Day 8-June 18-Montego Bay & Texarkana

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Good morning from Montego Bay! Our last day in Jamaica starts at Doctors Cave for 2 hours of relaxation. Jamaica’s beautiful beaches are truly amazing and a great way for the team to reflect on the beauty of God’s creation. After drying off, we were off to the store to get some final things and then to the open market to barter for some souvenirs. After lunch, it was off to the airport for the first of two legs home. It’s nice to sleep in our own beds, but we are already looking forward to next year. This week we did 18 events in front of 4495 people with 1902 decisions. Jamaica Youth for Christ now has weeks of follow-up with these decisions  and many more hours preparing for future teams this summer. The 16 members of our team worked together as good as any team we’ve had. God surely blessed this week, thank you again of all of the support from our family, friends, and Churches. We are excited to perform and share one last time July 7th at Heritage Church. Until then, Good Night from Home!

Day 7-June 17-Montego Bay

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Good morning from Montego Bay! We are back out on mission today performing a morning assembly at Catherine Hall Primary School. This is an extremely large school and one we were at a few years ago. We sung songs, did puppets, dramas, and Chris gave the message. We love doing schools and freely sharing the gospel. The gospel really impacts the students when it is delivered with no strings attached. When the students realize that its about a loving relationship between them and Jesus and not a religious list of do’s and don’t’s, they begin to have hope. After the school, we headed up to the top of the mountain that over looks Montego Bay, this is where Robin’s Nest Orphanage is located. We are not allowed to post pictures of the children, but we spent time hanging out, playing with puppets, and singing. We were also blessed to have the students perform for us. Robin’s Nest is a wonderful ministry that we are looking to partner with in the future. After a long day, we went to Usain Bolts Restaurant for our team final dinner, it was wonderful! Our ministry is done, we will spend tomorrow ate the beach for two hours and then some souvenir shopping before we hop on our early afternoon plane. We had a incredible week with over 1500 first time designs for Christ. We are so thankful for the generosity of Heritage Church and all the family and friends who partnered with us to make this week happen. This is an exhausting trip with early starts and late finishes, but it’s a happy exhaustion, knowing that we got to play a part in peoples story with God. Good night from Montego Bay!!!

Day 6-June 16-Kingston & Montego Bay

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Good morning from Kingston! Happy Fathers Day!!! Today we travel to Montego Bay, which is on the north west coast of Jamaica, but first we perform at Bethel Gospel Church to sing, do puppets and a drama. After the church, we boarded the bus for our 5 hour journey to Montego Bay (2 and a half of those hours were waiting for our fish to cook at lunch…lol). However, while we were waiting, a few of the team took time to witness to some Rastas. We arrive in Montego and headed to Margaritaville to swim, trampoline, climb, and slide in their mini-bay. After a long week, these few hours of play on Sunday evening and a few more in a few days is a welcome break. We ended our day with a chicken dinner and a restful night at the Verney House Hotel. Good night from Montego Bay.

Day 5-June15-Kingston

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Good morning from Kingston! It’s Saturday, no schools, but a whole lot of other places to minister. We were able to sleep in until 9, which was much needed after arriving back past midnight. We started our morning out at the Jamaica National Children Home. This orphanage holds 77 students with many of them with special needs. We were able to sing songs, dance, do puppets, drama, Lyndzey gave a wonderful testimony and Bobbie Nell spoke. This was a quick, but wonderful start to our day. After some KFC and Tastie patties on the go for lunch, we headed out to Spanish town for a Children’s outdoor expo where we did puppets, drama, music, and a message to the students on evangelism. After the show, we got a two song puppet encore…crazy! Driving back to Kingston, we served food and ministered at the homeless relief center. This was super powerful as we danced, song, and prayed with the homeless. Their smiles and energy were such a blessing. We did a full show with Doug sharing his testimony and Chris wrapping up with a salvation call. After some chicken at Island Grill, we headed for our evening performance in Craig Town on the outskirts of Kingston. This was a full show with Steven and Amber sharing their testimonies and Chris giving the message to the Jamaicans and the Heritage youth being filmed for Sunday morning. It was a wonderful ministry in Kington with close to 1000 decisions for Christ in our four days here. Tomorrow we are participating in a church service before heading to Montego Bay for some ministry on the North Coast. Thank you to all who donated time, prayers, and money to get our team here! You are a part of these people meeting Jesus. We also were blessed by the Wednesday morning women Bible study for preparing goody bags and writing cards that not only encouraged our team daily, but we then handed out the cards to the children on the island. Good night from Kingston! Follow our team blog!!!

