Students came together for a cause as they traveled nearly 3,000 miles to Belize during the week of June 12. The group went to overseas as one of CJ's summer mission trips led by CJ parent Dr. Steve Huffman. The 11 students and three adults served at St. Joseph school by painting and building a classroom.
"We began the day painting the picnic tables with bright colors while the kids helped us put handprints all over the wooden posts, and then we started laying down cinder blocks and cement to build a classroom," Cheyenne Coyle '18 and Aryana Sutton '18 wrote in a journal entry. "Our favorite parts of this trip so far have been how excited each child has been to even just sit with us, how they remember our name just from the first day and how they hold our hands and give us hugs every chance they get."
"The kids are all amazing and we are getting so close with them," added Jillian Baker '18 and Josie Weitz '18 in a different journal entry. "In the beginning, all the kids were kind of awkward with us, but as time has gone by, each of us has gained better relationships with different ones."
During breaks from painting and building, the group played with the children of St. Joseph.
"We were able to bless the children with the gift that is volleyball," Nicole VanVoorhis '18 and Blake Wogoman '18 shared in a journal entry. "We had so much fun passing the ball around in a circle for several hours (around the regularly scheduled games of catch). Once we were winding down for the day, the school surprised us with a makeshift volleyball net. It was made of tires, metal poles, and some really thin string. But it was more special than any other volleyball net."
On their last day of the mission trip, Bradlee Walker '17 wrote, "Overall, today we all will remember the children we met and made friends with. The children’s faces full of an ignorant bliss completely captured all our hearts. We were able to bless the children with just being a happy face for them to play with and by building a classroom that they will be able to learn in for the rest of their pre-high school years. We all knew that we were not going to be able to keep the relationships we formed with the children, but we also knew that we were going to be doing great things. Most importantly from this trip I learned, and I am sure all the others learned, that the saying, 'The simple things in life can make us happy,' is absolutely true."
Posted June 20, 2017