If you visit the Jamaica Christian School for the Deaf, the first thing you will probably notice is how peaceful it is. There is something about the property nestled in the Jamaican countryside that gives a sense of tranquility. The second thing you will notice is that the school is growing. Right now, there are multiple buildings in different states of construction. The JCSD has dreams. They want to have a large meeting room that can hold all 37 students. They want to build a vocational training center to provide their high school graduates with practical job skills. They want to add more staff housing to accommodate the volunteers who come to help.
One thing that won’t be immediately apparent, if you visit the JCSD, is that the hands of hundreds of teenagers constructed most of the existing buildings. Going back almost 15 years, Mission Discovery teams have slowly added to the original school. Each team picks up where the last group left off. For a school that barely has the funds to operate on a month-to-month basis, the construction of new buildings would be impossible. Teacher’s salaries and basic accommodations for the students sap all resources they might have used for building projects. Mission Discovery teams bring the funds and manpower to make their dreams of more classroom space a reality. Looking at the campus with this perspective brings new meaning to the term, “many hands make light work.” Construction is slow, but it is consistent. Teams who have gone with Mission Discovery in the past can return and be amazed by the progress that occurred while they were away.
Ultimately this is what makes the Eden Jamaica trip with Mission Discovery so special. One week’s work is actually an extension of a fifteen-year commitment. The blocks laid are added to the thousands, which came before. Each classroom built is another promise kept. God’s provision is displayed over and over again to the students and staff at the JCSD. They are constantly reminded that He does not forget.
Some church groups have made the Jamaica trip a yearly event. They save each year to return and build upon the work that was completed the year before. They also return to familiar faces. They are greeted by hugs from the students at the JCSD. These students have become friends. A ministry of consistency brings value to children who are often referred to as dummies in their country. Our groups show love to the children of the JCSD.
There is a lot of talk about the effectiveness of short-term mission trips. Questions have been raised about the cost vs. the benefit of a one-week trip. It is hard to argue against the good being done in Eden Jamaica. When you go with Mission Discovery you aren’t just spending a week in a foreign country doing good work. You are literally joining with hundreds of people who have come before you to make a difference in the lives of a special group of children.
Will you join us?