Day Six - Friday

Montego Bay

We can’t believe it's already Friday! This week has flown by! Today we went to a local beach to spend our last full day together as a team. God has done so much this week and we are confident that we will bring back everything we have learned and experienced this. Thank you so much for your prayers and support! See you in America!

Port Maria

Where has the time gone?! Today has been a day! We got to meet up with 1 of the other 3 trips here in Jamaica and spend the day in Ocho Rios!! The day was spent doing the more “touristy” things here like playing on the beach, shopping in the market, and just taking everything in. It was a great way to finish out our time here in Port Maria! It was a blast, and we’re all exhausted, but it was totally worth it. It’s hard to believe that the week is over and we come home tomorrow. This week has been so transformational, and we have experienced God move in incredible ways! Pray for safe travels tomorrow. We’ll see you soon!!

St. Ann's

FriYAY am I right!!! This week could not have ended any better! We started today by going to Ocho Rios where we gave our students the freedom to buy souvenirs at the Jamaican market. It was so fun to watch our students see their friends from the other Freshley Jamaica teams and reconnect. I’ve never seen American’s so excited to eat at Burger King than I did in Jamaica for lunch. After the market, we took our team to Dunn’s River Falls and got to peacefully enjoy the beach together. We finished the day by going out to eat for dinner and embracing the talent show we put on at the base! It was an amazing week filled with encounters from God and authentic fellowship with each other. We are so pumped to get back to Athens with 68 new friends!!! Thank you for every prayer and way you’ve supported us in making this trip possible. This was definitely a trip that we will never forget. See you soon!!!!   

Madeville

Wow! When did it become Friday? This is crazy, this week went by so fast! We’ve worked hard and used up every minute of this trip to learn from God and our Jamaican friends about what it looks like to love with God’s heart and serve those around us. We spent the day at the beach with our team and it was the perfect way to end our time in Jamaica! It’s such a blessing for us to continually build relationships with the Church in Jamaica and for this time to bless our students with a deeper understanding of God and community with each other! Pray for our safe travels home and we’ll see you in America!!

Day Five - Thursday

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. 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!

Port Maria

Since we didn’t go back to our worksites today, we were able to just spend time with the people of Jamaica. We went to the Port Maria Infirmary, where we just got to pray over, worship with, and care for the people who live there. There were a lot of cards and dominos played, while we got to listen to the many stories the patients told us. It was a fun day of just experiencing everyday life with the incredible people of Jamaica. We also took some time to pray for the people we met, the work being done here, and just for Port Maria and Jamaica as well. We are so full of what God is doing here! Pray that we would continue to listen to what God has in store for us as our trip starts to come to a close.

St. Ann's

Today we switched things up and all went to a high school where we got to hang out and have a good time with the students there. It was so fun! It’s neat to see that even though we come from different countries and cultures - we are all really just the same. When we returned, we took some time to pause and pray for Jamaica. Tonight, we got cleaned up and went out to dinner together as a team for some jerk chicken! Yummmm! We had a ball and took lots of pictures! Tomorrow, we head to Ocho Rios to meet up with some other Freshley groups.

Madeville

We spent the day doing outreach in the community. This morning we visited an infirmary where we had time praying, reading, singing, brushing hair, and painting nails of the people who live here. The rest of the afternoon was filled with time at a church praying over Jamaica. These experiences really moved the hearts of our students. It was obvious how God was expanding their view of who He is and showing them what it means to love those who have been rejected by everyone else. This led to really in depth discussions in small group and powerful worship. It’s amazing to see how in only 5 days God can take a group of students and open their eyes to a new reality.

Day Four - Wednesday

Montego Bay

This week is really flying by! Today was the last day we split up and went to our different work sites. One of the other sites we have been at all week an orphanage called Robin’s Nest. Our team has been able to play with the kids and minister to the workers there as well. We have also had a work site at the YWAM base we are staying at. The directors of the base are in the middle of renovating the base and making it able to house bigger teams. We have been able to clean and paint for them and do lots of other small projects to help them out. At both of these sites and the other two that we have been at all week, we have put in a lot of hard work to help meet the physical needs of the Jamaicans but also worked even harder to meet their spiritual needs as best as we could. More than giving them anything though, I think they encourage us more. Through the sites we have been at this week we have been able to witness the local believers simple, yet powerful lives. Relationships are still being made and growing stronger within our team and everyone is still having an amazing time.

