Monday, March 16, 2009

Journey to Jamaica, Day 1

(Traveling from the Jamaican airport to New Generation Camp...)




Sunday, March 8, 2009
The day began earlier than anticipated. I was so concerned about oversleeping that I basically “napped” all through the night and finally gave up at 4 a.m. and got ready to go. In hindsight, I’m glad that I did because it gave me some alone time to prayerfully prepare for the trip and the extra time allowed me to stop and get donuts for the team. We pulled out of the church parking lot at 6 a.m. The drive to DFW Airport was uneventful and fun; the “team” instantly felt connected as if we had all known each other for a long time. Our flight was also uneventful and enjoyable and didn’t seem to take as long as the actual time frame.

We ran into a bit of trouble with an obstinate, stone-faced Jamaican lady while checking in our items at customs. Absurd issues surfaced and we basically ended up having to pay a 48% tax on items that should have been considered benevolence for their country since the majority of the tools, toys, etc. were staying in Jamaica. The only reason we brought them over in tubs is because those items weren’t available for purchase in St. Ann’s. Regardless of the unreasonableness, we were at their mercy and ended up paying a ridiculous amount of “tax”. Our pastor handled it ever so graciously and politely. I probably would have smarted off and ended up having the whole team immediately returned to the States.

(Rainbow seen on drive to camp. Nel, the camp director, w/arrival greetings. Settling in.)







(I'm feeling a lil' overwhelmed with joy!!)
When we arrived at the campsite, I began to cry. I couldn’t believe that I was actually there! The camp director, Nel, embraced me and told me I could cry all I wanted because you could just be who you are. I had been told that the place we were staying was scenic but I had no idea that we were staying on the literal edges of a rain forest. No amount of photography could truly capture the beauty of God’s creations. It was amazingly awesome but indescribable. If one ever has the opportunity to go to Jamaica, you MUST go to Cranbrook Estates and drop in further down the road on New Generation Camp.


(Tent site, my sleeping quarters, the view from the tent entrance)




The rest of the day consisted of settling in our tents, becoming familiar with our surroundings and visiting with our newly made Jamaican and Dutch friends. (3 people from the Netherlands who had begun the initial ‘tree house’ construction last summer returned to help finish up the project.)

Father, thank You for the wonderful opportunity to come to Jamaica and work in the name of Your Son. Thank you for those who have committed to this trip and for the emotional bonds that are already forming. Thank You for the safety and ease of traveling and helping sooth the conflict that was experienced on the Jamaican ends of customs. Lord, thank You for Nel, Judith, Mrs. Barbara, and Mario who work full time at this facility. Please continue to bless them in all of their efforts to share and show Your love and mercy. I pray that each of us may have open hearts and open hands as we strive to truly serve in this community. Father, I can scarcely believe that I am here---I still feel like I am caught up in a wonderful dream. Thank You for making this life-long dream of mine come true, especially after my 3 past failed attempts. I am amazed at your handiwork that surrounds me. As I sit here, I hear the sounds of the river, the breeze blowing the humongous leaves, the sounds of laughter, the singing of birds and am in such awe that the One who formed all of creation considers me more beautiful and valuable than my immediate surroundings. I love you, Lord, and I thank You for loving me. Amen

3 comments:

  1. Stacy!

    How exciting! The pictures tell a story of their own. Amazing. Can't wait to hear all about it.

    Praying...

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  2. What an amazing adventure. Someday when my children are a bit older I'd like to bring them on a trip like that. It's wonderful to connect so well with a team like that.

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