New Horizons in Ministry – David and Mary Beth Alenskis

Dear friends, family and supporters,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Many of you have been keeping up with us regularly over the last few months, as we evacuated Belize, as we continued ministering remotely with our congregations, schools and diocese in Belize, and as we prayed urgently for our people there when cases began to climb dramatically last month. We want to thank you for your partnership with us in your prayers, in your giving, and in your words of encouragement during what has been some of the hardest six months of our lives. Again, thank you so much!
Mary Beth and I have two important things we need to share with you this week:
  1. We are beyond excited to announce that Austin has a younger brother! James Edward Alenskis was born this week, and both he and his mother are doing very well. Please join with us in expressing our joy and thanksgiving to God who kept Mary Beth and James safe throughout the length of her pregnancy!
  2. We are also excited to announce that we are entering a new season of ministry as SAMS missionaries, one during which we will be preparing ourselves to serve on the mission field in the realm of theological education and ministry development.I encourage you to watch the following video discussing these changes. In the video Mary Beth and I share the vision that God has put on our hearts for discipling and raising up leaders to serve Christ and his church … and SAMS president Stewart Wicker even has a cameo presenting his perspective on these new vistas in mission. You can check it out here: A Special Address.

    Please also read our blog update regarding our transition to a new season of ministry as SAMS missionaries: New Horizons.

    The short version is this: in order to answer God’s call to serve the church by teaching and equipping emerging leaders, and with the support of SAMS and the bishops to whom we are accountable, this month I am beginning a PhD in Theological Studies through Wycliffe College, an orthodox Anglican college that forms part of the University of Toronto. When the Canadian border actually opens to us, we will be moving to the greater Toronto area for the next 4–6 years in order to pursue this new direction for our ministry. This means that although our time in Belize will be coming to a conclusion, we will also still be serving as full-time SAMS missionaries and will still be in need of your fervent prayers and financial support.

    On that note, I should add that your continued gifts to our ministry are crucial as we anticipate a much higher cost of living in Toronto than in Belize. We have been granted some scholarship funds by Wycliffe and by SAMS, but we will be covering the majority of my tuition and school fees from out of our family’s budget. Your financial support will help ensure that we are able to rent a modest apartment, feed our family, and raise our children over the next few years, allowing us to truly focus on finishing my academic program and therefore get back on the mission field as soon as possible.

Friends, we understand that you probably have some serious questions for us, and we would love to answer them, not only via email, but through Skype or FaceTime or Zoom or even an old-fashioned phone call. So please let us know how best to touch base with you, and we’ll do our best to make it happen.
Until then, know that we are deeply grateful for your partnership and collaboration with us, for your willingness to be stakeholders in our ministry abroad. May the Lord richly bless you and everything that you are doing, not only for our growing family, but for Christ and his Kingdom!
In Christ,
David+ and Mary Beth
The last time we were in Toronto was four years ago for missionary training. Who could have guessed we would be back for so much longer?

Update from St. Hilda’s School in Belize

The Cathedral’s Belize mission team has been in touch with Ms. Jane Martinez, principal of St. Hilda’s Anglican School. Please keep the teachers and students of St. Hilda’s, and the people of Belize in your prayers!

Ms. Martinez writes:

Good evening Kelley:

You all have been on my mind as well. Things have been hectic here because they will close the schools on Friday. We have been preparing supplementary information for children to take home to ensure that the educational process is not badly disrupted. From reports that we have been getting, there has not been any confirmed case here as yet but we are taking precautions. Since Monday, we have only had half of our population. Each day the attendances is lower. We have been educating our students and parents this entire week about safety precautions.

It is a sad time for us here also because our crime rate has escalated especially in Belize City. This week alone two young children were shot to death. Altogether in 48 hours we have had about 14 deadly shootings. Most of the victims were innocent bystanders. The children were shot at home in their sleep. Someone just decided to take revenge and shot at the house. Unfortunately, children were also casualties.

We need to pray for each other and keep our focus on God in these troubled times.

Thank you so much for your concern. I will pass on the information to the staff. Please stay safe.


A Prayer Request for Belize and the Alenskis Family

While Austin, Mary Beth and Fr. David Alenskis have decided to temporarily return to the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are continuing their ministry in Belize remotely as best they can.  You can follow along with their morning and evening prayers on the St. Hilda’s Facebook page.