Day 4-June 14-Kingston

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Good morning from Kingston! Friday in Kingston, our last day of schools until next week in Montego Bay. Today we got up extremely early to get out to a early morning devotion what we would call assembly. We were in front of 600 at Tarrant High School. We did a full did a full show with Karsen giving her testimony. I was asked to counsel a girl (Aisha) when we first walked in, who asked me, “Why do white people hate black people?” Like the USA, there is some mistrust amongst the races. During the message I was able to focus on there being no division at the foot of the cross. It was a great morning and the team responded well to the early call. && students accepted christ, including Aisha. After tearing down, we headed to the Children’s hospital to spend time, perform with puppets, and play games with the children. These are such emotional and powerful stops. Jaycie shared her testimony of how her faith in God got her through her many hospital stays. It was truly a great time. One more school to do before a late lunch. Alvernia Prep School was a beautiful school where we performed a full show, including Champion. Champion is a popular drama in which Jesus defeats Satan, but not before Satan scares a few children on the way, Todd loves his job. Doug shared his testimony and Bobbie Nell shared the message and the team, as always, did well. It was now off to the Famous Port Royal of Pirates of the Caribbean fame. It is a beautiful place with great food, fish heads and all. Doug took the drone flying and Baylie got acquainted with the local wildlife. Fun times! After a short nap we headed for our evening performance in a small ally in Allman Town. Stephen shared his testimony and the team presented the gospel with over 40 accepting Jesus It was a great day that was finished with a late night stop atBurger King. Good night from Kingston, thank you for following and supporting our team.

Day 3-June 13-Kingston

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Good morning from Kingston! Today was a beautiful day in Jamaica. We started out at Vaz Preparatory School this morning, where we only had 25 minutes for the entire program. We performed some puppets, a drama, sung songs, and Pastor Bobbie Nell gave a short gospel presentation. We were situated in a small area between two sections of the school. These type of settings always make for a tight fit and our performances tend to get a lot more creative. This was a nice, well-funded school for Kingston, or next school was a more typical poorer type of usually found in Kingston. Our assembly at Mavisville Prep School was and hour and ten minutes and allowed us to do a full show. We did puppets, two dramas, songs, Don’s testimony, and a message. We prepared 5 different dramas for this trip and this school was the first time we ever performed our new drama, ‘The Mask.” After an authentic Jamaican jerk chicken and pork lunch, we headed out to Golden Age Elderly Home. These facilities are always a highlight for me as our team got to spend time talking, listening, and singing to these wonderful people. Many of the residents were there last year and it warmed our hearts to sing and share God’s word with them. After some tears, we returned to the hotel for a small nap and then hopped back aboard the bus to head out for some more jerk chicken before heading to our evening show. Tonights road show was in a rough neighborhood filled with high unemployment and hopelessness. We borrowed some power from a local bar and fired up the lights and performed a two hour show. Tonight Bobbie Nell and Jeff shared their testimony and I (Chris) shared the gospel. It’s always a challenge to speak at night because each location is different. So far I haven’t shared the same message twice, but always conclude with the gospel message and invitation. After a long hard day, our team enjoyed one of the world’s top ranked ice cream parlor, “Devon House.” YUM!!! Thank you for all your prayers, feel free to comment below. Tomorrow we have a busy day planned with a super early start. But for now, good night from Kingston!

