We have safely arrived at the Jamaica Deaf Village! Yesterday’s travels were smooth, but it was a long day and we were exhausted. Bedtime was welcomed with the excitement of days to come.
This is my first time visiting JDV and I have been told that the most important thing is to build godly relationships with the residents here. They make it so easy! Everyone is so kind and so patient as we all navigate the struggle of communication barriers. It is such a blessing to see those who have been here before reconnecting with the residents they have already built relationships with. It feels like being at a family reunion!
Church this morning with Pastor Sheldon was amazing! I love the passion he has in his heart to connect with the congregation and really make sure that they understand the Word of God. It was encouraging to see him open the service by asking if anyone had “done their homework,” which was to memorize a Bible verse from a specified passage of scripture. Two women stepped up and recited the verses they memorized and then Pastor Sheldon asked them to explain the meaning of the verse to the congregation. Scripture can be difficult for anyone to fully comprehend, but for the Deaf, there is an entirely different challenge. Scripture is full of symbolism and metaphors, which does not translate easily into the Deaf world. The fact that Pastor Sheldon is pouring so much into his flock and making sure that they truly understand what it is God is saying to them means so much to me and I know that it makes God’s heart smile.
After church, we had a delicious lunch and took a short trip into town. We had some down time before a fellowship dinner with the residents. After dinner, we had a special treat of cookie flavored ice cream followed by a rowdy game of Spoons, which is still happening as I write this.
I feel honored and blessed to be a part of this team and to be here at JDV. I know that God is moving here and I am eager to see what this week brings!