My personal motivation to you
I wrote this post about a month ago, and I think it is finally ready to post. There is so much I could say about Jamaica, but you would just have to talk to me in person. Here are some photos of sunrises, scenery and our team during the week, along with a brief summary of what I got out of the mission trip. I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful day whenever you are reading this!
Hey, it's Michael Jaymes. Thanks for taking the time to read this far. I hope you don't stop here... Or even here...
I feel like it's been awhile since I've written to my readers, and that's because it has. I was suppose to post something a few weeks ago; I kept pushing it further down the road until- well- now. Now I'm literally on the road, and I'm not driving so I thought I might as well write in the quietness of the backseat of this packed car.
My parents, brother Dave, my girlfriend Yailinee, and I are making our way down to Harrisburg, PA, 2½ hours south of my home area of Scranton. We are heading down on a cold Sunday morning to make it to a church service that will be preached by Pastor Gary Scott. (You know you're a Jesus freak when you travel 2½ hours to hear a theologian speak.)
Gary Scott is very close to my brother, my dad, and I. We met him on our Jamaica missions trip about three weeks ago. And that is why I am writing right now. I should have posted this a few weeks ago, but going to hear Gary Scott reminded me of it, and therefore I'm typing. So, now that I have drawn you in on an adventure I am on, I want to suck you right out of that adventure and pull you into a new one. This is a blog post about my Jamaica missions trip. Enjoy!
JAMAICA MON! This is my second time I have been to Jamaica, and my fifth missions trip out of the country. This one was by far the best in all ways. I grew tighter relationships with fellow friends I had seen on the missions trip last time, made a greater bond with my brother, and even grew my relationship with God. I don't really know how or where to even begin with this post, so I'm gonna just try to go chronologically with
what I remember and then if any sporadic thoughts pop in my head I'll share those too.
So Dave, Dad, and I decided to join the church on a missions trip. This was my brother Dave's first missions trip to go on after becoming a Believer. (He had been on others before, but just recently God has saved him.) From my church, Kenny, Jason, and Pastor Bill also came. We all arrived in Jamaica on Saturday, November 3 around midday.
Once we arrived in Kingston, we waited for other churches and team members to arrive. Some I had met in the past; others were new faces. I was very excited to see my favorite bus driver, Michael still picking us up. This man has an incredible testimony, which I will have to share another time.
Anyways, everyone piled into the big bus. I think there was 21 of us in all? It was like one of those buses where the engine is kind of underneath the drivers feat so it has a flat face to it. It's like a bus you'd see in New York City. Cool thing about this bus is that there is a passenger seat right in the front next to the bus driver that I always tried to get to first. It was the best seat, right next to the bus driver that I shared my first name with.
The bus driver always brags about how good of a driver he is if you bring it up. He really is an amazing driver! He told me that before salvation, he use to be a street racer, and no one has ever beat him. He's never been in an accident, but has witnessed many. He also said that he raced people on windy roads driving backwards and he would still win. He's an incredible driver. I can't really describe it. You'd just have to see how narrow the roads are and be there to experience it. Sometimes he even drove up little roads going backwards in the bus to impress us.
After a long drive from Kingston to Buff Bay, we got to the mission home we call the Globe. Saturday is the day we just settle in. Sometimes we'll go walk around the town and see what it's like, but many take a nap due to jet lag.
Buff Bay is not a very popular place in Jamaica. I wouldn't say it's rundown, but it's not somewhere everyone has heard of. Everyone that lives in Buff Bay lives there because that's where they grew up. No one moves to Buff Bay. Not many move out either.
Throughout the week we did all different kinds of ways of witnessing. We did open air evangelism (basically taking turns preaching from a microphone on the street), gave the gospel in schools, spoke at hospitals, and preached night services at different local churches. That is one of the neat things about Jamaica: Jamaica is very open to Christianity and allows us to speak in their schools and hospitals freely. This gave many opportunities to spread the good news of Christ with everyone we could. Every night would end with fellowship and walking down the road to get some jerk chicken, an amazing food famous in Jamaica.
