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First Mission Team of 2021: Jamaica

It feels like years since we’ve been able to send a mission service team to our friends in Jamaica. Thankfully, with rigid COVID protocols, proof of recovery and multiple testing and quarantine observations we were able to get this team on the ground! Read about their trip from the perspective of team leader Rachelle:

What an absolute blessing to be able to report our trip to Jamaica was able to travel!!  I understand we were one of the only teams to travel in 2020/2021 and we were just so thrilled and thankful to get the opportunity.  We all tested negative for COVID prior to travel and used masks and precautions as necessary.  Despite all the safety measures, one team member fell ill with strep throat which became obvious early on in the trip.  Imagine being travelers to another country, during a pandemic, and needing medical care!  In the US, we could have easily gotten a prescription for amoxicillin.  In a developing country, though, it was difficult to get a prescription quickly.  We tried visiting the doctor but were met with certain hesitation and sent away since “sore throat” was considered a symptom of COVID.  We tried a farm store and even a veterinarian, all without success.  We gathered as a team and prayed that God would provide and send the antibiotics that we needed. We learned of a pediatrician that would consider seeing Americans.  The next day the pediatrician graciously agreed to see us and confirmed that this was indeed strep throat.  She prescribed the amoxicillin and our team member was on the mend, thanks to our faithful Father that always provides. Can I get an amen!?!

We spent our days laboring in love alongside our deaf friends at The Village.  We painted, prepared an apartment, built bathrooms for the ladies at the sewing building, renovated a swing set for the kiddos and even had time to build a dog house for one of the dogs that works there with the cattle.  We were paired each day with adults that doubled as the most patient sign language teachers and ultimately became our friends.  The team members were such great sports, working hard every day and learning sign language as we worked.

One of our favorite times in each day was when we had time to play soccer/ football with our friends.  We also spent our evenings playing UNO which was an amazing opportunity to learn sign language including our colors.  Family game night (we learned how to sign that) always doubled as an educational time too— we learned “winner,” “loser,” “cheater,” “take your cookies” and other words/phrases through hilarious moments and festivities.

Another special time was the night we were able to celebrate the missionary’s daughter’s birthday!!  What a fun time to celebrate and spoil C!  She’s a joy and we look forward to celebrating together next year too.  We were also visited by the team from Deaf Can! Coffee.  A very successful coffee company created and run by deaf Jamaicans that proves the deaf can do anything!!  Absolutely inspiring!

If reading about our trip stirs your heart at all, pray about your ability to serve on a short term mission.  Jesus calls us to serve others in many capacities.  If you can’t travel, perhaps you could support another person, an orphanage or even an adoption— monetarily or through prayer.  Our hearts have been changed through service and seeing God’s unfailing provision time after time.  We absolutely love to see other hearts transformed through missions!  Prayerfully consider joining us this year!

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