Day 10: Goodbye YWAM Base

Today we had the opportunity to go visit elderly people at Hope Hospice.  We were so blessed by all the Godly Men and Women that we talked with.  We did not have much time to spend there, which disappointed many of us, as we had such a good time talking with the people there and wished we could converse with them longer. Then we had a good bye lunch at the YWAM base in which they served amazing chicken, rice and peas (beans), festivals (fried dough), and cake and ice cream. Then we packed up our bags and rode over to our hotel, The Carbric House. We went for a walk and shopping on the Hip Strip this evening and then had a short time of team meeting debrief. Tomorrow we will be on the beach all day and then traveling late in the evening. We will not post until we arrive early on Sunday morning, letting you know we all got there safely. Prayers for safe travel are greatly appreciated. 

Thanks,

Sara Katelin, Randy, Joeline

Day 9: Peaceful Painters

WE FINISHED THE HOUSE... Today was an exciting day, we blessed the house that we made for Paula and her family. We continue to pray that she would embrace this house and make it a home for her two beautiful daughters Britney and Sanaa. To see the looks on their faces was priceless. At the beginning of the house building Paula shared to us that she was not a believer in Christ, to hear her close the blessing of the house in prayer at the end of the day was extremely inspiring and we know that God really touched her heart. It was really hard to say goodbye to all the children as we have grown so close to them in the last four days. We will miss all of their crazy personalities, and pray that God will continue to provide for them and bless them in their journeys. Tonight in team meeting, we encouraged each other through our words of hope and love. It's crazy to think that tonight is our last night at the YWAM base. We have been so blessed with their hospitality and welcoming spirits. Our team will miss the base and everyone on it dearly, and hope that maybe one day we will return if it's the Lords' will. We have all been touched by God in this experience, and can't wait to come home and share these experiences with all of you. Continue with prayers and thoughts, and see you all in three days!

Danika and Alyssa

Ps: Mom, thank you for letting me know you are brining my jacket. Can't wait to see you at the airport. Hope all is well at home. How's helmut? Also, thank you for getting all of those wonderful letters for me. They truly touched my heart. Love you all soooooooo much! Say hi to Dad, Scott and Natasha for me :) ~Alyssa

P.P.S: Hey everyone, 

What a great experience this has been and i couldn't have done it without my loving family. Thank you all for the wonderful letters, Auntie I agree with you and i know grandma is looking down on all of us right now. I can't wait to share the wonderful stories. I miss you mom and dad. 

I would like to share something with everyone of what I learnt this week... One thing that God has really shown me this week is how blessed i am. I have a loving mother and father who will provide for me everyday. I have a brother and sister who love me oh so very much. Each person in my family is by my side through anything. My love for God has definitely grown so much this week. This trip has definitely impacted my eyes, my heart and my mind. I indeed miss my family, but i just tell myself I'am here to serve the lord. As it is said in Philippians 3:13 "Brothers and sisters, I know that i have yet not reached that goal, but there is one thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead." This verse really spoke to me. I left all my problems at home and cleared my mind to focus more on what God has in store for me. At the beginning of this trip all i wanted to do was text or call everyone back home to tell them what i was doing, but that wasn't why i was called here to Jamaica and i believe God really showed me that this week.

Thanks everyone for the great support. Love you.

Danika XOXO <3

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Day 8: Righteous Roofers

Today we continued working on the "Christmas Jungle House" (which is what we call it because of the bright green paint with the flashy red trim) for Paula and her kids. We have finished painting and almost finished shingling... so it's going really well!!! Today, many of us had the opportunity to hang out with some of the people who live in the community, by playing with the kids and going on prayer walks, as well as try a lot of fresh fruit! We tried star-apple, grapefruit, and coconut milk. Today we were all still thinking and sharing about our support letters and videos... They were just so great and we thank-you so much for all of your support. As we realize that this trip is coming to an end, we're trying to make the most of our final days, and live them to the fullest. Thank-you for all of your prayers and support.. God is working in all of us so incredibly and we can't wait to share it with you! 

Alex & Robyn

P.S. Way to go on your support video mom and dad.. I was not surprised to find you guys staring at the camera for 30 seconds at the beginning, not realizing it was rolling.. don't expect that one to be let go any time soon! Love you :)    -Alex 


P.P.S. Mom and dad.. Thank-you so much for the letters and video. It put a huge smile on my face and made me laugh a ton ! I was getting really homesick but watching the videos and reading those letters made me realize that I'm making important people in my life happy and serving God, which is such an amazing opportunity and so important in life, and I couldn't have done it without you guys ! I love you all (Micheal, Jasmine, Alana, mom and dad) you guys are such a blessing in my life ! Thank-you so much for your love and support ! Make sure to say thanks to Alana and my siblings :)   -Robyn

