Friday, June 17, 2011

Videos from the Team

Well, this is it...the final night of our mission trip. Time has gone by so quickly, but we have enjoyed every minute of our time in Jamaica. And we're not through yet! Even though we're leaving tomorrow, we want to take advantage of every moment God gives us. So as you pray for us, pray for safe travel, but pray also for God to open doors to use us for His glory up until our plane hits the runway in the States. 

We have done so much in the past few days--much more than I could write in one post. However, I would like to share one cool thing that happened yesterday. Before lunch yesterday the Deaf pastor here, Damian Campbell, asked if our team would be able to go to the Mandeville Deaf fellowship. The Deaf in Mandeville (a city about 20 minutes from CCCD Knockpatrick) meet every Thursday night for their Deaf fellowship. We jumped at the chance to go, and we were able to lead a time of Bible drama and then afterwards we were able to open up some dialogue related to the drama. Going to Mandeville certainly wasn't on our schedule, but it was on God's schedule, and His schedule is the only one that matters. 

Today was our free day, and we were able to go to the beautiful YS Falls and then to Treasure Beach later in the afternoon. We had a blast, and I could go on and on, but I want to get to the main part of today's post. I asked some members of our team to record a short video talking about the trip and how they have been impacted. We have five videos for you to watch; they are all signed and voiced for the ASL-impaired. Each video is approximately one minute long, so be sure to watch all of them. 

Angie Tankersley

Matt Bridges

Jorge Meraz

Christina Whitley

Brancent Lyons

Isn't it so awesome how God works in the lives of His servants? We are praising Him not only for what He has done here, but for what He has done in our lives as well. 

This will be the last post before we get back to the States, but I will post one more follow up post within the next week or so. Please check back, as it will have some information of what you can do to further God's work in Jamaica. 

Thank you for all of your prayers and support this week! Your prayers were much needed and very powerful. God bless!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We're still here!

Can you believe we're at the end of day five? We can't. Time has been going so fast while we've been here. Here's a quick rundown of what has been going on:

We finished up our construction work on Tuesday by mixing cement, pouring room where we were working, and getting filthy. Mixing cement is harder than it looks...especially when you don't have a machine to do the work for you; we mixed it the old fashioned way. There were lots of sore bodies by the end of the day, but we were happy to have helped put new flooring down for a room here. 

Both yesterday and today, we have continued with our VBS. Some things have not worked out exactly as planned, but flexibility is the name of the game. Despite our changes in plan, things have worked out for the best. It's always a joy to be able to share God's word with the Deaf students and teachers here.

This morning, we split into two groups: Saundra, Janelle, Angie, Lynn, and Josh presented a workshop for the teachers at the school. Each of us had a different subject that we taught about, and they all related with Deaf education. The teachers were very receptive and excited at the things they learned in the workshop. God has specifically given each of us things to say that perfectly meet the needs here at CCCD. While the teachers were in the workshop, Andrew, Matt, Frankie, Jorge, Brancent, Tori, and Christina did crafts and a scavenger hunt with the students.

We had the chance to lead chapel again tonight. We did a drama about the story of Lazarus and afterwards Josh dialogued with the kids on the facts and meaning of the story. Everyone paid attention the whole time, and there was even some further discussion with some of the students after chapel. The longer we are here, the more God is using the relationships we develop to open doors to talk with the students about spiritual things. Please continue to pray that God opens more doors as he did tonight.

Finally, yesterday we took a trip to Big Tree. Big Tree is just that, a big tree on the campus grounds. It is over 100 years old, and it's huge and beautiful. We had fun eating dinner and making dampers around the campfire. Dampers are a CCCD tradition of wrapping dough around a stick, baking it over a fire, and then eating it with butter and jelly. They are awesome!
While we were at Big Tree, got a chance to see some of the local agriculture: coffee bean, orange, lemon, and banana trees as well as spearmint plants.

It wouldn't be a good blog post without pictures, so we'll leave you with a few that best describe our last couple of days:

Tori holding up a breadfruit. We ate it on Tuesday, and it was pretty good!

Mixing cement on Tuesday morning.

Garfield (hearing) working on the cement floor.

Group pic of our team in dirty clothes after construction. Armando (Deaf) is in the background. 

View of our back porch.

The Bible study group doing their thing during VBS on Tuesday.

Lynn playing Bible games with some of the students.

Guess which one is the American?

Recreation with the younger students on Tuesday.

We told the students to do their best impression of Jorge.

Group pic at Big Tree.

Making dampers. 

On our nature walk to look at the different plants of Jamaica.

The Jamaican boys taught the American boys a thing or two about cricket.

We all tried our best not to make fools out of ourselves.

Lastly, I know you are all dying to hear about Saundra Ford's swag status. Let's just say, her swag is growing, and you'll see the results soon!

Thanks for your prayers and support. Please continue! More updates soon....

Monday, June 13, 2011

We're Here!

Well, we made it to Jamaica. We've been here since Saturday, but this is the first time we have had an extended WiFi connection. Things have been going well, and God has been good!

We arrived on Saturday afternoon, and immediately found that two of our bags were missing. Jorge's personal suitcase was missing as well as Frankie's supply suitcase. Not to worry though...if our God can part the Red Sea, he can find two missing suitcases. And He did! After we prayed as a group, we went to the lost luggage desk and found that both suitcases were left in Dallas, and they would be on the next flight into Montego Bay. They arrived at the CCCD campus before breakfast on Sunday morning, so we never missed them.

