Surprise Revealed

We are Group 3 – Brenda, Linda, Samantha, Jonah, Hannah, Rena, Ashley, Zachary, and Katie
We’d like to share our story about the “Secret Reveal” that ended up being an adventure in an illuminated lagoon.  
We ended Thursday with a traditional Jamaican dinner at a local restaurant. Half of us selected barbecue chicken and half selected fresh fish (with eyes and head still attached). After dinner, we were treated to a swim in the ocean at a lagoon called the Glistening Waters which is home to micro-organisms that illuminate upon movement in the water at night. We were able to swim in the ocean and glow while experiencing the Jamaican warm waters. The whole event was planned by the adults in coordination with Youth With a Mission and was kept a secret from the kids the whole trip, they were pleasantly surprised! It was a great end to a fulfilling day full of service.
The next day we all continued our week of service with a trip to the childrens’ home of West Haven, which is a home for physically and mentally challenged youth. We participated in a noon meal of barbecue chicken (that many may have plucked yesterday) as part of their annual fundraiser. Our afternoon was filled with running races on the dirt road of the property, folding lots of laundry (they have six washers for over 100 kids!), playing on the playground with the kids, painting (day 3 of painting for this group), and we even had time to make a window. We were able to engage with the kids and staff, learn about their culture, and even partake in parts of it. Several girls, and Garrett, even got their hair braided. West Haven is a working farm, home to cows, pigs, bunnies, goats, sheep, turkeys, and chicken. What is raised on the farm is used on the farm. This was really put into perspective for us yesterday and today as some spent some time plucking the chicken in preparation for dinner. Even though this was a little bit out of some of the kids’ comfort zones, we were truly contributing to the children’s sustenance and dinner. Our experience these past couple of days at West Haven has really emphasized that every person has been given special gifts by the Lord, and these gifts have come to life when we have been able to step out of our comfort zone and share the light of the Lord with the children at West Haven. We learned that God’s work is able to be accomplished with our hands, that God uses each and everyone one of us in the way He best sees fit, sometimes even surprising ourselves! 

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