Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back from Jamaica

I thought it would be fitting to start my new blog off with this entry since where I am now has a lot to do with this trip to Jamaica...


Hi everyone! Sorry it’s taken me so long to update my blog. I’ve been back from Jamaica for a week now but it’s amazing how fast I’ve gotten caught up in daily life. Anyway, I am anxious to tell you about my trip…

First, let me say that it is HOT over there! With temperatures averaging at about 35 degrees (not taking into account the humidity) it was definitely a bit of a shock to our bodies. Despite the heat however, we managed to get a good amount of work done (we learned quickly and started our days at 5:00 a.m. in order to beat the heat). Our work projects consisted mostly of painting the inside and outside of the church’s preschool as well as several other buildings within the church compound and a couple of classrooms at a government-run school just down the road. The two men on our team worked especially hard and were also able to put in door locks and security bars over several windows at the church as well as install some solar panels for a couple of local families without electricity. Without a doubt however, the highlight of the trip for me was our VBS program. We started off our first day with about 50 kids and peaked towards the end of the week at about 100. The kids come from harsh environments and it certainly wasn’t easy but God showed His faithfulness to us in so many ways, bringing a tangible peace over our camp and ensuring that His message came across loud and clear. There is so much I could say about the kids, the culture, etc. but I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Instead, I would like to introduce you to one little boy who has stolen all of our hearts forever:


This is Kemar – he just turned eight years old. Kemar’s father is long gone and, in some twisted attempt to get back at his dad, his mother wants nothing to do with him. When we met him, Kemar was, for the most part, living with his grandmother however, for whatever reason she was unable to take very good care of him. Kemar is ostracised by his whole community; his teachers throw rocks at him, men in the streets taunt him, the women shout curses at him and the other children pick on him. By the end of our two weeks in Jamaica some local drug-addicted thieves had taken advantage of Kemar’s vulnerability and he was living with and working for them. It’s hard to hear Kemar’s story and feel any amount of hope for his future but the theme of our VBS, the message we shared all week with the children, is just as true for Kemar as it is for any one of us: God has good plans for Kemar. God’s good plans for Kemar were evidenced in his strength and resilience, in his smile and moments of pure sweetness. They were evidenced by the fact that even though he has faced unbelievable hardships, the following words were still uttered from his lips: “God loves me”, “God is my Father”, “God has good plans for me!”…


Kemar will forever be etched on my heart but sadly, his story is not that unique. There are millions more children all around the world just like Kemar. Unwanted, unloved. Thrown away and forgotten by the rest of society but not by their Heavenly Father. Would join me in rising up to pray, not only for Kemar but for every child around the world just like him? These are God’s sons and daughters and, no matter what anyone else may say or do, no matter how much we may struggle to see or believe it, He has good plans for them.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

I LOVE seeing Kemar's beautiful face! What a handsome kid! I am joining you in praying for lonely children around the world!