Well time is going by so fast and we are nearing the end of our time here in this wonderful and amazing place. God is so awesome and continues to display His awesomeness in amazing ways this week. I think the picture above pretty much says it all as the sun sets over the new conference center that we have been working hard on all week. This morning we worked on it for the last time this week. Our team worked alongside the JDV crew and completed pouring concrete along the top of a very long block retaining wall in the back parking lot and also poured a long footing for another retaining wall behind the laundry room this week. We formed the walls, tied all the reinforcing steel, dug the footing by hand and mixed and poured all the concrete by hand. We did a lot of painting high up on the outside walls and concrete railings on the second floor. Everyone on our team has worked so hard and have contributed in so many ways.
This afternoon we got to visit a nearby infirmary which houses and cares for mainly older men and women who have no funds or no one else to care for them. We got to talk and pray with several of the patients there. We also got to sing, dance (yes, I said dance), and shared a lot of laughter with a group of ladies there. It was tough for all of us to see them living in crowded rooms, and what we would all call below standard living and medical conditions. But through all their pain, physical and mental disabilities, terminal illnesses, and sufferings, many of them choose to praise God in spite of their circumstances. The song “Jesus Loves Me” never sounded sweeter to my ears and touched me like it did before today.
Our team devotional verse today was “You go before me and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head.” Psalm 139:5 We have all been blessed in so many different ways on this trip. Some of my blessings have come from building relationships with our team and the residents and staff here at JDV. I got to lead a devotional time with several of the male residents and staff earlier in the week. I gave them some resources and encouragement to start meeting together each week as a Men’s Group and one on one with each other. I also got to lead a team building game time with the JDV staff as well. We all had lots of fun and they shared their learning and take-aways freely at the end of the game time. I have also had time to spend this week getting to know Damian, the Pastor of their church. We talked about the vision of their church and how their vision fits into JDV. He told me that they have a leadership void within their church. We talked about how we might be able to come alongside of them and JDV to help them to identify and train up leaders and launch some small groups to provide a discipleship vehicle for their church beyond their Sunday morning services.
A few weeks ago when I decided to go on this mission trip, I wasn’t sure how God was going to fully use me here, or if I would be making Jamaica and JDV my global mission focus. But after our time here this week, I think He has made it clear to me that I will be returning.
Well enough for now, I will save some things for others to share tomorrow.