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Friday | March 15, 2019

St. Ann’s

Today, our entire team went a local elementary school. Once we got there, the principle had us write down our majors and then he divided us into groups based on that. Then, he sent us to different places in the school.  Some of us went to PE class and played volleyball with the students, some went to Accounting class, others to a cooking class. It was SO much fun and so cool to get to spend time with all of the Jamaican students. After eating lunch at the school, we divided up into groups and spent time praying for Jamaica. It was an amazing experience for our students. No one can believe that we head home tomorrow! It’s been such an awesome week and our team seems to have really become close friends. To everyone that’s been keeping up with us, thank you for thinking of us and praying for us. We’ll see y’all tomorrow at the airport!

Montego Bay

Today we split our team in half and took some people to an infirmary and some people back to the disabled children’s home at Westhaven. Our teams were able to love the Jamaicans who are often overlooked and ignored by society. The simple gesture of just spending time with these people is a powerful way for them to know that God loves them. Tonight back at the base we are going to have an extended ministry time for everyone to reflect on their life, their week, worship, and receive prayer. We are excited about this time together as a team, so be praying that God would come and minister to us in any way He wants!

Mandeville

Today, we went to an infirmary which is sort of like hospice care for the Jamaican people who sort of have no one who wants to take care of them. It was a humbling time and an experience many of our students will remember. We spent a good chunk of time afterwards interceding and praying as a team. We prayed for one another, we prayed for our worksites, we prayed for this country. God moved in our hearts during this time. As the week is coming to a close, I reflect on all that God has done on our team. Individually, lives were changed. People recognized the closeness of God like never before. God’s love overwhelmed so many of our students. And this is the start of a process that will continue much longer than just a week in Jamaica. We are so grateful to get to watch the way God continues to move back in the states.

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Thursday | March 14, 2019

Port Maria

Welcome back! Its thursday! Today was a long, but exciting day! It was a day full of culture as we traveled to the town of Ocho Rios. Our students were able to walk around the town, grab lunch, and explore the local open market! It was special since we got to travel to a different part of the island and see what it’s like in a new town. After this our team went to Dunn’s River Falls and had some beach time to play spikeball, swim, and climb the waterfall! While here, we met up with the other Freshley Jamaica Teams who have been in other cities throughout the country. After our time in Ocho Rios, we came back to the Casa Maria where we ate dinner, had time in our small groups, and had our last night session. We also had a blast in a talent show where students partook in showing us their...remarkable talents! It was so fun! We leave tomorrow and my mind is blown by all God has done this week, and I can’t wait to go back to Athens with our new family! Thanks for following along!

St. Ann’s

Today was awesome! We met all of the other Freshley teams at Ocho Rios. Luckily, Ocho Rios is not far at all from our hotel, so it was an easy ride. The first thing we did when we got there was go to the market and eat lunch. Most people piled into Burger King – one of the only “American” options close by :) Next, we hopped back in our busses and went to Dunn’s River Falls. At Dunn’s River, we hung out on the beach and climbed the waterfall. Then, we went back to hotel and did our normal night routine. Tomorrow is our outreach day!

Montego Bay

We just got back from Dunn’s River Falls where our team had such an amazing time! If you don’t know what Dunn’s River Falls is, check it out on Google. It’s super cool. We were able to spend a whole day together their and relax and fellowship as a team. It was super refreshing. This afternoon we went back to the base and spent a good amount of time praying for the community we have been in the past few days and the Jamaican island as a whole. All week God has been developing in our team a passion and love for the people here and we were able to pray for God to come and do everything we want Him to do see do in them, through them, and for them. We are all exhausted, but we are finishing the week strong!

Mandeville

Today did sort of like a travel day! We traveled to Ocho Rios and met up with the other 3 Freshley Jamaica teams. We went to a market and bought souvenirs then gathered together at the beach. Some of our students climbed the waterfall there while others played spikeball and swam in the ocean. It was so cool getting to see our team hang out together. A week ago they didn’t really know one another, now they are spending intentional time together just having fun. It’s a testimony of God creating community on our team in a really tangible way. Tomorrow is our last full day, so we are praying for big things

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Wednesday March 13, 2019

Port Maria

Hello everyone! Happy Wednesday! Thanks so much for following along with us as we’ve been down here in Jamaica. It blows my mind that it's already towards the end of the week here. Today was officially our last day at the worksites, so we were all working hard to finish the projects we started! It has also been such a privilege getting to know the local Jamaicans who have also been working on the sites. They are so kind and gracious. After our day at the worksites, we came back to the Casa Maria. It felt like coming home. It shocks me how this place can so quickly feel like home. This evening we had another night meeting full of worship and community. It’s a blast worshiping and having fun alongside our Port Maria family.

