Holy Sacrament Episcopal Church, and our mission organization, Friends Reaching Friends, are preparing for its inaugural mission trip to Belize City, Belize, Central America, from June 7-14, 2014. For over 25 years, we have been committed to helping people, particularly children, internationally and locally. Having served as missionaries in Haiti, Panama, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic (the past 15 years in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic), the desire to be involved in mission work in Belize grew out of our belief that God is calling us to serve in another part of His vineyard.
At the invitation of the Right Reverend Philip Wright, Bishop of the Anglican (Episcopal) Diocese of Belize, two members of our Church, Dr. Patricia Rowe-King, Philip McKay (a Belizean), and I made an exploratory trip to Belize from October 18-21, 2013. The purpose of the trip was to explore how we could engage in mission and ministry there. Accompanied by Bishop Wright, a contemporary of mine in seminary at Codrington College, Barbados, and Sue Harris, Coordinator of the Companion Relations Committee, we visited the following places: the Anglican School at Queen’s Square, Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center, the Diocesan Center and St. John’s Cathedral, at which I preached on Sunday, October 20, 2013, the Belize Inspiration Center, founded by the First Lady of Belize, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow, wife of Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, and the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), the main hospital in the country.
We are partnering with the Diocese of Belize and will be sharing with the Belizean community in:
– Pediatric Health Care
– Vacation Bible School (VBS)
– Workshops/Seminars on health and spirituality (This component is a new addition to the work of the team).
Led by our Team Leader, Erna Rappaport, thirty-eight (38) missionaries are preparing to leave for Belize in another 3-and-a-half weeks. Although the missionaries are mainly members of Holy Sacrament, there are a number of friends who are members of other churches and religions. Preparations and orientation sessions have been going well, and the Diocese of Belize is looking forward to our visit.
We will be working primarily at the Anglican School at Queen’s Square, one of the 24 schools of the Diocese. This school has just over 700 children, ranging from ages 5 to 14 years, and a staff of over 30 teachers.
The second place we will focus our missionary year this year is at the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center (DMCCC), a residential childcare facility which houses abused, neglected, and dependent children, both boys and girls, between the ages of 3 years and 18 years of age. The Centre has an average of 50 children, although this number can fluctuate. The Mission Team will engage in the four components of ministry as outlined above in both of these places.
Your thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated as we engage in God’s work in another place. I will be posting blogs on the mission each day so that our families, friends, and church members will be kept up-to-date as to what we are doing while on the mission trip.