November Update

November 21, 2007

Happy Turkey Day! Yes, we celebrate Thanksgiving here in Belize with a traditional turkey meal and all the trimmings - stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie - my mouth is already watering. But before we all start celebrating, I hope you'll spend a few minutes catching up with Holy Cross Anglican School and our 450 students.......

To tell the truth, for the last few months we’ve often felt like we were living in ancient Egypt at the time of the ten plagues. First there was Hurricane Dean, then Hurricane Felix, then the erosion of our precious landfill, then torrential rains, then days of the highest tides in recent memory, then textbooks didn’t arrive and didn’t arrive and didn’t arrive, then mud, - thick, sink to your knees mud, then LICE, on hundreds of little heads and a few adult heads as well – ugh!

Thanks be to God, in the midst of the ‘plagues’ were numerous joyful moments which served as much needed reminders of God’s presence with us. Many thanks and blessings to the volunteer dentists who filled lots of little teeth, pulled a few and applied 132 sealants….the visitors to San Pedro who tucked some much needed school supplies into their vacation suitcases…the medical group who distributed food sacks to residents of San Mateo…the volunteer who left her gently worn tennis shoes for a needy student…Cindy and Richard from the Diocese of Northern Ohio who paid their own expenses to volunteer at the School for three months…David and Ryan who baked fresh scones for the Halloween party…mission teams from Wyoming and Illinois who shared their time, talents and treasure…the Prime Minister of Belize, the Honorable Said Musa, who visited and made a $1,000US contribution for land fill…the teachers and students who made Culture Day a memorable event…the staff of Belizean workers headed by Mr. Freddy and Miss Rosalea who made sure everything broken was fixed and that three nutritious snacks/meals were served five days a week….to Madeline a teenager in North Carolina who raised $2,500 for the School and to many of YOU who continue to support Holy Cross Anglican School with your financial gifts and prayers.

Our most incredible moments occurred recently on Sunday, November 18, 2007 when Bishop Philip Wright welcomed 31 folks into the Kingdom of God at the first Anglican Baptism Service in San Pedro! Numerous students from Holy Cross along with several parents and younger siblings received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. Bishop Wright joyfully conducted the service, celebrated the Holy Eucharist and was amazed at how many children and adults he baptized.

This incredible service was brought about by the parents of Holy Cross students who continued to ask when their children could be baptized. What a glorious day for the Church of Christ and the Anglican Diocese of Belize! Since November 18 was also my birthday (don’t ask how old!), I considered the Baptism Service a miraculous gift from God and the best birthday present EVER!!!

Now that Thanksgiving is here, Christmas is just around the corner and gift giving is on everyone’s mind. I’m inviting you to honor your friends and relatives who already have everything they really need with a contribution in their name to Holy Cross Anglican School. Many of our students truly need so many things and your financial gifts are desperately needed to:

fund the School Feeding Program which provides a high protein snack and milk for breakfast, fresh fruit mid-morning and a full plate of food at lunch for over 400 students each school day. Cost is running only $1US per student per day but that adds up to over $2,000US PER WEEK;

provide transportation for our Special Education students which costs $75US per week;

pay the $200US weekly salary for our School nurse and counselor;

cover the cost of purified water in every classroom which is approximately $175US per week;

purchase tons of land fill which cost $110US for 7 cubic yards of sand;

assist with the cost of shoes, book bags, doctor visits and medicines;

pay for the thousand and one additional things – like electricity, Internet, toilet paper, copy expenses, research books, poster board, and on and on and on.

Please remember the children of Holy Cross in your Holiday gift giving!!! Checks may be made payable to:

Holy Cross Anglican School
And sent to:

Holy Cross Anglican School
San Pedro Town
Ambergris Caye, Belize

In the midst of this thankful season, I am reminded of the words of St. Paul in his Letter to the Philippians, “I give thanks to my God every time I think of you which is constantly in every prayer I offer…” You are the lifeblood of Holy Cross Anglican School - without your prayers and financial support there would be no school, no feeding program, no vitamins, no chance for a better tomorrow for many children in San Pedro. From the bottom of my heart, I thank God for each and everyone of you!!!
Blessings, Francis


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