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Finding My Place, Finding My Peace

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Jennifer Wise Jennifer is a member of the 6-month Caribbean IMMERSION team that is currently living the local way in Jamaica for 8 weeks before heading to Belize and Costa Rica.

Finishing up my second out of seven weeks in Jamaica, I’ve come to realize some things about myself.

For one, I am finding my voice. Apart from my friends and family, my normal routine, and my normal life, I’m finding a courage I didn’t know I could have. I’m truly learning what is means that He will NEVER forsake me. Prior to the trip when I prayed for God to push me past my comfort zone I really didn’t know what to expect. But the past month I’ve found myself actually volunteering to speak in front of large crowds (which is very unlike me) to share my heart and what He’s teaching me. I can feel Him pushing and equipping me despite my fears to speak up and speak out!

6 Month Mission Trips

I’ve also come to not only know but understand the hope of Experience Mission for this program. So far we haven’t done what you would think going on a mission trip is all about: hard labor and physical progress. But we HAVE gotten to build relationships with the people of Catadupa that will strengthen for 7 weeks here and continue after I leave.

Now, I’ll be honest. Coming from an incredibly fast pace culture with routines and plans to “island time,” where nobody really has a set schedule (even the bus systems), was hard. I had to transition out of the busiest year of my life to the most laid back thus far.

But slowing down to actually stop and pursue people is what missions is all about.

And from slowing our pace and building these relationships we have found places to serve. Whether it’s helping our host mama with the dishes after dinner, teaching a kids club, or just sitting on our front porch talking with our host family.

6 Month Mission Trips

I’m also learning the normality of this new culture. Normal here is showering outside with a tap filled with rainwater. Normal is picking breadfruit, mangos, bananas, papayas, and coconuts from your backyard. It’s going to the market an hour away if you need anything from fabric to groceries (so you better not forget anything). It’s constantly being sticky from bug spray and sweat. It’s greeting anyone and everyone you pass by. It’s falling asleep and waking up to the orchestra of crickets, cicadas, and grasshoppers outside your windows. It’s keeping every door and window open nearly 24-7. It's seeing clothes drying on clothes pinned lines outside every house. The sweet smelling rain that is promised almost every day around 3pm. I am falling in love with the people and the culture. And I’m learning if you come into a new place with an open mind and open heart, you’d be surprised how fast these strangers become family.

6 Month Mission Trips

Check out 6-Month Caribbean IMMERSION!


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