around the bend, and we are in the midst of many preparations, and it is quite difficult to get everything done while she is in the middle of her semester at CSU Fullerton, and while I am here in Belize. And please also pray about our financial support: we are eager for new partners in our ministry who can give to meet our new budgetary needs as a couple, needs that have to be met before we can return to Belize in 2016. Please keep us, and all these things, uplifted to our heavenly Father who knows our needs before we ask! Thank you so much!