As of today - September 1st

Hello everyone! I'm fitting in a little update on what is one of our busiest days of the year: the First Day of Classes! There is a lot going on, but let me just tell you a little bit about it, and ask for your prayers in the middle of the craziness.

Our two churches are associated with three primary schools: St. Andrew's (San Ignacio), St. Barnabas' (Central Farm), and St. Hilda's (Georgeville). St. Andrew's is known for being one of the top-scoring schools in the country, but we're also passionate about our two rural schools as well. It is in these two rural schools where a lot is happening.

St. Barnabas' is where much of my time is being spent this week. As you can see below, our teachers are excited for classes to begin at our smallest school, and she can't wait to welcome the students!

On the other hand, we are having a lot of challenges at St. Barnabas'. Last Thursday, the principal was placed on administrative leave (it's something like being suspended with pay), and so teachers (and I) have been scrambling to get things going. It's all actually coming together pretty well: the teachers are getting along well and working well together as a team, and I have great hopes for this coming school year. But please keep St. Barnabas', its staff and students, in your prayers as we start up again.

Related to this, we are continuing with our plans of beginning a vocational high school in Central Farm, at St. Barnabas' actually, with a significant agricultural focus. This past week, the General Manager of Anglican schools and I met with the head of the School of Agriculture for the University of Belize, the campus for which is right next to St. Barnabas'. In the next few weeks, as we prepare our application to the Ministry of Education to begin this high school, we are hoping to work out an arrangement with the University of Belize to share resources, not only curriculum but maybe also facilities. We have to get the application into the Ministry of Education in the next couple of weeks, so please keep this big project in your prayers.

At St. Hilda's, we are optimistic about the start of this new school year. We have a fantastic new principal, and she is really bringing the teachers together as a team. Please keep St. Hilda's and its new principal uplifited in your prayers!

So far, that sums up how things are going with the schools. Parish life continues as well. The class and practica with our postulant for holy orders, Jody Bevan, continue to go well. I am also already in the process of training at least one new lay minister for St. Hilda's (Georgeville), with the hopes of adding others to the list for St. Andrew's (San Ingacio) and for the three Hispanic missions in our area, who currently have none. Please pray that God would continue to raise up new leadership for our churches and schools!

And though she may one day post her own update here on the blog, Mary Beth is doing well with school: she is one week in, and though her classes have been giving her a lot of homework, she is already excelling and moving ahead for her juries at the end of the semester. Neither of us has a lot of time to spend raising the support, but we are trusting that God will provide for our needs, and for the needs of our mission. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, and please pray about how God might be calling you to be even more deeply involved with our mission through giving, hosting, or promoting what God is doing in our neck of the woods!

Have a great week, and may God richly bless you!