We have been busy while we've been here. At breakfast time on Sunday morning, we were asked to lead that morning's worship service for the students. We had about an hour to prepare...but God worked out our plans and everything went smoothly. The entire team led music; Jorge, Angie, and Brancent performed a skit, and Josh preached a short sermon. We also had a time of introducing ourselves to the team. So many of the students were shocked to find out our ages (they couldn't believe that Tori was only 14), and they were thrilled to see that most our team was Deaf. They were particularly curious about Matt and Andrew...most of the students thought they were twins, and later, they couldn't believe that Andrew is the baby in the family.

We led Sunday evening worship as well...Angie and Jorge both gave their testimonies, and they did an excellent job. It's so good for the students to hear testimonies from Deaf believers. We also led the students in the song J-E-S-U-S. Some remembered the song from last year, but they had forgotten it. They asked our team to teach them the song so that they can sing it throughout the year on their own.

Today (Monday) we worked doing construction (lots of demolition and hauling dirt...a lot harder than it sounds). We will continue in our construction work tomorrow morning with mixing and pouring cement onto the floors in one of the buildings here. 

We also had our first day of VBS with the students today. The drama group acted out the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000, and then we split the students into four groups where they discussed the meaning of the story, made crafts, played Bible games to help them remember the facts of the story, and played recreational games outside. Everything went well. We continue to pray for God to impact the students' lives as they see His word presented to them in their own language.

Finally, here are some pics so that you have an idea of what things look like around here...

That's a lot of luggage!

The beautiful land of Jamaica

The Heart Surgery drama during Sunday morning worship

Group picture!

We see these guys everywhere. They're always trying to sell us insurance.

The students' flag ceremony on Monday morning.

Last minute VBS planning in the living room of the Great House.

Demolition...we moved a lot of wood flooring out of the Great House.

The view from our back porch. (click for larger image)

Loading buckets full of dirt for the new floor foundation.

We had a pretty good assembly line going.

Attack the bearded man!

And last, but not least, we'd like to let everyone know that Saundra Ford has found her swag in Jamaica. She's coming back to the States as a new woman!

Thank you for your prayers and support! We need them! We will be updating again within the next couple of days. 

Quick Update

Good morning!

Just wanted to write a quick update and let everyone know the team arrived safely to Knockpatrick, Jamaica Saturday evening around 8 pm. I was able to talk to Josh briefly last night and he said everyone is doing great. I'll let him give you a more detailed report, but I just wanted to let you all know they did arrive safely to the place they are serving this week. Keep your prayers coming for the team!

Much love, Libby Bonjour

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How to Pray? [Part 2]

As we prepare to go to Jamaica we are asking for your prayer support because we know that without God's power we can do nothing. This post is part two of our prayer requests...don't forget to read part one. Here's how you can pray for us:

Pray for us as individuals
Do you see all of our pictures and names on the left and right side of this page? Our names are listed so that you can pray for each one of us by name; our pictures are there so that you will have a face in mind as you pray. We will function as a team on this trip, but our team is made up of individuals. We each have unique needs and come from different situations. As God lays certain team members on your heart, don't neglect to pray for them by name.

Pray for us as a team
Did you pray for us individually by name? Good. Now pray for us as a whole. Our team is made up of 12 people from 2 different churches that are 348 miles apart. Check out the map:

It's been challenging to prepare a mission team with two different churches in two different cities. But God is good! Things have gone smoothly so far. Yet, when all of our team gets together on Friday (the day before we leave), it will be the first time for some members of our team to meet each other. Pray that we will be able to form strong, long-lasting relationships as only brothers and sisters in Christ can. Pray for unity in our team as we minister in Jamaica--that God's Spirit within each one of us will unite us as a team to work with one heart in His power.

Pray for us Financially
The majority of the money needed for this trip has been raised, and we praise God as we have seen His provision in so many ways. However, a few team members are still raising money, and as a team we are about $900 short of our goal for the trip. Will God provide? No doubt. But please join us in prayer as we await His provision. 

Again, thank you for your prayers! They are powerful and effective! Keep checking back...we'll post once more this week with a few more ways you can pray for us.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How to Pray? [Part 1]

Wondering how you can pray for the team as we prepare to go to Knockpatrick? Over the next few days, we will be listing some ways you can pray for us:

Pray for us spiritually
We go on our trip knowing that we cannot do in another country what we are not already doing at home. Pray that in our final days that we will grow even closer to our God and stronger in our faith. Pray that our hearts would be open to the Holy Spirit's conviction of sin in our lives. Pray that our minds and hearts would be open to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ [2 Peter 3:18]

Pray for our families
I'm gonna miss this little guy when I'm gone all week. Hopefully, he'll miss me too. And my wife will definitely miss my help in chasing him around all over the place. Here's the thing: every member of this team has a family who will miss and be missed. Pray that God would comfort our families in our absence.

Pray for our travel and safety
The last request that I will post today is for our travel and safety. Pray for our flights to depart and arrive on time with all of our luggage. Pray that we would get through customs smoothly. Pray that our vans in Jamaica don't have mechanical problems.

Pray for the health of all our team members. In traveling to a new country, there's always an increased risk of sickness. Pray for our strength and safety as we aid in construction work while at the school in Knockpatrick. Pray for protection against dehydration and heatstroke. I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Thank you for your prayers! More ways you can pray coming soon...

Monday, May 30, 2011


"And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ..." Colossians 4:3

Our trip is less than two weeks away, and before we know it, we'll be in Jamaica.

Please remember to pray for us as we prepare for our trip. Pray that God will prepare our hearts, minds, and bodies as we go; pray that our God will prepare the hearts and spirits of those to whom we will minister.

Check back for more updates...we will update as regularly as we can while we are in Jamaica.