St. Ann’s

The last day of worksites was amazing! Because we were finishing up our projects, we spent some extra time at the sites today. Everyone is tired and a little bit sunburnt, but we’re having fun. Tonight for dinner, we cleaned up and went out for dinner at Ultimate Jerk with some of our Jamaican friends that help us get our worksites set up. It was delicious! Once we got back, we had a message and worship time, and had more community time!  It’s easy to see all of the friendships that have formed the past few days. Our team is full of awesome, kind, FUN people. Tomorrow, we’ll be traveling to Ocho Rios for a fun day!

Montego Bay

Man, today was awesome! We were able to visit a children’s home called Robin’s Nest, which is at the very top of a steep hill. Might be better described as a mountain? Anyways, it is so steep that it is very difficult for cars to get up. The road washes out alot, and when that happens it is very hard for people to travel to see the orphaned kids that stay there. Today we were able to help repave the road so the kids can actually have visitors. As we finished up the road, we were able to spend extra time playing with the kids. They are so full of joy! You can tell they are so full of God because of the joy they have. They love playing all sorts of games and running around. I think they have just as much energy as joy! We were also able to pray with and minister to the workers there. They pour out so much to these kids so we really wanted to be able to bring refreshing to them! As much as we were able to encourage them, I think we left feeling just as encouraged. Relationships are still being made and growing stronger within our team and everyone is still having an amazing time!

Mandeville

This was our last day of manual labor! Some are very grateful for that haha but everyone is ending the day with the perspective that we did something really significant for these people. The kids at the school get to know that they matter every time they look at the fresh coat of paint on their school. The families who didn’t have a HOME, now get to live with shelter and safety. This is God’s heart being revealed through our team. Tonight I am believing God is going to move powerfully as we worship and pray together!

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Tuesday | March 12, 2019

Port Maria

It has been another great day! Today looked a lot like yesterday as we woke up early and spent most of the day at our worksites. I have been extremely impressed with the community that has been made so far while on this trip. Most of the students came here not knowing each other too well, and now everyone seems to be best friends! The students have all been getting along great and have had a lot of time to bond. Tonight after dinner Bob gave a message on the Holy Spirit and it was amazing! Then we had a time of ministry where the directors and interns got to pray over students. This was a special night where I think students really experienced God and his presence. We have spend most nights just hanging out with each other and playing random games, it has been such a fun week here and each day keeps getting better!

St. Ann’s

Today looked pretty much the same as yesterday, but everyone went to a new site! It was so much fun. Back at the base, we ate dinner, listened to another talk, and worshipped. Everyone is worn out from the sites, but everyone is still in good spirits. After worship, everyone hung out, played games, and ate snacks :) Last day of worksites tomorrow!

Montego Bay

Day three is almost in the books! Today we went back to work sites but just about everyone went to a new place. The base we are at houses long term missionaries throughout the year who are there a whole lot longer than we will be. We love to partner with them, so some of us stayed at the base to help them out with a project they have been wanting to do. They previously had a part of their property they used as a garden to help financially sustain themselves. In recent years the garden has become overgrown, so it is our goal this week to get it back to the point it can be used again. The team got off to a great start yesterday and today we were able to continue right where they left off. One of the cool parts about our work sites is that we are not only helping the locals, but it also gives our team the chance to know each other more. What better way to get to know someone than shoveling dirt together, am I right? One of the goals we have for the freshmen on the trip is that they would find deep community with each other. You can tell that is taking place and people are beginning to go deep with one another. Everyone is doing great and having a ton of fun!

Mandeville

Day 2 of worksites went well! We switched up people so each person could experience a variety of worksites. These projects are TOUGH work. Mixing the cement by hand takes a lot of effort. We have some sore backs, but full hearts. Most of the team rested some after arriving back home. Some jumped in the pool to cool off. I heard a story today of a student getting to talk a while with one of the Jamaicans in the community. What a joy. Crazy different cultures and life experiences, but connecting in such a deep way. I’m excited to hear more from our students on their experiences like this. Tonight we ended with another session of teaching and worship. God is moving really powerfully on our team

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Monday | March 11, 2019

Port Maria

What an incredible day it has been here in Port Maria!! We had an early start to the day and ate  a delicious breakfast around 8 at the Casa Maria which is where we are staying. Shortly after we all departed to our separate worksites. Some people are painting, while others are mixing concrete, and other groups are doing building projects. All of the students are such hard workers which has made this trip fun! We spent the entire day at our worksite then returned later in the afternoon to get cleaned up and then ate dinner around 6. After dinner we gathered together as a team for our night session where we talked about Materialism and God’s heart for the World. The students seemed to receive this message really well. After the message each student split off into their small group where they were able to talk through what they are learning and how God has been moving in their life.


St. Ann’s

Day one of worksites went awesome! Our team was divided up amongst 7 different sites, most of which are either schools or churches. At the sites, we painted and did lots of concrete work. The work site teams are pretty small (around 10 people at each one), so it’s a perfect time to get to know other people on our team better. Once we got back to the base, we ate dinner, listened to a message, worshiped, and then hung out! Day two of worksites tomorrow!

