As many of you know, our congregation has been sending mission teams to Belize since 2005. Since then we have developed a very meaningful relationship with our Anglican friends in the small village of Georgeville. In particular, we have been supportive of the teachers and students at St. Hilda’s elementary school, which has about 200 students and is run by the Anglican Church. We have been supporting St. Hilda’s in many ways:
- We have sent 5 mission teams since 2005 to work directly with the students and teachers at St. Hilda’s and continue to foster our relationship together.
- Prayer. Each week during our worship services, and also personally, we continue to offer prayers for them (as they do for us!)
- We send about $2000 each year ($1000 per semester) to assist with the education program and the upkeep of St. Hilda’s school, and
- Thanks to some faithful givers, we annually provide as much as $4000 in scholarships to up to four needy students so they can continue their education through high school, and in a couple of exceptional cases, to a St. Hilda’s graduate who has gone on to university
The basis of our relationship with the people of Belize lies in Christ’s call to us as Christians. God expects us to be a mission-driven church, to know and help our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our relationship with Belize has been a strong and loving one for over 11 years. Letters of appreciation from the both the students and teachers, graduation pictures and updates from the principal have reminded us of how important this relationship is. You can see some of these letters, pictures and updates on the missions page of our Cathedral website. We have learned much from them and they from us. Most importantly we have all learned that we share our faith and our belief in God – we are all members of Christ’s family.
The last team to go to St. Hilda’s School was in 2013. An attempt was made to send a team in 2016 but we learned that our plan was not necessarily God’s plan, and that mission had to be postponed. The Missions Committee has expressed support for future missions to Belize and we are asking you today to pray about this and share your thoughts with us. Beverly Morell has been a key person in organizing all four missions, but she has told us that although she remains involved with our ongoing mission she won’t be leading the next mission trip. So if we are to start making plans for our next mission trip, we will need a team leader AND we need congregation members who feel a call to mission-work and are willing to go.
We have always remained in contact with our friends in Belize, regardless of whether it is a year we send a team or not. That being said, it is still very important to renew that personal connection whenever we get the opportunity. Sending another team to Belize will help us build on our ongoing relationship with the people there and enable us to financially support them for many more years. It will also open the eyes and, more importantly – the hearts, of the missioners from the Cathedral. Today we are inviting every member of the congregation to prayerfully ask yourself if you are being called to this ministry. If you believe you are, or if you would like to explore the possibility further, please speak to me or any member of the Missions Committee or to Dean Geoffrey or leave your contact information with Fran at the office. We will be happy to discuss with you.
In the meantime, we are anxious to continue our support of St. Hilda’s. I am happy to announce that on Saturday evening, Feb.25, the Missions committee will be hosting a Belize fundraiser. MARK YOUR CALENDARS! It should be a fun evening to raise awareness of our mission there and to generate some much-needed funds for the students and the school. This fundraiser may have a different feel to it than previous years but we are hoping to bring together the entire congregation as in years past. This event can only happen with your support. If you are willing to volunteer in any way, please let Beverly Morell, Kirsten McKnight, myself or any member of the missions committee know.
Thank you for listening, and may I conclude with the suggestion that we all add the children and teachers of St. Hilda’s School to our daily prayer lists.
Brad McKnight (on behalf of the Cathedral Missions Committee)
Take a moment for missions
From the Bible: “ The Lord will be king over the whole earth.” (Zechariah 14:9)
Quote about missions: “ I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone.” – Nicolaus von Zinzendorf
Prayer requests: Pray that cathedral families, especially those who are suffering, struggling or grieving, may find in the birth of Jesus a sign of certain hope.