to the Central American country of Belize annually through the Diocese of Spokane, Washington.
Fr. Mike Fay and his wife, Samar, went with members of the Diocese of Spokane, who organize a trip every year.
Fr. Mike and Samar went to Dangriga, a small town on the coast in the middle of the country not located in the select tourist areas along the coast. Few white people (except for this group from the Diocese of Spokane - and the Cuban doctors who staff the hospital ever venture into this rural area.
The group drove vans from Belize City in a circuitous route that goes inland and then routes back to the coast as the coastal road is in terrible condition. The thought most people have of Belize as a tropical paradise for rich Americas to fish and scuba dive is a very small part of Belize. The rest of the country struggles.
The schools, for instance, are funded by churches, although education is compulsory through grade 8. Teachers are poorly paid and resources are few. The Diocese of Spokane installed some computers at the Anglican School a few years ago and has helped rebuild a school for the parish of Saint Matthews!
Fr. Mike celebrated Mass there twice. The first year he blessed 24 kids as the members of the Belize church follow more closely the C of E and the 1662 Prayer Book, so cildren do not get communion until after they are confirmed.
The next year, they remembered Fr. Mike. Many of the children he had blessed the previous year were now confirmed and receiving communion. When it came time for the Lord's Prayer, everyone started to sing the prayer. They sang in Spanish, French and English. At the end of the Lord's Prayer, Fr. Mike was so moved, he could barely speak through his tears. He said it was the blessing he received from the people of Belize!
Read more about Belize from first-hand testimony here.
The photographs of their trip to Belize are posted in the Photo Gallery, link is below.
Learn more about Spokane Diocese's annual trip and their upcoming 2012 trip to Belize ...