Day 8-June 19-Montego Bay & Back Home

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It was another great mission trip to Jamaica. Today, we said our goodbyes, did some final souvenir shopping and boarded our plane to begin our trip from Montego Bay to Houston, Shreveport, and then home. There were so many little things that made our trip enjoyable as a team. We really did become more than a team, we became friends and family. God truly blessed this trip and many made eternal decisions for Jesus Christ. I believe the island was blessed through God’s work through our team and I know we were blessed beyond what words can express. There will be more stories, pictures, and videos to come. Our team will be performing puppets, songs, and dramas main service at Heritage July 1st. Once again, thank you to all who supported this team through prayers, finances, and letters. You were as much a part of God’s work as anyone and we truly thank you. So, for the last time, good night from Texarkana!

Day 7-June 18-Kingston & Montego Bay

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Today we woke up and headed over to the former HS of our Jamaican “Family” member NexChange. We were able to perform one drama, one puppet show, and one song by Le Carlton in front of 850 rambunctious students. NexChange closed with a call and many prayed. It was neat seeing NexChange at his old school and for the students to see a much needed Jamaican male role model. After a quick sampling of a Tastee Patty, our team headed to Dunn’s River Falls with a quick but powerful stop to bless a school with supplies and materials. Our children’s department led by Bobbie Nell raised and collected money for supplies to help a school that so desperately needed it. It was neat to see the tears in the eyes of the teachers and principal of this school as Bobbie Nell gave them their gift. I love when our team members get an idea to help and then rally others to the vision. We have such a great Children’s department at Heritage that is led by someone who loves and cares for people. This school was blessed today. Dunn’s River Falls was as beautiful as ever and our team had a blast in God’s creation. Every time we take a trip, we always try and take half a day for recreation and relaxation that involves experiencing creation in a different culture and getting a chance to reflect on God’s beauty. After Dunn’s, we had our team wrap up dinner in Montego Bay. This has been a great trip and the team had zero issues. God really brought this team together and the 6 months of training really showed. This is a veteran team that accomplished a smooth, strategic, and powerful ministry each day without complaint or issue. It was a blessing to lead this team and I want Heritage to know that you should be proud of what God did through them. Tomorrow we wake up, grab some souvenirs, and head to the airport. But for now, it’s goodnight from Montego Bay!

Day 6-June 17-Kingston

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Happy Fathers Day!!! One of the cool aspects of leading this team is that my two boys are on this trip. I am so proud of how they love to share the gospel through word, puppets, drama, etc. This is Todd’s third trip to Jamaica and Chad’s second. This mission trip is perfect for teenagers and adults alike. We have 8 teenagers and 5 adults, and we work together extremely well. I really hope next year Heritage can bring two teams to minister down here. Today we went to Bayshore Family Church to do their service. We led worship, did our programs, and I spoke this morning’s message out of Romans 10:9-15 to encourage the church to reach out to the spiritual dying with the Gospel of Christ. Bayshore is the one of the churches we visited last year. They are currently building their building and have made tremendous progress since last year. After church our team traveled to Port Royal of “Pirates of the Caribbean”  fame and had a seafood lunch with whole fish, head and all. Port Royal is a beautiful place and I’m glad our team got to experience it this year. For our evening show we went to the Nannyville section of Kingston. It brings back so many wonderful memories to me as we had been here 4 years earlier when it was on curfew and lockdown. Tonight the community is off curfew and the dangers have lessened greatly. We were able to reach out to the people with a message of hope. It was a powerful night and many people remembered me from the past and I was encouraged to see the growth. Many people in Jamaica suffer from the judgement from religion in their community and the message of relationship over religion, acceptance over judgement, really impacts. We connect several potential leaders that have been ostracized by the church to our friends at JYFC. Today was a great day, Happy Fathers Day! Good Night from Kingston!

Day 5-June 16-St. Elizabeth

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This morning we woke up early and boarded the bus for a 3 hour trip west to the parish of St. Elizabeth. Jamaica has 14 parishes, like states in America, and we would be in 4 of them today. We arrived to do a children’s program outdoors in a primary school playground. We did puppets, children’s songs, dramas, music, and Bobbie Nell gave the message. This was a great opportunity to see the beauty of Jamaica first hand and minister to a primarily church crowd and their kiddos. We then traveled up to the busy city of Santa Cruz, where we plan to do future meetings in years to come, to eat some good ole Kentucky Fried Chicken. Our evening program was on a busy street where we partnered with a weekend-long crusade, and performed some music, puppets, and drama. It was a long day, we didn’t arrive back here to Kingston until midnight. Thank you for all your prayers and support. This has been a great trip and we are so thankful to our friends. Don has spent all week filming/editing for several videos for this trip, his second video for tomorrow’s church announcements just uploaded. It is so helpful as a team leader to have someone of his talent, creativity, and experience to document this ministry. Hope you enjoy the video. Goodnight from Kingston!

