Roger has asked me to post on my family's recent mission trip to Jamaica. "Jamaica!?", you ask, "Isn't that where newlyweds go to sit on the beach and self indulge at one of those all-inclusive resorts?" Well, that's only part of the island.
We have a friend, Karen, who has discovered God's call on her heart to serve the poverty-stricken and less-than-healthy people on the hillside above Santa Cruz, Jamaica. She has taken the proceeds from the sale of personal property in the states to build a house right on the hill in the midst of the people. She returns to the states periodically to earn what she can to support her mission work.
We went with another family, the Carter's, to help her build a basketball court and swingsets. While there, we also planned and held both a Bible Club and basketball camp for the children. We were able to minister in a little church on Easter Sunday singing and doing puppets for the children.
It was an unbelievable display of how God worked using the talents He gave each one of us. It was especially pleasing to serve alongside my wife, 2 teenage children, and close friends.
There is so much more I could share about the trip (the potholes, one-lane roads, farming by hand in rocky soil, eating all parts of goat, getting drinking water from a pipe coming up out of the ground, cold showers with no water pressure) but the most amazing thing that I learned was that IT WAS POSSIBLE. I always thought overseas mission work was for those who were properly trained and certified and officially sent by an established organization. And I'm sure that's also helpful to maintain a consistency and, in some cases, security. But if the funds are available, it's just a matter of a flight and bus trip and we're back on the hill doing ministry! Like flying to San Antonio and then driving to Dallas.
This means that for anyone reading this post, YOU can make a difference. Even if it isn't overseas. YOU have gifts. YOU have talents. They can be used to make someone else's life a little better.
A word about giving: We were able to go, in large part, because of the generous giving of others. In a way, they went with us. Because of them, we were able to obtain the flights, basketballs, Bible Club balloons & crafts, and even a keyboard for Karen! So, even if you think you couldn't actually make a trip to minister somewhere, consider funding someone who is already on a mission field. We can all be part of making the world a better place!
The 1st pic is of Karen with the Couchenour and Carter kids.
The 2nd pic is Karen with the adults.
I currently serve as VP of Operations in a company that helps churches create the right ministry space (Cogun, Inc.). I am also owner of Serving Strong, a life balance resource and coaching service to people who help people.