My first trip with Mission Jamaica was in 2014. My husband, Kevin, and I were both very excited to try a mission trip together. The team was fantastic and we grew closer to people we already knew and became friends with those we just met at the meetings before leaving on the trip. Zion teamed up with a group from the Presbyterian Church that year so it was even more fun. I worked at the medical site doing basic screenings for blood pressure and blood glucose. My most memorable part of that trip was talking to people as they were waiting to see the doctors.
My overall impression was how positive and upbeat most were, despite medical concerns and poor living conditions. That trip made me pause and think on many occasions. We also heard personal stories that opened my eyes to some of their worries and concerns for themselves and their families. In addition to the medical sites, I visited West Haven Children’s Home and helped the children get ready for church. The whole week was exactly as advertised. We worked hard during the day and relaxed and enjoyed the company of our friends in the evenings. Kevin and I tried all-inclusive resorts prior to the trip, but we weren’t sure that was the type of vacation that suited us. Mission Jamaica was perfect as it gave us plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy the sun and water, but also gave us something more to focus on.
We went on our second trip in 2016. In addition to working the medical sites, I also went to the J’Abode site. That was very meaningful as well, especially because I was there on the final day when the house was dedicated and the family was there ready to take over their new home.
I joined the Mission Jamaica board following the trip in 2014. The other board members are so dedicated to this mission that it was easy to be a part of it. Basically, the Zion board works with the Mission Jamaica board from St. Andrew’s Church in Mahtomedi, MN. We help to arrange plans for each trip so that the necessary supplies are collected, packed, and the travel details are made and passed along to those going on the trip. After four years on the board, I have decided to step down. I will miss working with the Mission Jamaica board members, but have shifted gears to Africa and am now serving on the Zion to Zambia board. I have learned much and taken away so much from each of the trips that I know my life has been impacted in a very positive way.
If you are interesting in finding out more about the 2019 Mission Jamaica experience, plan to attend a Mission Jamaica Introductory Meeting on Sunday, August 26, September 9, or September 16 at 9:30am or 11:30 in the Zion library.
Mark your calendars for the 2019 Mission Jamaica experience: February 16-23, 2019. (Please note: it will fall over President’s Day).