Salem First Friends Church
M-68 Student Ministry
Jamaica Mission Trip 2009
Our Jamaica 2009 Mission Trip was a phenomenal experience. We arrived safely and on time (which was a miracle after almost being delayed out of Pittsburgh for over 3 hours!). Our on-site leaders (Frank Carter and Bill Lawson) were fantastic in lining up mission work and keeping us informed of Jamaican culture. The accommodations at the villa were great, except for the lack of consistent hot, pressurized water in the mornings (but, hey, you can’t have everything, right?).
Our mission projects were challenging but rewarding. We spent 4 consecutive mornings (Monday – Thursday) conducting a VBS program for a local girl’s shelter called Granview Place of Safety. Sharing the love of Christ with girls who have experienced such troubled lives, even though they are still teens at the oldest, was an eye-opening experience. Telling them about Jesus being a Savior of Rescuer takes on a whole new meaning in this context. In addition to the Bible lessons, we did games, crafts, snacks, and Scripture memorization with the girls. They were hesitant about opening up to us at first, but seemed to soften as the days went on (including dousing Pete with water balloons on day 3). When asked about accepting Christ as Savior during Bible time on day 3, about 12-15 girls raised their hands. We continue to pray for their young faith.
Other than the VBS, we also spent some time learning about a Jamaican ministry to deaf children. Their facilities are pretty nice relative to the small amount of money they have to work with. Their ministry is an inspiration and clearly an example of following Jesus’ command to love and care for “the least of these.” And, finally, we did some painting at two sites. One was a home of a Jamaican Friends church pastor that also doubles as a day-care facility. The other was Zion Friends Church. This is the church that Salem First has sort of unofficially adopted. We have done ministry there with every team that has traveled to Jamaica, and visited twice this time (once for painting, once for Sunday service). That little church has grown so much in the last 5 years. It holds a special place in our hearts.
And, we did find some time for tourist activities and enjoyed “down-time” at the villa in the evenings. Many memories were made shopping at “straw markets,” swimming in the villa pool, and climbing the Dunn’s River Falls. During the ministry time and the tourist time (and even travel time) our group learned a lot about each other, our world, and God. We hope that the impact of this trip will be remembered for years to come.
Please enjoy the pictures and video of our trip.
Click here to visit a collection of pictures from the trip