Please click HERE for their latest update and prayer requests.

In short, please pray specifically for:
• Full funding for ministry
• Ministry team in Belize
• David’s academic research
• Ongoing health issues
• Discernment for future



The Principal writes

The following is a letter to our congregation from Jane Martinez, Principal at St. Hilda’s Anglican School in Belize.

Greetings Friends:

I pray that all is well with Friends of St. Hilda’s. Greetings from beautiful Belize.

I know it has been some time since you heard from us here at St. Hilda’s. I must apologize for the delay in response. Our school year has started out with a bang! There are so many things that need attention that some days get very frustrating. Through all that, I must say that we are blessed. The first term is usually our busiest term as we have many activities and holidays that occur during the September to November months. 
This year our enrollment went down due to relocation of some students. We presently have 127 students enrolled. We have  a full staff of ten teachers including one intern.
I have many pictures that I would like to share to give you an idea of some of the activities that have been held at our school so far this year. We have had our September celebrations, Literacy Day,and most recently, our Harvest Thanksgiving Service. 
Please greet the church on our behalf and let them know that we love them and appreciate their continued support. Have a blessed day!
Best Regards,

2019 Friends of St. Hilda’s Scholarship Recipient

The following is the application letter from our newest Belize scholarship recipient, Gian Myvette:

Dear Friends of St. Hilda’s:

Greetings from my beautiful village of Georgeville.

On June 25, 2019, I completed my first milestone by successfully having passed the primary school examinations culminating with 8 years of primary school at St’ Hilda’s in Georgeville. The journey had many pot holes and curve balls but with my family support and my faith in God, I was able to walk on the straight and narrow path. My next step is completing high school and pursue higher education.

My passion is in information technology (I.T), I watch my brother fixing computers, assembling parts and installing programs from an early age, this was followed to my mom enrolling me in a two weeks programming class for primary school students at Galen University two years ago. Because of this passion, my mom investigated which of the high schools had a better I.T curriculum; as a result, I was accepted and subsequently enrolled at Sacred High School in San Ignacio Town, Cayo.

Education is very expensive and my mom is trying to ensure that I am afforded the best education possible. To achieve this, she entered into a payment plan with the Sacred Heart High school and with that I was able to register. I discussed with my mom if I can get a scholarship so that the burden is lessen on her. My mom, as a single parent, will do her best to ensure I get an education, I wish that I too can assist bygetting a scholarship.

In my community, most the youths do not enter high school and others drop out of high school due to varying reasons. The end result is that there are no alternative programs that exist in my village for at risk youths. Thus, our village have seen many of my peers doing drugs, getting in problems with the law, and vandalism. I do not want to be a statistic. I want to be a change for my village.

The decision by Friends of St Hilda’s to award a high school scholarship to a deserving student must be truly hard as many of us have needs and you wished you could help all of us. As you deliberate on your decision, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my letter. No matter the result of your decision, I still will work hard, study, pass and continue to be a devout Anglican. My vision is for my peers, my villagers and everyone to see that not because you come from a broken home means that you can’t make something of yourself. Not because my mom is unable to afford me new books or new school bag that it will deter me from completing my education. What is important is my dream and the passion I have for learning and by getting a
degree in information technology; a field which is much needed in Belize.

Thank you and God bless you and guide your decisions.

Future I.T Engineer.

Prayer Request from the Hansen Family in Belize (September 2019)

Missy and Evan Hansen in Belize share:
“Please pray for the churches and schools here. It feels like a new energy has come to the communities here with the new school year but at the same time, many locals are burned out. Please pray for the Spirit to enter into the people and communities here. There is a weariness and wariness in many here. New life and joy would be really beautiful.
Please continue to pray for us as we attempt to keep things going here while our partners are away. We have never been here at this time of year, and there are so many things we don’t know, so we’re trying to roll with things and be flexible.”
Thank you for praying for your missionaries!

Congratulations Anique!

We are very proud to announce that our scholarship student, Anique Hernandez, has graduated from high school in Belize. Congratulations Anique!

Graduation benediction prayer

May God’s blessing follow you as you find new journeys to travel. May you walk safely along the pathways of your dreams.
May his gentle hand guide the decisions you will make and the passions that you follow.
May your heart and life always reflect his love and truth,
And may hope be a light within you that you carry into each new day.