Holy Cross Anglican Primary School is thriving and GROWING in San Mateo, Belize - thanks be to God and your support and prayers!!!! So much is going on that we’ve hardly had time to sit down. If you want to be where the ‘action is’ its time to plan your Mission Trip to Holy Cross for 2007 - smile!
We celebrated our first Family Sunday and Harvest Festival (similar to Thanksgiving) on October 22nd. The Very Rev. Lloyd Neal, Dean of the Cathedral in Belize City joined over 120 parents, students and staff for a joyous worship service. We were packed into the classroom like sardines and I was reminded how desperately we need our Church building! Our students brought in ‘thank you gifts to God’ - fruit, vegetables, canned goods, flour, etc - which were used the following week in our Feeding Program. Casa Pan Dulce Bakery donated a delicious cake and God gave us a beautiful day - it doesn’t get much better that that - smile.
On October 23rd our long awaited and prayed for DESKS finally arrived!! Teachers and students lined the walkway as they were carried into the school. What a wonderful addition to our classrooms. Everything improved a thousand per cent - teaching, learning, classroom management and lunch time. No more eating on the floor - yea!! Holy Cross is very grateful to Yalbac Lumber Company in Cayo for providing these desk at cost!
Thanks to the efforts of San Pedro resident and school volunteer Claire Kelly, our bathrooms (also long awaited) were completed!! We now have two small bathroom buildings - girls and boys - with doors and separate stalls, instead of one toilet - for the entire school(!) closed off by my old shower curtain. Local businesses donated some of the materials including 3 little urinals which are really cute and Miss Claire raised the rest of the money - thank you Claire!!
We also bought our first piece of office equipment in October - a small copy machine. Our four teachers literally jumped up and down with joy - smile.
And speaking of our FOUR teachers…the Government of Belize finally notified us that they will pay the salary of all our teachers - YIPPEE!!! Government policy is to pay for one teacher per twenty five students. Even though we’ve had over 100 students for quite a while the red tape took a long time to unravel. Well, to be fair it wasn’t that long but paying Miss Laura’s salary of $800US per month out of donated school funds was making me grumpy!!!
Last week the students were back at the dentist. Dr. Mark and Joan Johnson returned with several volunteer dentists (including Belize’s own Dr. Adrian Heusner from Belize City) to continue their labor of love for the children of Belize. Over 40 of our students were either seen for the first time or had much needed dental work done. Tooth decay caused by ’baby bottle syndrome’ (giving infants bottles with sugar water or koolade) is rampant in Belize. We know that dental health is a significant contributor to overall health so, thank you Joan, Mark and dentists!!
Now here comes the BEST NEWS…..this past Saturday we began construction on two new classrooms!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One classroom will be our second Infant I building since we currently have over 60 students in Infant I. And, the second building will be our SPECIAL EDUCATION UNIT. Holy Cross will become the first and only school on the Island to offer Special Ed classes!!
Saturday, as construction began, we had our first Special Ed parents’ meeting. It was truly incredible. I wish each of you could have been ‘flies on the wall’ and heard what these parents had to say. It isn’t easy - even in the States - to raise a special needs child. But here is Belize with almost no resources or services available, it is horribly difficult. My heart just broke as I listened but I was also filled with joy to be part of building a brighter future for these precious little ones! There were tears and laughter and sharing and planning as wondrous hope filled us all - smile!!
Special thanks to Kat Walker, a pediatric physical therapist, who volunteers with CARE Belize for her invaluable assistance. Kat works with most of the special needs children in San Pedro and has graciously offered to oversee enrollment and the Government required registration form.
Now, this plea is especially for you prayer warriors….we have set December 1st as the date for blessing and dedicating these two new buildings with classes starting on Monday, December 4th - a truly formidable task. Needless to say, we need your help!!!
In fact we constantly and continuously need your help - your physical, financial and spiritual support! With each step forward the needs at Holy Cross increase. Just last Thursday Miss Rosalea ran out of food at lunchtime - more students mean more lunches. Our Special Ed unit is being built but children in wheel chairs can’t be brought to school through mud and slime. We need to construct a loooooooog sidewalk - more expense. More uniforms, textbooks, classroom materials….and the list goes on and on.
Please help! If you haven’t sent your donation yet, now is a great time. Make checks to: Holy Cross Anglican School and send to my attention at:
Anglican Diocese of Belize
PO Box 535
Belize City Belize
On behalf of the children whose lives YOU are helping to improve - THANKS!!!!!!!! May God richly bless your willingness to help His less fortunate children here in Belize!
Blessings and many thanks, Francis Wilson