Friends in Belize
The primary ministry of Friends United Meeting in Belize is the Belize Friends Boys School. Founded by Friends in the 1970s, the school provides boys who did not pass their eighth grade exam with the opportunity to take another year of study and retake the exam. The school has had great success in producing high school graduates. Some alumni have gone on to attend university.
The principals of the school are Sam and Becky Barber of Iowa Yearly Meeting, who have served in Belize since 2009. Sam and Becky are ably assisted by their four children, Robert, Katie, Kristy, and Kassie.
Under the Barbers’ care, the school has grown and adapted to meet the evolving needs of the surrounding community. Belize Friends Boys School now accepts girls, and it also recognizes that some of its students may need more than one year of study to pass the exam. The school has an excellent working relationship with the Belizean Ministry of Education and is gaining a wider reputation in Belize City. There is also an emerging vision of planting a new Friends worship group with the school community as the focus.
How Can I Get Involved?
There are a variety of ways that you can participate in Friends’ mission in Belize. A good place to start is with prayer. Friends in Belize need your prayers for:
- * God to continue to guide and direct the expansion and continuation of the Belize ministry.
- * The students to be motivated to learn and determined to work to improve their situation, often despite the lack of family support.
- * The socio-economic issues that Belizeans face.
- * Health, strength, and wisdom for our teacher, Ms. Candi Young, and her family.
- * God to raise up partners to support the ministry of Friends in Belize.
- * The domestic and gang violence to subside and for our students that have experienced the violence.
- * Health, strength, and wisdom for our administrators, Sam and Becky Barber, and their family.
Even if you are unable to travel to Belize, there are many ways that you can contribute. FUM is accepting donations for the financial support of the Barber family as they continue their work at the Belize Friends School. We are also gathering funds for scholarships that would allow more Belizean girls and boys to receive the education they need in order to have successful adult lives. Is God nudging you to share the material gifts that you have been given, to support the work of education and preparation among the poor in Belize?
While prayer is the foundation of everything we do, the work of Friends in Belize is steeped in action. There is a lot of very practical work to get done – building and repairing, learning and teaching. Do you feel God leading you to visit the Friends mission in Belize? FUM regularly sponsors short-term opportunities for service.