“Hallelujah!” “God is Good!” “Praise the LORD!” For three weeks this summer, Lauren Telford (Texarkana SDB), Lindsay Crouch (Bay Area SDB), and I (Milton SDB) joined our Jamaican brothers and sisters in singing and shouting God’s praises. The Women’s Board and the Missionary Society partnered to send an SCSC team outside of the US. Pastor Garfield Miller of Jamaica served as our Project Director. He worked beside us and proved to be an indispensable part of our team.
For three weeks, we worked alongside three SDB churches to share the gospel and to encourage the Church. At each church, we ran a VBS program for kids and teens, covering the fruit of the Spirit and the armor of God. By the time we left Jamaica, we had engaged some 160 kids with the gospel and called them to the life God has for them.
To prepare for this project, we took the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course. (Hard work, but highly recommended.) One of the key points in the course is that God is worthy of all glory. Glory is ether the renown itself or the thing that brings renown. The glory of God is the weight of all His attributes and acts through all time that bring praise. God reveals His glory to the nations that the nations may give back to Him. While in Jamaica, we watched as God revealed His glory in different ways wherever we went.
God is a God of Renewal
In the mountain church of Kentish, we rejoiced with a church that had nearly died but has been seeing new growth after moving to where the people were. The VBS we ran helped the church to reconnect with their community, especially the children. Once in a valley (both figurative and literal), Kentish SDB Church is becoming once more a “city on a hill.”
God is Our Provider
For the second week, we hopped over to the Portmore SDB Church in a low-income urban area. Monday morning we expected 40 kids but nearly 80 (mostly unchurched kids) flooded in. The Lord of the Harvest provided supplies and personnel for 80. The harvest is ready and the incredible support of the church tells me that the workers are too.
God is the Chief Fisher of Men
For our third and final week, we headed back into the country to Maiden Hall, the site of the Jamaica SDB Conference. Children came from the local church, the community, and Conference. Many were “churched” but had not yet accepted Christ personally. One student asked his mother at the end of the week if he could be baptized. When asked about why, he said he wanted to grow up to tell people about Jesus around the world like our team and Pastor Miller!
Bringing it Home
Our time in Jamaica stretched me. Different food. Different perception of time. Different climate. Different accents. Different worship services. As we encountered so many “different” things, we ourselves changed. There were several times I prayed that God would help me to worship Him in spite of the unfamiliarity around me. God answered those prayers. Being displaced from our own cultures, I came to view God through a wider angle lens.
Lauren, Lindsay, and I are still working through much of what we learned and praying over what comes next. I can say two things: 1) We were blessed to join Jamaican laborers in God’s vineyard to prepare the way of the Lord. 2) I am 100% certain that God selected the team and the leaders. I would love to talk to you about the mission (and the fun!). Thank you to everyone who supported our team.
By: Elizabeth Camenga