"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

And the Adventure Continues......and Ends.....

At the beach on our day off
At Island Grille
OK. Back to the my Mission Trip details. Oh what fun. I am finding it rather difficult to write much more about it, as I miss really miss Jamaica and it’s people more than I ever thought I would or could. As I meander around my home and environment, work and errands, I am constantly reminded of a more simple, albeit more difficult, way of life. Of being surrounded by people with happy faces, larger than life smiles, unassuming personalities and a life surrounded by children. Of warm weather. Oh, how I miss the warm weather. Of waking up and serving others. Who wouldn’t enjoy a life of just serving others? That is, knowing that your financial needs are already met, so you can spend your time helping and serving others. I’ve said it many times before, ‘I love my job, but I wouldn’t get up and go to work daily for free.’ Translated. I work because I need to. For financial gain. To pay the bills. To feed my children and pets. It’s all good.

I can sometimes find it difficult to understand why others whittle away their dollars on frivolity. Why they spend would $25,000+ on a new vehicle while millions of people are starving. Why they buy yachts, spend hundreds on haircuts, thousands on vacations, and hundreds of thousands on homes, all the while, there is poverty and starvation, homelessness and disease. I’m not talking in some far off land, although all of those things are there, too. No. Here in the U.S.A. there exists every one of these things---on gigantic scales. I’ve learned about the Power of One. If each person could just do a little, a LOT would get done. Would we be able to eradicate poverty? It’s doubtful. Would we be able make a dent in starvation? Of course, we could. I’ll write more on this soon, as the Lord has really been speaking to my heart about this topic.

Our beautiful room at The Glorianna (rose petals everywhere)
Anyway, back to my adventure in Jamaica. We finally boarded our buses and headed to Montego
Bay from Malvern. From the church camp in the woods to Montego Bay in the city. Remember…..that excruciating bus ride? I know Jonathan I will never forget it. I doubt no American that has ever made that bus trip ever will. When we arrived in Montego Bay, we lunched at Island Hut—a fast food diner--with their famous Jerk Chicken and Coke. Yummo. Then a mere hop, skip and a jump to the Hotel Glorianna where we would be staying the remainder of the afternoon, evening and tomorrow morning, before we boarded our flight for the states. The Hotel Glorianna. The outside looks rather dingy and unassuming, in the middle of a sea of concrete. But the inside….well, that’s quite another story.

Inside the hotel-Is this gorgeous, or what?
My new roomies were Cindy and Connie. When I opened up the door to our room, it was beautiful, by both Jamaican and American standards. Flower petals were generously adorned everywhere. Our room had 5 beds. That’s a lot. We only needed 3, but we used the remaining 2 to lay out our things. It was odd that neither the bathroom fixtures or the table lamp had any working lightbulbs, so we stopped by the front desk and requested some. The hotel attendant quickly came and installed the lightbulbs for us. When I turned the switch on the lamp, I noticed it wasn’t plugged in. OK. So, I looked, and sure enough, there wasn’t even 1 electrical outlet in the entire room. It was especially odd considering we had a large, flat screen TV on the wall, with dangling power cords, no less. Ha ha. The room did, however, have warm, running water, chairs with backs on them, food and comfortable beds. What more could a girl possibly ask for? It was heaven.

After a quick change, we all gathered in the pool area and made our destination choices for the day.After all, everyone on our team was on their own until the morning. So, Heidi, Lucas, Cindy, Jonathan and myself decided to head to the Caribbean to soak up some sun and water. I remember going shopping the last time I was in Montego Bay, and considering I really didn’t have any money (except a few dollars for dinner), I figured the beach would be best. WOW! Definitely a great decision. The weather was exceptionally warm, sunny and just pure awesomeness! The beach was gorgeous! Water-blue. Tiki huts everywhere. Ahh…..now, that was something I could definitely get used to. After just a few minutes tho, I felt as though my skin was burning. I hadn’t applied sunscreen, nor had Jonathan. Yikes. Surely I didn’t want to ruin my 50 year record of never having had a sun burn. Dan and Tim had come, too, and they were smart. They rented a beach umbrella and then hit the waves. Nonetheless, after about 90 minutes, I felt fried. Jonathan was not going to leave the beach, so I headed back to the hotel with Craig. I knew enough not to walk anywhere alone in Montego Bay.

Dinner with friends and family
Later, a bunch of us walked downtown to the shops and then to dinner. I had really, really wanted to eat with Jonathan at ‘The Pork Pit,’ however, our lines got crossed, and you know me. I’m an American who relies on her cellphone. Thus, Jonathan and I were incognito on dinner arrangements. I was worried that he didn’t have any “J” or Jamaican money, and I had saved a few American dollars for his dinner. Uggh. Anyway, I went shopping—if you could call it that. We went to one store, and then to Margarita Grill. Uggh. I really wanted to find my girls pretty Jamaican swimsuits, but one store just wasn’t going to do it. I didn’t think they would want a green, black and yellow bikini. Sure, they look wonderful on Jamaican women because they sport the Jamaican colors. On American women in the U.S.—not so much.

Relaxing after a day in the sun
The Margarita Grill was gorgeous. Ed wanted to see the sunset, and that we did. Peg, Dave, Tim,
Ed, Mona, Louise, Cindy and Connie all went. We ordered, and the waiter amused us with his talent
of transporting the plates on his head. The food was wonderful, as were the view and fellowship.
Then….we walked back to the hotel. Everyone else was sitting pool side, chit chatting and such. Jon was sporting a sun tan and was asleep in a folding beach chair. I showered and was ready to hit the hay. I re-packed my suitcase, but only after a huge ‘missing passport’ scare. Thank God, I found it. #1 rule when travelling abroad, ALWAYS know where your passport is.

Breakfast Poolside
The poolside breakfast was beautiful and delicious—fresh fruit, eggs and toast. Then off to finish packing and meeting everyone outside of my room for the trip to the airport. We took a lot of pictures and were ready to board. The flight home was uneventful (Thank God!).

Once back at the airport, we gathered our items, and Dave and Peg graciously drove Jonathan and I back to good old Oregon, Ohio. Apparently, they only live minutes from us, and my ride and I had
miscommunication problems. Oh well. Thank you, Dave and Peg.

After a late dinner
Waiting for our bus at the hotel
I really want to thank Marv and Scott for such an organized, successful, servant led trip. Their character qualities of servant leadership, organization, kindness and forethought made this trip even more amazing than I could have ever thought possible. I have been on disorganized mission trips—uggh. I don’t care how much I enjoyed the ministry aspect, I would NEVER want to go on another disorganized trip.

Coming Home
I hope you have enjoyed my adventure in Jamaica. I have enjoyed relaying my experiences to you. I also hope that it may have inspired you to consider Serving others less fortunate. To ask the Lord what He would have you do to serve others—domestic and/or abroad. To spark in you a true desire for missions. To pray, pray, pray for those less fortunate and for those that are ministering with and to them.

Be blessed, and I always welcome your comments.

With our fearless leader, Scott
Saying Good bye to the girls
PS: According to Blogspot, I have had over 100,000 page views and slightly less than 70,000 followers, yet my page only shows less than 0 followers. I think you may need to sign into Google and have either a Yahoo or Google account to be allowed to officially follow this blog.


  1. Hi Shari!
    Great post and pics!!

    Enjoy the rest of your week.