Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Its been almost a month

Hello again-

Sorry for the delay in blogging but life gets in the way. Actually, right now Ginni is back in the US getting in some nursing time. We are still without a tenant to rent our NH property and so, to continue getting what we need to pay mortgages, insurance, taxes, et al on the property we cannot sell in this economy, Gin needs to put in a month or so from time to time, and its time.

With that said, that leaves me to do CCD alone - not my favorite. Gin and I have done quite alot in the church but teaching children had never been one of them so we're learning what works and what doesn't on the fly.

One thing that we tried this year was to invite the Director of Youth Ministries from the Archdiocese to join us for a Day of Renewal with our Confirmation class. What made this a challenge is we involved all the kids from all 4 faith communities to come together so we had kids from Fresh Creek, Cargill Creek, the AUTEC Navy Base, and one from our newest community in Mastic Point from the northern part of the island. Let me tell you, some people just have the gift for dealing with kids and Jay has it. It was an all-day Saturday session and he brought his laptop and a projector and we had games and videos and talks and work projects - all in all it was a great day and we hope to do it again sometime after the holidays. Here is a pic of me helping some of the kids with a project. Jay is standing at the table behind me
working with another group of kids.

Since my last post we seem to have the diesel situation under control. The local station is still unreliable, and my friend who sells it out of his backyard has taken a step away from that so, when we can get it, I fill the van, another 5 gal gas can, and two other drums so I have a backup. Right now both my friend and the gas station are out so I have used the gas can and put one of the drums into the van this morning. The gas station hopes to get diesel on the WED boat. If he does, on THUR I will fill up my drums and the van and I should be in good shape. If he doesn't, then on FRI I'll drive north for an hour where there are multiple stations for me to re-stock. It is a pain, but its island life. If you can get it, great, if not do without. Unfortunately diesel is something I can't so without so when I can get it I hoard it a bit.

Something you may find interesting is my recent run in with more local residents of Andros that I didn't realize lived here. I think I told you earlier of my run in with a tarantula. Well that has to be superceded by the recent scorpion encounter. What made this interesting was that it took place in our living room, not in the great outdoors. This invader simply ran out from under the TV Table and headed right at me in a perfectly straight line. Gin had been reading a book on the sofa and if I hadn't seen it my guess is it would have taken up residence under that sofa - but I did see it. I yelled, 'scorpion'! and jumped up, grabbed a sandal, and smacked it. Gin looked up and said 'what?' and I said it again, then swatted it again. Incredibly - inside the house! Here is a pic next to a quarter so you get some perspective on size.

On the mission front, in addition to the 40+ kids in CCD I have 4 people in RCIA. Two have just started and 2 who started last year but, for a variety of reasons, had to take time off. If all goes well all 4 will recieve sacraments on Easter. We have been blessed to have been able to bring new people into the church as converts to Catholicism every year we have been here.

Lastly, our efforts to build a new church up north is progressing. The Architect thinks that the old church might be able to be restored so we hired a builder and he put a team of Haitians together with machetes to go clear the land around the old building. Once cleared he is less confident than the architect that the walls are stable enough. It turns out that 50 years ago they built with whatever they could get their hands on - conche shells, lime, sand, etc. While plentiful they were not that stable. So, they build walls 2' thick that could support the roof and be stable. Today, there are building codes and, after clearing the land, the 2' walls have deteriorated to the point we'd have to add something on the top and what remains at the bottom would crumble once we started. So while I would love to restore the old building, restoration in this case would cost more than new walls. I hope to have some costs soon so when I return home for Thanksgiving I might be able to solicit funds from friends and relatives. Keep this one in your prayers, we have had no Catholic Church there for over 40 years and the Catholics have been going to Anglican, Methodist and Pentacostal church since there is no Catholic church. We have a community of about a dozen who come to the Primary School for church on Sunday afternoons but I think once we put a sign up and start building that number could triple.

Pray for this effort, it has the potential of bearing much fruit.

Till next time.

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