Montego Bay

This week our team is dividing up and rotating four different work sites. We will highlight a different worksite everyday! Today one of our teams headed inland from the bay into the mountains to help out with a ministry called “Homes for Hope”. All week at this site we will be working towards building a house from the ground up in order to bless a local family here in need of a home. Today our team worked really hard and set the rest of the week up for success. We got all of the interior and exterior walls up, painted, and began to frame the roof as well. By the end of the week, it will be a functional space and we will have a key ceremony to welcome the family into their new home! Some of the neighbors and kids around where we were building came out to help and talk. We were able to play with the kids and have really good conversation with their parents. You can tell the locals know each other really well and really value their community. We are back on the base now and you can tell everyone worked super hard at their work sites. Every evening this week freshmen will go to small groups lead by upperclassmen so they can process the day and grow together. There will also be a short teaching and worship every night. We are so excited in how God is already moving!

Mandeville

Today was our first worksite day. We woke up REALLY early for some people’s typical schedule. After breakfast we piled onto buses in our work clothes and traveled to the different worksites. Divided up into different worksite teams, we painted, played with kids, and mixed A LOT of cement. Seeing our team serve the community is really powerful. Back at the hotel, we washed up, spent some time hanging out, and then eventually had dinner. Each night we worship together as a team, have a short teaching, and then break up into small groups. We are tired, looking ahead to another worksite day!

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Sunday | March 10, 2019

Port Maria

On Sunday, we had breakfast at the Casa Maria and then left for church. Wesley has relationships with several churches in Port Maria thanks to our local contacts. Our team got to break up into smaller groups to attend about four different churches. Jamaican churches are a little different than most American churches but it was really cool to experience God in a completely different setting but see that He is still the same. After this, we headed back to the Casa Maria for the afternoon for some rest and free time. After dinner, we had our night time session where are team got to hear from Bob Beckwith, who is the Director of Wesley, on hearing God’s voice. We got to hear him talk about the truth that we as Christians have access to God and He does speak into our lives if we choose to turn our hearts and minds toward him. After Bob’s talk, we had some time of ministry where our team leaders were available to pray for students who wanted to have more of God’s voice in their lives. We got to then meet together in small groups again to talk about everyone’s day at church as well as what they learned from Bob that night.

St. Ann’s

We made it! After a long (but fun!) travel day yesterday, we got to the hotel, ate dinner, and had lots of time to hang out and get to know each other. This morning, we went to three different churches in the community. It was so cool to see how Jamaican church is different than church in America. They sang both traditional hymns and more contemporary songs like we sing at Wesley. Both the message and worship were much longer than they are at church in America, but everyone seemed to really enjoy the experience. After church, we came back to the hotel and had more time to hang out together. We are having lots of fun so far! Work sites  start tomorrow!

Montego Bay

It is so good to finally be in Jamaica with everyone! All the preparation and fundraising has paid off. Our base is top of a hill overlooking Montego Bay. There’s a constant breeze coming from the water and really couldn’t be any more beautiful. Today our team divided up into separate groups and went to local Jamaican churches. It was amazing to experience God in a different context and culture. The Jamaican people worship God so freely and express their love for Him in such a heartfelt way. The Jamaicans were so welcoming of us while we visited their church. You can tell they genuinely cared about us and wanted to make us feel at home. Jamaican church lasts a whole lot longer than our church, so everyone was ready to get back to the base and rest in preparation for the rest of the week. You can tell connections between freshmen are already being made and community is already being formed. Here’s to a great start to our week that’s only going to get better!

Mandeville

After waking up and adjusting to the crazy fact that we are all in Jamaica, we had breakfast as a team. Today was special because we were able to all go to a Jamaican church. It’s so different than the typical American church experience. There were some classic hymns, but it was pretty stripped down. These moments are so sweet getting to worship the same God in a different way, in a different culture with different people. After lunch, we hung out at the hotel and got to know one another. Looking forward to the rest of the week!




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Saturday | March 9, 2019

PORT MARIA

After a late night last night, we got to sleep in a little bit today. This morning we had our first group session with everyone. This was the first time that we got to all be together as a team in Jamaica since we were split into two flight groups. Devon, Wesley’s Media Director and one of our trip leaders, talked to us about the week as well as some details about our hotel and some of the Jamaicans we will have the pleasure of working with this week.  After this we headed into the city of Port Maria, where we visited Port Maria Church. While there, we spent some time in prayer and worship with some of the church leaders. We got to pray with them both for the parish of Port Maria and for Jamaica as a whole. We prayed that God would come in Jamaica and that people would come to know him personally as their savior. After that we got lunch in town and then headed back to our hotel, the Casa Maria, to rest some until our night session. Saturday night Devon spoke about vision and humility. She specifically taught us about what is means to lead lives that are humbly submitted to God and how to seek God for vision for our lives. This leads to us being effective and loving followers of Christ. After Devon’s talk, we got to meet in our Jamaica small groups for the first time in Jamaica. These are small groups of five or six freshmen lead by older students that make our trip a little smaller and gives each student a place to process the week as well as a way for them to build community within our team!


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