Jamaica: A Mother-Daughter Story

Windy Shull and her Daughter Anna sent this Thank You letter to friends and family who made their missions week in Harmons, Jamaica possible. It will give you a sense of how one mother-daughter pair experienced going on mission together:

Dear Friends,

From June 11th to June 18th, we traveled on a mission trip with The Crossing Church and Won by One to Harmons, Jamaica. Thank you so much for your support, interest, and prayers for our journey! We’d like to share some of our experiences from the trip with you:
On Monday morning we had an orientation by Josh Shaffer and a walk around Harmons. We were happy to see the new “Blessings in Store” building that was just completed this Spring. Every volunteer brings 100 pounds of donations, many of which are sold in this store to people in Harmons and the surrounding areas.
Several people on our team got to teach art lessons in St. Jago Primary school. We taught line art or mosaic lessons and gave the students supplies, encouragement, and time to try out art projects. The classrooms are very hot (no air conditioning) and have very few books and no manipulatives. It is very loud as most of the “rooms” are divided only by chalkboards. Yet, the students are definitely learning and were proud to show us their spelling words and what they can read.     – Windy

Tuesday night our team does an event called Meals on Heels. This is where each family on our team becomes guests in a Jamaican’s home and eats dinner with and prepared by Jamaicans. My mom and I have gotten to be with the same extended family all four years which is super special. We’ve been in a different family member’s home each year and this time we were in Tonya’s house, which was built by Won by One. Our first year in Jamaica, Tonya was expecting her son within the week. This year, we got to hang out with her son, Rackoy, who is now almost three. Tonya’s sisters are twins, Little Miss and Tin Tin, who are just a few months younger than me. It was so cool to eat dinner with them on Tuesday and catch up, just feeling like it would with any of our family friends back home. I’m so thankful for these awesome friendships we’ve built through our visits to Jamaica.     -Anna

When I found Nikki on Wednesday morning in the Infirmary, she was already holding her Bible. I knew Nikki from previous visits. I asked if I could read some verses with her. She said, “Yes. John.” When I asked what part of John, she nodded and said, “The book of John.” Because I was there all day, Nikki and I read the entire book of John together. At times she joined in, reciting from memory. Each time I paused to catch my breath, Nikki was quick to remind me to “Continue!” I am humbled by Nikki’s clear love for God’s word and aware that without her simple request, I would have missed the opportunity to spend so much time in the Bible that day. The Infirmary is an institution where people live who are mentally ill, physically challenged, or old. The physical conditions are extremely poor, yet so many of the residents are rich in joy, faith, and community. And, free of the distractions that keep me busy, I was privileged to spend much of Wednesday in God’s word with Nikki.     -Windy

On Wednesday, I spent a full day at the infirmary. This trip to the infirmary was different in that there weren’t many new people for me to meet; instead, I spent the day catching up with friends I’ve made during previous trips. Even with the amount of time I’ve spent at the infirmary, it’s still a shock every year of how joyful the people are. They are thankful for what they do have and continuously praise God and thank him for His promise of eternal life with Him. Spending time at the infirmary is an unbelievable opportunity and I’m so glad I was able to spend a full day there again this year. -Anna
On Thursday, my mom and I were at a foundation as our serving opportunity. The foundation was for Kerlene and her husband. She has two kids already and is expecting another baby in December. The work we did for the foundation includes throwing big rocks into a frame in the morning for stability and then passing and pouring LOTS of concrete to complete the foundation. It was laborious work, but it was so cool how the team of Jamaicans we were serving with made the work so much fun. We also got to know and connect with both Kerlene and her neighbor Shelley who came over to help. At one point during the day, Shelley mentioned that there was a river just across the road. A river in the middle of Jamaica?? We were skeptical, so Shelley took us over to see it. This was the prettiest river with light blue water and great mini waterfalls. Everyone on the team jumped in. It was such a cool experience to swim with everyone with us from The Crossing’s team, the Jamaican workers, and even Kerlene and her husband jumped in, too! I loved seeing all the ways Jamaicans make hard work days fun and the community we built in just one day at that serving opportunity. -Anna

It rained a lot during our week there this time. Several events were cancelled due to rain. But, God is always in control and sometimes good things are changed so better things can take place. We had more space for building and deepening relationships as our schedule was modified. For example, instead of hauling marl (gravel) all morning on Friday, a downpour put us on Goldia’s porch for several hours visiting with the three women and playing with the three children there.
 God also teaches us to trust him. A tropical storm that moved in late in the week delayed our drive to Montego Bay on Saturday morning. Apparently, some scouts reported that the roads were safe for our expected three hour drive to the coast and our team set out. We soon learned that the roads were actually flooded and our bus engine quit several times while in the middle of deep water. The road looked like a river. I had never seen anything like that. A thin cable hooked our big bus to a pickup truck to pull us through the deep water. The cable seemed weak to me and was hidden under the water. Yet, God used that truck to pull us through what seemed an impossible situation.   -Windy

I loved going back to Jamaica for our fourth time this year. Each year God has shown me more and more ways which He works: through me, through people I meet, through situations I go through. I am so thankful for this week spent loving on and being loved on by the people of Harmons.   -Anna

Thank you again for caring for us and the people in Harmons, Jamaica. We are thankful for you and for your encouragement and prayers. We are so blessed by your friendship.

Much love,
Anna and Windy Shull

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