Friday, April 10, 2015

Day 9: Matt Buchan

I made Matt Buchan blog despite his deepest reservations against it.

Hey guys it's Matthew Buchan! Today we all had an awesome time at YS Falls. We swam in waterfalls, went zip lining, and bought some things in the gift shop. We first went zip lining through the park. Then we jumped into the cold waterfalls and swam around for awhile. While we swam in the falls we jumped off rock ledges and used a rope swing to do so. The gift shop had some cool T-shirts and some little nick nacks. After our time at YS Falls we went out to eat at the Jerk Chicken Shack. They honestly cooked one of the best chickens I have ever eaten! Today was awesome and we are all having a wonderful time in Jamaica serving The Lord. See you guys real soon! 
-Matt Buchan 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Day 8: Rachel Whitbeck

Hello family and friends!! :) It was a challenging day for our team today. Our first outing today included meeting a worker from Food for the Poor. He visited Jamaica to observe a new home being built in the town of Auldayr. After visiting the foundation, we traveled to Gully Bank. As we were there, we spent our time with the youth jumping rope, coloring, blowing bubbles and taking pictures. After spending an hour with the children, we stopped in Sav-la-mar along the ocean to eat lunch. Then we traveled down the road to the Sav-la-mar general hospital where we had the opportunity to hand out hygiene products and stuffed animals for the children, newborn babies and mothers. After this, we drove to the infirmary. The infirmary is basically a nursing home, but from our observations the nurses don't exactly take care of the people. First our team visited the women's ward and we were able to pray, sing and speak with the women. For me, I enjoyed praying with the women and being able to encourage them even though they were in a hopeless situation. We also handed out hygiene products to the women and the men in the infirmary. After we visited the women, we walked through the men's ward which was eye opening for our team. The men were packed into a small building like sardines. Many of them were sleeping, but for the ones that were awake we were able to speak with them and pray with them. Rachel Conover and I prayed and spoke with a man named Logan. We also were able to read scripture to him including his favorite, Psalm 23. As I read it to him, he recited it. This was very encouraging for me to hear Logan recite Psalm 23 especially because we were in an such an emotional situation. If you have the time, I ask you to pray for these people. Prayer for the mothers and their new born babies at the hospital, for the children left at the hospital, and for the men and women at the infirmary to have peace and encouragement as they lie in their beds with what it seems to be no hope. Tomorrow we are looking forward to a day at YS falls before traveling back home to the U.S. :) thank you all for your prayer!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Day 7: Matt Savarese

Hi everyone! It's Matthew Savarese and its my turn to blog tonite "yay". Just kidding I am glad that I can share about today. 
Today started with us waking up earlier than normal, and having a quick breakfast of cereal and tears, then we left to go back to Auldayr. When we arrived we jumped out of the van/truck and began to haul marl back to the foundation. Cole was basically a camel and a mule mixed together, because he worked so much and seemed to not need water. Many blisters and sweat covered shirts later, we finished most of the foundation. Then we came back to the house for lunch, then we proceeded to go to Petersville to carry water to some of the homes in the town (there is one pump at the base of the mountain that has to be pumped and carried in a container to each individual home). When we arrived, we filled a few water jugs before it began to downpour. I was having a catch with some boys I met when it began to pour, but we did not stop throwing the ball as the water was pouring down on us. At one point I asked Brianna if we could take our shirts off, and after she gave us her blessing all the guys had all of their shirts off and were jumping in puddles and playing with the kids. The ride home in the bed of the truck was just as awesome, the rain was pelting us as we laughed and waved to men, women and children we passed on the ride. When we arrived home we received news that Cynthia's house was going to be able to be built! This was probably my favorite day so far and I am looking forward to the rest of the time we will be in Jamaica.
-Matt Sav

     So, what had happened was that the school that had raised money for Cynthia's house and committed to it will be here next week. But the charity organization that is responsible for approving the build (and funding the rest of it) screwed up paperwork and hadn't used the last 6 months to look into it. After many phone calls and deliberation, Jim got them to agree to get it together and approve the build on his terms. It was perfect timing, and we really got to see the intricacies of how The Lord has worked in the town, the missionaries, and us. While we could have seen why it would have been appropriate for help to pull out of this town (the people almost don't want help at times), we serve a God who loves them and will continue to bless them; we are called to serve and love them as well.
     You'll notice in the pictures that more of the people in the town were helping today. Even little children were bringing their own "buckets" to help us move marl from the top of the mountain down the cliff side to Cynthia's property. In the previous four days, we have been alone in our endeavors - while there are many able bodied men in town, they mostly hang out drinking, smoking pot, and playing dominoes. The women tend to do most of the work. This is a major cultural difference, and not something the group was used to. I'm not looking to point out their major issues as a spectacle to be pitied, but ask that you pray for this issue. After being in town and present for the days we were, it was amazing to see fruits of the relationships we were able to build as the town started to make an effort to assist Cynthia. The children especially were so wonderful in helping. One little boy could only carry one rock at a time, but to him, he was truly exerting himself; he worked as hard as we did if you look at it to scale.
     Tomorrow we will be visiting Gully Bank, a town that we went to last time that he come a long way according to Jim and Penie. We will be hosting games and ministering to the kids of the town. After, we will visit the hospital and infirmary (like a nursing home) before heading back.

Thank you all again for all of your prayers and support! We love you all.