by Brent Kirk | June 24, 2017 2:14 PM
The team has arrived in sunny, hot and humid Jamaica. They made it out of customs and immigration within an hour. They all came out with smiles as our team was ready to greet them.
We snapped this quickphoto. Everyone chatted as the bus was loaded and now we are heading out. They are ready to enjoy the Jamaican Beef Patties we had waiting for them as a surprise on the bus.
They are super excited to begin their week and we are even more exited to see what God has in store for this week. Please join us in praying for our team and everyone God puts in front of us.
by Cathy Kirk | June 24, 2017 8:14 PM
What a wonderful time of worship to get our week started!! Beautiful voices singing praise to our Lord!
by Carrie VanNorden | June 24, 2017 8:53 PM
Today was finally the day we have all been anticipating for the past year! Although we were tired from the early 6am flight from Newark to Atlanta, we were still excited to see how God was going to use us along the way. After finally getting to the Atlanta airport around 9, we were able to grab snacks and food before heading onto our long flight to Jamaica. After settling onto the plane for the last leg of the journey, we experienced a little wait due to the stormy weather this morning that delayed ten other planes ahead of us. We finally lifted into the air and tried to get as much sleep as we could before we arrived at our destination.
When we arrived in Jamaica, we found our luggage and went on our way to hand slips to customs explaining why we wanted to be here. This was a neat witnessing tool, being able to tell them our plans of ministry throughout our week stay. Some were intrigued and wished us good luck! When we got to the camp site, we unpacked and enjoyed a lovely meal with everyone around us. Later, we gathered in a circle and lifted our hearts to God, and worshiped Him in song. We also got to learn more about the people of Praying Pelican, who have worked hard and dedicated their lives to this mission work.
After today's journey, we all know that this is just the beginning of our work in Jamaica this week. We are very excited to build more relationships with everyone here, and also witness to those all around us about the amazing God we serve and love!
by Natalie Turbett- Team Member | June 25, 2017 9:52 PM
Sometimes it is hard to put into words the experiences you have (whether good or bad). Today in the infirmary all that was seen from every team member, resident in the infirmary, or bystander was love. The infirmary in Jamaica is different you could say. The individuals could be there simply because they are blind or for other complex reasons. When you first walk in you are almost in disbelief at the conditions, nothing like an infirmary at home. And, these conditions can be hard to digest and it almost puts up a personal barrier onto you. It is hard to push your comfort zone and break down that personal wall sometimes and really get to stop and take the time to get to know more about someone, be at home or in a different country. Most residents have a bed, some bedding, and a few personal care items (It is hard to digest no matter how many times you have seen). But, despite these hard conditions the joy on some of their faces is hard to put into words. How can a person with so little be so happy...
I guess this could lead into some of the encounters the team had today. Whether it be through prayer, reading scripture, or singing songs happiness and joy was spread through everyone. Through the trials they have had they still praise and serve our wonderful, loving God. I guess this brings me to a story I have from the day. When walking around a lady actually stopped me and we just had some small talk back and forth. After explaining we were here with PPM she actually stopped and prayed for me and my safety and that God would work through my life. What an amazing thing that somebody who does not even know me is praying for me. I challenge myself and everyone to choose someone to pray for this week (even if you do not know them).
As many of the parents know we brought down many toiletries to hand out in the infirmary. This kind gesture was more than well received. Like I said earlier its hard to explain the smiles that was brought to their faces from something as simple as a washcloth and toothbrush. All of these smiles though could not have been accomplished without all of you back home and from God. Every single item was handed out and will be used by the residents. You all helped to change someones life today. Again, our entire team and staff could not thank you enough.
Before I finish my mumble jumble mess of the day just try not to forget to pray for someone today. Ask them when you are eating lunch with coworkers, etc. Such a small gesture could lead you to the gospel message.
by Brent Kirk | June 25, 2017 10:09 PM
This morning after breakfast we joined Hartland's Baptist church for worship. We were asked to participate in the service by reading scriptures and leading some worship songs. What a great opportunity. The sermon at church today was great as Pastor Campbell preached about respect and love. This was about respecting each other through Christ and loving as Christ loves us.
After church we were blessed by the church with some ice cold drinks and refreshments. It was so good. Tomorrow we head to the school in the morning and then to the project work site. We will keep you updated as to how our day went.
by Cathy Kirk | June 26, 2017 9:02 AM
The team is fired up and ready to go at Horizon Park Primary! They will be teaching in the 1st-3rd grade classrooms.
by Cathy Kirk | June 26, 2017 9:08 AM
The children were all smiles as we pulled into the school yard this morning. The children were jumping up and down, waving and anxiously waiting for team to step off of the bus.
by Cathy Kirk | June 26, 2017 9:11 AM
Ken was asked to introduce the team during morning devotions. The children were mezmerized as he stood in the middle of all of them. The sheer excitement in their faces was priceless.
by Cathy Kirk | June 26, 2017 2:55 PM
Hard at work preparing forms so that we can start pouring concrete for columns.
