Jamaica: Laying foundations—physically and spiritually

A man in Jamaica proudly displays the keys to his new home, built by student missionaries.

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I spent the first week of 2016 serving in Harmons, Jamaica. During the week, I had the opportunity to live out what I believe is God’s calling for my life. I helped build a house and lay a foundation, working alongside Jamaicans while investing in their lives to show them Christ—the true foundation.

Little did I know that I would be changed as much as I was. God changed my heart by the joy of the people. I went to the people with the intention of helping them, but they showed me Christ’s heart in a new light.

On a trip to the infirmary, where the nursing students who were there for the week also were serving, we all were encouraged to talk to, love on, read to and spend time with the patients. I felt a little out of my element and was unsure if this visit could do anything for me, or even if I could do anything for any of the patients.

I came across a woman named Ina who was lying still in her bed, staring in my direction. I approached her and introduced myself. I began to ask her where she is from, her family and other typical questions you ask when you first meet someone. I was heartbroken to hear that her answer: “I don’t remember.” Who knows how much wisdom this woman possesses inside her because of Christ? Such wisdom that I would not be able to hear because of the horrifying truth that the evil one seeks to steal, kill and destroy, and he does so in this way.

Bible reading Jamaica 425A Jamaican woman at an infirmary finds comfort in hearing the familiar words of Scripture. I was excited to see a Bible sitting on her bedside table. I asked if I could read to her. I began reading through Psalms. I could hear her repeating the words as I read, astounded that she knew them all by heart.

I approached Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.” I choked back tears and wondered if I should skip to the next psalm without saying anything. But I continued because I could hear Ina saying “Praise Jesus!” as I said the words “forsaken” and “no rest.” Ina had found her hope in the verses following: “Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.”

After I finished Psalm 22, I set the Bible in my lap and began singing Forever by Kari Jobe. I knew that Ina would not know the song, but I felt as though she needed to hear the truths of the song. But once again, God blew my mind and Ina began to sing along to the tune. Her accent made her words hard to understand, but I could hear “Praise the Lord” and “He is good” clear as day.

God is so good. I cannot put into any other words how grateful I am for the experiences I had in Jamaica. I left a piece of my heart in another country and among a beautiful and joyous people. God bless Jamaica.

Kayla Bolin, a student at Amarillo College, served in Jamaica with Go Now Missions.

   
   

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