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CTE Ministries would like to thank all of those who helped to make Jamaica 2009 Mission Trip possible.  We thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and financial support.  God has truly impacted lives in Jamaica and we were truly blessed to be a part of it.

Please come to our presentation to the church this Sunday, October 11th in the Chapel during evening service.  We have many stories and pictures to share with you.

Toby
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Me soon come back.

It seems like just a few days ago we said our goodbyes in Columbus and boarded a plane to an island full of sunshine and adventure. Now here we are a few hours from departure to join our friends and loved ones in a land that is called home.
What happened to the time that seemed to drag for the first 5 days and then speed up as if we were on a downhill race to the finish? At this point come mixed emotions of leaving this beautiful island and the people we hav grown to love and appreciate over the years. One thing we know is certain,some of us will return in 12 months and repeat the process all over again.

Many have asked me throughout the years why we do this, and what effect do we have on short-term missions. Our impact is great on the island and 100’s of souls are reached with the Gospel Message. Not to mention the changed lives of the team members as they are stretched in directions beyond their imagination.

This trip marks our 8th year of VBS and my 51st visit to the island of Jamaica, my adopted home. For some, this was their first trip, and others are now known as Jamerican’s (after 3 visits, you are official).

CTE Ministries has been impacting the Island of Jamaica since 1995. To this date, we have taken some 200+ short-term missionaries with and introduced them to a more laid back lifestyle, some funny food, and lots of sunshine. Our next trip will be in June-July of 2010, and you are invited to join us for two full weeks of VBS, women’s ministry, and a fun filled trip you will never forget.

My personal thanks to this years team for a job well done. You went above and beyond to accomplish the purposes of God on this trip. Lives have been forever changed and a great reward awaits you in Heaven. The love and consideration you have displayed toward one another has been exceptional and has been noted by many. Thank you seems not enough, for you are a team of hard working ladies and you never caved in or complained. (except last night when there was no ice creamJ ) You were all a pleasure to work with and I would love to see you al back in the field if the Lord tarries.

I also want to thank all who contributed finances, medical supplies, VBS items and prayer support for this great team of ladies.

Blessings to all and thank you again for your labor of love.

-Toby

Carole with her roomie and new sister Nancy
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Tuesday July 14th. 

Well, last day in Jamaica. We gathered up clothes , food, and school supplies we are leaving here and gave it to Pastor Syd today. Some of us had their hair braided by one members of the congregation. We had to say goodbye to some friends. It is sad to leave, but we are also happy to be coming home. We have a couple more team members to feature today, and Toby will be blogging for us tomorrow on departure day.

Our first team member today is Carol. This was her first mission trip, and she didn’t know any of us when she signed on….

“All that glitters is not gold! I learned the true meaning to that saying when I arrived in Jamaica. If you come by air or ship, the first thing you see coming to Jamaica is the beautiful blue water and the sun shining on it to make the water look like a bazillion diamonds, but after the sandy beach, cross the narrow but heavily traveled street into the real Jamaica. The poverty is overwhelming. I couldn’t react because I didn’t know how. I’ve never seen such depressed people in all my life. Schools with half a roof, walls that you see through, bars and chicken wire for doors and windows. I was more than depressed and I really can’t find a good word to explain how I felt, but the people there were happy, and the children are a blessing you can not describe. They welcomed us with hugs and kisses, and they got so much pleasure from paper and yarn, crayons and stickers, a few beads and yarn. The sweeties were their favorite. I came to Jamaica not knowing anyone or anything about missions, but I’m leaving Jamaica with new friends. I have 14 new sisters in the Lord, 5 of whom are teenagers or younger which stole my heart-they are pros at this. I may never get the chance to go on a mission again, but if God calls me, I will answer yes. Ya Mon.”

 

Next we hear from Millie. She came as a minister needing a rest, and to pray for the team. She was more needed here than she knew.

“From the view of a tag-along prayer partner and vacationer, first coming along to rest from ministry burnout, I am so impressed by the CTE Ministry and what it is and has accomplished in Jamaica.

