Sunday, January 18, 2009

Church Building Trip to Jamaica

Upon returning from Haiti, we started planning another trip down to the island with a target timeline to prepare and return within one year. We shared the events of our trip and enlisted fifteen of our friends to go. We completed the planning of the trip and before we could make the travel arrangements found that the political situation was getting really bad so we could not return to Haiti due to safety issues.
One of the men, Fred Morris, knew Pastor Moore in Jamaica, he was Fred's yard boy many years ago, was led to the Lord during his time there, and later became a pastor to the people up in the hill country of Westmoreland Parish and Burnt Ground. This area was five miles from the two nearest Baptist Churches. The people had to walk almost five miles to go to either of the churches and they had been working on a church at Burnt Ground for about two years; they just could not get the construction started. We decided to make plans to go down and complete the construction of this church. We shared our plans with Pastor Moore and requested that he send a list of what it would take to build the walls and to put on the roof. The next week we received a letter that contained all the information we needed. In the next few weeks, we raised enough money and planed a trip down.
We arrived on Monday night and were taken to the Baptist Bible College for the night. Early the first day we went to see what we had to do; to be honest we did not think we could do what they needed. The entire team got into a circle and had prayer. Fred and Pastor Moore went to buy the materials. It just so happened that on that day the money exchange was much better than it was on most days. We had taken enough money to put the wall up but now with the extra money we were able to buy enough materials to put the roof on. By noon that day all of the materials were delivered and we had made plans as to how we were going to do the job. I had taken a four foot level and enough line to get the building laid out the best we could. After we had lunch we started laying the concrete blocks and prayed continuously that we had the building level. The blocks were made with equipment that was use years ago when blocks were first being produced in America; the blocks were not uniform. The only sand that we had to mix with the mortar had rocks as big as marbles so we had to learn how to work around that hurdle. By the end of the week we had all of the walls up and when we got to the top we were only two inches out of level and Pastor Moore thought that that was great.

The work went so well that we had our last day to take a trip around parts of the island and were able to see a number of sites. We left them with enough supplies to put the roof on the church. We had made some wooden benches and they held services in the Church the first Sunday after we left even though it did not have the roof and the floor was dirt. On the tenth day we headed back to North Myrtle Beach. It sure made us feel good to have got so much done in just eight days.
Listen to me tell about this trip to Jamaica.

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