It seems hard to believe it has been 10 years since we made plans to go on our first Christian Medical Mission to Jamaica. Karen Horrell was asked by Reverand Caughlan of the United Church of Christ in Cape Girardeau to form a team to provide medical, dental, and eye care to their sister church in Carron Hall. (Keep in mind Karen was one of 2 nurses in the congregation and the other one was not interested in going. God was so gracious that some people even came to Karen asking to go on the trip.) Twenty-five people went on that first trip serving 1200 people in 4 days. Few people had medications which they carried with them in their handkerchief (making it hard to identify what they were since they use mostly British medications). Some people used local herbs. People stared at us and touched our white skin. Many people had never even had their blood pressure checked. Although this was intended to be a one time event, we found ourselves saying, “The next time we come, we could…”
Since that first trip, things have changed and yet stayed the same. Gwen Maloney took over as our organizer. The Jamaican people now ride more instead of walk (resulting in more high blood pressure), dress in current fashions, and have several cell phones (the phones are free). The mountain roads are still curvy, on the edge of cliffs, with washed out areas and potholes. Our hosts are still gracious and great cooks. The children are still polite, soft spoken, and well-behaved. God is still watching over, guiding, and providing for us in miraculous ways.
Unfamiliar foods have now become familiar: fried plantain (like banana), curried goat, callaloo (greens), jerk chicken, Fry Dumplin’ (fried pastry dough), salt fish, Patties (meat pastries), Ting (grapefruit soda), coconut drops (candy), Blue Mountain coffee, and Red Rose tea. Some foods were surprises: real chicken feet in the soup, a cow’s foot in the deep freeze (we’re not sure what they did with that), milk in a box, tiny baby chicks at the market for sale.
We’ve had some challenges along the way:
But the Blessings have outweighed the problems:
God’s richest blessings and our sincere thanks all of you,
Copyright (c) 2009 Jamaican Christian Medical Mission