P.P.PS. Miss you too lil Avery. Don't pee my bed. I love you all. -Danika

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Day 7: Holy Rollers

So yesterday the boys were very short winded, so you are probably wondering what is actually going on. We are building a house for a lady named Paula and her two beautiful daughters, Brittany and Sanna. Today we made a lot of progress! Everybody is working together and we got tons of painting done on the inside and outside of the house. The rafters were built and put on top of the house. We even started to put the boards on the roof. Everyone on the team learnt how to hammer and needless to say we have a few new blisters! It has been awesome to get to not only bless Paula and her family by building the house, but to show them the love of The Lord. It has been really cool to get to know Paula while working on the house. She is not a believer, but goes to church and is definitely searching for God and his blessings. Please join us in praying for her that her heart would be opened to the Lord. Please also pray for the community in which she lives in, as there is a heavy spirit of darkness there. Pray that we could be a light in their lives. There are lots of really cute kids in the area and even though they are not very good painters and get the paint all over the ground, themselves and us.. it is fun to have them around. We have had to be creative in coming up with games to play with the kids and so far we have played stick hockey (random twigs and a rock) and baseball (bamboo stem and rock)! We are looking forward to getting to go back tomorrow and finishing up the house. We are getting close! 

Tonight we are filled with lots of smiles and happy tears as we reflected on the love and support of everyone back home.  Everyone is missing home a bit, but feel so loved and blessed to have the awesome family and friends that we do. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support. We will soon be able to give you hugs again!

- Sophie and Joeline

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Day 6: Boys Rule

We started the house today and it all went well. We got three walls up and tons of stuff painted! We also got to hang out with all the kids and people of the community which was lots of fun and a great experience.

Shout out to Shyla, miss you tons!

-Geoff

I agree with Geoff's summary of the day. Except him and I did not actually do any painting. Sophie's toe is doing fine and am very sorry for any worried parents! (And I plan on breaking many more toes in the future {later this week})  ;)

-Elliott

There are lots of photos because boys don't write good.

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Day 5: Sunday Funday

Hey y'all reading this blog post! How's sunny Saskatoon? Ha JK it's obviously not sunny cause we have all the sun over here in Jamaica! We started off our day with a three hour church service that not all of us stayed awake for. The parts that we were awake for were full of lots of amen's, hallelujah's, and enthusiastic singing from the church goers there; it was truly an awesome time. After church we went for a delicious lunch at the pork pit, consisting of jerk pork and festivals, where we all got out of our sunday pretty clothes and into our clothes to go shopping. Once we were all ready to go in our shopping clothes we proceeded onto the craft market, where we were all greeted by very eager vendors. Many of us were sucked into by things that we didn't want or need (Alex) and some of us turned out to be very good at bartering (Geoff). The amount of Bob Marley merchandise was a little overwhelming but many of us found some pretty good deals. Many of us spent a lot of our money whereas some of us only spent $1 (Tara). LOL. We ended the day off by all sharing our testimonies, "and now we are all best friends" - Randy. 

 

PS shout out to Rita Hanoski for birthing a wonderfully fair skinned child say hi to the rest of the fam for me since i'm pretty sure no one else reads this. Tell Miya Annie misses her! LOVE YA! - Brianna 

 

PPS shout out to the Dishko family and all of my friends reading this, HI! I'm having a good ol time in Jamaica, serving and loving. By the way I'm not bringing y'all home anything. Love you guys! :) -Tara 

 

PPPS also Jordan wanted us to let Celine know that she actually DID NOT burn and instead beautifully tanned.

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Day 4: Roasted Lobsters

Hey family and friends!

   Today we got a break from the work we've been doing, and went to Dunn's River Falls. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a tourist destination where you climb up a water falls. We ran up them so fast that we beat all the tourists. It was really fun, although some of us ended up swallowing quite a bit of water (Robyn). Some of us also spent some time snorkelling, unknowingly going out a little farther than we were allowed... let's just say the cops showed up... don't worry, it was minor! Others lied on the beach and got some colour...

Sunburn Victims List:

Sophie ("Barely, this is not Hawaii!"), Joeline, Brianna, ALYSSA, Robyn, Dankia, Tara, Jordan

Sunburn Survivors List:

Alex, Randy, Sara-Katelin, Geoff, Elliot

 

   After we left the falls, we enjoyed some delicious Jamaican jerk chicken at a restaurant called Scotchies. We had a really great day, and are looking forward to a great day tomorrow filled with church and the craft market. Some of us are a bit nervous for it, because we're not used to the pressure to buy; hopefully we can be strong! 

I miss you Mom, Dad, Colton and friends! I'm having a great time, and I can't wait to see you and share stories with you when I get back! 

