Greetings from Richard Mencer (a.k.a. Nicole Mencer Brown's dad and Larry's father-in-law). I was the other adult that had the privilege of going to Jamaica with the WPC Students. Thank you for allowing me to go and supporting my way. It was a real honor to serve alongside your students.
Midway through the trip we had a much needed day off and went to a local town. Ice was the only thing I could selfishly think about. After 6 days with no water pressure, no hot water, bugs, shared showers, weird food, pink lemonade mix, crazy drivers, no AC, no Starbuck's, 110% humidity, no internet, no news and no ice I set out on a quest for ice. I managed to find a fast food restaurant that had ice and AC. This was a highlight of the day but not the highlight of the trip.
It would take a book to write all of the highlights of the trip but here are a few summary points:
1). Parents, your kids are awesome! Your kids worked hard all 10 days and were a blessing to each other and to the people of Jamaica.
2). God did a great work through the students of WPC. I heard your students read Bible verses to kids and the impoverished. I saw your students eat with the poor in their homes. Your children played with the kids in the orphanage. I saw your students encourage each other and the other two youth groups working in Jamaica. I heard your students, many who are timid, get up in front of 90 people and publicly pray, read the Bible and share about their week.
3). Community was created. Your students are from several ages and schools. It was exciting to see how quickly this group came together to serve the Lord Jesus Christ as an extension of the ministry of WPC.
God did great things through the students of WPC in Jamaica. Once again I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve with your students. I am also thankful for .... Ice.
Published on Thursday, June 30, 2016 @ 7:32 AM CDT
Yesterday I went to the orphanage and saw ll the little kids and kids that have mental disorders. They were very nice kids, but nothing like the school we went to all week and took care of. They were a lot more wild and rambunctious, but I understood why because they don't really have parent figures to tell them right from wrong so it will take them longer to grow out of that phase. Then we went to a place at the orphanage called "Baby Land." It made me so sad to see them because they were just little babies with no parents. Also, it was a lot like being at the zoo because we couldn't even hold them or pick them up. We could only see them through a glass window the whole time we were there. Then after Baby Land we went back out to the little kids and I played soccer with some of them. After that we left and went back to the camp and ate lunch them we went to a work site where we helped make a concrete roof and got super dirty. I even got burns on my leg because the concrete was on my leg too long! After work we took the bus to pick up the blue group and sent back to the camp where we immediately had to take showers because we were so dirty and nasty from working. Being in Jamaica has been an amazing experience and I hope to come again someday and help out again and again.
Published on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 @ 9:05 AM CDT
This is my second mission trip with WPC. I loved all the work I did during SGO and on the worksite. The Jamaicans are very considerate and appreciative of our work and always offer to help. The first day at the school surprised me because I didn't expect the kids to befriend us so quickly. Within minutes of walking into the school I had five little Jamaican school children jumping at my feet. They were excited to dive into the VBS curriculum. I worked at the school from Tuesday to Friday, and each day when we left my new friends had hand written notes with questions all about me. The notes were some of the sweetest things I've ever read and made this whole experience worthwhile. On Monday, I worked on a house pouring concrete to make a roof. The work was hot and tedious, but at the end of the day we constructed a roof and ultimately bettered a life. I'm grateful for the friends I've made here, the lives I've touched, and WPC for this opportunity to serve those in need.
Published on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 @ 9:04 AM CDT
Today we went to Generations Church. It was definitely different from what I was expecting to say the least. I went in thinking it would be a very calming, traditional ceremony but instead it was very modern and energetic. The passion for the Lord that everyone had was so amazing to see. Immediately when we walked in we could hear the music. I looked around the room and could see all the joy and energy everyone had for praising the Lord. There were people clapping, dancing, lifting their hands up and just crying out to God. There were bongos and a keyboard which I thought made the music so fun. After all the songs they asked if there were any new visitors and asked us to introduce ourselves and tell where we were from. By doing this they were very welcoming and made me feel at home. The pastor was very passionate about his sermon and everyone in the community. He taught us today that we should love God with all our heart, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. He helped remind us to go the extra mile instead of doing the bare minimum. What else that was really cool was there were a few deaf people in the crowd and they had someone translating the entire sermon for them. Also during meet and greet time we got to introduce ourselves in sign language. After the sermon was over they had everyone who had a birthday come up and prayed over them and they all cut a cake together. The shared it with everyone along with chips, cupcakes, soda, and other stuff. The whole church was a big community and being there made me feel like I was a part of it. I really enjoyed Generations church and if I ever find myself back in Jamaica I will definitely be attending.
Published on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 @ 9:03 AM CDT
On Saturday, the Westminster crew along with the other churches here had a chance to visit the market and Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios for our free day. The drive to the falls was around three and a half hours. Most of us got motion sickness from the drive. When we got the the falls is was so nice and big. We all climbed the falls and hung out on their beach. Anna, Maddie, Ellie and I all took lots of pictures together. The ocean is so warm and blue, we all splashed around and swam. When we left the falls we went to the market. Caroline was not feeling good so we hung out for a while until she felt good enough to go to the market. When Caroline felt better we went to the market and wandered around. We bought a beautiful necklace and a few bracelets. The drive home was beautiful; we were in the heart of Jamaica! We saw lots of villages, people, and nature. Everyone had an awesome day and we all became closer friends.
Published on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 @ 9:01 AM CDT