Painting St. Jude's School - Las Flores, Belize (February 8 - 15, 2016)
After orientation in Nazareth, KY, a team of ten missionaries left for Belize.
Part of the mission team would be painting a Catholic school, St. Jude School. The school was a large, simple structure with basic accommodations for the students. Since St. Jude's colors were yellow and green, it was decided to paint the school those colors: yellow on the top and green at the bottom. It took three days to complete the job, and it looked great when completed. The principal and students were thrilled with their school's new look!
Susan McDonough, Principal of St. John's School, was part of this team, and, reflecting on her experiences in Belize, she said, "The trip was more than transforming the outside of a school in a remote and poverty-stricken area. It was humbling for us. We saw families who had little or nothing, and in spite of that, they were happy. We saw homes that were anything but habitable. We saw children with distended bellies who, even though they were hungry, had smiles on their faces. Yes, we saw God in so many ways and in so many faces."
Team members with masonry skills were asked to help a family lay block for their home in Las Flores. Valentine, one of the original settlers of the community of refugees from El Salvador, helped with the block work. He continues to fight for the less fortunate in this neighborhood today.
The house was for a man named Adrian and his family of six. A concrete cage/form was built to pour the concrete in for the walls. Next, Wayne formed the rods. Kristen and other volunteers put rebar around the cage. Once the concrete was poured in, it became a bond beam which strengthened the structure, and the laying of the block could begin.
The team also delivered shoes for the Las Flores community and enjoyed fellowship with the local families and children, who were so grateful and welcoming. The team visited the local church on Ash Wednesday. During a period of rest, Adrian even played the fiddle. It was an amazing and rewarding experience to immerse in the local culture.