Alex

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Day 3: God bless you, take a seat

Hey everyone that reads this blog! So today we went to West Haven again, and had an absolutely amazing time. The kids there are so incredible and make sure there is never a dull moment. It has been sooo nice and warm here! A little humid for my liking, but still really nice. Especially considering how cold it is back home. Good news! Sophie's toe is healing! Praise the Lord!! This is really scattered but I hope you get the point. Anyways, West Haven! What did we do, I bet you want to know! Well we sang songs, played around, pushed many kids on the swings and did an awesome craft! I will let Robyn touch on the specifics. It's like 9:30pm right now so I'm headed to bed! Love you sooo much Mom, Dad, Scott and other family and friends! Now off to Robyn :) 

~Alyssa

Hey everyone :) hope all of y'all are doing great back in Saskatoon ! So, you may be wondering about our title, well back at west haven, there was a very friendly guy named Christopher who would always grab your hand while saying "God bless you, take a seat" while gesturing to a chair or ground. Also not to mention the kisses I got from my new best friend that we called baby. The weather was quite perfect today.. not to hot, not to cold and we got some rain today :) But anyways, so far the trip is going great and everyone is getting along so well and getting quite close which is such a blessing. God is speaking to all of us in such incredible ways and it's already an amazing experience with so much more to come ! :) Missing you tons already mom, dad, Jasmine and Micheal ! send my hello's to everyone (Charlie) haha Love and miss you all !

~Robyn :)

Love always, Project Serve Jamaica 2014

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Day 2: Armpits Up!!!

Hey everybody back home,

This morning we started off our day by travelling up the very scenic mountain to the beautiful 'West Haven'. West Haven is a children's home for the disabled; it wasn't what we expected. Everybody had their fears about the day, but it was a success. When we arrived, it was very welcoming. The residents came right up to us, and right away put smiles on our faces as well as theirs. We all split off into different areas of West Haven to introduce ourselves. Throughout the day we sang songs, played on the playground, took them for walks, helped with feeding, and we hung around and took lots of pictures in the hot afternoon sun. (OUCHHH) - we wore sunscreen again... but not Sophie... to be announced at a later time... Danika, Jordan, Robyn, Alex, and Brianna all got our hair braided by one of the workers for free very generously. At the end of our day it was very hard to say our goodbyes, but when we returned to the base we had exciting stories to tell. Many of the residents put permanent smiles on our faces and our cheeks hurt from laughing. We can't wait to return back to West Haven tomorrow for even more fun and stories to share! 

Upon our arrival back at the base, we had some free time before supper. We hung out at the pool and enjoyed the hot hot hot HOTT sun... (Elliot applied sun protection). After a delicious supper of chicken, potatoes, and salad we relaxed a bit before our nightly team meeting in which we shared our encounters with God. We all experienced this differently and it was very inspiring and encouraging. As the night comes to an end, we look out our windows and see the beautiful ocean. (getting jealous?)

Love you mommy and daddy,

With love from Danika and Jordan <3 XOXO, keep us in your prayers and thoughts

p.s Hope everyone has a romantic valentines day. 

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Just a bit of a side note on why I did not apply sunscreen... This is Sophie. Yesterday as we were leaving Blossom Gardens, there was a bit of an incident. Elliot accidentally slammed a car seat down onto my middle toe of my right foot. But don't worry, he apologized many, many, many times! It hurt, but later on in the day it started to really hurt. Sara Katelin and a lady named Marian from the YWAM base took me to see the doctor... Turns out I have a broken toe! So Sara Katelin and I ended up not being able to go to West Haven, but visited the doctors office, X-ray office and pharmacy. Don't worry Mom and Dad, I am totally fine and wish I didn't have to miss out today. If y'all would pray for healing and that it wouldn't hurt to bad to put on shoes to build the house, that would be awesome! 

Love and miss you Mom and Dad!

Also, the weather today at the pool was NOT super super sunny!! I need to make that clear, ask anyone else! Danika and Jordan just wanted to make you jealous..!

- Sophie

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Day 1

Yes, we all wore sunscreen today (even Sophie) and nobody is burnt yet.

Today we went to Blossoms Gardens, which is a government run orphanage in Montego Bay. The boys got put to work painting the outside of the building vibrant colours, while the girls got split into two groups, one working with babies and the other playing with toddlers. We all fell in love with the beautiful Jamaican children and were able to sit and spend time praying for them. Then in the afternoon we lead a kids program with school aged kids, doing skits, songs and crafts. We enjoyed our time playing and singing with them. After doing our skit, we realized they don't really get our humour and what we thought was hilarious was not so funny to them, but we still enjoyed ourselves, and the message that Jesus loves them was evident. 

This evening we got to participate in the YWAM base community meeting. During the meeting people presented unique things from their culture.  We considered throwing ice on them for our presentation to give them a taste of what it is like back home in Canada, but we did not want to deal with the clean up. So instead we settled on interesting facts about Saskatchewan which the Jamaicans enjoyed. So did you know that Saskatchewan has the most highways for the least amount of people in the world? Now you do!

Tomorrow we are heading to West Haven which is a home for the disabled. Please pray for our team as we are challenged and stretched. 

-Sara Katelin and Joeline