A week in photos!
Hyde Park Families!! I am enjoying every moment with my group here in Jamaica. This week we have discovered certain needs for the people in Jamaica. Our hearts break about how little if anything the teachers get paid at JSCD. Every teacher has been given a big heart for teaching and a passion for the deaf community. They love the kids so much that they sleep at the school and work long hours and visit their families during the weekends. As a team, we want to fundraise money to pay for the teachers’ salaries. We are more than blessed and we have so much to give. Another need is money for the seniors to have to go out and provide for themselves. Miss Sophia, director of JSCD has so many ideas for these seniors and what they could use this money for. God is so good and he will provide but it has been put on our hearts to help out in any way. Be praying about ways you can give if you feel led to help. We want to have a fundraiser for JCSD, WestHaven and the Eden Basic School. We have so many stories to tell. Excited for how God is going to use us to be a small part in the lives of many in Jamaica.
-Caroline and team
” After a long day of work at the school for the deaf, I found myself getting pulled away by a group of teenage girls. Right away they start signing to me, filling me in on absolutely everything going on socially at the school. It felt as if I was just having a normal conversation with some friends from back home, but with my hands. It was the first moment that I have been able to make a true connection with the girls there and it helped me break out of my shell and feel fully comfortable. It was refreshing to have that weight lifted off of my shoulders, and was fun to know that I had some fellow sassy girls around me.” -Elizabeth
“Today at JCSD, the deaf grounds keeper (Martin) sat down with me during his lunch break. He showed me some fruit he was eating that he called apples, but which were not the apples that I knew. He offered to show us the tree that he collected them from. Some of us walked back behind the school with him where he showed us a giant tree full of these little red fruit. He picked a few of the ripe ones for us to eat, and then showed us where he had been planting the seeds of these fruit. There were hundreds of saplings growing around the area. He had been planting them for years! The fruit were delicious, and our whole team enjoyed it.” -Ryan
“Firstly, going to the Jamaican Preschool was the funnest thing I’ve ever done. It was so cool seeing all of the adorable 8 little boys learn about Jesus. We sang Jesus Loves You and colored with them. Going to West Haven was truly a life changing experience and I wish i could experience it again and again. I’m so blessed to have had that experience.” -Lily
“While we were passing buckets up the line one of the little girls came up and started signing to Abby and me. She just stood there smiling and laughing for a while and it was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Later on she came back to play with me, so while we were on break I went and sat under the playscape with her. She kept asking for my phone so I finally gave it to her and the smile on her face was huge. It’s cool to see how entertained they get from snapchat filters. Today was one of my favorite days of the trip so far since it was full of laughing and smiles.” -MC
“Today we prepared and poured concrete for the entrance of the deaf school. We were given the opportunity to sign and get to know the children. They are the sweetest and the happiest kids ever and they loved to play and take pictures with us.” -Liv
“Even though I spent my birthday working, it was so fun to work with everyone and sign with the little girls. Towards the end of the day two of the girls came up to me and started signing the birthday song to me and it made my day. The deaf students make the hard work worth it and so much more enjoyable.” -MC
“A 15 minute walk down the mountain from the JCSD is a cute little pre-school called Eden Basic School. There were 8 little boys there and a really sweet teacher named Miss Jones. We brought them bubbles and soccer balls and had an awesome time playing with them in the school yard. I had no idea how much joy a few bottles of bubbles could bring to some pre-schoolers! We taught them the Bible story of ‘The Good Samaritan’ then made friendship bracelets to give each other to demonstrate kindness toward your neighbor. The kids were adorable and it was an all around awesome time!” -Ryan
“After being at the Basic School, we headed over to West Haven. If you haven’t heard about West Haven before, it is a village with about 100 people ranging of many ages with severe mental and physical disabilities. This is my third time being given the chance to go here, and just like before it is an experience unlike any other. You expect to go in and for sadness to shower over the area, instead there is an overflowing amount of joy filling the hearts and faces of those who enter. From bubble-blowing to helping feed the patients to having dance parties to worship hip hop music, it is something that will forever hold a place in my heart.” -Elizabeth
“I loved going to the Jamaican School for the Deaf and being able to communicate with the students and being able to serve them.” – Lily
“I enjoyed being able to interact with the deaf children, and seeing their patience that they had with me. It was fun serving them and getting to know my teammates.” -Ashlynn
“I was pleasantly surprised with the patience that the Deaf students possessed when I was stumbling in my attempts to communicate with them.” -Desmond
“I really enjoyed being with the children and seeing their faces light up when we came to play with them.” -Benji
Isaiah 29:18 – Ellie
“I enjoyed watching my friends who don’t know sign language try and learn some signs so they could communicate with the kids at the school.” -Liv
“I enjoyed interacting with the deaf children even though I could not understand them, I could see God shine through them” -Chris
“I loved trying to communicate with the kids with my limited ASL knowledge. They are patient, kind, and full of love.” – Abby
“I am so incredibly proud of these young people, who worked HARD all day hauling sand, gravel and water and mixing concrete. No complaints. No whining. Energy left over to love on the children.” -Mindi
“It was great, coming back here for the third year, and seeing the results of our effort of previous years being used by the JCSD kids.” -Pete (McCarty)
“I have loved getting to know the people in this group. Everyone is SO fun, full of life and joyful and I can’t wait for the rest of the week. I love you family at home.” -Caroline
“My favorite part of the day was getting to sign with the little kids, they were so cute. It’s really cool to see the whole group get along so well.” -Mary Claire
“Today was absolutely incredible. Seeing how hard working everyone on the team is and how well we’re working together is such a God thing. The hearts of the people on this team and in Jamaica in general are so big and I cannot wait to see what else God has in store for us this week.” Elizabeth
“I really liked interacting with all of the Deaf students today and putting my sign language to use. I was so happy to see the students remember my name sign, and I loved seeing how our work we did last year has improved.” – Jackson
“Today was really interesting to experience the Deaf Community like that…It was not at all what I expected…it was so cool to see how the kids communicated with their friends in ASL just like we communicate with our friends in English…I wish I took ASL, it’s so cool!” -Ryan
Today was our Beach Day! We woke up to a yummy breakfast and several of our team members volunteered to prepare sandwiches for our group at the beach. Our bus driver, Vincent gave us an amazing tour of Montego Bay. He then took us to Tropical Bliss Beach! It was so pretty! We had so much fun at the beach and had a picnic with the sandwiches we packed. We then came back to the hotel for some free time. This evening Mission Discovery led a very nice worship and small group time.
We all woke up bright and early and met at the airport at 5:30 am. Our first flight took off at 7:30 and we arrived safely at Fort Lauderdale. Soon after we landed there, we had our connecting flight to Jamaica! We went through the lines at customs, and eventually made it to our bus. The drive to our hotel was BEAUTIFUL. As soon as we came in our eyes were immediately pulled by the pool outside. We rushed up to change and we had a pool and pizza party. After our pizza dinner we packed our donations from the 2nd graders from the Speedway Campus. We have a beautiful ocean view and we all gathered together to watch the sunset. It’s currently 8:45 and we are completely exhausted.
Our flight is just a few short hours away! We are incredibly excited about our trip! Please pray for safety over our travels and getting our hearts and minds prepared to serve!