Jamaica Mon!

Richard and I had the opportunity to travel to Jamaica free of cost to work with Northcliffe Baptist Church on their annual missions trip. This was our very first time to Jamaica and it was quite an adventure. We arrived around noon on Friday and waited in the airport for the group to arrive. Their flight didn\’t get in until after 3:00 so we had plenty of time to chillax in the tiny airport in Montego Bay. Once the group arrived, we loaded up the vans and headed for the villas. The driver and our guide for the week, Michael Stoddard, told us we would be going to a place on the beach with a pool. We all thought he was joking since this was a missions trip after all, but when we arrived we realized he was dead on! It was a beautiful place right on the beach overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. We were truly suffering for Jesus at that point 🙂

Throughout the week, the group participated in several ministry opportunities including food distribution, painting, and light construction. Their biggest activity though, was their VBS! This was probably the best VBS I have ever seen a group put together for a missions trip. Everyone was divided into three teams: The Orange Nation, Yellow Swarm, and Red Rumble. They went all out each day with face paint and dress from head to toe in their team\’s color. This spirit definitely flowed over to the kids. Each day we had nearly 100 kids show up ready to play games and do crafts… but more importantly, they heard about Jesus Christ!

Richard and I have had the privilege to travel to many countries and work with many kids, but I think we both agree that this was the rowdiest bunch of kids we\’ve ever been around! Talk about energy! The first day seemed like a chaotic mess, but as each day passed, the kids seemed to gain more and more respect for the group and by the last day almost all the kids were obedient and that\’s when we started seeing some change. Several kids made professions of faith and what a blessing it was for the group to see all of their hard work and energy pay off in eternal rewards! Praise the Lord!

Richard also had a great experience while working with the kids. The Jehovah\’s Witnesses have a very strong influence in Jamaica. Richard was talking with one trouble maker in particular one day who told Richard he didn\’t believe in Hell. When Richard asked him why, he replied, \”Because the Christians told me there wasn\’t a Hell.\” Richard knew that it wasn\’t true Christians who had told him that lie, so after prying a bit, he found out it was the Witnesses who had told him that. After talking with him a little more, Richard saw that this young man was desperate for the truth. He even flat out said to Richard, \”Tell me the truth!\” So Richard had the privilege to tell him and show him straight from the Bible what Jesus had to say about Heaven and Hell and how you could choose your own fate. At the end, Richard asked the boy if he wanted to accept Christ or think about it a little more. The boy immediately said, \”I want to accept Christ now! I don\’t want to wait!\” He accepted Christ at that very moment. Praise the Lord for the truth in His Word! Since the area we were in didn\’t have a good Baptist church to direct him to, Richard marked some key verses in a Bible and gave it to him. Our prayer is that God will raise up a solid Bible believing church for this young man to go to and get discipled.

Over all we saw God do some awesome things that week. The Northcliffe group was great to work with and very flexible, a key element of participating in any mission trip. Praise the Lord for souls saved and lives impacted!

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