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Aldersgate United Methodist Church

Serving In Jamaica
July 13, 2013
Community: James Hill


by Jon Nelson | July 14, 2013 7:33 AM

Yesterday our team arrived safe and sound in Jamaica and loaded the bus to head to James Hill. The team has settled in, gotten a good night of rest, and is preparing for a day of church and outreach. I am posted this from Montego Bay as the internet connection is currently nonexistent in James Hill. Please be patient as updates may be sparse while our staff works to find a good internet connection. James Hill is in a very rural area. Thanks for your prayers and support.


by Jahavid Johnson | July 14, 2013 3:41 PM

Last night, though a bit weary from travelling, the teams had a great time in worship and orientation. Team members were given a few lessons in "patois." They did well and were all praised for their efforts. The orientation activities were fantastic as we sought to "tun up di ting!" That's Jamica's way of saying make things exciting. Today the teams worshipped at the churches that they will be serving this week. They also did a community walk inviting children to vbs. It promises to be an extremely wonderful week as our spirits are high and we are on a mission for God. Peace out and nuff love! From us in Ja.


by Liz | July 15, 2013 12:41 PM

Aldersgate had a great day on Sunday! We split into two teams (appropriately named Crew 1 and Crew 2) and headed to two different churches in Pastor Cunningham’s circuit. For those not familiar with the Jamaican church system, often a pastor has multiple congregations to minister to and must rotate between them. Pastor Cunningham has four in his circuit! One of our groups went to Crawle River and the other went to Prospect, and both groups had to navigate some pretty impressive pot holes. Thank goodness our drivers are PHDs – Pot Hole Dodgers! Both groups attended and participated in their respective church services. Two hour services were a new thing for most of us! ? Following the service, we had lunch at the churches and then went out on a “VBS Walk” where we walked as a group around the community and invited children to attend VBS this week. After a bit of down time in the afternoon, we attended a street meeting with another of Pastor Cunningham’s churches. It was a late night, but that much church in one day can’t be bad! ? We’re looking forward to a fantastic week of service at our local churches!

Monday 15 July

by PPM staff | July 16, 2013 11:05 AM

VBS was awesome! Each group wondered if people were coming when there were only a handful of Jamaican children were at the churches at 10 a.m. But it turns out that everyone is just on Jamaican time here! By the end of the session, each church had lots of attendees and the children were having so much fun! At Crawle River, Ashley and Connor led the songs segment and the kids loved it. Taya’s puppet performance in the drama segment brought laughs and we were happy to see her come out of her shell! Zack was a fantastic sports leader who got everyone involved in the games segment. Day 1 at Crawle River VBS was a hit! At Prospect Church, Allie and Rachael’s enthusiasm got the kids moving to the songs and by the end the kids came up to help lead songs! Tori was a great performer as the dragon puppet – all the kids wanted to know who was behind the curtain. The attendance grew throughout the morning and by the end of the session, the church had about 25 kids laughing and singing along! Following lunch, the groups combined to paint Prospect Church. It seemed a daunting task, but with Pastor Chris and Rex figuring out a plan of attack and with God’s help, we got a lot done. We’ll continue the painting project on Tuesday. Our visit to the children’s home in the late afternoon made a big impact on many of the group. Ben, with his willingness to jump in and play, made lots of new friends. Corey made a good friend in a young boy named Jack. Be sure to ask someone about their experience! We had time for a team meeting on Monday night during which we got to reflect on the many meaningful moments of the day. We have lots to be thankful for. God is clearly working here in Jamaica! Check back for more information about what specific members of the team are doing this week.

16 July – Tuesday

by Liz | July 17, 2013 10:37 AM

Tuesday was hump day – the middle day of VBS and the midpoint of this trip! The groups did an incredible job pushing through the heat and any tiredness they might have felt. They have worked so hard! VBS at Crawle River got off to a late start because of a tire issue (not surprising considering the condition of the roads!) but they jumped in with full energy as soon as they arrived. Nick did an awesome job playing football (soccer) with the children outside, even in the heat. Melissa’s patience and energy really helped the small children in learning the main VBS points. At Prospect, Nickole led the bible discussion for the group and was able to start great conversation. When the groups combined for painting, the students worked enthusiastically. Grace has an impressive eye for detail when painting. Daniel worked on the yellow walls on the outside of the church and was willing to attack spots that were challenging. Bill spent the afternoon on the porch roof, working tirelessly in the heat. We had a delicious taste of sugar cane in the afternoon – straight from the fields! And the team members now know where they can find the best mangoes right off the tree. Yum! The evening street service took place in James Hill and the students loved interacting with the local people. Small children from the neighborhood ran up to sit with the students. The entire assembly started dancing in the streets to some of the songs – there was even a conga line! Ethan read a scripture and his voice carried nicely - is anyone surprised by that? ? Meredith and Lizzie shared a skit about the importance of serving – it was a message the crowd responded to very well. Since it was Taber’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Taber!), we had a fun surprise party later that night that included cupcakes! Be sure to ask him about his Jamaican birthday. And please continue to pray for energy, enthusiasm, good health, and good rest for this awesome team.

