Friday, September 14, 2012
Jack in the box...wait, no, Blake in the box!
Wednesday I had the unique opportunity to interpret for a tv show, All Angles, and you can see it here at http://www.televisionjamaica.com/Programmes/AllAngles.aspx/Videos/20787. You'll find me in the lower right hand corner, "in the box." I really didn't know what to expect when I showed up to the studio Wednesday night, but it was a fun experience and I was happy to see the most popular Jamaican TV channel broadcasting a proper message. They really did focus on the importance of early intervention, language acquisition and necessary resources/support material. It was always great to see that Kemoy's success did not go unnoticed. I was surprised as I began interpreting and realized they were interviewing Kemoy. It was also an awesome reminder of God's goodness because at the time of his interview, he did not yet know that he was accepted into RIT nor that he had a scholarship, so that was very satisfying to see him expressing the desire to further his studies and knowing that he was already there, beginning his college tenure back in August. Please pray that Jamaica continues to make progress in recognizing the ability of all persons, particularly those in the disability sector, and that attitudes and mindsets can flip from can't to CAN!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Team Jamaica with ACWR leaders
Team Jamaica: Loren, John, Tashi, Blake, Alan, Erin
Thursday I picked up John Huber, Alan Roth and Loren Dettwyler, who make up what is called the Jamaica Operations Committee (JOC) and just dropped them off at the airport after a few days of meetings. The JOC is a branch of the Carribbean Committee of ACWR, and as the name states, has oversight over all Operations in Jamaica. Essentially there are three arms of ministry here on island. Alan Roth is the coordinator for Material Aid, which is when we send containers of aid and deliver it to orphanages, hospitals, schools and infirmaries across the island. Loren Dettwyler is responsible for teams sent to Jamaica, whether they are doing work at CCCD or in the community. I encourage you to read the book "when helpin hurts" and also "toxic charity" to help you understand the importance of doing short-term missions in a healthy way. Often times we do short-term ministry in a way that ends up doing more harm than good, and this does not please our God, or the Gospel, which is what we are supposed to be spreading and sharing and teaching. John Huber is kind of the team leader, and he is responsible for being the liaison for Erin and Tashi and I, the on-island missionaries.
Sunday we worshipped at Deaf Bible Church in St. Elizabeth and had the pleasure of introducing the JOC to my mother-in-law, Pauline and the rest of our Top Hill family
Alan making memories, love that guy!
At Lover's Leap...amazing view of the coast from 1,710 feet!
With the recent departure's of Hubers and Plattners, our team certainly had a good amount of questions and uncertainties. Did the last five days of meeting and praying and seeking the Lord's face remove and answer all of that? NO WAY! Did it help? Absolutely! We are very confident that God is still God and He is not only Sovereign, but He is GOOD! And He cares about us, and by faith we believe He has called us to this place, to do His work. And His work is what? Primarily to draw each of us closer to Himself, Rev 4:11, and to give him praise and honor and glory. I believe that was accomplished during the last five days. It was a tremendous blessing to have these three seasoned men of faith come along side of us, share with us, encourage us, ask us great questions and be vessels of counsel. Secondarily, God's work in us is also His desire to work through us. So that is objective two. We also feel very confident that God is honored in our ministry here and that He desires to continue that. Do we know what all that looks like? No, we don't, be he is faithful. Currently we serve primarily through CCCD. That will continue. We are also getting more involved in a children's home in Mandeville, called New Hope. This grace-filled ministry cares for up to 30 toddlers and infants, from new-born to five years old and a sprinkling of 6-9 year olds who have not yet found a home or been moved on. There are various other ministry activities we participate in, as you know if you follow my blog and read newsletters. But, I'm not trying to summarize all we do, but rather give you a slight picture of the ACWR side of things and to thank you for your prayers.
Many, many of you were praying the last few days for our meetings, and God was faithful. Also, many of you have been praying in the recent months with the sad farewells of ouater teammates, Hubers and Plattners. It is a lot different, but that doesn't mean God doesn't have good in store for us. Please keep praying for us, and for the families as they transition to life in the States. Specifically, pray for Hubers as they hope to close on a home and get re-settled for the first time since leaving Jamaica in April. And pray for them as they consider joining the JOC as an additional member of the team. For Plattners, pray for them as they settle into their new home and city. Pray for Drew and Truitt as they start school (in a strange new way). Pray for Kirk as he begins day-to-day responsibilities in a job that has never existed before (lots of ambiguity I'm sure, good thing Jamaican life was a good training ground for that! :P ) Pray for Keri and she settles into her many roles in a new place, and for Daisha and Danae that they would transition well also. Pray for Erin Davis, our teammate, as she begins a new school year at CCCD and tries to encourage positive changes to the daily schedule that is slightly out of hand at Knockpatrick.
Many thanks, and much love!