Mission Jamaica Day 11 – July 28th

I slept so well last night. It looks like I’ve taken Fred’s place because Cody and I talked well into the night. He’s a great listener and soaks up everything like a sponge. I can see why he’s so knowledgeable and articulate.

Mother Cooper served us mackerel, boiled green bananas, yellow yam, bread, mangoes and grapefruit. Mm mm mm mm mm! The fish was salty, savory and delicious. Instead of licking the plate, I use the bread to sop up those glorious juices. The mangoes tasted different over here. They’re fresher, juicier, and sweeter. I also must mention Sister Betty. She’s a very sweet lady who assists Mother Cooper in the kitchen. She’s been such a blessing to us since we’ve been here.

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Terri was hard at work on the materials we would use for VBS today. We’re going to focus on David. Considering that we didn’t have much notice, Terri really pulled through to help us. She’s worked as a teacher for many years and has much experience in developing curricula. As a new teacher myself, there was much to glean. She is a huge asset to the team.

We had some down time again, and there was a possibility the guys would need my help with the construction. I was a little nervous, but with encouragement from X and cranking out some creativity on my guitar, I was ready. Unfortunately, the workers were not. While I waiting for them, I heard Clarke singing in the sanctuary and went to see what was going on. He was gearing up to lead a service and was singing hymns by himself. I joined in and after a few minutes, more people came. In between hymns, we worshipped God and it was so liberating. I just started to thank him for everything he is and all he’s doing so far. My spirit felt so uplifted and strengthed.

The workers still weren’t ready for us yet, so I went back to the room to do more reading. I really like my book. It’s helping me to have a greater understanding of being a disciple. The first section focuses on the Holy Spirit and how he enables us to live a life after Jesus. Through the Spirit, we learn the areas in our lives that need to be changed. As we yield to the Spirit and allow him to rule and reign over our lives, changes happen. This brings to mind the things that Pastor Don has been preaching about. The book even talked about “the process”. Clearly it was God’s will for me to read this book.

For dinner, we had fried fish, rice, coleslaw, and breadfruit. The rice was mixed with vegetables. I added gravy for extra flavor. This fish was well seasoned and flaky. The onions and carrots added sweetness and a spicy element.  We had a new drink called sour sap. It’s tree sap made into a drink.  It looked cloudy and tasted sweet. Mother Cooper said it’s good for nerves and that it’s better than Vitamin C. Norda and Pastor Codling joined us and we engaged in lively conversation.

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Finally the workers were ready. Miguel and one of the deacons were mixing cement, sand, rocks, and water with shovels to make concrete. They filled up buckets, Cody and I carried them up to X, who gave then to Pastor Don, who handed them to the workers to fill molds for the staircase. I worked up a nice sweat. It was awesome taking part in this. The ladies were cheering us on as we worked and that gave me extra energy.

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Later, it was off to VBS. I brought my guitar with me and backed up the girls as they sang songs. Then I told the kids the story of David. They were so engaged and they answered all the followup questions with ease. We broke them up into two groups like we did yesterday. I helped the smaller kids again with drawing David and Goliath on the shield of faith. Everyone had such a good time. Unfortunately, I didn’t see David, that boy I spoke to yesterday. As much as I was hoping he would come back, I believe a seed was planted in him and I know something will come from it.

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We had refreshments prior to service again. In addition to finger sandwiches, there was fruit, cake and cookies. It felt like ages since I had an oatmeal raisin cookie. Since we’ve been here, I’ve made a conscious effort to eat primarily the Jamaican cuisine. I want to take in all the experience while I’m here.

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The service was awesome. I got my dance on during the worship. Pastor Don preached from Proverbs 4:18-27 on examining our hearts. I love when he talks about this. Theres always so much I can take and apply from it. Out of our hearts flow the issues of life. God wants our hearts and since he knows everything about our being, we must give him our hearts and our issues because he knows how to fix them. The ministry time afterwards was amazing. It’s becoming my favorite part of the services. It’s wonderful to see the Holy Spirit move and set people free. I’m thankful for all that God is doing.

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We hung out with Norda, Cassandra, and Rupert when we got back and ordered some fried chicken at a store down the road. It was finger licking good, crispy and spicy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. It was way better than KFC and for what I got, the price was right. $300 (Jamaican money, which is $3US).

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