Day 4-June 15-Kingston

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Friday was a great day ministering in Kingston, Jamaica. We began the day at Kingston High School with a short school assembly. One of the things I love is when our team get to give their testimonies to the schools. Each team member has prepared their testimony to present God’s story through their story. Many students raised their hands to accept Jesus this morning. After the school, our Children’s Hospital visit was cancelled, so we took a break and headed over to the National Stadium to see Bob Marley and then to the world famous Devon House Ice Cream shop. Devon House is always a welcome break for the team. After our break, we went to John Mills Primary to do a full hour and a half show. Our team has 4 dramas, 7 puppets, and multiple songs. We closed our day over by Trench Town for an evening road show. Our messages are simple, Jesus loves you for who you are, not what you do or have done. He wants a relationship with you based on love, not religion that is manmade and flawed. Jesus wants to permanently close the gap of separation caused by sin and to reconcile all who believe to God. All who call upon Jesus will be saved once and for all. It was another wonderful day of ministry. Good night from Kingston.

Day 3-June 14-Kingston

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Good morning from Kingston. Today we have a busy day with several schools, an elderly center, and an evening road show. The team is clicking on all cylinders and really bonding as friends. The blessings we receive are to wake up every morning to hand written letters, Bible verses, and treats from home. These packets were made for each member of our team by the Wednesday Morning Women’s Bible Study. Our first school was an all girls school where we performed in front of 650 teenage girls. Our team did our usual show with the addition of Gracie singing a solo with Chad and Stephen backing her up. Bobbie Nell preached the message to close and 70 girls and 1 moth came forward. So cool to see each member of our team use their God given gifts to reach the lost. Our second stop was an emotional time for the team as we visited the Bethsalem Home for the Elderly. We went room to room visiting the men and women and sang songs, read scripture, and prayed for the them. This was such a blessing to our team and it provided us with so much energy. Before lunch, we spent a few hours at an inner-city school where we performed our full show and then spent time with the students. We were blessed to have an hour after to hang with the students. We raced, arm wrested, danced, sang, had hair braided, and played with them. Our team has so much energy and each member is reaching out to the students in their own unique way. After some home food at Burger King, we headed to our evening show where we presented the gospel through music, puppets, drama, testimony, and a message. It was a long day and we finished late. We were excited to see Pizza Hut on the bus when we were done. It has been a wonderful trip so far. Good night from Kingston.

Day 2-June 13-Montego Bay & Kingston

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Our first full day in Jamaica started out early with a short program at Green Pond High School for their morning devotion. This would be our first of many school programs throughout the week. Unlike most places in the world, Jamaica schools are open to teams coming in and sharing the gospel. Wherever we go, we like to open with music, then puppets, a testimony from one of our team members, and then a presentation of the gospel with an invitation to accept Jesus. We are very careful to make sure the students understand that if they have already asked Jesus into their heart, they never have to do it again. After our time at Green Pond, we had the pleasure of holding some babies and playing with toddlers at Blossom Gardens orphanage. Blossom Gardens is a wonderful place that takes care of these neglected and deserted children and transitions them to loving families who will give these young ones a chance. After a Jamaican style lunch at the Pork Pit, we boarded our bus and made the long trek across the island to the capital city of Kingston. Kingston is not like the port cities on the North coast. Kingston is the true heart of Jamaica and Jamaican culture. Kingston is an extremely rough city with devastating poverty and a feeling of hopelessness that gives rise to addictions, escapism, sadness, and false religion. Our first show on the streets was in downtown Kingston. We had a small crowd of under a hundred, but our team performed their songs, puppets, dramas, and testimonies. It is so fun to watch God move through our team as people came to Jesus. The gospel is so powerful and all are equal at the foot of the cross! Such a powerful day. Goodnight from Kingston.

Day 1-June 12-Montego Bay

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Jamaica 2018 is off and running. We met at 6:00AM and said goodbye to Texarkana and headed to Shreveport to catch our first of two flights leading to Montego Bay Jamaica. Our team has raised funds, worked on dramas, puppets, and songs, learned Jamaican culture, and practiced sharing our faith. Throughout this week, we will be in schools, orphanages, hospitals, elderly centers, special needs homes, and on the streets over the course of seven days. Most of our days will be in the capital city of Kingston. Tonight we arrived in Montego Bay and spent time putting in the final touches to our dramas. We wake up early tomorrow for an 8:00AM performance at a local High School, followed by a visit to Blossom Orphanage before we make the trek to Kingston on the other end of the island where we will have an evening show. We covet your prayers as we begin this week. Our team is bonding and looking forward to seeing what God will do this trip. Thank you so much for your support, it means so much. Good night from Montego Bay, Jamaica!