Leaving Jamaica

I will post a more in-depth look back at this trip after I have had time to catch up on sleep and reflect on everything, but I am on a plane back to the States and had some time to post one last current entry.

Today we went to the camp one last time. We finished the Battle of the Bands, had one last devotion, gave out our last stack of chord charts, gave out some awards, and said our goodbyes. Our students this week were great and it was difficult to have to say goodbye knowing that it would be at least a long while before I would see them again. I find myself wishing there was a way to sneak a glimpse into the future to see what they do with their lives, like some movies will put a few sentences on the screen just before the final credits to let you know some details about what happens to the characters.

It was even tougher to say goodbye to the members of our team that were not returning to North Carolina. One of the most meaningful things that happened on the trip was that our band, “The Random Goats,” had people from North Carolina, a drummer from Social Circle, Georgia, and a keyboardist from Washington, D.C. who all gelled together so effortlessly. From the first moment we were together, we just felt like old friends. We shared so many laughs over the course of this week and had so much fun together. In fact, we were having a team meeting on Thursday when it suddenly hit me that we were going to be going our separate ways at the end of the trip. I had started thinking we all attended the same church together. It was weird.

Overall, it was a life-changing trip. I am pretty tired right now and cannot wait to get home to my wife and kids. I’ve lost some weight through sweating and working hard on the trip. But I will miss my new Jamaican friends, the Jamaican food which was great, and the beautiful mountains and ocean. I am so thankful for all of those who prayed for me or financially supported me on this trip. I’m especially thankful for my wife for graciously allowing and encouraging me to go and for my daughters who took good care of her while I was away.

And to my Jamaica friends: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6

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