This is a ministry update from one of our most popular and beloved projects, Eden, Jamaica. If you’ve ever been to Eden, it’s probably captured your heart not just because of the work that we do there, but the children we get to play with. Miss Sophia, you’ve probably met her, loves what she does at the Jamaica Christian School for the Deaf. It’s a great project.
Miss Sophia said something really amazing on the phone: “I always knew that the teams coming to serve was helpful. But now I really know!” COVID has really set them back. Doing the many things that they have to do to get the school up and running is a lot on their plate.
So, they really miss teams right now because if we were there, we would be able to help with prepare the school. They’ve had to get handwashing stations, posters, and chemicals. She said, “You know, just because we’re a school, it’s not like they’re selling anything any cheaper. It’s still the same price.”
She’s very thankful for Mission Discovery and for teams like Mission Discovery that have supported them during this time. The funds given have helped them get the school up to par for the students to come back.
The students are all meeting. However, they’re on an A/B schedule. Half of them – the kindergarten and basic school – will come one week, then the next week the high school will come.
When the students are not coming to school face to face, they’re at home learning virtually, which presents a multitude of other problems. If we think about virtual learning in the United States and how difficult it is, amplify that by 50 because there aren’t enough devices for students to learn.
If you’ve ever tried to connect to the Internet in Jamaica or at the School for the Deaf, you know it’s not easy to do. And think, if these kids don’t have a device to learn from, they’re grabbing their parent’s phones and trying to learn on them. Then their parents leave for work, if they are fortunate enough to have a job, and the kids aren’t able to learn. So, it’s not the best situation at the school for the students.
If you’ve been there, you know that it’s a boarding school. So, now they’ll sleep one kid to a bunk. One kid will sleep up top, and on the next bunk, they will sleep on the bottom. That’s just one of the things that they have to do. Also, if you’ve ever been to Jamaica, you may have painted the playground at the school, and if so, you know just how big it actually is. It’s a big playground. But the mandate says only two kids can be on the playground at a time. There are a lot of those different mandates that they’re having to meet the expectations of just to keep the school open.
If you’ve been there, you know how these kids capture your heart. And you can hear the passion in Miss Sophia’s heart when she talks about the children there. And especially one child, in particular, has a very big prayer request right now. Jadean is a very loving child. A couple of years ago she was sick, the entire staff and all of the students fasted and prayed for her to get well. And she did! But, now she’s sick again and has been diagnosed with Lupus. We all want Jadean to get well, and in order to make that happen her parents have to take her to a lot of medical appointments which is very expensive. Miss Sophia is trying to figure out ways to help the parents meet their financial needs.
So, this is our invitation Mission Discovery. The update from Eden, Jamaica is that the school is functioning, but it does need help. I would say there are three ways to help.
- Pray for Jadean and the other needs at the school.
- Pray for the borders to open up. We would want to pray that the coronavirus gets irradiated so that the borders open back up and we can continue bringing teams to this location.
- Donate. Giving in support of the school is a very practical thing to do. If we have a little extra then give.