Thirteen students and three adults made the nearly 3,000 mile journey to Belize to serve at St. Jude Elementary School. During the mission trip, the group was asked to paint a bathroom building and a structure for hand washing at the school.
"On breaks and at recess/lunch, the kids would crowd around all of us, wanting us to give them piggyback rides, play duck duck goose, and of course, take pictures on our phones," shared Allison Huffman '16 and Natalie Murray '16.
A preschool girl, Sophie, also pitched-in to help the group with painting.
"Sophie, our favorite four-year old helper, continued to help us paint day after day and never lost her cute smile," Megan Stefan '17 and Jordan Thomasson '16 noted.
When they were not serving at St. Jude, the group spent time together exploring Belize including going swimming in a local river.
"We tried to catch minnows in our hands and swam around," Stefan and Thomasson recalled. "Something special then happened. Four local boys brought horses in the water. With all of our interest peaked, a few of us asked to ride the horses in the water. Just about everyone rode the horses and everyone enjoyed their time at the river."
Every evening during the mission trip, the group spent time reflecting on the day and how they felt serving at the school.
"Our love for St. Jude and the kids will continue to grow even after we’re gone," said Will Huffman '16 and Dani Ostendorf '17. "It’s safe to say that everyone on this trip has been moved emotionally and spiritually in some way."
Parent Steve Huffman agreed, "It was a wonderful week. The kids were able to realize this trip is about making themselves into a community, understanding a different culture, helping others and also having some fun."
Posted June 21, 2016