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br0lan:

my coworker just told me about a kid he knew in second grade that was really allergic to peanuts but one day during lunch he said that he couldn’t take it anymore and wanted to know what reeses taste like so he pulled out his epipen, ate the reese cup then stabbed himself with the epipen and told the teacher to call the hospital and that kid is the most hardcore kid I’ve ever heard of I wanna be his friend 

Jamaica: Update #5

Day Four! 

To make it easier, I’m going to update as the day goes by:

(9:10am) We’re going to EDNA campus again. I’m not sure how it’s going to go. Apparently, I was talking to the popular/influential guys on the campus yesterday and I don’t know how they took my words :/ so we’ll see how it goes!

(12:30) Ok, so as soon as we got there, I saw voice majors! My people! We clicked instantly and did Soularium. They were both believers and one girl has a beautiful gift for songwriting. She was actually discipling the girl next to her! I told her she sounded like Lisa McClendon and she almost cried because that’s her favorite singer, and we bonded even more! I then realized that God is showing us student leaders. People who will start this movement and reach out to their friends. I asked this girl if she was interested in being a student leader and she was all for it! Here’s a video of one of her originals:

The jazz players were the popular group that I talked to. I wasn’t aware of that and I saw them on the way to get food and I was a little nervous ( I challenged their faith and pointed out holes in their thinking, you know?), but they saw me, smiled and waved, and a few of them asked about Campus Kairos! I definitely have some reservations. I’m just really praying that they don’t start any trouble. One of my favorites was this guy Sean - he was a great guitar player!:

We hit up Chester’s and shared our mission with a woman on her lunch break. She was really appreciative and thanked us. 

To the practice rooms! (Or the outside of them - no respectful music major would dare touch the doorknob of a practicing musician’s room) We met a dude named Dave, who seemed like he didn’t want to talk but agreed to. He answered all of our questions and then we found out he was trying to get to know the woman behind us. I just made a joke out of the whole thing. I told him it’s a good thing we came, because now you have a random moment to bind over! It worked. Just call meJamaican cupid.

Then, we talked to this random German man teaching rhythm methods. We shared with his students and they were actually people who were already in Campus Kairos! (We only had enough time to meet student leaders) it was really encouraging to talk to them, but there doesn’t seem to be a goal. Everyone carries God around like a tomagatchi pet in their back pocket. “He’s there for my success.” It’s a horrible misinterpretation. As a music major I can see where they’re coming from, but as a believer I know it’s wrong. It’s the part of me I wish I could shave off. They embrace it. That saddens me.

One of team members got sick and we were stuck on campus for longer than we thought. After an hour of waiting, we left and prepared for women’s time.

So, I can’t really explain to you what women’s time is. It’s a small room full of large Jamaican personalities. They get together and sometimes have a bible study or discussion about serious issues. I loved it. We talked about depression, but I loved it! Each woman brought so much energy to the discussion and they love to joke around! I was laughing for two hours straight! 

After that, we left the campus for women’s time to see some students doing outdoor Zumba. I definitely hopped in for half a song! There was also an awkward moment where we stepped outside and I said “Whoah. There’s a skunk around here.” 
Team member: “There are no skunks in Jamaica

Ooooooooooh. I’m tellin! Lol

But seriously, God is giving us a chance to set the record straight and declare what truth is. The main campus meeting is tomorrow and everyone we’ve been speaking to has been invited. Getting excited to see what God does! Tomorrow will be our third day on EDNA.

Jamaica: Update #4

Day Three!

Today, we went to EDNA, which is the arts campus! I was SO ready! 
As soon as we hit the parking lot, I could hear a women’s chorus singing traditional songs and it was so beautiful. I was ready to listen to some people practice/perform, but Miss Carol directed me to talk to some PQs (pre-qualifying, age 17). I didn’t feel led to, but I felt pressured pto. They had to go to class anyway after 7 minutes or so, so there was no fruit from that.

Next, I ended up having lunch with two young ladies who were in the dance school, Brittany and Abigail. They were believers, so we encouraged them to come to Kairos. One said she would come, and the other one ended up being a high school student. 

The last was probably the worst. I was sharing with Miss Carol and two guys, but she said “I forgot I had a meeting” and just left! 
I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date….

So I’m fine. A little shocked, but I can handle it. So one guy leaves for class, and i end up taking to just one guy. His name was David. He was so curious about the gospel that we walked through the fall all the way to the beginning of Jesus’ life. When I started getting to the death part, 7 people come rushing in and just swarm around him. They took his notes and laughed at him and just gave him a hard time. Then they started giving me a hard time. As I sat at this table surrounded by 8 men with thick Jamaican accents, I remembered the verse that kept popping up on the plane, in my hotel, and in my quiet times: 2 Chronicles 20:15

He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV)

I remembered that I didn’t need to fear a large group of people. God upholds me, and I needed to act like it. I spoke to them with confidence and authority, which was nothing but the Holy Spirit. I should’ve shut down long before things got heated. Every single guy at that table was interrupting each other to ask a question. New topics arose before I could answer the previous one. The conversation wasn’t going anywhere.

The campus was small, so some staff circled around and heard my conversation. (I think they saw the setting and were concerned) They stood behind me as I spoke, and affirmed/further explained things to people individually. It was a relief. Another student came through and helped me also. Apparently, they were all Rastafarian (and NONE of them had dreads..fyi - don’t believe everything you learn in world music..) It was nice to see the result of trusting. God will bring in the help, I just need to trust and be still. 