My first blessing was being met in Jamaica at the airport where I had been detained for over one hour because I didn’t know the name of where I was going to stay. Praise God, I was finally able to get my luggage which had the CTE phone number on it to call for the information. I prayed a lot! My second blessing was watching the VBS team leave in the morning carrying all their supplies for crafts, music, puppet stage, and puppets plus snacks in backpacks and suitcases. They would load up in the van, wave goodbye, teach a group of children at one church or school, return at noon, eat a bit, swim, rest and leave again for another location. This went on for three days, a couple of days off, and then again for three days. Each night I had the special privilege of sitting in on their de-briefing at 8 p.m. to hear how God worked that day. We laughed and fell in love with the children in Jamaica just listening to their stories and singing along with them the new Jamaican songs they learned from the children. What a way to end the day! It was truly inspiring to visit the church and school built by CTE ministries. The Word continues through your donations and gifts. This ministry is truly the light of Jesus Christ in a very dark place-a mountain ruled by evil forces. As we attended worship on Sunday mornings and a special concert last Sunday, I know the enemy was terrorized by their powerful praise and worship, while bringing people to Christ. The spirit of Christ went with this team wherever they went, and the sense of unity was impressive. I was on the receiving end of their love and compassion when I fell backwards off the faulty swimming pool ladder. Also while at Dunn’s River Falls, my body gave in to heat exhaustion, and I was truly cared for. I knew I dared not climb the rocks, but never dreamed the heat would get the best of me. Nothing dampened out spirits, it just drew us closer. Toby’s sermons on being like Jesus were manifested in all these team members did. I have been to blessed to experience the blessing of all they do here year after year. From this tag-along vacationer, I send raves and blessings to this team and CTE ministries for carrying out the Great Commission.

 

John in the pool
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Don't tell Toby, John borrowed her prayer mat.

John catching some rays.
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Don't worry, he's got sunscreen!

Monday July 13th,2009

Good evening from Jamaica! This is John. I am the only male traveling with the team this year, and I am having a blast!.(well, except when they make me ride in the suitcase) I love the children, and they love me! I have told them all about the Lord these past two weeks. I got to hang out in Ellen's room, and listen in while the ladies were all silly.  I even learned some new songs. One about a little worm, and one about NAAAAAAman.  The only problem is that now that VBS is done, the ladies have gone off and forgot about me. Oh, I forgot, in Jamaica we have no problems-only situations. So, I had to entertain myself today all alone. I made the best of it! Ya Mon!  No worries, the ladies soon come back. 

 

Saige with friends at Hanover
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Saige with her friends at Hanover.
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R.J. and his mom
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Keep this baby in your prayers.

Today is a day of rest for us here in Jamaica.  Actually, I think it is a day of sunburn for some.  We finished up our last VBS last night in Hanover.  We really enjoyed getting to know Pastor Wright, and he taught us some new songs on the drive down the mountain.  Today's featured team member is my daughter Saige.  This is her 3rd time in Jamaica, and she already wants to come back. 

 

This Jamaican experience has been truly amazing. This is my third time on the island, and each time I come, Jamaica gets even more amazing. Not only is the land and ocean beautiful, but the children are, too. I was able to befriend a couple of girls my age at Norwood Evangelistic Center. They were wonderful, but their home life was probably not so wonderful. On the second day they asked me to bring them something. They wanted my clothes, but I told them I would write them each a note. They were content with that, and I hope my note was an encouragement to them to remind them that there are people that love them, and more importantly that Jesus loves them.

The people in Hanover were very gentle people. This was my second time at Hanover, and I love it. There was a baby, probably about one year old, named R.J. in Hanover yesterday. He has sickle cell anemia I helped take care of him along with Kendra and Leah while his mother did the crafts. He was getting a little squirmy, so we gave him the case for my head phones. He really enjoyed it and started chewing on it. He reminded me of my sister Faith because when she was a baby she drooled as much as he did. He began to get bored again, so we filled the case with beads to make a rattle. My only concern with giving him the rattle is that he might open the case and choke on the beads. I know that I want to come back to Jamaica.

Hanover
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Our walk on the country mountain.

Hanover
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OUr new friend Billy.

Hanover
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Our bathroom! Bring your own T.P.

Ellen
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Our leader!

Our blog today comes from Ellen. Ellen heads up the VBS here. We all appreciate the work she puts into this.

