DAY ONE _ WEST HAVEN
Today we discovered that in some places in this world, the idea of our personal space/bubble is non-existent. The bubbles have burst. Often we talk about receiving a warm welcome and embrace, but today took things to a whole new level. We entered the gates of West Haven ( a home for people with mental and physical disabilities) a parade of people charging towards us, as soon as they arrived we received many hugs, kisses, and held many hands. We had apparently interrupted a race that was a training event for the coming Olympics and instead of stopping at the finish line they saw us and we became the prize!
We had a short tour of the facilities, and then began our many encounters with a variety of characters and personalities. Our team then had the chance to spend time with, interact, and get to know the people living on the premises. We went for walks, sat at picnic tables and talked, sang songs, danced, played on the playground, and got tours of their bedrooms. The emotions were high from the beginning, they ranged from being overwhelmed, terror, hearts breaking for the reality in front of us, and also excitement, joy and just having fun.
A few Highlights of our day: Waking up in Jamaica ( the view overlooking the bay and the sunrise was just incredible), Singing many Highschool Musical songs, awesome marker tattoos (not permanent), watching Christopher dance his heart out, watching Derek smile ALL day, the lunch time thief, and surviving the Jamaican roadways.
Tomorrow we are heading back to West Haven for one more adventure, pray along with us that the love of God would be working in us and through us as we connect with the people there, that we can bring them joy and warm their hearts. Please also pray for peace in our hearts that our personal fears and nervousness that comes with this would be overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit. These will be memorable days, shaping who we are and growing us in our faith. God bless everyone back at home supporting us! Enjoy the snow!
Pam, Greg, Joeline