Day 2-June 12-Kingston

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Good morning from Kingston! Our first full day in Jamaica started out early with a short program at Stoney Heart Academy for their morning devotion. We were late due to some crazy traffic on our way up the mountain, but we still got to do a puppet song, a drama, Amber shared her testimony, and we shared a short message on leadership. 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 open with music, then puppets, a testimony from one of our team members, a drama, 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 the college, we arrived at Balmagie Primary School to do an assembly for older elementary students. Have I mentioned we have a great team? Ryan shared his testimony, we did songs, puppets, and drama. Our team braved the hot and muggy weather to set up the show, perform, hang out with and hold kids, and we presented the gospel. It is so amazing to be doing missions and getting the opportunity to share the gospel. After a very non-Jamaican lunch at Popeye’s and Little Caesars, we headed back for 2 hours of rest. 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 a Kingston suburb called Brotherton Road were we set up in a housing project called Palm Garden. We had a crowd of about 250 with many listening from their windows and even a few on the roof. Our team performed 5 songs, 3  puppets shows, 2 dramas, and Gracie and Todd gave their 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! To see our students share their testimony in front of a community plagued with violence and under a curfew is breathtaking. After a great day in which 131 people young and old made a first time decision for Christ, we celebrated with a late pizza dinner (tomorrow is back to authentic Jamaican food) Such a powerful day. Goodnight from Kingston.

Day 1-June 11-Montego Bay & Kingston

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Jamaica 2019 is off and running. This morning 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. We have a team of 16 and we are so excited to be part of what God is doing here. We had no issues in travel and made it as smooth as ever through immigration. After a stop a Scotchies for some jerk chicken and pork, we drove to the other side of the island where we will base, Kingston. 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. Tonight we arrived in Kingston and got to sleep early. We wake up early tomorrow for an 8:00AM performance at Stony Hill Heart Academy, local college, followed by a visit to Balmagie Primary School. 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 Kingston, Jamaica!

Pre-Trip Introductions

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Good afternoon from Texarkana, TX. My name is Chris Haidet and I am the Student Ministries Pastor here at Heritage Church. I will be leading the 2019 Mission Team to Jamaica. This will be my 13th team to Jamaica and my 48th mission team led overall. We’ve taken teams all over the world to many countries and cultures, but Jamaica is something special. We have a full schedule this year, ministering in schools, prisons, hospitals, orphanages, and on the streets. Jamaica offers us full access to share the gospel and connect people to Jesus throughout the island as we partner with NextGen Missions and Jamaica Youth for Christ. 

Starting on June the 11th, you can follow this daily blog and see pictures and videos of what God is doing through our team. Here is a link to our 16 team members where you can read their bio’s, see their picture, and over the next few days, follow their fundraising tracker as we near departure. Our team has been working hard fundraising, practicing their dramas, puppets, songs, and testimonies. Our team is growing close as one family and I am super excited to see the fruits of their labor. PLEASE be in prayer that God uses this team to reach the spiritually dying people on the island as well as using this team to be a blessing to the disadvantaged and struggling people we come into contact with. Pray for the health and safety of the team as we travel and while we are there, and please pray for those still in need of financial support to get them across the finish line.

If you received this blog link, that means one or more of our team members have been blessed by either a financial donation, commitment to prayer, or both. Your support means the world to this team and I want to personally thank you! It is because of your prayers and generosity that this team is able to go, THANK YOU!!! Here are some pre-trip pictures of our team and don’t forget to check in daily and comment. GOD BLESS!!!

Practice Performance of “Everything Drama” at The HangOut

Drama spacial technique improv practice

More improv practice

Chad being Chad during improv

Pre-trip meeting with Richard Dietrich of NextGen Mission

Second Pre-trip meeting with Richard Dietrich of NextGen Mission

Performance of “the Clincher” at the HangOut

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!