Today is our third day in Jamaica but it is our first day working alongside the residents. We started our day off today by dividing into teams to start working on various projects. One team went to the Knock Patrick school to start the process of planting coffee trees for Deaf Can. Others worked on finishing cement detailing, clearing rocks from the soon to be landscape, and sprucing up an apartment for one of the families to move into soon. It was hard work but God provided clouds to occasionally shade us and held back the rain storm until we were done!
Today was extra special for me! This is my 4th trip here and one of my favorite parts of the trip is getting to visit the students at the Knock Patrick CCCD school. I love getting to interact with all the students and to see the pure joy on their faces when a simple game of tag breaks out. The thing that made it extra special for me was getting to meet the 5 year old girl that my small group has been sponsoring. We wanted to help be a part of someone else’s life, and sponsoring a child through CCCD is a great way to do it. I can’t even begin to express how amazing it was to see this sweet girl’s face and hear her contagious laugh! She was just filled with such joy and energy for life. She is still very young and doesn’t know many signs yet, but that didn’t stop her. A smile and a giggle can say even more than words sometimes! I can’t wait to visit again, see her continue to grow and learn more about Jesus and her unique deaf culture.
To end this already wonderful day, the women on our team got together and had a special devotional time with the women at JDV. This was something that God had been pressing on my heart to do because we don’t usually have much of an opportunity to build relationships with the women. It is easier to get to know the men as we are pouring concrete or shoveling dirt, but the women usually spend the majority of their time taking care of their families. It was amazing to just pour into them for a short time today. Tiffany prepared an wonderful evening filled with songs and inspiration from God’s word about how women are meant to encourage other women. This is such an important subject that reaches women from all different cultures, backgrounds or life stages. Not only did we have the opportunity to pour into the women of JDV, but it was also a time of moving outside of our comfort zones for many on the trip. Before arriving our team spent time learning the sign language for the songs so we could join in their night, sharing their language. Some were even a little nervous about praying over the women, but stepped out when God called them to do so! It was such a sweet time to just pour into those who are usually only focused on those around them and not themselves.
I am already seeing the Holy Spirit move in so many amazing ways and we are only at the beginning of our time here. I am patiently and expectantly waiting for whatever else God has in store for the rest of our trip!