Laboring in Ladyville

Late one Wednesday in March, a contingency of 37 excited people representing Skagit Adventist Academy (SAA) in Burlington, Washington, boarded a Boeing jet headed for Belize in Central America. Thirteen adults and 24 students had packed their work clothes, sunscreen, bug spray and other necessities needed to spend two weeks serving the Belizean people.

Our first destination was Belize Adventist College (the American equivalent of high school) located near the Mexican border in the town of Corozal. Here our group spent the nights sleeping on cots and the days continuing construction of a new administration wing for the college and operating a dental clinic. After three and a half days, we headed to our final destination: Ladyville.

Ladyville Seventh-day Adventist Primary School is currently full and overflowing. To meet the need for quality Adventist education, they have begun construction on a new two-story complex that, when finished, will allow them to meet the educational needs of more than 400 elementary students. Students, staff and parents spent seven long, hot days laying block, filling concrete forms and tying rebar cages, which will enable local workers to pour the ceiling and complete the first story of the project. Tristen Egbert, SAA junior, said, “The thing I liked most about this last mission trip was being able to see the work we did day by day, watching it grow.”

Chris Anderson, SAA senior, added, “My favorite part of the trip was anytime we were on the work site because I got to see teamwork among my classmates that I otherwise never would have seen. I believe we gained each other’s respect because of it.”

A small group of students and adults led out in Vacation Bible School for the younger students (titled Infant I and Infant II) as well as the main primary grades (Standards 1–5). Jefferson Richards, SAA junior, commented, “I enjoyed connecting with the children at the school we were building.”

Another group assisted Jesse Sacdalan in running dental clinics for the seven days we stayed in Ladyville. For four nights, students were bussed to nearby Sandhill Church to participate in an evangelistic series organized by ninth-grader Bailley Schmidt. Nikki Sacdalan, SAA senior, when summarizing the experience, stated, “The trip to Belize taught me how to respect others, both the people from Belize and the people from my school.”

June 23, 2014 / Washington Conference