The Senior High’s Trip to Jamaica

This blog’s been a little dead as of late. Lots of vacations for many of the guys, but for Luke and I, we were in Jamaica for about 8 days. Sounds like a vacation, sure. But it wasn’t. It was a mission trip where we took 18 students and 7 adults to Harmons, Jamaica.

Many of you supported many of the students who went. Some of you sent along money, some of you donated items to be left, or helped decorate bags at Kids Club to give away to Jamaican kids (which, by the way, were a huge hit).

So here’s some insight into the trip.

First, I don’t think one person who went wasn’t deeply impacted by what we saw and participated in. That’s a cliched statement, no doubt, but I really believe it to be true. I’d never been there before, and now many of the images and memories are burned in my brain. The people of Harmons live in a way and at an economic level that we can’t fathom as Americans. Won By One, the organization we went with, pays their workers $15 to $25 a day, which is apparently more than what security guards make in the Kingston airport. Electricity can be had for some residents, but it’s terribly expensive (the Won By One building, which is not air conditioned and uses hardly any electronics or lights, costs around $650 a month).

People there make decisions we aren’t forced to make. Do I send my kid to school or do I feed myself? How long can I put off getting this prescription for my sick daughter, because I literally have no money to fill it?

All who went got something of a reality check. Life is so different for us in Columbia, Missouri. We have worries and concerns that when held along side the Jamaican’s worries and concerns, are found rather absurd. They often seem to be imprisoned by their circumstances and suffering. But we often seem imprisoned by our comfort.

While there we built a few foundations so that houses could go up next week. We built one house from the foundation up (something near 13′ x 26′, no water, no electricity). We helped in the store, where locals can fill up two Wal-Mart bags plus 3 pairs of shoes for $1 USD. We also visited a place called “The Infirmary,” where mentally and physically handicapped people are left by their families because they can not be cared for.

There is more to say about the people there, the projects we helped with, and the impact it had on us than there is room in this blog. But we were all honored to be a part of some amazing things that God is doing in a place very different than we are familiar with. We are also extremely grateful to all of you who supported us financially, with donations, or with prayer. You were a part of a wonderful week…so we thank you.

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