Thursday, Nov 12th This morning I finished up some things for Pastor J.R. Hopefully, it will help him and the coffee business portion of City of Refuge.
Then Jen, Morgan, Jaycee and I worked on the snack I brought. We made dirt cake for the kids. This is one of the highlights of my trip. It gave me such joy to watch them eat it; it was entirely too much fun. At first I thought they might not like it; I thought it might be too sweet. But they loved it! Loved it to much I am afraid....they used their hands to scope out every last drip, licked any drips off the table, off the floor, the dirty spoon bowl, other kids cups...you name it they try to lick every last bit. Then they asked if they could have it tomorrow. I wished I had more. Who knew there could be such joy in pudding?
In the afternoon, I helped Morgan (Missionary Kid) with her homework. I actually enjoyed it. She had to write an essay on 3 Jewish festivals and how they are fulfilled in the New Testament. The funny thing is that she is only 12; but she did it and did a great job. However, her one mistake was letting my sister edit it. It was funny watching Morgan roll her eyes at my sister turning her paper into a college level essay. LOL Then Laura, Jaycee and sorta me (probably much to Laura's dismay LOL) made an apple pie and leftover pie crust cookies. The apple pie turned out perfect much to Laura's doing and my pie crust cookies turned out good and I have proof...the very picky Levi loved them. It was fun because Jaycee had to learn to make a pie for her home economics class. It was probably interesting watching precise Laura and the not so precise me teach her, very funny. Hopefully, I didn't drive Laura too crazy.
For dinner there was fried chicken, French fries, baked beans (made with ketchup and mustard), salad and cake (they really like to make cake...cake everyday!) Apparently, their very yummy fries have a secret that I found out. They roll them in butter first and then fry them in a cast iron pan. Oh my goodness fries from heaven (or maybe not)....but they are a coronary waiting to happen. I told Slater the cook, "They are very good, but in so many ways terribly sinful." He laughed. We are going to bring him some apple pie we made. (Found out later most of the Jamaicans don't like cooked fruit and didn't care for our pie. LOL)
I then went and painted the mural wall white. Maybe, I can convince a friend of mine....Peter...to do something for those wonderful children. We then stayed up late and talked with Yasmine. We tried to convince her to come to Michigan. We decided to take her Wal-Mart, Starbucks, bowling, roller skating and lazar tag. I hope she can come someday; it would really be a fun visit.
Friday, Nov. 13th Jen and I woke up at 5:30, the sun wasn't even up. What is wrong with us? At 6:30 we decided to go for a walk. Of course we took more pictures and I think our picture count is near 1,000.
At 9 am we went with the team from Lancaster, PA on their fun day. We went down the mountain, through Kingston and to a boat place on the coast. We then took a very interesting boat ride over to a private island. Interesting because I didn't think the boat was going to make it. Living in Michigan and being on a lot of boats in my lifetime caused me great concern when I heard some of the noises coming from the boats engine. Somehow, I think by God's great mercy, we got to the island.
It was so much fun on the island. Our group was the only ones there. Everybody had a blast snorkeling, exploring, relaxing, sunning and swimming. Pastor Paul, one of the other missionaries, found about 30 star fish and brought them up on the shore. That was very cool! We then went to a fantastic restaurant, Cuddy's. I had very yummy BBQ ribs and fries. Cuddy's was attached to a very small mall (5-6 stores). While we were waiting for our food, I was able to do a little souvenir shopping.
We then began our trip back up the mountain. I took some time to do some reflecting. Then at Laura's we ended the day looking at our 1,000 pictures.
Saturday, Nov. 14th Once again Jen and I woke up early, so we decided to take one last walk. I think my soul just needed to drink in the mountain and its beauty one more time.
I watched her scale the mountain to get a photo of this one beautiful flower. That was entertaining; but, anything like that with my sister is no doubt going to be entertaining.
We said goodbye to the Bushhorn Family (missionaries). Then we journeyed down the many steps to say goodbye to the children and Yasmine. That was very hard and we only had been there a week.
I went to see baby Kamar to pray with him. I asked God to heal his heart, to bless him with a long life and full of future and a hope in Christ. I know that God will keep His promises. We loaded up our luggage into Pastor J.R's vehicle and headed over to their home. Their house was adorable. We also saw his neighbors home which was amazing. She is a professor of architecture down in Kingston. So many more amazing flowers over at their homes too.
We then traveled down the mountain and I got a little car sick. I am glad I won't have to travel that mountain any time in the near future. We stopped at "Juicy Patties" for lunch. Their version of fast food and one I don't ever intend to try again, Blah! We stopped at the market for some quick shopping. I was so happy to find a little steel drum for my son. Yeah!
Then came the hard part of the trip....saying goodbye. It was really hard on Jen. If she could have stayed I would be on this plane alone tonight.
Thank you Lord for this most amazing opportunity; bless the City of Refuge, its missionaries, its workers and its children. Help me to always remember them and to pray for them. I live and breath for you alone, sweet Jesus and I will...
Please, check out the City of Refuge website. You can do many things to help them. You can even sponsor a child there. Or maybe you and your church can send a team to work at the City of Refuge Content Gap, Jamaica!