Dear Friends, Warm (actually hot!) summer wishes coming your way from Holy Cross Anglican School in Belize!! This summer has certainly been a busy time at the School filled with many celebrations, some unexpected challenges and, unfortunately, a few crisis. As we prepare for almost 500 students (wow!) to begin a new school year on September 1st, please keep us in your prayers and take a moment or two to catch up on the latest happenings at YOUR school here in San Pedro - smile!
We have CELEBRATED the arrival of hundreds of volunteers from churches all across the USA , including:
All Saint’s Episcopal, Fort Worth, TX
St. Andrew’s Episcopal, Fort Worth, TX
South Crest Baptist Church, Lubbock, TX
St. Mary’s Episcopal, El Dorado, Arkansas
St. Stephen’s Episcopal, Edina, MN (two teams!)
Good Shepherd Episcopal, Kingwood, TX
Ladoga Christian Church, Ladoga, IN
St. Andrew’s Episcopal, Newport News, VA (two teams!)
Assembly of God Church, Dallas, TX
St. Philip’s Episcopal, Frisco, TX
Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal, Virginia Beach, VA
We have CELEBRATED the offering of Vacation Bible School to our neighborhood children courtesy of the above volunteer groups. The happy sounds of excited children have floated across the school compound and many little folks have been kept off the streets for several hours each morning, learned about God and received a healthy mid-morning snack.
We have CELEBRATED the arrivals of: Jonathan and Lindsey, students from Dallas Christian College, who will be volunteering at the School until December; teachers Miss Laura and Miss Alex from California who taught Language Arts for our three week Summer School program; another great teacher, Miss Melissa, from Virginia who conducted teacher training and brought tons of supplies; Ms. Kelly and her daughter, Julia, from Canada who will spend the month of August helping set up classrooms and do bulletin boards; and many wonderful folks who have dropped by to visit and/or work a while at Holy Cross!
We have CELEBRATED with our recent graduates as they completed mandatory summer school - part of the enrollment process for San Pedro High School . They all did well and said it was ‘easy’ – smile.
We have CELEBRATED the arrival of forty new Dell computers, several printers, projector and all the pieces and parts necessary to put together a state of the art computer lab - all transported free of charge by Pastor Tim Tam with Word at Work Ministries, Amarillo, TX. Many thanks to several wonderful computer donors who wish to remain anonymous and the Parish of St. Matthew’s in Pacific Palisades, CA for making this incredible gift possible! Thirty two volunteers from St. Matthew’s will be here next week - including Mr. Eric who will oversee the instillation and set up of the computer lab.
We have CELEBRATED the arrival of a generous grant (already spent!) for the computer lab secured by St. Luke’s Episcopal, Durham, NC and Mr. John Willard – it saved us from bankruptcy!
We have CELEBRATED the arrival of precious school supplies, tennis shoes, BOOKS!, uniform shirts and pants, back packs, art supplies, polo shirts for our teachers, printer cartridges, kitchen equipment, sports equipment, office supplies, lice shampoo and essential financial contributions – thanks to everyone who shared their bounty with the children of Holy Cross!!
Celebrations seem to go hand in hand with challenges here at Holy Cross. Since we always try to focus on the good things that are happening, our list of challenges is shorter but none the less significant!
We were CHALLENGED when the School Office was broken into during a torrential rain storm in June. Although Mr. Freddy was right at the School, it was night time, the electricity was down and the storm was raging. We were out about $500 as the school camera, a cd player and petty cash were taken. Lesson learned…we changed locks on both doors to dead bolts and install additional lighting. (Not of much use when the electricity is off!)
We were (and continue to be) CHALLENGED by the needs of our twenty two recent graduates as they struggle to finance their first year of high school. It is difficult if not impossible to raise the money they need while trying to make ends meet here at Holy Cross. However, we know that God speaks to different hearts in different ways so some of you may feel called to assist with a scholarship. If so, send your contribution to Holy Cross and specify: Scholarship, High School.
We were CHALLENGED with security issues in the computer lab. Schools nationwide have been robbed as soon as computers were installed and we ourselves had just experienced a break in. Figuring that 40 new computers would be too enticing for thieves to ignore, we decided to put steel rods (rebar) welded together, into the walls, ceiling and floor and installed 2 inch thick wood doors covered with metal sheeting. We also decided to build a small apartment adjacent to the computer lab for the school warden – extra security. All this led to several current crises (PLEASE read on!!).
We are in the throes of a terrible financial CRISIS as the School owes the local hardware store almost $41,000US and the lumber yard almost $16,000US – a total of $57,000US!!! The addition of rebar in the computer lab and the building of the school warden's room cost us almost $25,000 - a totally unplanned for expense. The materials for the library, two new classrooms and another bathroom facility make up the additional debt of $33,000. Calls come everyday asking for payment – PLEASE HELP!!
We are in the throes of a terrible time-crunch CRISIS as the additional construction on the computer lab took two weeks out of the summer work schedule. That means the two classrooms and bathroom are just getting started (see attached photos) and the library needs tons of additional work. School opens on September 1st, so we've had to hire additional workers and everyone is doing overtime. That is exacerbating our financial crisis as we have higher labor costs and less available money to pay off debt – PLEASE HELP!!
We are in CRISIS as School opens in 27 days. That means the Feeding Program starts ($1,500US per week), sararies for the School bookkeeper, nurse and warden have to be paid ($500US per week), purified water is consumed in every classroom ( $125US per week), lots of toilets flush ($125US per week), lights, fans and now ac for the computer lab run up electric costs (best estimate is around $250US per week), telephone use increases ($50US per week), janitor services to clean classrooms twice a month ($50US per week). And then there are sick children needing medication, septic tanks to be pumped out, land fill to purchase, and a thousand other things. A total financial meltdown is upon us - PLEASE HELP!!
YOU are our indispensable partners in this ministry called Holy Cross Anglican School. We've come so far with your continuing support....you've built this school, fed disadvantaged children, provided a solid foundation for their dreams. As partners and friends, we want you to rejoice with us when we celebrate, help us rise to the challenges we encounter and assist in times of crisis. We’re in crisis – PLEASE HELP!!!
As always your PRAYERS are desperately needed and your financial donations keep the School moving forward. The Government of Belize only pays teacher salaries - everything else in your loving hands!!!
Please make your check payable to: Holy Cross Anglican School. And please, pray, pray, pray!!! Holy Cross Anglican School San Pedro Town Ambergris Caye , Belize Please make your check payable to: Holy Cross Anglican School. And please, pray, pray, pray!!! Holy Cross Anglican School San Pedro Town Ambergris Caye , Belize
Remember to check the school web site at: www.holycrossbelize.org Remember to check the school web site at: www.holycrossbelize.org
Many thanks and Blessings, Francis