Karen and her husband, Steve, are volunteering in Las Flores, Belize for two months. Here’s the latest update from Karen.
 
We went to Belize City to share Easter with the SCNs there. Thursday we had a Sedar meal with the sisters and the auxiliary bishop of Belize. After dinner we went to St Martin’s for Holy Thursday. It is a parish in a poor section of Belize City but you will not find a more vibrant community anywhere. The music, even the somber music, has an upbeat Caribbean feel to it. I especially enjoy the sign of peace here it lasts about 5 minutes. People leave their seats to bless people all around the church. We processed outside to another building after the Mass for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. 

For Good Friday we kept to silence for a good bit of the day. We had Stations of the Cross that began at 1:00 and went to 3:00. We processed around the surrounding neighborhood, a place where you would normally not walk due to violence and crime, and stopped at certain points for each station. Someone had decorated at each stop and prayers were read. I would say there were about 50 people taking part in the procession. There were a lot of people watching us as we passed but everyone was very respectful. It was also VERY hot so many were using umbrellas as sun shade. The service followed after the last station. We got home to fried fish, slaw, and beans and rice. So good.

Saturday was kind of a lazy day. The Mass was in the evening. There were 7 people baptized and most were children. Fr. Matt spoke to each one at their level. He made each one feel special calling them little brother or little sister and telling them they were royalty in Christ. And there was water let me tell you. Each stood in a basin and he poured at least a pitcher of water over their heads. They changed and rejoined the service. It was very festive and upbeat.

Belize City was cooler due to the nice breeze from the Sea. Now that we are back in Las Flores it is very hot all this week. Since school is out for the rest of the week, I have been working with some women and children to help them find a way to make money for themselves to become more self-reliant. Sr. Brenda has been working with one young woman who wants to know everything. She has learned to crochet and made a bag from plarn, that’s plastic grocery bags to those of you that don’t know that. We also have yarn and now she is crocheting a blanket, I think. She picked it up very quickly and comes every day to show us her work. She is so excited. She also has been learning to bake different types of breads and pizza to sell in the village. Again she is so excited and soaks up everything like a sponge. I am going to help Ana Ruth make bread to sell around the village. I also have a young girl around the corner that I taught how to make pot holders with those small looms we all remember as a child. These 2 young women live in the worst possible conditions. Small houses, no electricity or plumbing. Yet they are clean and happy.

Steve has been working this week at the church getting a new entrance ramp and stairs constructed into the church. There is also another group that is finishing up the stage that was built at the park in the village. Another group from the States is putting up walls at the school. You may remember that Steve was assisting with getting the floor poured there last week. So we are keeping busy and doing what we can to assist the folks here. There is so much need here and so little time left. We are all feeling the pressure of time. We have come to peace with the knowledge that we are making a difference for the ones we touch.

Peace and blessings,

Karen

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