June 9, 2010
This is HOME. Finally where I belong.
Jamaica was an awesome trip, as expected. We spent the first half of the week at Montego Bay campus which was very different than the Kingston campus I came to love last year. The facility is generally bigger and nicer, but with less kids. The kids are much older, too, so we learned to communicate in a new way that actually involved dialogue which was interesting. I made one good friend ath MoBay named Yanique Powell who is my age. She helped me a lot with my signing. We didn’t do quite as much work as we did last year, but we did make some painstaking progress on a 15foot hole and we sanded and painted the inside of some dorms in progress.
I was hankering the whole week to get over to Kingston, though, to see Antoinette and the other kids that I came to know and love last yearl.
Kingston was so good for my heart. I am already so homesick for the campus, the kids, Blake, Ashley.
I had so much trouble getting on the bus and then flying away. Unloike last year, I couldn’t promise to come back next summer. I could not promise to see Ashley again. I do not know what god has in store for me next summer or next year.
Kingston has become home to me in so many ways. It was a place of major healing for me last year and a place where I rediscovered life in the kids. Going back was such a blessing. Going back to the 2 acres that taught me so much. I was a completely different person arriving on that campus this year than the girl that went for the first time a year ago. God has put me through many high hills and some very low valleys since then. But it remained the same.
the kids were the same, just a few inches taller. They remembered us by face and were so happy to know we remembered them and came back for them.
Antoinette was never there, but as I could have guessed, I made a new little sister, friend named Ashley. She is new to the school and is not completely deaf but doesnt speak and wasn’t fluent in sign language or chose not to use it if she did. She wanted to be held and rarely chose to be put down. She smiled whne you gave her a smile and would stare into your eyes until you looked away. I never wanted to look away. I think we were a good pair because we both like to be held and we both don’t mind a quiet relationship with few words. I was happy to hold her tight and carry her around for hours. It was so hard to let her go, though. She’s new and not yet used to teams coming and going and it broke my heart to be one of the fierst to teach her that lesson without the promise of a return. I miss her wide brown eyes and her clinging grip on me and her signing “I love you” and her kisses on the cheek. I pray that someone new can come in and give her all of the love they have to give and is willing to hold her tight.
I will also miss Blake. I’m always amazed watching him interact with the kids and the team and the staff and how much love he has to offer. It was overwhelmingly evident how much the Kingston kids missed him when we returned to Kingston. I am inspired by his willingness to leave his life in the States behind and devote his life to the kids here. He is always such an encouragement and I am very thankful for the time spent with him.
Overall, this was a great trip that I hate to close the page on. I have been truly blessed by the deaf ears but hearing hearts of these students and the leadership of the staff and missionsaries and adult leaders.
I can’t say when, but I will return someday to 4 cassia rd. Kingston, Jamaical. It’s where my heart is and therefore where my home is and we can never leave home forever.