Thursday July 9th and Friday July 10th we are in Hanover Parish in the area of Great Valley participating in VBS. This location is well named. The team travels about an hour Southwest of Montego Bay, up into the mountains.

The culture of Great Valley is very different from Mo Bay. People in Great Valley are farmers living on land that grows food for their everyday needs. Chickens and goats wander freely. Cows and donkeys are seen on the grassy slopes. Life in Great Valley is slow and not as fast paced as in Mo Bay.

The church is very small and constructed from wood. Most buildings on the island of Jamaica are made from block and cement. Pastor Wright, the pastor of tis small church shares a wonderful testimony of God’s plan for our lives. He was born with disabilities, and after a week, his mother left him on the street. A Christian woman found him and raised him. He now pastors 2 churches. God has a plan for each of our lives. Amen.

Before VBS started on Thursday, our team walked 2 miles to a small town square where we sang and praised God for the nationals to see. Our voices brought everyone out of their homes. As thunder roared and lightening flashed, we sang about the love of Jesus to invite everyone to VBS. We had 42 children and adults attend. Jamaican adults love to color.

After VBS, we were treated to mountain home cooking. It is a very humbling experience to be served as the nationals watch us eat. Knowing they are serving us all they have. After we are served chicken soup (no feet) smoked bread fruit, and chicken in brown sauce, the church served ALL VBS participants. These wonderful mountain people shared Jesus in a mighty way. I am very humbled by the strong , simple faith of mountain Jamaicans. I pray our team never forgets the gracious, simple faith of these God honoring people. Toby stated it well in her message last night when she said Jesus would have dwelled with the simple, real people of Great Valley. The presence of the Lord was surely felt in God’s Great Valley of Hanover Parish.

Betty
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I'm feeling better!

Alyssa
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I'm not going to get sunburned!

Alyssa and Francine
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Today, we have two team members to feature on our blog. Betty is one our senior members here, and Alyssa is one of our teen members. It has been great to see how God has brought different age groups here and truly made them into a team.

 

Thank you for your prayers. I was sick for 2 days, but am A-OK now. It is extra hot here this year as I am sure you have already heard. The team this year is great-we have shared Jesus, loved on the children, made new friends and glorified God. You can be proud of the entire team, I’m sure God is.

-Betty

 

 

Many would say that Jamaica is beautiful because of its clear blue waters and beaches or its lush plantlife or its mountains and cascading waterfalls. True, all these things are spectacular, but I find the islands true beauty lies in the smiles and eyes of its children. As our team has traveled from place to place, I have had the privelege and honor to have met over a hundred children. Some of their names I cannot remember, whereas some will forever be written upon my heart. From the very beginning my reasons for making this journey were first and foremost about God’s calling, but my thought were always centered around His little ones. God has given me a deep passion for children. As soon as I arrived on this island I could not wait to see them. On that first day, I will never forget stepping off our bus at the Basic School and being immediately swarmed by about ten kids. As soon as feet hit the ground they were attached and they had no idea how much that meant to me. My heart was content, excited, at peace, and broken all at the same time. I didn’t want to let them go. When it come time to leave these places I get this empty feeling. These kids have touched my heart in ways I will never be able to explain. Yesterday, we were in Flankers, one of the most devastated areas on the entire island, and I was sitting by Francine. Over the past few days that we’ve been there, she and I have become friends. All that last day, she looked so sad and my heart was breaking for her. Tina began to pray and she lay her head on my arm and looked at me with the most weary,and most sad eyes I had ever seen. In them I could see hopelessness, but also a deep anger. I placed my hand on top of her head and tried with everything in my to comfot her and show her that there was still hope. I will never forget her eyes and those of so many children like her. God help them.

 

-Alyssa

Celing at the Flankers basic school.
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It rains right in here where 3-6 yr. olds go to school.

