It's time for an update! Let's work backwards ..
Mary Beth and I are married!
On January 2nd, Mary Beth and I entered into the covenant and sacrament of marriage in a beautiful ceremony that took place at a Lutheran church in San Diego. We surrounded by many of our family and close friends from all over the world, and the Triune God was definitely present as he blessed us with his grace and love. The next day we flew to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for a couple weeks of honeymoon rest and relaxation, and we have come back to Southern California ready to commence the long but rewarding process of deputation, that is, our being deputized by our partners and supporters in the United States to continue our missionary work. In regards to the budget that our missionary society SAMS-USA has given us, we have approximately 50% of our pledge support raised. We will have to reach 100% before we can resturn to Belize.
We began deputation yesterday, January 24th, by visiting All Saints' (Bakersfield) and sharing about what God has been doing, and is further calling us to do, at our various churches and schools. We received an incredible welcome by former SAMS missioanry Fr. Richard Menees and others in the congregation who quickly made us feel like a part of their community. We are looking forward to deepening this relationship over the years, and providing a link to their ministering alongside of us in Belize one day.
This coming week, we are very much looking forward to visiting Holy Trinity (Ocean Beach) and similarly sharing about our ministry in the Anglican Diocese of Belize.
I ought to share a bit more about the last few months, particularly leading up to Christmas. To be frank, they were very difficult months for me and Mary Beth. For me, November and the first part of December were consumed with issues relating to the school. Without going into too many details, I found that I was having to step into a managerial role to support teachers and principals with regard to a number of crises, crises that were emotionally draining both because of their nature and also because of the time they required. The Lord sustained me during those difficult weeks, and I thank you so very much for your prayers and for the encouraging messages that many of you sent me.
They were also difficult months for Mary Beth. As she and I have shared before, she has been wrestling with an assortment of health issues that reared their ugliest heads during a very stressful semester at school. The Lord sustained her as well, and she earned the highest possible grades and received "jury approval" for her senior recital this coming spring. Nevertheless, it was truly exhausting.
A true answer to prayer came, however, a few weeks before Christmas, as a medical specialist was able to identify what is most probably at the root of the many horrible health issues she has been experiencing. The treatment she is undergoing is straightforward (though the worst of it involves and incredibly restrictive diet), and we are so thankful for the many people who were praying for her health and recovery. And please, continue to keep her in your prayers.
So, thank you all! As life returns to "normal" we are looking forward to being in touch again very soon. Take care, and may God richly bless you!