Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

OCU student mission benefits Belize school


While most students were spending their Christmas vacation enjoying a break from classes, a team of students from Oklahoma City University traveled to Belize to be in mission.

The team of seven, led by OCU vice president for University-Church Relations, Charles Neff, included five students, Madeline Boehlke, Emily Kersten, Beatrize Martinez, Sylvia Hayes, and Olivia Coil; and one parent, Steve Hayes.

The centerpiece of the eight-day trip was six days of construction work at the Methodist School in Burrell Boom, a small village just outside Belize City. Team members worked together to build a concrete block railing for a second- story landing. It was part of the school’s efforts to complete an addition that will add three new classrooms to help educate local children ages 5 to 15.

In addition to their work, the team had the opportunity to tour Mayan ruins, explore the Belizean rainforest, and spend time with local families in their homes. Each evening, prayers and reflections helped the group process their experiences from that day.

"The trip was a wonderful experience," said team member Olivia Coil, a junior youth ministry major. "We learned so much about their culture and made lots of new friends. Their hospitality is just amazing!"

OCU already has plans to return to Burrell Boom next winter to help complete the classroom project.

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