Now that I've given a basic rundown of the trip, I just realized how long this already is. Since I can't go over it all because this post will just keep going, I just want to touch on a few of the highlights of the trip. (So that whole chronological idea just got thrown out the window)
1. I wrote what I believe to be my best poem yet on this trip. It's funny how it happened... About halfway through the trip, I got a migraine (they run in the family). I went to take a nap during a break time we had hoping to help my head, but I couldn't fall asleep. I decided to try to read to occupy myself, but couldn't get into that either. I looked down at my bag and saw my notebook I only write poems in, which I don't even know why I brought it with me. I asked God if He wanted me to write, picked up the notebook, and started writing. That poem was 100% spirit led. I wrote it so quickly and the words were flowing on the page perfectly. It was pretty amazing. I'll leave a link to the poem if you want to read it at the end of the post.
2. I also had the opportunity to give the gospel a few times in different ways. Street preaching was a little bit of a challenge, but each time I did it my words were clearer and the message came across smoother. You truly just have to pray and acknowledge that we are the tools that God will use for His word to go forth, and then speak what He has taught you. I also got to speak to children which reminded me of the time I spent teaching at Spruce Lake, the Christian camp I use to work at. Any time I was offered the chance to give the gospel, I tried to act upon it. I now realize how important it is to memorize scripture, and I'm very thankful for growing up in a Christian school where I was tested on verses. This made giving the gospel much more of a breeze for me. I would just pray, breathe, and let the Spirit guide my words.
3. Lastly, I got to see and learn from many wise men on this trip. Rich Ives, Gary George, Gary Scott, and Roy Owens were all men from different churches in the US I met down in Jamaica. All of them had an impact on me, especially Roy. This was my second time seeing Roy on a Jamaica trip, and we connected really well. I'm thankful for the memories I share with some of these guys.
Going down there and seeing the Jamaican people and their culture is life changing. It is very humbling to see how different it is from the states. Some of the friends I made in Jamaica answered questions about how different the culture, lifestyle, and religion is. In some ways they have it easier than us, but in others we are spoiled. I'm guessing there's pros and cons to every country.
To wrap this up, the Jamaica trip made me excited about seeing God work. It is so good to see things fall into place and happen the way God plans. The sad part is when I come back home, that fire seems to fade. I was just witnessing daily to others. What have I done since then?
It's healthy as Christians to challenge ourselves in this sense. It's like asking the question after singing a song in church, "do I know what that song even means, or do I just sing it because it was catchy and sounds good to me?" Or when reading the Bible the question should be asked, "Did I just read that to say that I read the Bible, or did I listen to what God had to say to me?" Everyone can play the part and do what's right, but are you challenging yourself to take it one step further. Jamaica definitely challenged me. It challenged me to not just play the part. It challenged me to do what's right and know why I'm doing it.
The biggest thing that challenged me was something my pastor pointed out towards the end of the trip. We woke up early every morning to do devotions as a team together. We started the day off right. Since I've been home, I have tried to work that into my routine, and doing this has made a large difference in my day. It reminds me of the verse in Isaiah...
Isaiah 26:9NKJV "With my soul I have desired You in the night,
Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early;
For when Your judgments are in the earth,
The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."
Because of starting my day talking to God, His glory worked into me is shown as I live out the rest of that day. So in closing, that is what I want to challenge you with. Sometimes it's the things that may seem little that can have a big impact on your life. Jamaica challenged me to wake up early and read the word of God. Have you done that yourself? Maybe give it a try.
I know this was long, but I hope you enjoyed my reflection on the mission trip, and maybe I have encouraged you in someway today. If you're still reading this... Wow! God bless you!
Here's the link to the poem I wrote in Jamaica! (CLICK HERE)
Hi, I am Michael Jaymes. I am 20, and decided to start writing in the winter of 2017. I feel a burden on my heart that I have much to say, so why not share it? I want to be heard and I want to touch the lives of others. What is a better way than through the internet? I have made my life motto, "I just want to be a blessing." It's time for me to live it out.