After that, we visited Devon House, which is kind of like the John Brown House, except this woman was a witch/Wiccan (don’t worry, she died) and her house was turned into an ice cream/spice/lace strip mall. Her house was GORGEOUS. At least the outside was - we didn’t go inside. This part of the story is only important because I got to see a Jamaican celebrity today! I met Levi Roots, the singer/songwriter/chef in his spice store! (http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kQTzLJCUtjk)

He’s a great person and we got along right off the bat. He said “there’s something about you girl. You got the sunshine in you.” I gave him my contact information, and he’s going to contact me when he launches his new store in NYC! I don’t know if that’s an important connection or not, but it’s there! 

But yeah, that was my day. God is building a movement here, and I’m excited to see what happens next :)

Jamaica: Update #3

Day Two!

So, we headed to campus and all of girls moved out of our hotel to stay in the hotel the guys were in. The first room was small, but it was ok. This second room has ants and everywhere! It’s teaching me to love ALL of God’s creation. It says in Genesis that He made “every creeping thing”. I need to respect that haha

Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep, and I tap-danced on the bathroom floor.
(See ant dem up on de floor…Patwa (Jamaican slang) is sooo fascinating! Lol)

Then we left to go to campus! Finallyyyyy :) I was excited to get there!

The campus was just like Venezuela. It was scary! The only difference is that they have a Burger King in the middle of the university that sponsors everything. Everything but the classrooms are out in the open, and I’m always on the search for something cold! The student movement met us and they were great! We started sharing right away. I went with my friend Cassidy and a Jamaican student named Kimberly.

The first girl we talked to was named Michelle. She was flipping through “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” (which my dad made me read…) and Cassidy and I connected with her on that. We did Soularium and then she started asking us questions. Long story short, she read the bible and had issues with it. Her preacher back home preached false doctrine, and now she doesn’t trust anyone to know her beliefs. Not even her fiancé. She questioned us about grace, salvation, mercy, Old Testament laws, Old Testament history, etc. She. Brought. It. It was really challenging, but we answered every question. She then admitted that she “trusted us”, but she doesn’t trust any Jamaican church. So we invited her to the org we’re helping out with (Campus Kairos), and asked her to give God and his people one more chance. She agreed. I just think it’s crazy that she said she trusts no one - not even her fiancé, but at the end of our conversation she trusted us. That’s nothing but God!

Our second conversation was with two girls near a cornerstore. They were both believers, but there were a few misconceptions. Their names were Cherina and Samantha. Cherina was 28. She had been married for 4 years and recently had a miscarriage. She wants to have a child so bad, but she has to wait to graduate (stress reasons). Samantha was a little younger and just said she doesn’t feel right with God because of the things she does (clubbing, not praying enough, reading her bible, etc.). They felt like they weren’t children of God, because they didn’t do these specific things or they weren’t given what they wanted. We encouraged them and told them that what we believe isn’t based on works; it’s based on faith. We told Cherina that God’s timing is perfect and we are successful through faith. To Samantha, we told her that you can approach God as you are. God will help her get to where she needs to be, she just has to trust that. It ended well, and I have their WhatsApp, so I’m looking forward to contacting them!

We also went to UWI (University of the West Indies) to stalk Usain Bolt (fastest man in the world right now!), and the guard said he’d be coming any minute but we had to leave because it was a race :/
I’ll meet someone famous some other time haha

We went home. Ate a lovely pizza and called it a night.

Prayer Requests: Michelle, Cherina, and Samantha: That they will lean more on God instead of these traditions they were raised with. It has really hurt them and it shows. Also, that we will see them at our campus gathering! We don’t have a lot of time here so we have to make it count :)

Thank you! <3

Jamaica: Update #2

(Sorry for the blank message before for some of y’all. Connection probs.)

Hello again :) 

Ok. So we landed in Jamaica Saturday night. I’m just gonna say it. I’m really used to Euro-Asian-American media where a black female would pop up maybe twice in a major television show (remember Charlie from “Friends”?), and I saw all of these television screens and posters filled with them. Obviously, that’s most of Jamaica and the ads reflect that, but it really shocked me. More than it should have. It was like walking through BET. I loved it! 

We met our guide/movement leader of Campus Kairos. Her name is Carol and she is incredibly sassy and fun! She dropped us off at our hotel, which is near campus (all 3 areas). Our hotel is in Kingston, so there are no tourists here. At least not in our area. No beaches. Just a lot of small, old houses with corner-stores and restaurants. Two of my teammates and I were put in a room with two twin beds, so we pushed them together and passed out after traveling for so long.

We woke up on Sunday, but they didn’t take us to church. (Weird, right?) That’s ok. Petwa is more difficult to understand than Spanish, and I didn’t want to chance that. 
(“Dein Jiizas kom kom an to dem se: Gad giiv mi de powa…”) 
So instead the bus driver took us up the mountain to see some waterfall. I thought we were just looking at it. Great! Let’s go! 

Then. Then I heard the word ‘climbing’. 
Not again! I DO NOT want to climb another mountain. 
Miss Carol: “Don’t worry, child. You don’t climb the mountain.”

Beautiful. Thank you, Miss Carol.

MC: “You climb the waterfall.”

-___- I can’t swim. How in the world am I supposed to climb a waterfall?! 

So I refused to punk out. I brought only my phone in a plastic bag  in case I needed to record a last farewell and my growing fear. The beginning and end of it was fine. Just rock/boulder climbing. The middle of it was horrible. That where all the water pressure was and it was hard to find good footing too. I’m pretty sure I stood in the middle of it for 5 minutes, too scared to move. I freaked out a lot. We saw some vultures, wild turkeys, and tropical spiders. I’m entitled to freak out at that point. It’s hard to climb rocks, man. It was definitely a great team-building exercise. While we were stuck in our can
 for 4 hours listening to Toni Braxton’s greatest hits through saxophone, we got to develop 

We returned, ate, and called it a day.

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