Jamaica Project newsletter, December 2019
“From all of this... the Lord has opened a completely new door of ministry for the Jamaica Project.”
Our host church has had feet on the ground serving the shut-ins of Rio Bueno and Calabar year-round. Now our Jamaica Project is preparing to partner with them in this outreach too! Founder Kathi Smith shares how God opened up this new opportunity.
Each year we go to Jamaica with a plan. And each year the Lord adjusts that plan to show us opportunities for ministry that we did not even know existed
Our visit this past summer was no exception. Because we had a smaller group than usual, we were having to come up with some creative ways to accomplish our usual objectives. On the previous trip, we met many adult members of the community that we were able to share God’s love with; again an adjustment that we had not planned for. It was a delightful time and loved that God led us to make new friends with whom we were able to share His love and the good news of Jesus.
In 2019, we were certain we would continue those relationships. We sent messages out that Kathi, Noelle, and Laurie would be at the church for Bible Study and fellowship with any adults who wanted to join us. Laurie worked diligently on a Bible Study and we prayed about who the Lord would bring to us that we could minister to. We waited that first day with anxious expectation…and no one showed. ‘Hmmm…Did God have another plan?’
‘Did God have another plan for us?’
After praying and talking with a few of the ladies of the church, Kathi found there were several members of the community who were confined to their homes due to aging or a disability.
It was decided that the following day the three ladies would partner with Mrs. Green and Miss Carmen (members of the Rio Bueno Baptist church, where we minister) to visit these community members.
As the ladies got on the bus and were driven to meet these new friends, they were amazed to find an entire community that we had no idea even existed. It was an area at least 3 times the size of the area that we always understood encompassed Rio Bueno. Little did we know that Rio Bueno was actually much larger than we were aware.
- The first person Miss Carmen took us to meet was Daniel. Daniel had had both legs amputated due to diabetes and was confined to his bed in a very tiny one-room shack. We were able to pray with him and sing some songs with him. There was little else we could do, but wanted to bring some light to his world if even for a few minutes. After spending some time with Daniel we walked up to the local market and were able to purchase some much-needed groceries and water for Daniel that hopefully lasted him a week or two.
- The following day Mrs. Green introduced us to Rudy and Grace, who were also unable to leave their home due to some health issues. They were a delightful couple who brought us as much or more joy then we could possibly have brought to them. We loved hearing their sweet love story and listening to them recite scripture from memory.
- On Wednesday, we went with Miss Carmen to meet Winda. Winda is a young woman who was developmentally disabled. She was so happy to meet us as we sang to her and read bible verses with her. We also met Mrs. Wallace this day. Mrs. Wallace was a spry 85 years old who regaled us with story after story of raising her 9 children. We were so impressed with her ability to remember and recite scripture and songs. We had a delightful time visiting with her.
- Thursday we went grocery shopping for all three families, it was so fun to run around the store, trying to figure out what the various items on our list were. We were glad that we had help from Lyndon our driver and long-time friend. Without his help there would have been many things we would not have been able to find.
- Friday we were able to see everyone again and deliver the groceries to them.
The men in our group were so jealous of our wonderful blessing of being with these amazing people that they insisted that we visit everyone again on Sunday…so we did. What a joy it was for the guys to get to meet these wonderful people and have a chance to hear their stories too.
From all of this the Lord has opened a completely new door of ministry for the Jamaica Project.
Our goal is to send money over to provide food for each of these people and perhaps more people (depending on the amount of resources we receive) each month. We are planning to once again partner with the local church members to meet some needs of the community.
Won’t you join us?
If it weren’t for our “best-laid plans” going awry, we would never have been so blessed. Thanks be to God who knows the need even before we set foot in the country.
May He continue to lead and guide us and show us new and exciting things we can do and people we can bless and partner with (who in turn end up blessing us)!