Week One


Holy cow, time flies! Yesterday we dropped off the first team and picked up the next. It seems like I JUST got here. So much has happened!
The group last week was from the Apostolic Christian church, which I’ve never really been exposed to in the past. They’re a little more conservative than I’m used to, but they love God and I love God so it worked. One girl I met in particular really impacted me this week. I can honestly say that she resembles Jesus more than anyone I’ve met. I guess I learned that although people serve The Lord in different ways and have different “denominations” and ways of doing things, all that’s important is that they’re serving and that they love God. Change and perspective can be really good.
Another really cool thing was how many people remembered me from the past. I wasn’t really surprised that people from the village remembered me, but that the people from outside the village remembered me. Considering over my 4 trips here I’ve probably spent a collective 7 hours at the infirmary, and they see so many visitors so frequently, I didn’t think anyone would really remember me too well until I reminded them that I had been there before. However as I walked up to Miss Bernice, she greeted me by name. Something so little made my day. Then, when I went to the Knockpatrick CCCD campus, one girl remembered me too, and my name, and came up and started a conversation. She then asked about all the freckles I had acquired since my last visit and got about two inches from my face to check them out, but hey it’s all good.
Yesterday I met an Australian deaf woman who’s visiting JDV for the week. We talked for awhile and she taught me a little Australian sign and I helped her with her ASL. Within 30 minutes, she was already asking me about my testimony and my walk with Christ.
Probably one of my favorite things about meeting people from all over the place is the difference in cultures. People show love so differently. Here at JDV, picking on people is the love language. AKA the more they pick on you, the more they like you. Ionda has picked on me all week, but as I was leaving for MoBay yesterday to pick up the new team, he told Ben to watch over me because I was like his daughter.
I’m reading Love Does by Bob Goff right now, and I can’t think of a better time to be reading it. It’s all about how real love causes people to DO things. Radical things. He tells stories about true friends doing the extreme, a young boy proposing to his girlfriend in the most romantic way he could think of, and more. I guess it’s really put things into perspective for me this week, challenging me to love everyone I meet and to say “yes” to living a life of whimsy. I mean after all, Jesus loved by DOING. So shouldn’t we?
Between the late night talks with the deaf about creation, or the giggles with the teams, or the dancing with the kids, I’m so far having a better-than-wonderful time. God is so good. All the time.

– Katelyn Kleinhans