The Jamaican Bond…

I’m getting back into my groove and am trying to find time to write a bit more.  I read a quote this morning that really challenged me to figure out a way to make writing a priority in my life.  It simply said, “What’s that soul thing for you, that God-honoring thing, that keeps slipping away because there’s been no time?  Schedule the start of your thing RIGHT NOW.” -Lysa TerKeurst

Now to the Jamaican bond…when we departed for Jamaica, I knew I was going away with a group of known strangers.  On some level, I knew just about everyone on the trip, but at the same time, most of these individuals were complete strangers to me.  Beyond knowing their name, their marital status, the names of a few of their family members, and their roles and responsibilities in the church, I knew very little about the group of people with whom I would be spending a week in Jamaica.  Similarly, they knew very little about me.  It’s amazing how often we work and socialize with people and yet never really know who they are.  I don’t think it’s intentional, but sadly it happens.  Well, in Jamaica, an interesting, and expected thing happened…we learned about each other and we bonded on a different level.  Previously, my perceptions of my fellow missionaries was solely based on brief Sunday morning encounters, I now get to base my thoughts and views of them on the extended time we shared during Jamaica experience, and that’s a good thing!

There were some people who went on the trip who I’d only smiled at in passing, there were some who knew my name for many months before I remembered theirs, there were some who I’ve never even spoken to, there were some who I serve on ministries with, and then there were those who knew me pretty well.  But in this experience, it didn’t matter how the relationship was at the start of the journey, my relationship with everyone changed over the course of the trip.  I now look forward to see the JM15 crew in church because we always have something to laugh and talk about together.  It could be about someone’s supah fly red satin bonnet, it could be someone talking about goats having milk in their balls, it could be someone talking about one of the guys running off the boat while nearly knocking others into the water…or it could be about the unique worship experiences we shared, the joy we found in connecting with our brothers and sisters while painting or passing out medical kits, or the meals we shared together as a family.

Every day certainly wasn’t perfect…by the middle of the trip, the introvert in me certainly needed a break from people.  I did good to make it through the first two days without needing a serious break!  Through it all though, I believe this experience has opened the doors of communication for this group in so many ways…if not for anyone else, I believe I can have conversations with individuals now that I never would have engaged in previously.  A bond that will never be broken was formed during those days of doing God’s work in Jamaica.

Until next time…


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