Sunday, October 11, 2009


His Story of the Jamaica Deaf Village Molding Me

The Jamaica Deaf Village in Mandeville, Jamaica is a special place for me. It's the place I came on my first-ever trip to Jamaica back in March of 2002, when I first met my best friend and brother, Ionda Campbell.

(Ionda and I signing "brother")
It's on this mountain side where I first recognized the lost, sinful state I was living in as a 19 year-old college student in 2004 and the Truth began to convict me of my need for a Savior like it never had before.

(June 2004, Ionda Campbell, Kimor Lewis, Kevin Brown and I)

This is the place where I first began to feel God's tug on my heart to become a servant to the deaf full-time (2005).

(My siblings Matt and Katie, with Ionda and I in May 2005, when my family saw why I loved this place so much)

It is this place that I got my first taste of missionary life while interning in the summer of 2006.

(Students at KP. The girl in the middle, Daneisha Francis, stole my heart and then got transferred to Kingston a year ago, where we have been reunited...God is good!)

It is here that I feel so close to our Creator, where I can walk out the door, sit on the back steps of one of the houses, and view the beautiful hillside.

Or look up at the mountains after a rain and see God's hand envelope the top in clouds

This is where I first experienced worship like never before, at New Life Church for the Deaf.

(New Life "Hands in Praise" team performing a drama)

Here I have seen God accomplish miracles in the hearts of so many people who have come down on one week mission trips, just like He did in my life.

(The three young men kneeling to get their candles lit all became Christians while here at JDV this May)

This will always be a place that feels like home, even though I will probably never live here. It is at the Jamaica Deaf Village, where I can "just sit" and be in the presence of our Living God on a crisp morning, and see God's hand in the fog that fills the valley.

Although Kingston is home, I look forward to the opportunities I'll have to come here for weekends of fellowship, worship and solitude. This was one of those weekends. From watching the joy kids (Timmy and Dylan Huber) can have by diving into a simple little kiddie pool,

to marveling at how God has brought together children of deaf Jamaicans (Phoebe and Danae) to be neighbors, playmates, and fellow MK's (missionary kids) to the Hubers,

to seeing part of the vision of the Deaf Village fulfilled when CODA's (children of deaf adults) have friends and community that are just like them (Ashley McKenzie, Rosanne and Doreen Johnson, and Andrea Johnson).

This is the Jamaica Deaf Village. Home to 18 deaf residents (6 couples, 6 singles) and 10 CODA's (17 children in total), 2 missionary families, and a growing church. This is where God has accomplished his greatest work in and through me. This is His Story of me, and this is His Story of the Jamaica Deaf Village.

I love how God uses the everyday "history" to remind us of HIS STORY. He is in all we do, in all we see; your pictures really showed that. Thanks for sharing.

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