Dear Friends,

This is an update/prayer mail combination for 4 May 2016:

1) Update: my 13th Belize trip in about 4 years continues. The trip has been a succession of meetings and consultations, as I continue to serve as a catalyst to make ordinations happen. It’s a long story. It has a lot of pieces to it. Our final meeting is tomorrow morning (Thursday). This has been totally awesome. Only God could have pulled this together. We have a great team here pulling it together between the Commission on Ministry, the Bishop of the Diocese, and myself, as well as others we work with. The people in the process, their contacts, and their families have been great. Wonderful people. 
Ordinations may be scheduled on a Holy Day in July (as of today), although the Bishop has been really focused on Saturday August 6 (Transfiguration – the day before I go on vacation; that could be awkward for our vacation plans – so your prayers would be appreciated about the date and my availability).

2) And in the middle of all that, life happened: people with serious pastoral issues, here, that needed attending to. 

3) And in the geopolitical sense of things: 
tensions between Guatemala and Belize seem to be described as being on a level not seen since 1976. Apparently in that year and perhaps another year before then, when this level of tension last arose, it was toned down only when Guatemala had to attend to an earthquake in its own country in each instance. It raises an interesting question: do people get edgy before an earthquake?
4) For Belizeans, the weather has been hot and humid. Too hot. I held a meeting in the Bishop’s office (he was not there and gave me permission to use his office), and I was not really aware how hot it was because the fan was on. Then, after the meeting, the Bishop came in and said “isn’t it warm in here?” and he turned on the air conditioning. Then, I noticed it. Wow. I am getting used to it. Continued prayer for those of us walking in a perpetual very warm shower of humidity, especially with regards to dehydration. I seem to be managing. Praise God.
OK. so how hot has it been? Today, in the cool of the evening, it was about 90 degrees with about 88% humidity, and according to a weather Web site, the feel of the temperature was about 105 degrees. It was hotter in the West of the country a few days ago. That sustained level can do a job on computers, Internet infrastructure, and on a lot people. Prayers for getting through it all. My bedroom in Belize City this time benefits from the warmth of the afternoon sun if you know what I mean.

5) Prayers: 

a) that this trip continue to be fruitful, and for all the plans we are making for the future in Belize in several areas, and for all the people involved in those plans. 
b) For the future: we are going to keep going ahead with more people in the ordination process and future ordination plans, we may offer more live courses on the ground, the distance learning program continues, as I minister to my brothers and sisters (both ordained and lay), and the Bishop may be asking me to do different things as the Holy Spirit leads. 
c) Meanwhile, prayers for the Spanish Prayerbook as it moves closer to being printed.
d) For safe and timely travel. I depart on Friday.
6) I pray for you every day.
7) If you are going to be at the Diocese of Albany diocesan convention in about a month, look for our booth.
Are we making a difference? Absolutely. We are the Holy Trinity’s people, at the right time, doing the right things, as the right team in Belize. Awesome. 
God bless you,

Fr. Shaw
Belize City, Belize, Central America