Mission Jamaica 2 – 7/20/16

​Day 13
Today I woke up still feeling sore but nnot as much as yesterday. I spent time looking over my notes from Pastor Don’s sermons last week. They are still very powerful even now. I’ve been reflecting on all that’s taken place from the first day. God has done many things and while I can’t speak for anyone else, I know he has done a work in me. Best of all, he’s not finished. We’ll see what happens these last two days.
Mother Cooper and Sister Betty served us breakfast. We had calaloo and salt fish again. It was spicier today than previous. I liked it even more. There was also bread, fried dumplings, fried green plantains, grapefruit, watermelon, and apple bananas. The apple bananas were smaller than regular bananas and much sweeter. There was even a hint of an apple flavor. They were a gift from Norda’s grandmother.

After breakfast there was a time of prayer. It started with Isaiah, then it led to Shannon and finally to me. We each had a need for a healing and after the prayers there was something in the atmosphere that was lifted. Things felt much lighter and there was much more transparency. After that we began prepping for VBS at Shaw Park Heights. We had so much fun making the gift bags, tweaking the curriculum, and getting the crafts ready. Mother Cooper’s granddaughter Danielle helped us and did an amazing job. There was definitely a change that occurred. While we were getting ready it rained again. This is the third time it’s rained since we’ve been here, which is very unusual. It normally never rains in July and August. Considering that we were out of running again, it was much needed. Mother Cooper and Sister Betty caught the water in large pots so they could use it in the kitchen. It reminded me again just how precious water is around here.

Before we had dinner I bought some gifts for my family from Mother Cooper and Sister Deirdre, who has a shop on the church property. My family will love them. Barry, Herman, Rachel, Bill, Shannon, and I had dinner early since we had to teach VBS. It was oxtail and dumplings again. Oh, baby, yes!! It was dynamite. I’m going to have to find this when I get home and make it for myself, even though it won’t be exactly the same. We also had rice and cabbage.

Pastor Coke came to pick us up. We had to do two trips. Rachel, Shannon, Barry and I went first with all the materials. When we got there, we met up with Pastor Don and several workers who were  working on the roof. There was an in closed area that we were using for the VBS. There wasn’t as many students as yesterday’s session at Union, but the kids were very excited and eager to learn. We made name tags for them and introduced our lesson with scripture and the theme. We got right into the fruit of the spirit, taking turns explaining each one using scripture and relevant examples. Bill and Herman came right after we started. The kids soaked up the information like sponges. Many won prices with the memory game and with some of the stories we told we made sure to have them participate. It was amazing. They loved the gift bags we made. We also had time to take pictures and speak with them personally afterwards. The biggest thing that happened was when we waited for Pastor Coke to be ready. Rachel thought it would be cool to make friendship bracelets since we didn’t get to any crafts. Half the kids were still hanging around the church so we made bracelets with them and they loved it. We told them to make one for themselves and one to give to someone else. Most of them gave their second bracelet to one of us. It was very touching. They were sad that we were leaving. I really hoped we could’ve spent more than a day with them. It was such a blessing to be there. They impacted our lives.

We took separate cars going back to church. Pastor Coke drove Shannon, Herman, and me. Shannon was craving ice cream and we picked some up before returning. I can’t remember the last time I had an ice cream cone. It was so good. It was challenging eating ice cream on the long winding Fern Gully road, but we were victorious.

We had an evening service that day. Patrick led the worship. He has a beautiful voice. That seems to be a pattern with many people here. They can sing really well. Herman accompanied him on the keyboard. He’s very gifted. Barry gave a sermon on being transformed. After being saved, we are able to approach the throne of grace, have face time with our Father, and be transformed into the likeness of Jesus. Best of all we can do this everyday. We can be set free from bondage, cycles, and addictions. Also, friends, families, and enemies no longer tell us who we are. Our identity is in Christ! Thank you, Lord! This word was very timely. After Barry preached Deacon Allen, Patrick’s brother and Deirdre’s husband prayed for each of the team members and anointed us with oil. It was a powerful night, the perfect ending to an amazing day. I thank God for his goodness, mercy, forgiveness, grace, and love.

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