During spring break, 24 Cascade Christian Academy (CCA) students and adults headed back to the King’s Children’s Home (KCH) in Belize to finish a job they started in 2016.
It’s been a dream of the directors of the orphanage to have a church on their campus for a number of years. Two years ago CCA students worked with a local crew to help build the combination church and school. The group working on the project was able to raise the building to include the foundation and five-concrete-block-high walls. Due to lack of time and funds, the project was left to be continued by other groups.
Fortunately Auburn Adventist Academy and at least one other school group were able to continue the project during their mission trips. By the time CCA returned to the children's home, the students were excited to find how much had been accomplished. They realized they would be able to finish the job by painting the interior and exterior, cleaning the floors, laying sidewalks, and hauling rocks for the septic tank and drain field.
The crowning finish was when sophomore Faith Workman completed the painting of the Ten Commandments scroll on the outside wall — something the KCH founder, “Mama Leonie,” envisioned for a long time. Sophomore Trista Bais and a parent volunteer, Jackie Stonas, assisted in the Ten Commandment scroll as well to ensure the job was completed before the group left.
Another important ministry during the trip was spending time with the younger children. Volunteers Jenny Vickrey and Karen Fisher organized Bible stories, songs and crafts for a couple hours during some of the mornings just for these children. The CCA students bonded well with the younger children, who enjoyed the attention.
On Sabbath, the residents of the KCH, local church members and the CCA mission trip participants were able to worship together in the new church. A small ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to commemorate the occasion and to honor God for His blessings. “Uncle Stanley,” the facility manager, cut the ribbon.
Stanley had been instrumental in getting every project on the campus started and finished. What a blessing it was for Stanley to see the church finished especially since he is currently undergoing treatment for cancer.
CCA seniors Mackenzie Forney, Ally Stonas and Kaiza Delgadillo gave the Sabbath morning message based on Rom. 12:2, CCA’s Scripture for the school year. Another blessing was that the CCA students had raised enough money to purchase 100 folding chairs and wall fans for the church, making it a pleasant worship experience even on a hot and humid Belizean morning.
God willing, CCA will return to the King’s Children’s Home in 2020 to spend time with the children and work on more projects to enhance the facility that supports the work the KCH does in their community — loving children and providing a safe environment for them. This goal is in keeping with James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”