2013 Jamaica Team Returns

On February 9, our group met at the Nashville airport at 5:00 a.m. to travel to Mandeville, Jamaica. I was one of the “newbies”, slightly nervous and completely unsure of what to expect.  The veterans of the trip assured us that we would love our time in Mandeville and the relationships we formed with the people there. As I stepped off the plane in Jamaica, I began to gradually understand just what they meant.

During our time in Jamaica we served the community through four major projects, the first of which was in the schools of Mandeville.  We were saddened by the obstacles facing children in Mandeville—limited resources, meager facilities, and homes that were often unstable or even unsafe. Nevertheless, in the midst of these challenges, we were inspired by the spirit of the Jamaican people—the songs of the children, their vitality and playfulness, and the teachers who love them and hope to offer a brighter future. 

The second project our group tackled was the construction of a playground for the children of Ebenezer School. Without any space for outdoor play, the school was in desperate need of a playground. 

A few miles away from the school, Mike McGuffin, Stuart Gordon, and Craig Buffkin worked at a community center that was being used to host Sunday School for the people of the neighborhood. They spent the week making the building more secure, functional, and appealing for the community members there. 

Our group’s final project is also the one with the best stories to tell. Cathleen Coyne, an oral surgeon, worked with her newly-trained assistants, John Hollins and J.T. Martin, to serve hundreds of patients and pull out 348 teeth in just four days! 

Read the rest of Allison Milam’s firsthand account here and see more pictures of FPC members serving in Jamaica here.

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