Belize Updates and Invitation to Join June 3rd-12th, 2023 Mission Team
What a blessing and a privilege to have traveled to Belize with such a generous, kind, and faithful team of twenty volunteers from All Saints and surrounding communities. In early January, our teaching volunteers tolerated bumpy, muddy roads for 2 ½ hours each way to reach the furthest of the four schools in which we volunteered. Students in Otoxha, Dolores, and Machakil Ha enjoyed responding to Pen Pal letters from All Saints students, and they seemed to like our engaging STEM, math, language arts, religion, and art activities. I’m betting that one of these kids is the future foosball champion of Belize after building tables with our team. Thanks to everyone who donated school supplies, hygiene items and flip flops for 262 students! We visited several widows assisted by the Binny Fund, and shared yummy caldo and tortillas with most of them. On Saturday morning we met with fifteen hard-workin high school students sponsored by Barefoot Children Ministries. Many caught a bus as early as 4:00am in order to reach us at 8:30! Through our partnership with Ya’axche Conservation Trust, we delivered 156 established fruit tree seedlings to families in Aguacate. Fr. Bob was able to offer a total of nine Masses in five communities, which is pretty special since the villages are hard to reach due to horrible road conditions.
Families in Hicatee had been preparing and selling chicken dinners for seven years to secure materials for their new church building. It has been a struggle. BCM purchased roofing material, louvered windows, and doors. Our crew worked alongside community members throughout the week, and we are counting the days until we can attend Mass there. Children in Machakil Ha couldn’t wait to show me how to use the community’s first flush toilets, for which BCM purchased all materials. Thanks to the PTA members for working together to build the toilet facility in our absence.
Yes, it’s satisfying to have checked off quite a few boxes on the Belize “to do” list. But the greater reward is found in visiting long-time friends, including many former primary school students who now have families of their own. And I just cannot say enough about our incredible volunteers who set aside the time and effort to support and encourage one another as well as the people we serve. Thanks to all who support Barefoot Children Ministries by praying, donating, and volunteering. Thanks most of all to our partners in Belize, all principals, teachers, church leaders, program administrators and especially families who invite us into their homes to share delicious traditional meals. We are so blessed and lucky!
I am not the only one counting the days until our return in June.
BCM plans to travel to Belize June 3-12 th . We need construction volunteers to help villagers build a new church and possibly assist with water projects. We are also seeking people who enjoy working with children to present hands-on lessons and distribute donations. For more information contact Ann Lacker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 636-734-7005.
B’antiox (Thank you)