Jamaica – June 2017

We have had a busy time while here and it somehow is already Tuesday. I am going to backtrack just a bit to give you an idea of our journey thus far. It all started Saturday morning when we arrived at the airport at 5:00am. We were excited to get to our destination and you could feel the energy in the air.
As we moved through the line at the airport and got to the ticket counter we found out that our flight had already left. Long story short, we were able to get a flight out at 8:00pm that same evening, but once in Charlotte we would not be flying to Jamaica until early the next morning.
We left on time (8:00pm that is) and had an uneventful flight to Charlotte. After landing, needless to say, we were all tired (13 team members; 5 kids and 8 adults) and so we looked for a place to rest until morning. It ended up being in the international arrival section of the airport on the floor below the stairs leading to the departure gates. We slept for about 4 hours and then got up and went through security and up to our departure gate.
We had an uneventful flight to Jamaica and were thrilled to touch down and meet our hosts for the week. We stopped about one hour into our drive to the CSI house for jerk chicken and then drove the remaining 2 hours to the house. After unpacking and an orientation we went to the Pringle Girls home where they ranged in age from 8 to 18.
We took indoor and outdoor games and played with the girls at the home for a little over an hour and then went back to the CSI house for dinner. Although exhausted we sat up and visited with one another, talked about our adventure so far and the day ahead.
Monday morning we were up bright and early, loaded up the truck with lumber, tools and paint for the work site and had an early breakfast. Following breakfast we had devotionals out at the chapel and then headed out to the site to start our day.
This year we are building a house for a lovely lady with 7 children, 6 of which live with her. Right now she lives with her brother. We are here to provide her with her own living space and a home to call her own. Our ‘mission’ is to build her a new 10’ x 20’ house with two doors, 4 windows and a divider down the center. Currently she and her 6 children sleep in her brother’s kitchen on a bed smaller than a twin. The kitchen itself is so tiny and 7 sleep there!!
When we finish at the site we return to the CSI house and those that are continuing on to have Vacation Bible School with some of the local children shower and prepare for the lesson of the day. They then load up their materials, travel to Clonmel Baptist Church, and play for a couple of hours with the children. They teach them about the gospel, sing and worship together. Once they return we have dinner and gather for our “happy / crappy” hour to share our experiences of the day.
Tuesday is much of the same, but after dinner this evening we went to the local potter’s home and gift shop. The potter does a demonstration of creating pottery using a mold and creating pottery with a potter’s wheel. We get to see the finished products in their gift shop and purchase items for ourselves and our family and friends back home. Afterward we went into the town of Highgate and had ice cream. After day 2 of hard work and loving on the locals, our team is turning in early. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring.
I must say that the 5 kids on the trip this year are amazing! Their resilience, their willingness to try all things new, their love and their faith fills me with such happiness and joy.
Soon I will turn in and let the night sounds lull me to sleep. The tree frogs sing and the crickets add their rhythm to the song and it is most pleasant to hear as our day comes to a close.
We are so blessed.
In His name,

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