J in Jamaica: Day Five

The events of Tuesday July 17th.

The day began earlier for some of us. Against better judgement but with adventurous hearts, a group of seven ignored the desire to sleep and set off to view the sunrise at 5:15am.

We walked quickly down the quiet streets of Savanna-La-Mar, greeting the few people who crossed our path with a wave and a ‘good morning.’ We arrived to find a group of women performing calisthenics by the bay and quickly joined in on the laughter and smiles.

We were just in time to watch the sun rise up over the Jamaican coast, breaching the mountains and sending golden rays splashing over the water. The lovely site was made lovelier by some fresh pineapple from the fruit market and a few spontaneous songs. It was a beautiful morning and filled us with a much needed boost for the day.

I’ve found something incredibly satisfying about the sunrises here. Maybe it’s just the island life in me, but fresh fruit and a sunrise with the waves is how I want to start every day. As someone pointed out, it’s an added incentive when you’ve got a camera.


With our busy schedule I’ve only been able to catch the sunset via a van window shuffling off to evening services. Thursday when we share dinner with at a friends house I hope to catch some setting rays playing with the jungle trees.

Our vans departed at 8:30am. The furious driving and dropping of our group and the kids continued until we had gathered them all from the various neighborhoods sprinkled around Sav & Cave.

There was much singing, many smiles, and lots of teaching, or attempted teaching to those select difficult ones. All together it was another glorious day at VBS which saw new faces as the word spreads among the neighborhoods.


After a busy morning with teaching and study we were ecstatic that we had another baptism. This time in the river just a few hundred yards from the church. We all crowded and sang and hugged as we rejoiced together.

It was then off to lunch at sister Maxine’s house high in the mountains. A winding drive rising up from the sugar cane fields and into the jungle. We ate a lovely meal of jerk pork and fried chicken with rice before heading back to our motel for a few quick moments of sleep, showers, or study.

After a brief break it was back to Cave for our evening meeting with lessons from Jesse and myself. While I can’t speak for my own sermon I know Jesse delivered a wonderful lesson on turning from sin and our response when we do fall short. I know we both simply hoped the congregation and visitors left uplifted and encouraged.


Like most days here in Jamaica it was filled with joy, heat, fruit, and sometimes a little frustration. Sometimes that frustration is simply because you wish you could do more or share more with the people of the island. As we reflected on the day in our nightly devotional I think we all understand what a privilege it is to be here sharing the gospel.

Jamaica can sometimes show you some alarmingly harsh realities, but it can also show you more hope and joy than you’ve ever seen. The human spirit always smiles on this sunny isle and we’re reminded just how sweet the moments we share with those around us are. While we wish and want to do so much more for the people here I think we sometimes forget how much and how often they’re the ones teaching us.