Safe and Sound - Miss Francis update

Dear Friends of Holy Cross,

We are all safe - thanks be to God!  The early morning earthquake on May 28th did not effect the Island of Ambergris Caye or San Pedro.  There was some damage far south in Belize but at this point it doesn't seem too serious.  Thanks to everyone who wrote to check on the school.

This past Sunday, we celebrated the Baptism of seventeen young people at our monthly Family Worship Service.  Fr. Wayne Kirten was with us from Belize City and officiated at the service.  We were also blessed with the presence of the General Manager of Anglican Schools, Mrs. Marlene Leslie.  In addition to everything else we need here at Holy Cross, we desperately need a full time priest and school chaplain.  Is anyone out there ready for a sabbatical?!?

The countdown has already begun for the end of school on June 26th.  It's just unbelievable how quickly our third (!!!) year has flown by.  Graduation for our 25 Standard VI students will be held on June 21st and 17 have applied for scholarships in order to attend high school.  At $500US per child for the first year of high school, we NEED your support to help these children continue their education.

We were honored to have the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber along with several members of his staff visit Holy Cross on May 14th.  He was very impressed with the school and our students (yay).  In fact, he wants a school just like Holy Cross in every district of Belize.  He also wants Holy Cross to expand to accommodate 1,000 students AND open a pre-school as soon as possible.  We pray for land fill and lots of volunteer teams to get this plan underway.  Please see attachment for photos of the Hon. Faber's visit to Holy Cross.

Right now registration is underway for the 2009-10 school year.  We are excited that most of our current students will be returning and that so many parents want their children to attend Holy Cross Anglican School.  Miss Linda, our Office Manager, is overwhelmed every day with registrations.  Many classes are already filled and waiting lists have been started.  Please pray for our students (old and new) and for our teachers as we begin preparing for next year.

We bid a sad farewell to two incredible volunteers last week: Dr. Kim Shackelford a professor in the Social Work Department of the University of Mississippi and Ms. Amrei Joerchel, a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology from Vienna, Austria.  These two ladies have been at Holy Cross for the last several months providing counseling for our students and offering training for our teachers.  We miss them so much.

And speaking of wonderful volunteers, Holy Cross is extremely grateful to the following groups who have lovingly shared their time, talents and treasure with the children of Belize:

        St. John's Episcopal Church, Lynchburg, VA
        Gainesville State College, Gainesville, GA
        Bill Church and his college friends (they graduated 30 years ago!) and families - 13 folks

We are also awaiting the arrival of quite a few volunteer teams who will be with us this summer.  Needless to say there is much to be done!  In addition to construction and much needed maintenance, volunteers will host after school activities and offer VBS starting in July.  As soon as we get some land fill (pray!) we will start on the playground which we desperately need.  We are in daily fear that the developer to the north will begin construction on the land we currently are using as a play ground leaving us with no place for recreation - ugh.

On a more personal note, I  want to update you on some distressing events here in San Pedro.  As you may know Vernon and I were arrested by the San Pedro police on Monday, May 18.  We were helping one of the teachers at Holy Cross get away from her abusive (beatings, threatening to kill her, stalking, breaking into her home) ex-common law husband who just happens to be a policeman.  In the process of rescuing the teacher her ex (thankfully off duty) jumped through the taxi window -- flattening me on the floor.  It seems I may have scratched him ("Wounding") in the process and Vernon tore his shirt ("Destruction of Property") getting him off me.  After 9 hours being held at the Police Station (with Vernon being locked up in that horrible holding cell), we appeared in front of the Magistrate, were charged, fingerprinted, granted bail and released.  We are still stunned and horrified and have filled formal complaints with the Internal Affairs Department, the Ombudsman and everyone else we can think of  - what a mess!

This entire situation has sparked a nationwide outcry against abuse and questionable police practices.  The media has been very involved and the outpouring of support has been incredible.  I had no idea there was such fear in this community and so much abuse.  We NEED a full time councilor and tons of prayers!  If you want more information, go to the San Pedro Daily.
Please continue to support the children of Holy Cross with your prayers and contributions.  As always every donation is greatly appreciated - smile.  Please send school supplies, tennis shoes, backpacks and/or checks made payable to "Holy Cross Anglican School" to:

Holy Cross Anglican School
San Pedro Town Ambergris Caye, Belize

Thanks for visiting our school blog you can also visit the school web site for additional information. And, remember that by joining together we can all participate in the wonderful miracle of  Holy Cross Anglican School. As my favorite poem says....

    Little drops of water, tiny grains of sand
    Make the mighty ocean and the pleasant land.

You are the drops of water and grains of sand!!  Please help us keep everything up and running and moving forward.  Hundreds of children are depending on YOU!

Many thanks and blessings,


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