Day 8 – Travel Day – Katy Creasman
We woke up around 5:30am to pack our suitcases onto the bus and eat breakfast. Some of the residents of JVD woke up to tell us bye. To me, that was a sign of the relationships that were built over the week. To wake up on a Saturday that early was amazing for us as a team to see. We did a final prayer with the team including the lady, Vern, who cooked for us all week and her assistant and the security guard, Donovan. We loaded the bus and traveled the 2 hours to the Kingston airport. Checking-in and going through security was surprising easy and we had enough time to get some more food before getting on the flight to Atlanta. Once in Atlanta, we went through customs again with no issues. We did almost have an issue from Atlanta to Knoxville as our plane was overbooked but everyone got on the plane and we safely made it to Knoxville where our families were there to greet us.
Some of the team words/inside jokes of the week were:
Bucko, Vehicular Trumpets, Jamaican Justin (Adam Montgomery)
Day 7 – Fun Day Josie Maynard
Today was our last day of the trip and we visited YS falls. On our bus ride there, we stopped and got patties in Santa Cruz. When we got to YS, the whole group decided to participate in ziplining. We got to go down 5 lines and got a great view of the falls. After we ziplined we headed to the falls where we could rope swing and jump into the water off of a cliff. I know for the girls, this is what we spent most of our day doing. The falls were a little chilly so we hopped into the warm water pools to heat up a little bit before we left. When we got back to JDV we ate some amazing jerk chicken and then headed over to the firepit to make dampers. Dampers are big rolls of dough that can be filled with anything! We used peanut butter, Guava jam (a Jamaica jelly), chocolate, or butter. Overall, our last day was a lot of fun and we continued to bond as a team!
Day 6 – Concrete Day 2 at KnockPatrick – Susie Satterfield
Today we were blessed with another opportunity to work alongside students from CCCD, locals from JDV and another mission team from Pennsylvania. We divided into groups focusing on making concrete, creating an assembly line to haul the concrete in buckets up to the higher tiers, pulling weeds, cutting down trees, and clearing the water catchment areas in preparation for water catchment. All of our efforts will afford CCCD to establish a greenhouse for educational, occupational, and nutrition purposes using green techniques. It was an exhausting yet rewarding day to be able to work alongside folks who shared a deep love of the Lord
In the afternoon, we were blessed to share a meal with locals from JDV and try more Jamaican cuisine. For lunch we had mac and cheese, watermelon, and coconut bread with real bits of coconut in it (It was delicious). It was a time of fellowship and developing relationships. In the afternoon, we took a brief tour of the school and saw where classrooms, dorms, and the small auditorium were located. We took a break and spent time with students. We explored the wonders of a rhinoceros beetle and a snail the size of a ping pong ball. The students were fascinated with the horn of the beetle and the texture of the snail. Little did I know that spending time with the students would lead to meeting the principal and discussion of the possibility of teaching in Jamaica.
Everyone we’ve met at JDV and CCCD just seem filled with the spirit of the Lord! I can feel his presence in and around me every moment of the day. God’s hand has been over us and blessed us beyond compare. As Pastor Chris preached about Philippians 4:8, the P48 train is bountiful and evident everywhere! God is good, we are blessed and loved beyond compare. Serving the Lord has brought forth the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the fruits of the Spirit. Thank you, Lord…Follow the Filling!
Day 5 – Concrete at KnockPatrick and Hands in Praise-Adam Montgomery
This morning was interesting. Many of our team got to experience an authentic Jamaican breakfast this morning: cabbage and bacon with bread knots. A few were apprehensive but after trying, most were impressed. After breakfast we started the day with a team briefing. Chris Briggs, our local contact and JDV manger, informed us that we would join another mission team staying at CCCD KnockPatrick today to assist in clearing and rehabilitating water catchment basins. After a brief discussion and clean up, we loaded the van and made the 45-minute drive to meet the team. When we arrived, work was already underway. Many of the residents from JDV made the journey with us today. We were encouraged to work alongside the residents, building on relationships we established earlier in the week. Our work consisted of pulling weeds, trees, and brush from a broken water catchment system. We worked for about 3 hours, managing to clear and prepare about 1/6th of the system. While we worked, other teams and residents worked to mix concrete to patch and repair as needed. When we stopped for lunch, we returned to JDV, sharing a meal upon our return.
The afternoon consisted of team time and a tour of JDV’s workforce development initiatives. Chris hosted the tour, accompanied by the team from KnockPatrick, and told us the story of the woodworking warehouse, the sewing room, and God’s plan in the midst of blessings and setbacks. Our entire team was encouraged by the work God was and is continuing to accomplish through the JDV. Dinner this evening was shared with the residents and some of their families. We enjoyed in a sweet time of fellowship, thanking God for new relationships and enjoying time well spent. To close the evening, our team was treated to JDV’s Hands in Praise team, as they provided a visually stunning rendition of “I will follow,” “On Eagle’s Wings,” “Change My Heart oh God”, and “Thank You.” Our team closed the evening in a prayer of thanksgiving, praising God for the new family He has provided, new relationships, new experiences, and for His creation of community and relationship.
Day 4 – Deaf Can in Kingston – Leah Creasman
Today we took a 2 hour trip to Kingston! While in Kingston we visited Devon House and Deaf Can! We stopped at Devon House first. Devon House was the house of the first millionaire of Jamaica. While there we got to try Popular Jamaican food called patties. There was a wide selection of flavors from chicken, beef, goat, or fish! After lunch we looked around in the shops and then got some ice cream. The ice cream was delicious and very messy. After eating ice cream we left Devon House and went to Deaf Can. Deaf Can is a coffee shop showing Jamaica that the Deaf can do anything. We went to the main DeafCan location but there are shops all around Jamaica, one inside of a Toyota dealership . While at DeafCan I ordered a delicious latte made by a deaf employee. They did a power point and showed us around the site. Once we were back at JDV we got to experience something none of us had experienced before. We got to unload the transfer truck of supplies for the CCCD. This truck included everything they needed for the next 6 months. Doing this took almost 2 hours. It was a very cool sight to watch; everyone deaf and hearing working together to unpack the whole truck.
Day 3 – Special projects at JDV by Kayla Roberts
Today was work day one. This was the first day our team is officially working. We all split up into teams to go to different areas to work. One team painted the inside of an office building. One team was cleaning the ceiling. One team was pressure washing the concrete. I was planting peppers with my friend, Josie. This was an adventure in and of itself because it was very different from how we irrigate plants at home; but surprisingly we planted over nine rows of peppers. This was fun because we had two of the local villagers helping us- they are a hoot. They not only made it fun, but it was also a great time to be able to connect and grow those friendships by working together. After a few hours of working; we cleaned up and ate lunch. We just ate sandwiches on this day. After lunch, we traveled to 30 minutes to Manchester to visit one of the Salvation Army’s children homes. This was a life changing experience. When we walked in; the children swarmed us. They wanted to play, be held, and just be loved on a little extra. For my profession, I am currently a kid’s pastor, so this was an especially touching experience. I was thoroughly impressed with the children’s home. It was cleaner than I expected, and much more organized. We played on the playground and played soccer with the children. I switched teams to help out the other team. After loving on the kiddos for a while, we went and talked with the woman who was in charge of that home. She then began to tell us the stories of some of the children, and she shared the hard moments of her job. Her transparency was moving. We had the opportunity to pray strength, patience, and renewal over her and her team. The children’s home was is normally one of my favorite experiences, but this year was different. This year it hit my heart in a way that it has never hit it before. Today was incredible because today I saw God in the eyes of those children.