This is a guest post from one of our travelers, Cali B.
One of my very fondest memories of Jamaica happened about mid-week of our trip. It was after a long day of roofing, and I remember a few of us had this ritual of sitting out on a wall overlooking the ocean— the day’s sweat still glistening off our foreheads— and having a moment of solitude together.
On this particular night, after the last bit of light left the sky we decided to take a walk on the beach. We ended up sitting in an old abandoned canoe, and I remember Brandon saying, “Look for a shooting star, you’ll never see one quite like you do here.”
I had never seen a shooting star before. So there I sat : pitch black all around me, on completely foreign ground, hunched in a rusty canoe, eyes to the sky—and I waited. It didn’t take long before I saw the burst of light fly across the black night and fall toward nothingness.
Now believe me, I know how the tale goes, and I’m completely testing fate by telling you what I wished on that night but I feel it needs to be said. That night, I wished with everything inside me that what we were doing mattered and that it wasn’t in vain. Thousands of people take mission trips to Jamaica every year but I wanted our little group to really make a difference. To really show the humanity and integrity of this world.
See, the hardest part for me in all this wasn’t the laborious days or homesickness or even the cultural differences. It’s hard helping one family, and then seeing five other families that need help too and not being able to do as much for them. It’s building a roof on a house for a man but seeing his children without shoes or books and knowing that if you could only go back home, you could pile up those Nike’s you haven’t worn in three years and bring them back and their feet wouldn’t hurt. It’s hard seeing the scarcity around you and having to “choose” who needs essential items more and what you have the budget and time for in just a short week.
I made a wish that night and my heart has been pulled back to Bluefields ever since. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about our time in Jamaica and the relationships we cultivated there in such a short time.
Do I think we’re making a difference, that our small endeavors are strengthening a community? That we are leaving this world better than we found it, and serving our brothers and sisters like we were put on this Earth to do?
I do, but most importantly: Jamaica has served me.
Reach out to a team member today to learn about how you can join us on our mission.