Today, Monday, June 9, was our first day of missionary work. The Eucharist took place outside of the hotel under a small pavilion. It is a beautiful setting in the center of the hotel campus. The hotel staff at Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza has been extremely gracious and hospitable to us. They provided a table as an altar and chairs under a pavilion. Being among God’s creation is truly a breath-taking experience to worship and pray. I celebrated the Mass while Father Robbins read the gospel and preached. Philip McKay read the first lesson, while Rosel Facey and Rose Skeete led the psalm and the prayers of the people respectively.
After receiving the spiritual food at the Eucharist, we received the physical food, commonly called breakfast, in the restaurant. Then it was off to drop part of the Construction group, led by Bob Webster, at the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center, and the other missionaries to the Anglican School at Queen’s Square.
With key members of the Construction crew, I spent the day, getting materials for the Construction group so that they work could get into full gear. The day was tiring, but fulfilling, traveling from the school to a home improvement store to a lumber yard, then to the Dorothy Menzies Children’s Center to off-load the first set of materials. Then it was back to the home improvement store only to realize that it was closed for lunch. So it was off to another home improvement store, then back to the first home improvement store to get other materials and finally to drop them off at the school. It was an outstanding act of generosity when Fr. Jon Robbins, and St. Paul’s Church, Vero Beach, was willing to share in the cost of some of these materials. Thus, Holy Sacrament and St. Paul’s Churches are joining together in the refurbishing of the restrooms at the Anglican School.
In the morning, at the Anglican School, the Vacation Bible School group, led by Sonia Blake and Dion Phillips-Scotland, instructed students between the ages of 12 and 14 years in religious education through various media. One of the highlights was Father Jon Robbins’ informative talk about the love of Jesus which the children embraced with excitement. The Medical Group, held a First Aid Course for 42 teachers of the Queen’s Square Anglican School. Led by Bibi Achaibar and Carol Bhim, the teachers received theoretical and practical knowledge in this medical area. The reason for the course was as a result of teachers’ lack of knowledge and inability to administer basic first aid care to children when they are hurt. The team also presented the Principal and teachers of the school with over 30 first aid kits for each classroom with some extras for the administration. Meanwhile, the men in the construction group, who were working on the restrooms at the Anglican School did some preparatory work as they await the arrival of the supplies. There were preparing the restroom area for toilets, sinks, urinals, doors for each stall, and a roof The construction group at Dorothy Menzies scraped walls, painted the rooms of the girl’s dormitory, and began building storage units.
In the afternoon, the V.B.S. group went to Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center to impart spiritual knowledge to the 52 children in residence. It was an exciting and fun time. With the arrival of Dr. Pat Rowe-King, the medical group was able to see 48 kids, giving them vitamins, and treating minor cuts and bruises.
One of the many beautiful moments of the day was when the children at the Anglican School swarmed around Father Jon, Erna, Amanda and myself in the courtyard of the school. They loved being around us and as they looked at us they wanted us to look and smile at them. As more began to come, we were saved by the ringing of the bell to signal that lunch was over and it was time to return to the classrooms for the afternoon’s session.
After dinner, Amanda Robbins led us in Compline, and then we retired for the night.