I was asked to share my experiences from my first mission Jamaica trip…..so here goes… I say
No problem, Ya Mon!
Once we arrived in Jamaica and made it through customs, we were subjected to 80 degree weather with warm breezes and sunshine.
On Sunday morning, we drove for 1½ hours to Westhaven Children’s Home. The roads are not like here in the States. Our driver, Pastor Percy, informed us that one needed a PhD to drive them. Pot Hole Dodger, that is, Ya Mon! Percy was full of stories and information and the time passed by quickly.
This is just one example of Percy’s rhymes to entertain us while driving…
Percy was a pastor
He’s a map reading disaster
But he became the master
Now he can drive faster
There are five different buildings that house the children and some who have grown into adulthood. These are the Jamaicans who are ‘throw-aways’ since their parents aren’t able to care for them. Their challenges range from cerebral palsy to other disabilities. One thing they all had in common was their smiles and good nature.
I picked a building and chose Kari Ann to dress for church. Nothing prepared me for this! Four of the girls in my building were bed-ridden with no way to transport them. Kari Ann was in a reclining wheel chair, and I thought she might have CP. Dressing her was extremely difficult but all the other girls were ready and willing to help so we managed to get ‘er done. Next, off to church …
Again, I was not prepared for an almost three-hour service. The Jamaicans really get into worship. Can I hear a “Praise the Lord?” Following church, refreshments were given to those who came from West Haven. This had to be the most gut wrenching, humbling experience of my life. I just wish there was more I could do to help. They are in my prayers daily and I am much more gracious and thankful for what the Lord has given me.
Our first clinic was at Vision Chapel in Burnt Savanna. When we arrived, after another lengthy drive, there were lines of people waiting to see us. We saw 51 before we broke for lunch, and the total for the day was 93 patients. They all left with smiles on their faces. I left with a special warmness in my heart that I have never felt before. God is good.
Our second day of clinic we went to Flanker. Days before there had been a murder, so we had a policeman on the roof watching over us. I didn’t think he was needed since the Lord was with us and watching over us. I learned the ‘F-word’ once again … flexibility! There was no air circulation and no light. We managed okay, and saw 122 patients who, once again, all left with smiles.
We had the day off for Ash Wednesday. The J’Abode team finished the house that they were building.
Our final clinic day took us to Barrott Town. This was where Pastor Percy’s church was located, and only a 10-minute drive from our accommodation. We saw many more families and children for a total of 130 patients.
I am looking forward to my next chance to serve the Lord by helping on a mission trip. It was awesome, very sobering and overwhelming. Please approach me at church and ask me to share more, as I would love to convince others to experience what I did and to come back awe-inspired and blessed.