Port Maria

How is it already Wednesday??!! Today was our last day on our worksites! We have been working had to complete our projects since Monday, and we’re definitely finishing strong. God has revealed himself so much while we’ve been working in this community. He will continue to use our projects long after we are gone, and that has made a lasting impact on each of us. We’ve done a lot of hard work, but the best part has definitely been getting to know one another while working so closely together. Being able to take in the relaxed and easygoing culture of Jamaica has definitely allowed us to just take in and enjoy all that God has prepared for us. Our Jamaican friends that we have met and been living alongside of this week have taught us so much about just having fun! We have really been encountering what God is doing here through our work, downtime, and group hangs. Even though we won’t be on our worksites anymore this week, God still has so much left for us to do. Stay tuned for what’s to come!

St. Ann's

We did the dang thing!!!!!! Today was our last day of worksites and we all really pushed through to finish every project. The paint at the church and primary school look amazing!!!! The concrete work gave us triceps of steel!!! Overall, the Jamaicans we served expressed genuine appreciation as we partnered with them in loving their city. Our students have built awesome relationships with the people we’re serving and our team has become so close in just a few short days. After each day of worksites, the students meet in small groups and we're really excited about today's small group time! Tomorrow we have the privilege of going to a high school to experience their educational environment. The week is winding down but God’s not finished yet!!!!

Mandeville

Today was the last day on our worksites! We’re sad that our work time has come to and end here in Mandeville but we’re amazed at all the conversations, relationships, and blessings that God has allowed us to partner with Him in this past week. Our students have grown in knowledge of who God is, His heart for Jamaica, and community with each other. These next few days will be a change of pace for us, we will be doing outreach tomorrow in the community by visiting a local hospice. We often go to this site when we are in Mandeville and it has become a really sweet time between our students and the Jamaicans who we visit yearly.

Day Three - Tuesday

Montego Bay

Day 2 of worksites is in the books! Today we went back to site but everyone went to a new place. One of the other sites we are at all week is called Westhaven. It is a home for physically and mentally disabled children who don’t have families. It was probably the most challenging thing that our team will do all week. We were able to play with the kids, whether that meant pushing them around in their wheelchairs or sitting with them and holding their hand. We were also able to help the workers as they work long hours and the work is very physically and mentally taxing. We were also able to pray for them and minister to them in any way they needed. It was truly a humbling day getting to serve the kids and staff there. Team morale is really great and everyone is still really enjoying the trip. This evening met as a large group and also in small groups again. You can tell God is really forming friendships and allowing the team to grow together even more.

Port Maria

Day 2 of Worksites is in the books- and you can tell! Our team is getting in a groove of what it means to be servant leaders!!! Some of our students have stayed on the same worksites and other have shuffled around- both being able to sow into the progress of the last day. It is really cool to be able to see our progress evolve from nothing to something other people can join in on. One of the best parts about our worksites is seeing our students work together as a team as well as work alongside the people of Jamaica and learn about their culture and lifestyle. It is so beautiful to see people united in love and service. When we get back we shower (some students claim jumping in the pool establishes the same goal) and chill with one another! We go to the beach, the pool, play games and get ready for dinner and our night session. Please pray that God would keep on coming! We want these night sessions to be a time when our students are refueled and leave more deeply in love with God!

St. Ann's

Another great day at our worksites! Some people returned to the same site they went to yesterday and some switched it up and went to a new one. It’s pretty hot and we are working hard, but the worksites have been so upbeat and fun! Our nights are being spent with a teaching and worship and then staying up late with everyone to hang out together. It’s clear that everyone is starting to become friends and that our team is feeling like family.  We are having so much and are so excited for our last day at worksites tomorrow to finish up the projects we’ve been working on!

Madeville

Day 2 of the worksites has been completed! It was encouraging to see how motivated the team has been to really devote themselves to physical labor.  Almost every student got to experience a new worksite today. Some of our team has continued working on building a home for a family, while others have been working on building a foundation for another house.  We have been sure to take a lot of care in how we work on these projects as we want to honor our Jamaican friends in every way possible. Few of us can match the intensity of the Jamaicans who are helping alongside of us, but we have learned so much from them. They take great pride in their work and have a lot of fun while doing it!  All in all the worksites have gone really well. We have also seen God show up in big ways in our team meetings as the students gather to worship together. We have had really good prayer time together, getting to pray for one another and just have quiet time with God. We are just getting started!

