Today we visited YS falls with 2 other teams for a little fun and relaxation. We swam, swung on rope swings, and zip-lined through the Jamaican jungle. What a great way to end our week!
It’s our last night at the Jamaican Deaf Village. We’re excited to be returning home but we also don’t want to leave. This has been an amazing week of service and fellowship. Half of the team had been here before and they had a great time reconnecting with old friends. The other half had not been to JDV and thoroughly enjoyed meeting the staff and learning Jamaican Sign Language (which differs from American Sign Language). We have all made friends that will last a lifetime. And we can’t wait until we come back (hopefully soon!). If you’re thinking about going on a mission trip, we would all love to talk more about our experience in Jamaica. It was unforgettable!
Stephen and Haley Roberts, Brenda and Elizabeth Robinson, Kim and Ally Rey Carpenter, Blake Noe, Tiffany Chaperon, and Lisa Cole.
Today was one of our hardest days. We started the day finishing our work projects and ministering to Pastor Sheldon Burkett and his wife Rachel, who is the senior bookkeeper for the Jamaica Deaf Village.
After lunch we went to Ebenezer Infirmary and visited with the residents who do not have family nearby. The do not get many visitors and most of them are confined to their bed or to a wheelchair. We sang worship songs and read scripture.
Tomorrow is our day of rest. We will visit YS Falls with 2 other teams for some swimming, playing, and zip lining.
One of our favorite activities at night has been playing cards, dominoes, spoons, and Euchre. The residents are all very competitive and we have loved the fellowship we have with them!
This morning Susan led our team in a time of devotion. As a part of her teaching she discussed the tools and ways we should go about our devotion. By doing so it make us more consistent with our devotion.
After breakfast we departed for the children’s feeding program again. This time we were able to stay much longer and got to participate in the feeding portion of the program. I have been told that all of the ladies on our team want a set of knives that Ms. Martha, one of the workers at the feeding program, was using.
When we had finished up at the feeding program, the team went back to the house to prepare rice and beans for to take with them for door to door evangelism. Once the rice was ready, we met up with Pastor Joel and other members from his church to go door to door. God was working with us, we saw 7 accept Christ, it was truly a bountiful harvest.
Next we attended Pastor Joel’s church where I was asked to deliver a message. It was truly a great time, the Holy Spirit was there in a mighty way.
Our team began day 3 with a devotion led by yours truly. It was a discussion about helping others in need.
We then enjoyed a wonderful breakfast before departing to assist Open Eyes Ministries with their feeding program. There were 30 kids at the site where the feeding program is run. Due to an issue with the electricity, the power was out and we were not able to feed the kids. We were however, able to help with the meal prep and we had a great time playing and interacting with all of the kids. We had many kids throwing frisbee, coloring, and kicking soccer balls; but the biggest hit was the wiffle ball. The kids here are really talented and able to pickup the sport very quickly.
From there we went to a local restaurant for a cultural experience, Pizza Hut. We then stopped at a local market for some much needed mocha chinos before helping to prepare clothing for a local church. While we were there Don shared his testimony while Rebecca interpreted. There was also time to play with the children, they loved baseball and bubbles. You could feel the love. One young man, Christian, came around introducing himself and hugging everyone.
After that was complete we came back to the house and prepared for the evening church service with Pastor Robert. He is the one that keeps the girls for the Mission of Hope. While we were there I delivered the message for that service and Pamela interpreted for me. It was a great experience and I for one have been truly blessed to be a part of it.
Wednesday was all about manual labor! We painted bathrooms and gates, sanded walls, and cut, hammered, and bent rebar to make cement columns for some new houses. JDV is growing and the houses will provide additional room for the growing families that live and work here.
In the afternoon we visited a children’s home. Unlike the United States, when a child enters the foster care system here, they live in a group home until they potentially can return to live with family. The Windsor Lodge houses 56 children ages 3-18.
Tomorrow we will finish our work projects and then head to the infirmary to visit patients.
Today our team met an amazing young man by the name of Javaughny Dawes. He shared with us a presentation of Deaf Can! Coffee which began from a boys bible study learning how to roast coffee and turned into to a coffee ministry proving that the Deaf can do anything.
Often the Deaf community is viewed as “less than” because of their hearing loss. They believe that “deaf gain” so much more when they are understood. The store we visited is one of eight stores, including one in the US Embassy. The store’s name is E3 because they Engage, Equip, and Empower the Deaf community.
Tomorrow we will work around the Jamaican Deaf Village with a variety of projects and will then travel to the Mandeville Children’s Home.
It has been an amazing 3 days here and we cannot wait to see what God has for us tomorrow.