Reflections on our Vacation with a Purpose ~ Angie Glasser
Thanks to Angie Glasser for sharing her reflection. To read the full article, click here.
February 10th, 2015
John and I were with Mission Jamaica last week for a “vacation with a purpose”. The first three days were our “mission” days. We worked with children with disabilities who lived at an orphanage. We also went to the primary school nearby where four and five year olds attended. We read books to them, played outside with them, and saw how they were being taught at school. John was asked to come back the next day to give a devotion to the children. I also went to a location where a team was building a home for a family of 7. Their house was run down, and mostly constructed out of pieces of tin. They were thrilled that they would be moving into their home, not much bigger than 12’ x 14’ that had no plumbing, but would be a big improvement from what they lived in before (about 5 households shared the bathroom in another home).
Here are some of the “takeaways” from our experience:
-The students with disabilities had so much joy. The higher functioning students were eager to help others if asked.
-Those who are on the waiting list to receive a new home volunteer with the construction of the new homes being built, in hopes of the day it being their turn. They do not know when they it will be their turn; they just continue to show up when asked. It was a privilege to work alongside of them and to see their work ethic and care and support for the family moving into the new home.
-We have so much wealth in America. In Jamaica if you are poor and need to see a doctor, you have to come up with the money. The poor have to figure out a way to survive and feed their family. There is no welfare system. We change our children’s diapers when they are wet/soiled when needed, not only twice a day because that is all there is funding for. We are spoiled by the amount of opportunity we have and accessibility to money.
God gave us this opportunity to see Jamaica beyond the “vacation getaway place” to have a heart for the Jamaican people, and to be refreshed from the vacation part of our trip as well. Our community is one of many cultures as well. We love that we can get to know so many people through the work that we do. My desire is that I take even more time to get to know others. I also want to provide our whole family with service opportunities, where our children will see how blessed they are learn more about other people.