Mother Teresa once said “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” A small team is going to Belize in early August, hoping to make some ripples. Our team will be working on these projects:
- Zion Park Elementary – this is a small elementary school in a small village in the jungle. All of the children and teachers walk or bike to school, and most of them go several miles. The principal is Mrs. Ruth Williams, a sweet, dedicated Christ-follower who sacrifices much to love and educate these children. We will be helping them move into their new building and set up their computer equipment and internet service, and help with whatever else they need to get ready for the students.
Mrs. Williams works hard to make sure the kids at her school get a good lunch every day. Their feeding program has recently lost some sponsors and they are struggling to keep providing lunch. For many of the children, lunch at school is their only meal. The cost? Thirty cents per day per child. This covers the food and a small stipend of $25 per week for the cook. This comes to $110 per child for the entire school year. For comparison sake, a child in public school here could eat every day at school for around $360 for the year. And for many, that would be one of 3 meals for the day.
- Computer lab in Maskall village – high school students in this remote jungle village attend a school that is about 8 miles away. Those who can afford it board at the school during the week and just go home on weekends. Those who cannot afford to board at the school ride bikes or walk the 8 miles twice a day. Because of their commute time, lack of extra exposure to teacher assistance, and no internet access at home, they are at a distinct disadvantage compared to other students. Many are failing as a result. One of our projects will be to provide them with a computer lab and internet access. This computer lab will also serve as an internet cafe to provide a source of income for some of the villagers.
You can help in two ways… first, please pray for the team as they travel to serve others as God leads. We long to be the hands and feet of Christ and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Yes, even the folks in Belize are our neighbors. Please pray for meaningful conversations and actions that will make a difference somehow.
Second, would you consider joining us in a challenge to feed the 80 students at Zion Park Elementary? If we each sacrifice eating out for lunch or dinner just once a month for a year, we would have enough to provide the $110 for one child. Education opens countless doors for developing countries, and having a full stomach goes a long way to helping a child focus on their learning.