Jamaicans are great people and a great culture. Everyone meeting you with a smile and a warm greeting and then want to know what you are doing so they can join in with you. They all want to help, it appears that in the area we are they are thirsting form for progress. Our team is building this house really fast and the community has come out in droves to watch. It is very unusual for the men to come out, but they are showing up, most very shy, but they are there wanting to help.
During a little down time I took a stroll around the village we are working in. Seville was once the capital of Jamaica, an area of thriving sugar plantations of which you can still see many of the reminiscence of what one was. Yellow fever swept through the area and everyone left. What is there now is large houses that were once abandoned and squatters moved in. Some of the homes have been “bought” from the squatters and started to be remodeled, but that has slowed to a crawl and in most cases to a halt for quite some time. All the jobs have moved away and most of the people there live on a hillside in shacks built out of anything and everything they could find. A lot of foundations have been started, but anything past a couple walls is few and far between. There are no jobs to go to, they have to pay for school after the 6th grade, so life just gets harder and no one seams to care… So when we show up and start building and building rapidly, they can see progress and completion is near.
I am so proud of our team, as the building is going up, not one person that has arrived on the work site has been neglected. Everyone is spoken to and many conversations are being had. Some just breaking the surface, a lot about candy and I over hear chatter of Jesus and salvation. Pray for us tomorrow that those relationships will continue to develop. And we are going to the infirmary tomorrow. The leaders of the mission have told us that we will need time alone to process and recover from the sights and smells of what those walls hold.