By Piper Ferguson
Earlier this year, the Niagara Anglican ran a story about the preparations for a mission trip by some members of St. Simon’s (Oakville). We are happy to now share the following …
On June 28th, 14 members of St. Simons (Oakville) travelled from Toronto to San Pedro, Belize on a mission trip.
Ten months of planning and fundraising had been leading up to the day when we would board a plane to Miami, then from Miami to Belize. From Spaghetti dinners and monthly cafés where we would sell baked goods, to bottle drives, each person worked hard to achieve our goal of helping Holy Cross Anglican School in San Mateo, a town in San Pedro. The mission trip was for 11 days; 2 days spent travelling there and back, 6 days working at Holy Cross Anglican School, and the other 3 days doing fun activities and exploring some of the country.
In the last few weeks before going to Belize, we collected 17 suitcases full of donations (school supplies, books, shoes, toothbrushes, backpacks, teacher supplies, etc.) from members of our church to donate to the school.
During the 6 days of work, we split into 3 groups to tackle different tasks. One group painted 6 primary classrooms including a long hallway and the floors while another group did construction on a guest house for visiting clergy. The final group worked on extending the playground – this meant shovelling huge piles of sand into wheel barrels, then using the sand to fill in a section of land outside where mangroves once grew. The work was very physical, the days were long, and it was extremely hot and humid.
On the days we weren’t working, we focused on bonding and exploring the country. We took a ferry to the island Caye Caulker, visited the Mayan Ruins on the mainland, snorkelled in the barrier reef, zip lined over the Belizean jungle, and did some “cave tubing” in an ancient cave deep in the rainforest.
Every night, we would share our experiences from the workday and read a passage from the bible: James 2:14-17, which reminds us that faith without works is dead. During those 11 days we would reflect on our faith and talk about the passage – what it meant to us, and how what we were doing tied into that passage.
This was my first time going and I loved every moment of it. From the work we did, to the activities and the group bonding, I had an amazing time. It felt good to give back and help other children have better lives and education. This trip has taught me so much and helped me grow in my faith and learn to appreciate things more, and to be more grateful for the things I have.
We would like to give a huge thank you to everyone who helped make this mission trip possible.