Mission Teams

St Luke’s Mission Trip

By February 11, 2018 September 11th, 2019 No Comments

Every year we welcome back a dedicated Volunteer Mission Team from St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Durham, North Carolina.  St Luke’s Church has sent mission teams every February since we opened our doors.  Due to their versatility, they have undertaken tasks from construction, to painting, to maintenance and tutoring. In addition, they bring doctors for our students and the local community of San Mateo.

One extra special characteristic of St Luke’s mission teams is that many of the team members keep coming back year after year. This means that many of them have formed deeper friendships with students and teachers. You can read more about what Keeps St Luke’s coming back in our blog.

Supporting our students

This year I was struck by the number of our Holy Cross graduates who have been supported by St Luke’s through high school scholarships, and with whom St Lukes keep in regular contact, encouraging them with their studies and through life.

Jan Lamb has been an incredible support to Isolene throughout her primary and high school. Isolene is now studying in college.

Valdimir came back to Holy Cross to visit the St Luke’s Team, who helped him receive medical care over the years for his spina bifida. St Luke’s provided a high school scholarship and he is now continuing his education at night school.

Kevin, a current high school student, is also supported on a high school scholarship provided by St Luke’s. He anticipates graduating in June 2019,

Mr Bob visits with current high school student Arianie, who will graduate in June. Mr Bob and his wife have personally provided Arianie with a high school scholarship.

Finally, the team visits with Ashanti, a former high school student who gave birth to her first child a week before the team arrived. They passed on gifts from the families who supported Ashanti through high school.

Three generations of a San Mateo Family

A beautiful portrait showing three generations of Ashanti’s family.

Helping in the school

In addition to visiting with and encouraging the many students they know, the team helped out with the everyday activities at the school.

Lera helps complete the annual measuring of heights and weights to keep an eye on student health.

Retired Pastor Don helps in chapel, retelling the story of Jonah and the whale.  He adapts it to Belize using a cucumber for the boat and a song about Jonah and the Boa Constrictor

The children in chapel loved the story.

Mr Bob is a professional math tutor in North Carolina. Here he helps our Standard 6 students with word problems. Decimals, fractions and percentages are tricky in all parts of the world!

Ms Nancy assists a teacher in the upper division.

Audrey joins our literacy program to help struggling students catch up to their year level in reading.

Medical Mission

In addition to helping in the classrooms, an important part of the St Luke’s Volunteer Mission Team are the doctors and social workers that come with the team. Dr Jim has been coming for many years, seeing students in the school and visiting the babies and families in the community. Kim Shackelford, a social worker who has spent many years visiting in San Mateo, also returned to reconnect with families and offer help.

Katy spends time getting to know students while they wait for the doctor.

Dr Jim consulting with a student.

Two schools connect

A few years ago, Ms Peggy Freer, a member of St Luke, who is a school music teacher came to Holy Cross and wrote the School Song for Holy Cross. She also wrote the school song for her school in Raleigh, North Carolina. An extra special part of the St Luke’s Mission Trip this year was to use Skype to connect a Holy Cross class with Ms Peggy’s class in North Carolina. They sang their respective songs, asked questions and enjoyed chatting.


You can read more about St Luke’s previous mission teams in their blog, here.