My first mission trip was to Jamaica. I was excited to be going and at the same time I was anxious. I had lots of questions and uncertainties. My initial thoughts were to join a group who were already familiar with going on mission trips, rather than go it alone. I wanted to go on a short-term mission trip – 2 weeks the most – to test the waters. I also wanted to go to a country whose culture I was familiar with – hence the reason for me choosing Jamaica. After much researching on the internet searching for an organisation that ticked all the right boxes, I came across Mission Discovery through a google search of ‘Short term mission trips to Jamaica’. I made contact with the office staff who were very welcoming. They sounded so excited to have someone join them from the UK. It was a first for them. After several phone conversations and emails, I knew I had made the right choice in linking up with this organisation. God really knows how to connect like-minded people to bring about lasting relationships for His Honour and Glory.
This trip was to be the deciding factor on whether I was cut out for mission work or not. Needless to say since this trip, I have been on several other mission trips and God willing, my plan is to go on many more.
Each mission trip is different. This depends on where you go and what the needs are for the Projects you will be supporting in-country. In Jamaica there were two projects that the group supported during this trip:
- Building an extension of a church for a Pastor in the local community and
- Supporting the work of an orphanage
Extension of Church Building
The work here involved lifting and shifting cement, painting walls, carrying water- chain gang style – to support the builders. The builders were local men. With the mission team, the work was able to progress much more quickly. Mission Discovery has teams going out different times of the year so our team wasn’t there to complete the work. Where we left off, the next team will continue.
Supporting the orphanage
“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for such is The Kingdom of God”
Luke 18:16 King James Bible
The staff at the orphanage where we worked were compassionate, dedicated, loving and cheerful in spite of the conditions they were working under. They were understaffed and overworked but took it in their stride.
As for the children, they were the cutest children you could ever imagine. Their ages varied from babies to teenagers. Some were mentally challenged but they knew how to grab your attention. Working at the orphanage was emotionally challenging. The children, being orphans, do not get the same attention they deserve as those living with parents. When they see a new face, they see ‘love’. They know that these ‘new faces’ come to show them love and play with them so they become attached to you. So attached that when you leave for the day, the sound of crying and screaming for you to come back, echoes down the corridor after the iron gates are slammed shut. They leave a lasting impression on you and you do the same.