Tuesday, the middle day of the trip. Often characterized by exhaustion and grumpiness… a day where patience starts to wear thin and frustrations arise within the group… NOT SO TODAY!!! Instead Day 4 was absolutely amazing from start to finish!
VBS was great again and a little better after making some changes from the first day. We had about 75 kids which also upped the chaos level. A challenge for us was having so many teenagers and trying to adapt lessons/activities to them.
Some personal God-sightings for me at VBS:
- a little boy Nick, during the song “All Around the World”, instead of high fives would run up and hug me.
- watching Tim pick up Popsie (see yesterday’s post to learn more about Popsie) and carry him during all the games so he could participate; perhaps the first time Popsie EVER got to play a game of tag in his entire life.
- Will sitting down with one of the older kids we had problems with throughout the day and having real conversation with them.
- Paul’s willingness to come in… after running around in the sun ALL MORNING LONG and let us put about 8 black trashbags on him as part of the closing VBS skit
- As Jordan put it: “there were times when the VBS was on the brink of completely falling apart into chaos… but God was the thread holding it all together.
After VBS we had tons of fun and hanging out with the kids while waiting for our lunch (rice and meat) to arrive. Smiles, playing with our hair, tickle fights and more!
Then we (Megan, Bekah, Becca, Gina, Stacy, and Sarah) got set up for the medical screenings while the rest of the team prepared to head to the construction site at Paul Island School. Some of the moms were just patiently waiting for us to start so we were able to jump in right away. We did about 10-15 blood pressure and blood sugar screenings at the church including many of the PPM staff, but then it began to slow down.
Al (a PPM staff member with our group) and I were talking and suggested taking a few of us out to do a community walk and invite people for the next day. As a few of us when to head out, Andy (our driver and another PPM staff) stopped us and simply said, “Wait, what if we take it to THEM!” Next thing we know we were loaded up and started what may have been PPMs first MOBILE medical clinic!
Andy drove us around the area, pulled over opened windows and invited people in. Word would spread and more people showed up on the side of the roads! At one point we stopped to talk to some ladies under a tree. Before we knew it we had screened over 15 people (maybe 20) at that spot in the road alone! We got to do some screenings once we got to the construction site to making our total well over 50 for the day!
It was fun to pull up at the construction site and see everyone all hard at work… and smiling! The stories that continued throughout the bus ride back to Town Head and all night long prove what an awesome day it was for that part of the team as well. My favorite moment of the day was the bus ride back to Town Head as we literally laughed the WHOLE WAY HOME.
Dinner was BBQ chicken, pumpkin rice, and spaghetti. After dinner we did some prep for the next day, showered (the boys were happy Ricardo let them shower even though boys shower time was normally only in the morning!) and laughed some more!
Worship and devotion time proved to fit the “amazing” theme of the day as well… singing “How Great is Our God” together. Encouragement from John (from Faith Fellowship Church) to keep making the most of every moment. Wade (PPM staff) singing another song he wrote. All wrapped up with cake and ice cream to celebrate Amy and John’s anniversary and Jake’s birthday (the next day). We used team devotion time to laugh some more (of course) and affirm how we saw God working in each team member so far in the week.
The night ended with each member receiving their letters from home, encouragement to keep moving through the final days of the trip.
I will forever remember this day in Jamaica!