Bethany + Jamaica

Over the last few weeks I have been mailing out a response card telling about my July trip to Jamaica. I thought I'd share a modified version of that card with all of you!

A little over two months ago I was swaying to the rhythm of the Jamaican island life, every day surrounded by the bright, eager faces of the children of New Hope Orphanage and Windsor Lodge Children's Home.  

As I reflect on my trip, certain children stand out as being especially dear to my heart. Would you join me in praying for these precious little ones?  

See this boy upside-down in my arms? That's Jonathan. Born with various disabilities he has not yet gained the ability to talk. I happily was matched to be his "buddy" the day we took the children of New Hope Orphanage to the pool. He is a notorious wanderer, so we just plodded along together all afternoon like two curious ducklings. What never got old was throwing leaves into the pool's "waterfall;" he'd laugh with delight and clap his hands with my every "1...2...3...throw!"

Please pray that Jonathan will be adopted by a family who will care for him and teach him how Jesus delights over him. 

See this young girl wearing the striped blue shirt...the one who is doing a very poor job of trying not to smile? That's Kareem. Isn't she stunning? She is so full of life and beauty she almost seems to shine. However, at different points during our stay I found her withdrawn from the group with a hard, despondent look clouding her face. The cause of her sadness I will never know for when asked questions she merely stared lifelessly ahead; at one point a slow, heartbreakingly sad tear slid down her face. Her silence would not be broken, so I just sat quietly with my arm around her until she was ready to rejoin the group.
Please pray for sweet Kareem. Pray that the Holy Spirit would mend the wounds of her heart and make her tender towards the Father. 

Now, see this sweet faced boy asleep, thumb-in-mouth, on my lap? That's Junior. Oh, how I love him! My favorite memory in Jamaica was sitting beside him on a merry-go-round as we sang "two little blackbirds sitting on a wall" whilst he skillfully drummed out the beat. He's lived at Windsor less then a year and has been making some poor decisions. I know this because he wasn't allowed to go to the beach with us one day due to getting into serious trouble at school. My eyes tear up as I think of him.

Please pray that the music in Junior's soul would be turned heavenward in worship. Pray also that he will respect his teachers and that God would surround him with people who will love him.