Several months ago our missions VP, David Adams, visited projects Cross Catholic supports in Belize. Fr. Perl, a priest who runs some of the projects there, took him to visit Maria Natividad Tracey, a very poor, elderly widow and her mentally handicapped adult son.
Well, David was more than disturbed by the condition of this woman’s home—especially the roof, which had huge, gaping holes in it. He learned that Maria and her son had to sleep at other people’s homes when it rained. At the time of David’s visit, there were still puddles of water several inches deep on her wooden floor from recent rains. Before he departed back to the U.S. David supplied Fr. Perl with funds to get Maria a new roof.
Fast forward to last month. Fr. Perl welcomed a Cross Catholic mission team composed of a priest and parishioners of St. John Neumann in the diocese of San Antonio, Texas. The parish faithfully supports many of the projects Fr. Perl oversees. After the team helped with school construction, Fr. Perl took the group to Maria’s dilapidated house. The materials for the roof had been purchased, thanks to David’s earlier visit, and now it was up to the mission team to install it!
Other than the “luxury” of Maria being able to sleep at home when it rained, the roof project came with a couple of unexpected blessings: When the team pulled up a rotten floorboard, a host of large blue crabs scurried out. It sent the Americans running, but Maria’s son squealed with delight. Turns out blue crabs are quite a delicacy, and they were breeding right under their house! Then, to top it off, Maria’s landlord told her that since she had a brand new roof put on the house, she could continue to live in it rent-free! God is good!
This morning as some of the participants shared photos of the trip with the staff (check out some of the photos), one of them said, “By the end of the trip, I realized how much hope we bring to those who are so much in need. And I see how much work still needs to be done!”