Greetings from toasty Belize, where it got up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday! We are surviving, even thriving these days, though you may not see us walking about much at midday.
Life and ministry continue on for me, and have returned to normal after the frenzied activity of Holy Week and Easter. Palm Sunday was our largest service, though we had good attendance for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday (with a traditional 3-hour service at St. Andrew's), and our Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday as we baptized five new Christians and celebrated the Light which the darkness could not overcome! Our Easter Sunday was buoyant and joyous, especially at St. Hilda's where we saw many old friends back at church.
On the Tuesday after Easter, I was blessed to fly to Colombia and spend a week with my mentors and friends, Juan and Maria Marentes. Though the health of Maria's ankle has deteriorated badly (they fly to the United States in a few weeks to seek medical treatment), they were in good spirits, and it was a true encouragement for me to be with them. The time ended quickly however, and I arrived back in Belize on April 14, hitting the ground running. Please keep Juan and Maria in your prayers, as they seek healing and direction for their next steps in life and ministry!
Since then, life and ministry have continued on as usual, both with our churches and with our schools, granting the occasional twist and turn. For instance, tomorrow evening I will be a speaker at a youth revival at St. John's Cathedral, and I'm looking forward to proclaiming again the power of Christ's resurrection in the midst of our broken world. We are also enthusiastic that a member of St. Andrew's has stepped forward as a postulant for holy orders (for those who don't speak Anglicanese: he would liked to be ordained as a minister), and I look forward to accompanying him in his process of discernment and direction in the months ahead.
I continue to have low moments in life and ministry: burnout (it seems) can take a while to overcome. There are some signs that the burnout in my life may be on the wane, but it still is having a large effect on my mood and energy level. Please continue to keep me in your prayers in this regard!
However, I should let you know that regular ministry for me here in San Ignacio will go on a brief hiatus for a few weeks. Through several conversations, my missionary society SAMS-USA has encouraged me to take time to rest and to enjoy quality time with my girlfriend in the United States as we discern what future the Lord may have for us as a couple. For this reason, with Bishop Wright's permission I will be absent from Belize, from the end of May through the beginning of July. The Rev'd Dr. Shaw Mudge will be taking my place for most of that time, and I am so grateful for his willingness to come and serve our congregations! Please keep me in your prayers as I travel, and please pray for the Lord's richest blessing upon the two of us as we spend these weeks together.
Thank you all for your prayers, your support, your attention, and your love. May God richly bless you all!