Kendra
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Flankers
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Flankers is a very poverty stricken area.

hey it's kendra. this trip is the second time i've been to jamaica. i've come with my mom both times. last year was a learning experience for me, i saw what poverty and growth there is here. this evening we went and did vbs at pastor syd's church. there is a little boy named brendon that i've gotten close to over the past few days i've been here. yesterday after we wre done with vbs, i found a little blue ball and me and brendon started tossing it back and forth. before i knew it half of the people at the church were playing with us. after we left i found out from leah that brendon doesn't have friends. yesterday i was so amazed that God used me for one evening to be a friend to a little boy who is hurting. i've been wondering if i was making a difference even though i've been told over and over that we always make an impact, we just don't always know it. tonight brendon was having fun in the front row singing and doing all the motions to the songs. when we broke up into smaller groups brendon automatically went to the back and sat all by himself. when i saw him, i went back and sat with him. the whole time he was fighting back tears, it took him a while before he talked to me. but he was telling me that he was made fun of at school and that he didnt have any friends. when i asked him if he had any siblings, and he said that had two mean sisters. later i was trying to lighten the mood and i asked him if he lived with his mom and dad and sisters. he looked at me and said, "i only live with my mom and sisters, my dad doesnt live with us. he doesn't even care about me."

wow. that hit me really hard. yes it's wonderful being here. it's so much fun to love on the kids and teach them about Jesus, but i don't think we often dig deep enough and see what kind of pain these kids go through here. i've been told it's very common that the "man of the house" leaves, that most families only are headed by the mom. it's amazing how God uses us to touch kids who are hurting like little Brendon.

Rachel and Susie
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Susie and friends
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This was at the Flankers VBS

Susie's other friend.
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Wow! He is a big one.

Hi, from Rachel and Susie!  This is our first official missionary trip together and first time  Jamaica.  It is mostly as I expected. I was just not expecting to absolutley fall in love with the children.  Especially the children at Flankers.  I miss my own kids and husband at home, but I know that God wants me here.  So He is keeping me busy so I can concentrate on my mission here and not on home.  I have found that the children are hungry, not just physically but hungry to hear the word of God, and how much he Loves them. 

Yesterday, at Flankers, I had 3 onery boys and  1 girl in my group. If anyone knows me well they know that I am not drawn to boys, unless they are babies.   I have all girls so I do not relate well.  I was just drawn to these childen.  The boys were really onery and gave me fake names for themselves.  I am not sure what they were trying to have me say, but I am sure it was not good.  I took out my Bible and showed them my name written on my Bible and told them  Susie  was my real name, and I wanted their real names. They told me their names, then they wanted to hold my Bible and read the red lettering inside.  I explained how it was the words Jesus spoke.  They were really excited.  We had some fun stringing our craft fish and making it "fat like me" stuffing it with cotton balls. 

At the end we sang a song, but we did not finish the final verse and the ring leader of my group started singing the final verse.  He wanted me to sing it with him.  It was "I am locked up, tied up, tangled up with Jesus."  As we sang it, I remembered singing it when I was young.  I remembered a lady named Mrs. Minton who I will always think of as a missionary to me, even though I had family members that were christians around me.  I know she was Jesus to me.  Just as I know that God wants me to be Jesus to these children. I want them to be locked up, tied up, tangled up with Jesus. 

From Rachel:    Good morning! As my my mom already said, this is my first missions trip and I am very glad I got to share this experience with her. Yesterday at Flankers I was very apprehensive about going because of the precautions our leaders were telling us to take, but once I got there I was very surprised at how at ease I was. The kids just wanted love and acceptance and we were all happy to give it to them. I was fortunate enough to meet a litle girl named Ashely, her cousin Jordan, and her aunt Chentaye. I loved the way they seemed to just look out for each other and translate for me when I needed it. I look forward to seeing them there again today so that I can share more Jesus with them. 

Hope, Saige, and Nancy
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We are doing great!

Church
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We enjoyed Jamaican church! Ya Mon!

The Church motto.
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Nancy and her new friend.
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Our featured team member teaches a native about the Lord.

Good morning!  Sorry, I didn't get a post up last night.  We were doing my favorite activity-sewing fish.  (detect the sarcasm)  This craft was a little too difficult for the children here last week, so we did part of it for them to make it go faster.  We will go to Flankers this morning and Pastor's church this afternoon for more VBS's.  Doing 2 a day is pretty tiring, but worth it to reach this many children.  Yesterday's featured team member was Nancy.  This is her first time out of the states.  She is doing wonderfully, and has such a compassionate heart for the children.  