Day Two - Monday

Montego Bay

Today was our first day on our work sites and it couldn’t have been anymore amazing than it was! We have four main worksites that everyone rotates to so that the whole team can experience different places. We will be highlighting different worksites every day! Today one of our groups went to what we call “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 here in need of a home. Today our team worked really hard. We got all of the interior and exterior walls up and painted and began to frame the roof as well. Some of the neighbors around where we were building came out to help and talk. Jamaicans love to talk and have fun while they work so they made the work very enjoyable! It was amazing to see the team not only focus on meeting physical needs of the locals, but really build relationships with the Jamaicans. The team that comes here the rest of the week will get to see the home be completely finished and there will also be a key ceremony where we will be able to give the keys to owner and pray for them and their family! Every evening this week, we will have time to meet in small group to debrief the day and talk about how they are feeling and what they are thinking. Everyone is doing great and having a ton of fun!

Port Maria

We went to the worksites today!!! It was a blast! Our team loved getting the privilege to serve 5 different worksites. Throughout the next week we will be partnering with different churches and schools to accomplish some much needed projects that will enrich their community and make their ministry more effective. We are so excited and thankful to have such a hard working team. We are excited for our session tonight and even more so, for everyone to meet in their small groups. God does amazing things through small groups as students get to process and dive into what God is doing in them this week, and what that means for when they come home too. Tuesday here we come!

St. Ann's

Let’s get to work! Today we completed our first day of service! Our team split up to visit 6 different worksites. The worksites vary from painting walls at local schools to mixing and pouring concrete for additional space at different churches. We all got to experience the heart behind serving and started the projects that we aim to complete. The students and staff really stepped up and accomplished a lot! The awesome part about these worksites is the interactions our students have with the Jamaicans we serve. The way we get to love the people around us is a testament to how good God is. A long first day, but also a high quality one. After our worksite, we came back to the hotel and spent most of the night in good community with one another! Can’t wait to update you all about tomorrow!

Madeville

Wow! What a day! Today was our first worksite day and we’re beat! We split up into different worksites and spent the day working alongside Jamaicans! Our sites include building a home for our local friend Tony and his family, painting other homes that Tony has built himself, creating a concrete path at the YWAM base, and painting a local school. After a long day of work, we're all gathered back at the hotel for dinner, worship and small groups! We’re excited to see what the rest of the week holds and how God wants to use us!

Day One - Sunday

Montego Bay

We landed yesterday and had a short drive to our base, and it is beautiful here! Our base is on a hill that overlooks the bay and there is a breeze coming off the water pretty much all the time. This morning our team divided up and went to a few different local churches and got to worship with the locals here. It is always really special being able to worship God in a different culture and experience Him in new and refreshing ways. Jamaican church lasts a whole lot longer than what we are used to so that was an adjustment, but also another welcomed change to what our normal is. In the afternoon we got to eat lunch together and build more friendships between one another. This evening Daniel is going debrief our week to come and also give a short teaching to make sure our hearts are in the best place to receive and give everything God has for our team this week! We are excited and ready to see what this week holds!

Port Maria

After a LONG day of travel it was so nice to spend time with our team today! Although our wild travel for sure bonded us, it’s nice to have more restful time getting to know one another:). One of our favorite parts about today was going to Jamaican church. It is so good to get out of how we are used to church and participate in the global church! The people here love God so much!!! After church we got to play games and hangout by the pool at the Casa (our base). We love the time we get to come back together and debrief on the day. Tomorrow we start on work sites!!! Be praying that everything goes smoothly and that we are able to be “all in” to serve the people of Jamaica. Pray that God would move on our worksites and be teaching us more about Him

St. Ann's

We made it to Jamaica! We drove from the airport on Saturday and on the way we stopped and to get some Jamaican food. When we got to base, we spent some time putting our stuff away and checking out our hotel. Then, we spent time hanging out and getting to know the team. This morning, our team went to several different churches in the area. It was awesome to get to worship with the Jamaicans and get a glimpse of how they do church here. This afternoon, we returned to the hotel to spend some more quality time with each other. We have a pool, are right on the ocean, and have lots of space to play games at our hotel - so everyone is having lots of fun so far! Be praying for us as we venture out to our first day of worksites in the morning.

Madeville

We’re here in Jamaica!! We landed around 7:30 last night. We got to the hotel pretty late so most of the team went straight to sleep. This morning we split up and attended a few local Jamaican churches. This is always one of the highlights of the trip! It's amazing getting to worship with the people who live here and learning from them! After church we headed back to the hotel to hangout as a team before our first day of work tomorrow. We played games, hung out, and later we will have dinner and small group time! The team is already beginning to bond in awesome ways. Please continue to pray that our team would bond together and for a great day on the worksites tomorrow!