For the sixth time, another group from St. Simon’s Oakville will be travelling to Belize on a mission trip this summer.
Every two years, since 2009, different groups from the church have gone to Belize to help out at Holy Cross Anglican School.
Some people in the church, like Youth Coordinator Robyn Michell and Rector Darcey Lazerte, have gone every year. As well some other church members have gone a couple times before.
The mission is open to youth going into grade eight and up, as well as any interested adults from the parish.
Belize is a group of approximately 450 islands and has the world’s second largest coral reef. Although there are some wealthy areas in Belize, there are many poor parts as well.
The Belize team travels to San Pedro, where there is a poorer neighbourhood called San Mateo, which is where the school is located.
Each time a team helps out at Holy Cross Anglican School, there are many different things to be done. Whether it be teaching remedial summer school to students, to bleaching and re-painting the walls, to fixing up roofs — they get it done.
The St. Simon’s Belize team’s main goal is to show God’s love by making a difference for others, as well as letting God work through them to help others, so that we may be God’s hands in this world.
There are multiple fundraisers for this important ministry, including monthly “Belize Cafés” where each baked good is sold for $1, baking and selling apple crumble and pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving, annual spaghetti dinners, biennial bottle/can drives, parking for Oakville’s Ribfest and many more.
Even during the off-years, the Belize team works very hard with fundraisers for the next mission trip. A lot of time and effort is dedicated to this very important mission, as well as lots of support from the St. Simon’s church community and family and friends.
Six out of the ten days are spent working from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the other days include travel time, going to church services and doing different activities native to Belize — like visiting the Mayan Ruins.
This year’s Belize team has 15 people going. It’s a great opportunity for the youth to bond and get closer, while being exposed to a different culture and way of life. Everyone always learns from, and enjoys, the experience.
This will be my first time going to Belize, and I am beyond excited.
I am looking forward to sharing my experience of Belize with readers after the mission trip.
Twelve-year-old Piper Ferguson is a member of St. Simon’s Oakville.