Jamaica is beautiful

I will say that Jamaica is a very beautiful country. The people are really loving and friendly and even though I had a hard time because of the heat I am so glad I got the opportunity to minister there. The ministry house was lovely but had no screens on the windows. When night came and you had to have the lights on, of course the bugs were drawn to the light. But those are things you manage to live with.

The view from the mission house
The view from the mission house

When a team volunteered to come build a house the cost of materials and food was included in the amount of the trip. The ministry would see that all supplies were purchased.

The people who were chosen to have a house built for them also had to participate in the building of the house. The ministry provided all the materials and all the meals including lunch out on the work site. The teams worked from eight in the morning till five at night Monday through Friday. At the end of that time the house was finished.Image_00133

It was always a big deal on Friday when the team leader presented the new owners with the keys to the house. On the day before the presentation the team would go out and buy things needed to keep the house clean. At the presentation the owners were also given the cleaning supplies.

Presenting the keys of the finished house to the new owners. Note cleaning supplies.
Presenting the keys of the finished house to the new owners. Note cleaning supplies.

All of the team members were from one church and a lot of them were youth groups. There were a lot of different denominations that came down. The love for the Lord was evident in all of them. We had five different teams while we were there.

A finished house
A finished house

Before I finish telling you about Jamaica, I want to say cool is a relative term. When they told me the house didn’t need to be air conditioned because it was in the mountains, it didn’t mean much to me. If it was any cooler it would have only been a couple of degrees and of course the humidity was still at one hundred percent.

Both time and laundry time at a typical house.
Both time and laundry time at a typical house.

I am so thankful to have had this experience. The people will always remain in my heart. For people who have so little they are a joyful and loving people.

Thanking God for experiences,
Jan

Living in Jamaica

A lot of people want to go to Jamaica. I know several people who have gone and loved it. I’m not one of them. When we lived there we were not in a lovely all inclusive vacation spot.

I probably shouldn’t have started this post that way and really thought about changing it. But on second thought I do believe in being honest . A ministry asked us to run a mission house in High Gate, Jamaica for several weeks until the full time couple could get there. We said we would before really thinking it through. I don’t like hot weather and Jamaica is considered warm, well actually hot, all of the time. Not only that it is extremely humid.

The mission house
The mission house

I called the ministry headquarters to find out if just possibly the mission house was air conditioned. I was told it didn’t need to be because it was up in the mountains. Our job was really very easy. Each week a different ministry team would come stay at the mission house and they would build a home for a family who needed one. A pastor would tell the headquarters who needed a home and different teams would come to build it. We had a cook for all the meals and a couple of maids to make sure the rooms were cleaned before a new team would come in on Sunday.

So what was our job? I had to get up very early and put the coffee on and set it up so people would have coffee when they got up. The cook came in and fixed breakfast. After breakfast we had devotions with the team before they left to go out to work. We also had to do the shopping. The cook would give us a list of what was needed and how much. We would go to town and buy what she said to get. That sounds easy but up in the mountains it is more like a third world country. So we went from place to place to buy what was needed.

All meals were eaten in the dining hall
All meals were eaten in the dining hall

Going to church was also quite an adventure. We went to a church in Berrydale. It was one of the churches the ministry worked with. The first thing we had to do was get to the river, then get on the rafts. Yes, we had to take a raft to church. But when we got off the raft we had to walk a half mile to the church. Remember it is summer and the weather is not only hot but with one hundred per cent humidity. We went to a different church each week but there was not one this exciting to get to.

Going to church
Going to church
still going to church
still going to church

Next week I will tell you about the houses that were built and show you the joy of the people receiving the houses. But I will tell you they are not houses as we think of houses.

Still traveling for the Lord,
Jan

Eating can be different

When you are serving overseas, you sometimes wish you had more alone time. When we were at the Jesus House, we always had people at the house. I never cooked a meal just for Bob and me. There would be someone else to feed, but I rarely knew who that would be. So I want to share with you some of the meals we had in Jericho.

Dinner at the Jesus House
Dinner at the Jesus House

Continue reading

The Day the Love of God Dawned on Her

There are many joys to being on the mission field. I like teaching people about Jesus. Watching their eyes light up as they come to the realization that God loves them and they don’t have to earn that love is amazing.

While in Jericho, I had the privilege of teaching a group of women every Saturday. Some of them had already accepted Jesus as their Savior, but many were still seeking answers. These were women who were Muslim by birth. By that, I mean they weren’t really religious, but Islam is all they knew. Continue reading

Home Groups in Zelenograd

Hospitality means “Friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests.” I will admit I am not that kind of person. I’m the kind of person who will pour your first cup of coffee or tea and tell you where you can get your second cup if you want it.

When we went to live in Zelenograd, Russia it was to help people learn how to be small group leaders. We had a small apartment where our living room served as our bedroom and three times a week we had people over to show them how to invite people to their home and be hospitable to them. Needless to say, I felt out of my element. But I made coffee and tea and always had some sort of sweet. Continue reading