July 17 & 18 updates

by Liz | July 18, 2013 11:53 PM

We finally have some working Internet! We haven't posted pictures this week because of incredibly slow bandwidth. The running joke is that the goats that control the Internet haven't been running quickly enough on their treadmills! Speaking of goats, the team loves them. In fact, they have a game that they play on the bus while they travel through the countryside. It's a version of I Spy, but the only correct answer is a GOAT! Be sure to ask someone how it goes. :) Quick note - all random question marks in previous entries were supposed to be smiles. Oops! :) On Wednesday, the teams had their final VBS days. The students sang with zeal and the churches were filled with songs of praise! Cyntaya visited with a group of children who were fascinated and wanted to know more life in America. It was hard to say goodbye the children because of the incredible experience everyone has had this week. The children loved the team members because, as Sam put it, so many people were "good with kids". :) Following lunch, we had the goal of finishing the painting. God granted us strength and the team worked tirelessly. You should see the doors Chris R, Adam, and Rachel painted - they make the church look new! The team put forth so much effort and their perserverence was rewarded with great satisfaction. Sharon, or Mama O, did the incredible task of cutting in the entire base of the interior sanctuary walls. The change in the church is striking. Hooray! As soon as possible, we will post the pictures so you can see their progress during the week. We wrapped up Wednesday with a great team meeting in which we reflected on the events of the week and the ways we saw God work. This week has had an impact on us all! On Thursday morning, we packed up, said farewell to our friends in James Hill, and headed to Ocho Rios. After some time for shopping and food, we went to Dunn's River Falls and had so much fun! Whether team members were climbing up the path through the waterfall, sitting on the shore of the crystal blue ocean, or playing in the gorgeous waters, they all had an amazing time. It was a few hours of well-deserved rest and rejuvenation. We finished the day with dinner and our last team meeting at the Almond Tree restaurant. We said goodbye to our friends from Arizona and Ohio (the other two teams who served in James Hill). At the meeting, the teams shared single words that would describe the trip. Just a few that they shared were: LIFE-CHANGING, FULFILLING, AWESOME, INCREDIBLE. Please be sure to ask the team members all about their experience when they get home! And please check back for LOTS of pictures that were supposed to go with each entry's text. We ask for prayers for safe travels tomorrow as the team returns home!

Photo Highlights!

by Liz | July 19, 2013 5:46 PM

The team left Ocho Rios this morning and made it safely to the airport with everyone in tow! Two of the girls weren't feeling 100% (one has a sore throat and the other has stomach distress - please be praying for them as they travel today!). They should have reached America by now and will be making their way north to Delaware! Please enjoy these photos of the week! We'll post more as it is possible. Lots of love to the group! :)
Photo Highlights!

Prospect- Sunday

by 83235477.3494 | July 19, 2013 5:48 PM

The Prospect crew on their walk to meet children and invite them to VBS. Check out the state of the roads and the lush vegetation.
Prospect- Sunday

Prospect- Sunday 2

by Liz | July 19, 2013 5:49 PM

The Prospect Crew at the top of the community. What an incredible view!
Prospect- Sunday 2

Crawle River - Sunday

by Liz | July 19, 2013 5:50 PM

Daniel is speaking at Crawle River Baptist Church on Sunday morning
Crawle River - Sunday

Crawle River - Sunday 2

by Liz | July 19, 2013 5:51 PM

The Crawle River Crew in front of the church on Sunday
Crawle River - Sunday 2

VBS - Prospect

by Liz | July 19, 2013 5:54 PM

Nickole, Ben, Lizzie, and Ethan are leading the older children in a discussion about how to STAND STRONG!
VBS - Prospect

VBS - Prospect

by Liz | July 19, 2013 5:56 PM

Rachael, Allie, Tori, and Bill are GETTING CRAZY at VBS! :) Note the half-painted church interior - the light top is the original color. The brighter blue showed our progress after one day.
VBS - Prospect

Painting Service Project

by Liz | July 19, 2013 5:58 PM

This is the outside of Prospect church – the “before” picture from earlier in the week
Painting Service Project

Painting Service Project

by Liz | July 19, 2013 6:00 PM

Daniel and Grace are showing their painting skills! In the background, you can see the "kitchen" area in which the ladies of the church prepared our lunches.
Painting Service Project

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Arlene Pendley

July 18, 2013 12:58 PM

It brings joy to my heart to see all of you ministering to others as you are, even in the heat. May God richly bless each one of you.

Sharon Jennelly

July 17, 2013 8:02 PM

What a mighty God we serve! We are all so blessed to have you witnessing, sharing the faith and being the hands and feet of Jesus! Keep up your spirits, even in the heat! :) We have you covered in prayer!

Marty Shroff

July 17, 2013 7:16 PM

To the Leaders and the Youth of AUMC! I have read daily about your activities on this most special Mission Trip. You have certainly witnessed by your serving hearts. Your lights shine!!!!!!!!!!!!

Donna Ruggiero

July 17, 2013 1:32 PM

So proud of my guys and my church family! Miss you.

Jan Wood

July 17, 2013 8:18 AM

You all continue to be in my prayers. Did no one bring a digital camera? That must be why we need to wait for the "old fashion" photos...I am thankful for the website, for a morsel of news! Thanks for remembering us! XOOXXXOO

Louise Martin

July 17, 2013 12:34 AM

So proud of all of you! My prayers and love to all of you! Miss you Chris, Nick and Cory! Keep up the great work.......sending love.

Gerri Ross

July 16, 2013 11:38 AM

Let's see some photos of you working. How's the weather?

Jennifer Pendley

July 15, 2013 6:43 PM

I'm praying for all of you! Loved seeing your smiling faces in the photo!

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