 

Today we went to Church and I was really looking forward to worshipping my King. There was nothing fancy, and the building is still needing to be completed, but that did not stop the people. Their hearts were so pure and their love for Christ was evident. There was no way to not get your feet tapping, hands moving and voice singing praise to the King of Kings. I did not bring my tambourine, but there was one there just for me, and I sang praises. The word was great and fellowship was sweet. The people are so humble and though they don’t have in abundance it did not matter because their hearts were all for Christ. Little is much….

Later in the day we had a break and went to eat and stopped at a few stores. I had a great opportunity to talk to Peter. Peter was the store attendant and he asked if we were missionaries. I said yes , and we began to talk for a few minutes. It turns up that Peter was Hindu, and he had so many question for me about my faith I did tell him that I believe in Jesus Christ and that he died on the cross for my sins and that I needed a Savior. I gave a Peter my son’s testimony and shared a little of what Christ has done in my life. He showed me Bibles and I took the NKJ and shared Psalm 91 Well I went on to share and did not push or prod.. Well Peter was very taken by my hand movements and my accent then asked if I was from NY … well truth be known..

I asked if I may pray for him and he obliged, so I prayed . Peter said thank you I will search the word out and will not forget you and the hand movement… Well I was pleased and went shopping. This was an awesome experience for me. I Love when opportunities come my way.

Enjoying the Fourth!
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Leah, Alyssa, Saige, Kendra, Rachel

Tina and Leah
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Our featured team member with her daughter.

Juanita joined the party!
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Happy Fourth!
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The whole team gathered for our celebration. Afterwards, we played Jamaican games.

 

Happy Birthday America!  Tonight's blog comes from Tina, who is here with her daughter Leah.

 

Greetings! From the great island of Jamaica! Here we are at the compound where we stay while here, no firework display to attend no parades, no barbeque, actually Leah and I had oatmeal for dinner and I am sure the rest of the team (all in their rooms) are having some sort of meal thrown together on their dressers in their rooms too. Let me tell you God is so good! Our team is healthy and we all get along so very well.

Hey a knock at the door and Kendra invited all of us to her room, Susie has made pasta salad and it is chilling on ice in the bathroom sink, looks like a party after all! See I told you God was good!

Today was our first day off, half of us went to the straw market for some shopping , sounds like the deals we good too!

Some of us went to the beach near our hotel. It was fun, the first thing we saw in the water was a sting ray. A few went snorkeling. We did stick an American flag in the sand.

This day of rest was needed, up to now we have completed 2 VBS’s, 5 events total, with one graduation ceremony too! Tomorrow is church Jamaica style, I have my hankie ready to wave in the air during praise and worship. Lol

The people in Jamaica are interesting, some friendly some not so friendly. The children are a blessing, they love us and are very interactive with us when we are sharing the Gospel with them. Our driver was sharing with me about the violence in the areas we have been ministering. We definitely are back at the hotel by dark. He told me the gangs are out after dark. No where we want to be for sure!

Thank you for your continued prayers for our safety, God is listening. Happy 4th of July, God bless America and Jamaica!

 

 

 

Tina
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Our featured team member enjoying the bus ride.

Our graduates
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Graduation
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FRIDAY, July 3, 2009 11:00 PM

Graduation for the CTE Basic School

Tina is our featured team member today.  She is part of one of our mother daughter teams this year.  Here with her daughter Kendra.

3 July 09 By Tina Nead

Today we attended the graduation ceremony for the CTE Basic School. Graduation in the United States is all about admonishing the students to do the most and to be the best and to change the world, no matter how old they are. Here in Jamaica, every speaker from Toby who was one of the guest speakers, to Sister Joy Jeannite the principal, to Richard Brown the constable who served as master of ceremonies, to the Pastor Sydonie Jeannite of the Apostolic Church of Jamaica, to Pastor Widdeburn who was also a guest speaker, the admonition was to the parents to love their children, teach them values based on Christian morals, be good examples, show them how to live a good clean life. It surprised me a little but I was glad to hear people of influence reminding parents how precious their children are. It amazes me as a mother who loves her children dearly, that some parents as a culture over all don’t adore their children. But God is doing a work in the people here. And many people will come to know Jesus, I am sure of it.

