Got into Kingston a little after 8:30 last night. Gotta admit. . . getting ready to land I started to get a little nervous about driving through Kingston at night. But once we landed and got picked up (with our little minivan, affectionately named Connie) and started driving, it all seemed to go away. Drove through a small portion of downtown Kingston and then not too far away from the areas that have been in the news recently. Nothing! Calm. . . silent! Awesome! Dropped off the young lady who had picked us up and headed into Spanish town to find out "hotel", Spanish Treasures. One of the ladies from the church who will be working with the team in a couple weeks met us just inside Spanish Town and led us to our hotel. . . which we never would have found! haha
This morning we woke up about 7:30, had a traditional breakfast of saltfish and ackee, calalou, fried dumpling, and fried plantains. Deceivingly good!! Met with the hotel people and finished plans for the team to stay there in a couple weeks and we were off to meet with the church we will be partnering with.
Now, this church is the model of what I believe missions is all about! The pastor and some of the ladies from the church who will be leading the group that week were all there to discuss with us the plans for the week. Each of these ladies was in charge of a separate aspect of that weeks trip! Not only had they already looked over the proposed itinerary, but they had made a more detailed itinerary of their own for us! They had broken down our school devotional time each day into detailed times and activities for the 7 or so schools or so that they had already lined up for us to go to. The lady in heading up the meals they will prepare for us was upset that they couldn't make us more food and still stay under budget.
What does all this mean? What we strive to do at Praying Pelican Missions is partner with active churches and simply help them further what they are already doing and/or propel their intended ministries. One of the things I love about PPM is that we are not doing our thing. . . we are helping the Jamaicans do their thing! Too many times missions had been about making another culture into Americans or help another culture's "church" more like an American church. On the opposite end, it's frustrating to try and work with a church that isn't active. They aren't a beacon to the community and so it's hard for us to come and help them do something that they're not doing. But this church in Spanish Town has a very active ministry to the people in their community and it is so very refreshing to come across and church with leaders like this.
Yeah, so, I'm just rambling now. haha Anyway, after our great, long meeting, Christopher and I drove up to Ocho Rios and then over to Montego Bay where we are now. Tomorrow is going to be another long day of preparing for our team that will arrive Friday. It's only 10:00 now but I'm already tired! But, already having a great time here and I've missed so much this "land of wood and water". Going to enjoy my time here. I'll keep this updated whenever time (and sleep) allow.