Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jamaica - Day 3 (Tuesday)

On Tuesday, Pastor Douglas and his wife Rose picked us up before 7:00 a.m. and crammed all 11 of us (plus our supplies) into their van and we set off for one of his churches, Vision Chapel, in Burnt Savannah. It was an almost two-hour drive up and then down a mountain and then through TONS of sugarcane fields before we made it to our destination...
Pastor Douglas had a vision about building a church in Burnt Savannah and over the past 4 years, through faith, his vision (Vision Chapel) has come to be. This is the view out the back of the chapel: We immediatley got busy setting up a vision clinic where local people could come and get their eyes tested, receive reading glasses and a package of aid and hear the gospel while they were waiting.

I worked in the "reception" area, so I got to meet and talk to A LOT of people. :) I tend to be HORRIBLE with understanding accents and the Jamaican accent coupled with their mixture of local "potwa" (a combination of African dialects, french and English that was created by slaves so their masters couldn't understand what they were saying) was crazy hard to understand, but I managed :)

This little girl was about 14 months old and had already received a major heart surgery in NYC through a Christian charity organization:
Several students were assigned the daunting task of keeping the kids entertained while their parents were waiting:
This is one of my students, Brad and Charlie Brown - yes, his name really is Charlie Brown! He and his wife, Sandy, are from NC and were on a GAIN trip to Montego Bay the week before and decided to hang around for a few days of vacation, but ended up joining us on a couple of our mission days. Brad and Charlie are having a woman determine which strength of reading glasses best suits her.
Sarah and Sandy worked with me in the "reception" area and once we got down as much personal information as we could, we shared the gospel bead bracelet with everyone we checked in. Sarah and I each prayed with one person as they accepted Christ and Sandy prayed with 4!

The picture below represents something that happened almost everywhere we went - little girls wanting to touch our hair! It was so sweet :)

I have TONS of pictures of kids 1) because they're ADORABLE and 2) because they all wanted me to take their picture and then show it to them
I was taking a picture of the house next to the church when this guy stepped into my photo and began doing "model poses" :)
After lunch, Pastor Douglas got us each a coconut and a straw so we could drink the coconut water.
Then he proceeded to show us how the REAL Jamaicans drink it...
Once all the coconut water was gone, he cut the coconuts in half, created a spoon out of part of the hard outside and we ate the coconut "yogurt"

This little girl was so cute - she was fascinated by the fact that you could see my veins on my arms. :) She must have spent 40 minutes tracing them up and down and commenting on how cool she thought it was.
This little girl was my shadow pretty much the entire day!

After we'd handed out all 300+ pairs of our glasses and bags of aid we shut down the eye clinic and recruited a couple of local girls to show us where some of the neediest families in the town were living and we delivered bags of food to them.

Our first stop was "Grandma"... she lives next door to the church and sat at the eye clinic all day:
We gave her the food, prayed over her and her family and then she gave every single one of us a big giant hug and told us that we could go back home and tell everyone that we had a Jamaican Grandma now:

This lady was picking beans along the road when we gave her her bag of food:

After the first few houses with our leaders delivering the food and praying, several of the students stepped up to speak and pray:
On the way back to the chapel I kind of became like the "pied piper" as I had a duffel bag full of gum and stickers with me :)

LOVE this picture - the boys were waiting for us as we stepped into a Tuck Shop (a roadside stand) to get some cold drinks:
My shadow wearing my sunglasses - I think they suit her well :)
While we were waiting for dinner to arrive, some of the local woman broke into praise and worship song... it was really cool to get to witness since singing and worship definitley has a place and time here and there it's completely spontaneous:
Dinner was "catered" in and was DELICIOUS!

After dinner we got to be a part of their church service which was really FUN! A lot of people there don't have Bibles so they have lots of different games to help them commit scripture to memory. Here's Garrett competing in one of their games...
After dinner and service it was time for a group picture and goodbyes! Note the GIANT bag of stickers in this little girls hand??? She started crying when I told her that I wouldn't be back (or at least for a while...) and I felt so bad that I gave her a bag with about 800+ stickers. hahaha Hopefully they'll brighten her days for a long time.
The day was long and exhausting (we still had a bumpy 2 hours to get back to Montego Bay!), but was definitley one of my most memorable experiences

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