Bill Schaefer House - Ladyville, Belize (October 18 - 25, 2015)
A team left in October 2015 to build the St. John's Bill Schaefer House for a young mother, Rosa, and her children: Miguel, Leah, Terri Lynn, Gloria, and another baby on the way.
Bill was a parishioner who enjoyed the initial immersion mission in 2014 but went home to the Lord not long after returning from Belize. In his honor, a team of thirteen, including several family members, members of the St. John's parish family, and Fr. Ray, traveled to a flooded Belize City. Due to the flooding, Rosa and family were chosen to receive a new home even though they were only third on the waiting list - because their land was not under water.
Meeting Rosa and her children was an absolute blessing to all. Becky has no doubt her dad led us to Rosa and her situation. Rosa calls Bill her "angel" and has his picture hanging in her new home. She and Bill's family remain in contact.
The commissioning ceremony for the team was held at St. John's at the 5pm Saturday Vigil Mass. The prayers for a safe journey and the support of the parishioners and St. John's schoolchildren were immensely moving.
Each day of the mission began with loading and unloading supplies. It took four days to build the home, and a house blessing was held on the fifth day.
This was a difficult build because the team was constantly drudging through mud. Everyone worked hard: for example, Fr. Ray worked on nailing the frame; Wayne mixed concrete; floor decking was installed on the concrete footers; the walls were built on the ground and raised. This last step involved all hands on deck! Finally, the roof was constructed and the house was painted. Becky even put a golf ball in the concrete support blocks in honor of her dad.
Rosa was such a proud homeowner! Every day she would just stand on the floor of her new home; she did not want to leave because she was afraid it was all a dream.
In addition to building the home, the team visited the HIHM Outreach Center and helped clean up the floors and furniture, which suffered damage from the tropical storm that had moved through the area just before the team's arrival.
A group also went with Sr. Barbara Flores, the SCN Director of Education, to Las Flores to visit St. John's sister school, St. Michael's School. The team delivered toys, balls, and even a new laptop computer so St. John's and St. Michael's Schools could Skype and further develop a relationship and partnership. The school children treated the visitors to a play about Mary appearing to three children (Lucia dos Santos and Jacinta and Francisco Marto) in Fatima in 1917.