Below are the final update from the Jamaica Mission Team (they arrived home safely on Saturday evening), and the first update from our South Carolina Mission Team (they arrived in Bennettsville safely last night).
Jamaica Mission Team Final Update
Wednesday morning we visited Garland Hall, an orphanage run by the Baptist Church. The children were thrilled to see us. We shared devotions, sang praise songs, made a craft and interacted and prayed with them. We also left with them some of the clothing and donated items our church had provided. We then went to Melody House. This is a home for teenage girls who have been abandoned or have a troubled home life. This is a home we have visited on most every trip. We saw many of the same girls that we have seen year after year. This is always one of our favorite places to visit. Wednesday evening we held our last evening of Children’s Crusade. We had an adventurous one hour drive up and down the mountain to Fraserville Methodist Church. This is a beautiful old church building up in the mountains built in 1880. When we began the evening we had about 25 children. By the time we started singing and interacting with the children the crowd of children quickly swelled to 62! It was an wonderful evening that we won’t soon forget! Thursday we went to New Vision children’s home. This involved another 2 hour drive into the mountains in the center of the island. The home houses 30 children who are all orphaned. There was something very special about this place and the children really grabbed our hearts. There was such a need there. We were sad that we were not able to spend more time with these beautiful children. Thursday evening our hosts prepared for us a special dinner of jerk pork and chicken along with rice and beans and other traditional Jamaican sides. They served us dinner picnic style at the beach. We also were treated to a performance of traditional Jamaican dances by a team of high school students. The students were in traditional costume. This was a real special treat. The week has been full of many blessings as I have witnessed our team do some amazing things as they have been the hands and feet of Christ! Friday will be our day of rest and relaxation as we prepare for our return trip home. Thank you for all the support and prayers! Randy
South Carolina Mission Team First Update
We made it down to South Carolina and are settled in at Cheraw State Park at this time (11 pm). We had a safe trip especially after we left a few crazy drivers in Northern Virginia behind! We accomplished quite a bit already and this is the first day. We repaired about 30 screens to our cabins, sprayed the campsite vigorously with insecticide and used up two cans of wasp spray to try to get a good jump on the South Carolina “critters” from the start. The night was topped off with a Mexican fiesta and some special devotions. It was ironic that our major god moment today was how we avoided any car wrecks coming down here. Every parent made sure to point out to all of our licensed or our permit holding drivers how important it was to look out for the other guy and in this case those “whack-a-doo” drivers in the Northern Virginia area! We (all 17 strong) are very excited to begin our work tomorrow. We will to try to uphold our South Carolina tradition as this is the 7th year we have come to Bennettsville. We are proud to once again visit everyone that we have helped before and those we will help this year. It is all of those folks (past and present) that mean so much and make this trip so worthwhile. We will let everyone know that once again we have another team here from our church in Sterling, Virginia! We love and miss our Sterling Family, The Bennettsville Team