We can't believe we have already been living in Jamaica for one month now! In some ways we are amazed it has been a month, but in many ways it feels like much longer than that! This month we have focused on making our house homethrough furniture and personal touches, while also learning our way around the town of Mandeville and being intentional in our time with the Deaf residents.
E A R T H Q U A K E
As you may have heard, there was a magnitude 7.7 earthquake off the coast of Jamaica on January 28. Fortunately, the only real indication near us of the quake was the house shaking quite a bit (which we're standing in front of in the photo above)! There was minimal damage in the village and, being towards the center of the island in the mountains, we were far from the tsunami warnings near the coast. We so appreciated the many people who reached out to check on us!
C O M M U N I T Y
Community is something that we are working to create on a daily basis. We are doing this through being present in the village (both while visiting teams are here and when they aren't) and venturing into the nearby town of Mandeville at least weekly. Pat had been in one of the Mandeville offices a number of times working to get us WiFi at the house (something that is quite the process in Jamaica we have learned). He is now to the point where some of the workers in the office know him by name when he walks in! He has been able to share with them why we moved to Jamaica and what CCCD is doing on the island.
H O U S E ➝ H O M E
The physical transition to Jamaica has been an interesting one. We are incredibly fortunate to have a house to call our own, and have had fun putting our personal touches on it to make it home. Through your giving, we have been able to purchase things like a couch, a dining room table, dressers, and basic appliances. We have encountered everything from bees to termites to geckos, but have received so much help in navigating these new realities!
S I G N L A N G U A G E
We continue to work on our Jamaican Sign Language and are encouraged with how it has progressed in just one month of being here! Kara has been able to interpret a few prayers given by a team to the Deaf residents (disclaimer: she told the team to "keep it simple"... :)
G I V I N G
Last newsletter we reported that our initial costs were fully funded. We had an incredibly generous year of giving in 2019 and cannot express our gratitude enough! That being said, we are still looking for monthly giving to sustain our ministry long-term, so if you are interested in supporting us financially, read more here.
S I L A S
Silas is now 5 months old! He loves rolling from his back to his belly, but then finds himself stuck. He's working on poking a couple of teeth through, but that hasn't taken from him stealing the hearts in every room he enters. You can see this is true as a photo above shows students from one of the CCCD schools gathering to play with him. He still loves being sung to, being held, and chewing on everything!
J A M A I C A N I S M S
Most people on the island do not own cars! People generally travel by taxi, which leads to the roads being rather chaotic. Despite the easy-going nature of island living, driving anywhere involves lots of swerving, honking, gesturing, and confidence! On top of that, driving is on the left side of the road and on the right side of the car (opposite from the US). We will be purchasing a car in the near future, but for now are working to get the hang of what driving on the island will entail :)
- For courage! We are regularly required to put ourselves out there to the residents, students, and locals. This is something fairly new to us after coming from West Michigan where we had lived all our lives.
- For continued health! We have been so blessed to not get sick since we have gotten here. Silas has had a difficult time cutting the teeth that are coming in, so we pray the end is in sight with the pain he has been having with these first teeth.
- For the church at the village! It has drastically shifted its vision for what Deaf ministry looks like on Sunday mornings here
- For Pat's final semester of seminary! It has officially begun and graduation in May cannot come soon enough!