While the art camp was going on in Galina, a special project was being created with more garbage and trash and whatnot from the shores of our beaches in St. Mary. On the first day, the youth and volunteers went out to the beach in Port Maria to collect what would turn out to be a beautiful art piece for the Infirmary garden.
It’s amazing how plastic, board, glass and all those things that are thrown into the sea can actually be crafted and magically turned into art. With a small presentation, the arbor was placed gently in the infirmary garden for all to see and enjoy. Even Alrick thought it was something worthy of getting his picture taken with.
Sometimes, the simplest things make the greatest gifts.
School is getting ready to happen here in Jamaica. This week, all our parents and students are arriving at the Wellness Center for their book bags, shoes, uniforms, and new contracts.
Time flies from summer to fall. As everyone prepares to move into this time of new friends, new clothes, and new faces, we at ACE want to take a moment to say thanks.
Thanks for not only financially supporting these beautiful children with their education, but thanks for believing that ACE is the ministry you want to invest in to see change happen in St. Mary. This year, some of you have lost your children due to parents not fulfilling their part of the contract for sponsorship. Ouch. It hurts, but sometimes, helping does hurt, as long as we help in the right way. A friend of ACE named Beverly had her child dropped this year from the sponsorship program. As Beverly stood in front of me in the dining room this summer, she was teary eyed and asked if she will ever see her child again since he’d been removed from the program.
I looked at her, smiled and said, “Of course, you will. Just because he’s off our program because of a parent’s actions doesn’t mean we stop loving him or you stopped caring.” Beverly did get to see her former child, not just once but every day at VBS — and guess what? He still knows that Beverly and ACE love him. We don’t stop caring for our children just because their parent or guardian doesn’t fulfill his or her obligation; we just have to show our love in a different way. By the way, Beverly now has two students in her life, another child that really needed help and always her Joshua.
Compassion and Commitment – it really does still exist and is growing stronger in the ACE family.
The ACE Second Story program is an extension of our Child Sponsorship program, designed for students who have entered into high school. This summer, out of this program, fourteen students were chosen to work in a summer job program after an application and interview process.
These students worked tirelessly throughout summer, providing assistance to the staff at Galina Breeze Hotel with housekeeping, maintenance, and kitchen duty, as well as supporting the ACE staff at VBS, Summer School and working with visiting mission teams. The students learned many valuable lessons about work ethic in four weeks’ time. From the beginning of the program to the end, they showed up on time to work hard and make a difference, being open to new experiences and learning the value of money earned. They used their earnings to purchase school books, and they now better understand how saving and planning gets one closer towards a goal.
The students discovered the skills at which they excelled, and they learned to appreciate those jobs they may not have liked as much; in the end, they are more well-rounded, educated individuals. As a reward for a job well done, we closed the summer by taking these fourteen exceptional teens shopping for shoes and then to Burger King, which they thoroughly enjoyed. Watching them grow in confidence and knowledge was a pleasure, and we are thankful for such a productive summer with this select group of Second Story students.
Many of you who came to Jamaica this summer saw our 2016 IQuest team sporting around bright yellow shirts with this saying written on the back. Funny enough, only a few people stopped to ask what those words meant. These words are Greek in origin and we copied them from a great book we recommend everyone with students and young adults read called Artificial Maturity by Tim Elmore.
This year’s interns came with lots of Ginosko but needed more Oida for balance. As with most young adults and students living in America, they have access to the internet and information overload from our tech culture, while at the same time, their lives are very guarded by parents who love them and want to protect them. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to lots of “Ginosko” (knowledge) but without the “Oida” (experience).
It was a joy watching God do some fast work in the lives of young adults who had the courage to sign up for a 78-day grueling summer. IQuest is a life-changing experience. It takes guts and grit to graduate from the ACE IQuest Program, and these interns saw it through to the end.
We leave you with this quote from the Poor Richard’s Almanac: “The great goal of becoming what one is capable of becoming can be achieved only by those willing to pay the price, and the price always involves sacrifice, discomfort, unpleasantness, and yes, even pain…”
Congratulations to Libby, Olivia, Daniel, Lucas, and Wayde for staying the course and making their mark in this ministry. We look forward to seeing you back soon!!
It is with a heavy heart that we share the loss of one of our faithful canine friends, Cali. We are so grateful for her endless nights of patrolling the property, allowing our volunteers to find comfort in petting her, and for her ability to keep all the other dogs in-line. She will truly be missed.
Meet Dr. Steve Guy, our Medical Director. Dr. Guy has been leading medical trips with ACE for about 15 years now. This very well put together video gives a snapshot of what a medical mission trip with ACE is really like. Whether you have been thinking about serving with us or know someone who might be interested, this is 6 minutes well spent.
Jamaica’s medical system is a socialized one with not enough money in the budget to meet the needs of the people. This means that there is also a shortage of physicians and the system simply cannot keep up with the need. ACE Medical Mission Trips work hand in hand with the Jamaican Ministry of Health (that’s the healthcare division of the government) to host medical clinics in the rural areas of St. Mary’s Parish.
While this does mean that we have to deal with a small mountain of paperwork, certifications, and Customs authorities while bringing medication and practicing medical professionals into the country, it also means that we are having a truly lasting impact. By working hand in hand with the existing structure, we are able to access the patient’s medical records and ensure that the necessary ongoing care will be achieved.
At ACE, medical missions are just one piece of what we do. We believe that in order to really serve a people and reach them with the message of the Gospel, we need to make sure all of their basic needs are being met. So we have 4 focus areas: Education, Enterprise, Healthcare, and Discipleship.
Enjoy this glimpse into our medical mission trips and we hope to see you soon!