This afternoon when we left for Norwood to go to the Evangelistic Center, I went out to get ice to put in my water bottle to take with me and I was struck with a sudden headache, right above my right eye. It felt like the beginnings of a migraine. Not wanting to be out of commission for VBS this evening, I went back to the room and took some Advil. By the time we got on the road about 5 minutes later, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to sit upright for the bus ride up the mountain much less participate in VBS. The ladies who were opening the gate to the church were late arriving today and so we sat in the van to wait for her. Nancy offered to pray for me and I gladly accepted. She laid her hands on my head and started massaging and praying and I knew I was going to be fine. Soon after she finished, the keys arrived and by the time I set foot inside the open air church, my headache was completely gone! God is so good. He used one teammate to facilitate a healing of sorts so that His will would be accomplished. I am so blessed to be a part of His team.

Lisa's favorite little guy.
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Lisa
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Can you figure out which one she is?

Where is that ocean?
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One of Lisa's attempts of an ocean picture.

Bobsledding inJamaica?
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Ellen, Tina, and Susie inthe bobsled.

Thursday, July 2, 2009, 10:31 PM

A Little Bobsledding Fun!

Today, we had our last day of VBS at the basic school. I’m not sure of the number, but it was pretty packed. We passed out bubbles at the end, and it was a real treat for the children. Some of us also took a walk with Sister Joy to see her home. The basement of her home is the place of the original school. It was wonderful to see how far things have come. I got to see the family that I pray for the most, including my adopted Jamaican son, Junior.

This afternoon, we returned to Norwood, and there were 75 children there! We had many older children and teenagers. I sat next to an 11 year old boy that had never been in a church before. He seemed to enjoy himself.

For dinner tonight, we had a bit of fun and had pizza at the Jamaican Bobsled Café. We got to sit in a bobsled for pictures, and a portion of the profits goes to the bobsled team. They also play “Cool Runnings” nonstop. It was great to relax after such a hot day.
 

Today’s blogger for us is Lisa. It is Lisa’s second time on the island…

As usual when I am on a mission trip, I feel like I am home at last. Jamaica is beautiful. I love the children, especially the little ones. They are all so sweet! I am hoping Hope will get a picture of my favorite little guy on the blog. It is very hot here, and exhausting. It is also very rewarding. Already time is moving too quickly. I am having a hard time getting a picture of the ocean . Every time I try it disappears. Clifford, our driver, even stopped for me today. I still missed it! I am missing everyone at home. I pray all is well, and I will be home soon.

  

Norwood
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The children learning the songs we brought.

Leah
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Our featured team member with her partner John.

Norwood
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Beautiful girls.

Norwood
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Wednesday Junl 1, 2009, 9:33 PM

WE'RE HERE!!

We arrived in Montego Bay yesterday.  Our flight was mostly uneventful except for a couple of bag dig throughs.  We hit the ground running here this morning with our first VBS at the basic school.  When we arrived there, the children greeted us with hugs.  We learned a new game with them called "I am in a well".  The children loved the puppet show and really love to color.  It was very good to see the school looking so nice.  After coming back to our hotel for lunch, we headed back out to Norwood for the second VBS of the day.  There were around 50 children there.  We return tomorrow to the basic school and then Norwood, where most likely our number of children will have doubled.

I have decided to feature a team member on each blog and let them tell about Jamaica in their own words.  So, tonight we hear from our youngest team member...Leah. 


At first I was really nervous, but once I got on the second plane I was perfectly fine.  I mean, i am the youngest one going, and it is also my first time going to another country.  Today, we're going to a school and then a little church, but onyl some people know their parts.  I know my parts because I am a puppet, but my puppet's pants keep falling off.  We pinned his pants up though.  Our first trip to Norwood was a blast because the kids loved me.  Now we're exhausted in our rooms because of VBS all day, but everything was fun. 

Jamaica Prep Night-June 26,2009
The team assembled tonight at Ellen's to get all the VBS and medical supplies packed up.  We had to weigh the bags, and were pleased that all the bags have space for even more.  Now we can take more food!  4 days to go!  Whoo Hoo!   

Picture of this years team.
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Kendra and Lisa were slacking off and didn't show.

500 crafts!
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We had to pack up craft supplies, and sweeties (candy) for 500 children.

A stowaway!
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We can get anything into Jamaica. We're smugglers for Jesus.

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