… for God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.
Every time our Bethel Baptist team returned from a mission trip serving with ACE, I left another part of my heart here in Jamaica. It was after our 2014 trip that God birthed in me a desire for an extended stay. During that next year, God took me on a journey through His Word that had me answering some hard questions. The final outcome of that journey was God indicating that I needed to wait. Looking back over those three years of waiting, I could see God’s hand in my life working out all the details of His plan—not my plan. When Marla called and asked me to join her and ACE for a year I was able see how God had marvelously prepared every detail of my life to make this year a reality. It would take another article to chronicle all those details.
Since I arrived May 9, I have continued to see God’s hand at work in my life and my work here in Jamaica. Initially, along with the many other day-to-day activities, my primary focus was searching newspapers and the internet for possible grant funding sources for our four areas of service: spiritual, education, healthcare, and microbusinesses/farming. There were many long days Googling and searching that eventually led to a detailed spreadsheet with all the information that was needed to send to some willing people in the states who are knowledgeable in grant writing. At this time, our first application and supporting materials have been sent out for a possible grant that will support an initiative called ”Seed to Jar”. This program will help single mothers provide food for their families by teaching them to grow vegetables, to can what they grow, and then share their crops with each other through a food bank.
More recently, my focus has been on the many facets of our Child Sponsorship program. The most significant aspect of this program for me has been working with our Jamaican staff, visiting every sponsored child’s home to interview their parents so we can update and add to the information we have for each child. In many cases, it’s been a heartbreaking journey, not only to see, firsthand, the long, arduous journey some of our children have just to get to school, but to see their indescribably difficult living conditions. We will use the information we have gathered to begin seeking ways to help our neediest families, knowing that by doing this we are making it possible for their children to be more successful in school.
In everything I have been involved with since I arrived, there never has been any doubt that I am where God has chosen for me to be, and I feel very much at home here. Sure, there are some really difficult days, but this verse sustains me: “The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” I Thessalonians 5:24