It was a great day in Jamaica!
This morning, the full group split up with 12 Lord of Life folks heading to the community of Darliston, and the Trinity group along with the balance of the Lord of Life group heading up to Westhaven Children’s Home and Faith Chapel.
To walk in to Westhaven for the first time can be a bit of an overwhelming experience. The residents walk up like they’ve known you forever to give you a hug or hold your hand. Even if you’ve been told that this might happen, it can be a little surprising. However, the pure joy the kids show when you smile back at them quickly erases any sense of nervousness.
After we arrived, Jeff quickly gave instructions for us to head into cottages and assist
getting the residents ready for church, and we were off and running.
Some of the kids were loaded onto our bus and driven up the hill to Faith Chapel. We created a caravan of wheelchairs and walkers to get the rest of the group the 800 yards to the church. Once there, the wheelchairs had to be lifted up to the deck outside of the church.
The worship service was Jamaican Pentecostal. It was high energy and (even higher) volume. It was very clear that God’s Spirit was present in the midst of the music, the prayers and
the preaching. And it was definitely a new kind of experience for our group.
After worship, we assisted in giving sandwiches, juice and cookies to the Westhaven children before carrying them back down to the road for the walk back to their home. At Westhaven, we hung out for a bit and heard more about the projects this week. Keno (one of the residents) also gave us the full and complete version of Jeff’s orientation speech.
Back at the hotel, we had a few hours to decompress and spend some time together and at the beach before we met for devotions.
This week at devotions, we’re talking about what it is to be a disciple, each night focusing on a different faith practice. Tonight we talked about worship, especially appropriate after our experiences this morning. Our text tonight was Psalm 100:
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
We then went to dinner and some are hanging out in the lobby area tonight. It will probably be a pretty early night. We will be leaving tomorrow morning at 7:30am, and want to be ready for a full day.
Please continue to keep our group in your prayers, especially as we dig deep into the work tomorrow.