The beginning is coming to an end. Our first Jamaica mission trip group is leaving and on their way back to the States. The days seem to last forever here, but looking back on them they have flown by. We have been here almost two weeks now but with some of the friends we have made it seems like we have been here for months. Each day has definitely brought new challenges, stories, and tan lines.
But more about our first group for now: They arrived Saturday midday, after a crazy day of shopping, closed Internet café’s, and some wild driving (involving a goat and a guy jumping into our van). They were definitely a special group for us. They came as a team of three women, having never even left the country, and all of a sudden they found themselves in the hands of three American college students about the same age as their children. Things went really well though. We began our week at church on Sunday, allowing the group to rest and prepare for the week ahead. We spent the rest of the week building, shoveling, carrying dirt and rock, and laying concrete at a school that will hopefully completely renew the education system in that community. It was an amazing opportunity to connect with the students (elementary age), the teacher, and the Jamaican workers volunteering for the project.
Having such a small group allowed for them to develop personal, intimate relationships with people in the community. On their last night in Catadupa they were hanging out in the home of a local, laughing, joking, and being asked to stay in Jamaica forever. These relationships are a huge blessing for us here it the community. They open doors and tear down walls that previously prevent people in the community from connecting with us on a personal level.
So in a dramatic change we say goodbye to our smallest group as we begin to prep for our largest team (48… here we go). Please keep us in your prayers and thoughts. Pray for our hearts and lives to be open to the people here in Catadupa. God has already done some amazing things here and we are excited to see what the next four weeks bring as we serve with Experience Mission. Take care and God bless.
Until all know,