by Cathy Kirk | June 26, 2017 3:00 PM
Carrie is busy tying rebar for the columns we are getting ready to pour. She has been killing it! This is her first mission trip to Jamaica. She decided to join her mom and sister this year, they have been coming for 4 years and Carrie felt the call to see what it was all about.
by Cathy Kirk | June 26, 2017 3:03 PM
Gabi working hard bending rebar for the columns, its a greuling task but she is doing a fantastic job!!!
by Cathy Kirk | June 26, 2017 3:07 PM
David is one of our hard working PPM assistant trip leaders. He is working tirelessly stirring concrete to help the team out.
by Gabriela Kressley - team member | June 26, 2017 8:24 PM
In my opinion, the first day of going to the school and meeting the children is always my favorite day. As we pulled into the gates early this morning, we saw the children lined up by grade underneath a big tree hovering over their basketball court. Ken Kristiansen introduced our group to the children, and as I was standing and waiting, I already recognized some familiar faces smiling at me. It's one of the greatest feelings seeing a child from a previous year. The kids proceeded to walk to their classrooms, and our team then divided up among the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade classrooms since the other grades were testing this week.
It's a tiring morning to say the least, but it is ALWAYS worth it. Our lesson today was about Daniel in the lion's den. After the lesson, we created a lion out of paper bags and construction paper as the craft for the day. Once the lesson and the craft was over, we played a few games with them until it was recess time. Recess/break time is always so fun because we get to see our team members as well as other kids who aren't in our class. We spent the break racing, singing, dancing, and so much more. Before we knew it, noon had rolled around and it was time to say goodbye and head on over to the work site.
The work site is always a blast. Whoever said "All work and no play" clearly has never met our team. We always somehow manage to have the greatest time while simultaneously being covered in cement or carrying 94 lb. bags of it. We spent most of our time today prepping the work site so that we can be at maximum efficiency for the next two work days ahead. Our team is rather large this year so I am very excited to see how much we accomplish in these next two days!
by Adam Stevenson-Team Member | June 27, 2017 8:49 PM
Well, I would just like to say that I have found this trip to be very encouraging. Hearing what my fellow team members have said about how God has impacted them so far is one of the things that I have found especially encouraging. I am so looking forward to what God has planned for the team during the rest of our time here. God bless you and keep you always.
by Lyndi Styer | June 28, 2017 11:28 PM
Today on our final day of missions work, we took on a new mission. One of our team members realized that of one of the families at the Horizon Park Primary school was struggling, so we collected money to help take care of some needs. We bought them groceries and clothing of which they were incredibly grateful- speechless.
At the school, we taught the children about salvation. They learned John 3:16. Many of them knew it already by heart, which was pretty awesome. They were very excited to make "gospel bead" bracelets. The first graders loved the gospel magic trick book that Ben showed them, asking him to make things disappear and reappear over and over. They were grinning from ear to ear. Everything we did was amazing to them and they were always trying to please us.
Saying goodbye was pretty hard, the kids kept repeating our names and grabbing our arms or clinging to us. Some were even crying as we made our way to the bus. As we drove away they chased the bus and were waving as though we were celebrities.
At the work site, we had a big job ahead of us- about two feet of concrete had to be filled around the top of the building. The weather today was not as pleasant as it has been the other days, and the sun was beating down most of the time. However, the heat did not stop us, and we finished filling the molds around the top. So, next year we'll be all set to start working on the roof. We even finished with enough time to go swimming before dinner and church.
After dinner, we went to a local church in the community to worship with them. They shared some of their songs with us, and then some members of our team played and sang some of our worship songs. We also played a Bible quiz game; girls Vs. boys. It was a really great time.
June 29, 2017 7:14 AM
Wow Lyndi and the rest of the team! So glad you had such an amazing last day with the kids and working on the building! We are praying for all of you and we are so proud of all of you for serving Jesus in so many ways this week. Enjoy your fun day today! Can't wait to hear all about your trip!
June 28, 2017 2:55 PM
I love seeing all the pictures and hearing your stories about the children. Awesome job everyone. I am praying for you all.
June 27, 2017 8:13 AM
Great job! So thankful for each of you who are being "living sacrifices" for Jesus to the people of Jamaica. May God give strength to your bodies, grace to your lips, joy to your soul, and peace to your hearts.
June 26, 2017 10:44 AM
Miss you guys so much! Praying for you!! Get busy! Oh.. Everytime you see Brent punch him in the arm.
Jim & Bev Howard
June 25, 2017 7:31 PM
We're excited for all of you and will be praying for your work & ministry. Have a blessed week. We know you will be a blessing.
June 24, 2017 9:42 PM
I'm so incredibly excited for this team and week! I see lots of new faces that I know will be transformed by God's work throughout this week, and I'm sorrowful I can't be there but equally anticipating my trip in Providence. Please know that I'll be praying for all of you and feel free to give me specific prayer requests as well! Say hi to Rohan, David, and Wade for me, and let them know I'm working as an ATL as well now. Enjoy the food, sun, and sweat! Get uncomfortable!
June 24, 2017 9:18 AM
We are praying for all of you. Allow God to stretch your faith, grow you in Him, and use you to serve Him in mighty ways. Be His hands and feet.
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