*For those in a hurry, read the underlined text!
Another month under our belts here in Jamaica! It has been a busy one, but we have had so many opportunities to build relationships and our signing knowledge (including the chance to interpret a few times...!)
C O V I D - 1 9
We are so grateful for another month of reporting that the Coronavirus has not struck anyone in CCCD to date, or anyone in our family. Cases in Jamaica remain low compared to many other countries. As of today, there are 121 active cases on the island, with 724 recovered cases since March, and 10 deaths (yes, not a typo - TEN). Masks, sanitizer, and social distancing are still required in stores and in town, and there is still a curfew in an attempt to diminish nightlife. The boarders remain open, there are other requirements of incoming travelers, but tourists are only allowed to visit specific resorts and are not allowed to leave them at all. That being said, we feel confident in how the country has handled the pandemic so far, and we remain vigilant as a family.
C O M M U N I T Y B U I L D I N G
One area we have been focusing on is building community within the Jamaica Deaf Village, where we live. We decided to load up a 15-passenger van and lead a trip to Treasure Beach on the south coast of the island for residents of the Village. Those who opted to come pitched in a little for gas, and we had a great day! Many said they had not been to the beach in years - This was such an easy thing to do, and we are hoping to do it again soon. Another way we are seeking to build the community is in regular community meetings (at least every few months). These will provide a time for leadership to share news and upcoming events, and an opportunity for residents to ask questions or voice concerns or requests. We had our first community meeting at the end of July, and it was very well-received! Additionally, we have started to meet for church on Sundays social-distance style (pictured below). We are grateful to be back in our church community, and Silas is happy to be back with some of his gal pals on Sunday mornings!
S I L A S
Silas is nearly 11 months old! We cannot believe that with our next newsletter, Silas will be a one-year-old! He is such a joy and he is getting more active and playful by the day. His most recent feat is climbing from the back of the couch up onto our window grates... Some furniture rearrangement may be in order soon! He spent this month cutting a lot of teeth - now totaling eight teeth in that little mouth of his!
S T A T E S T R I P
You read correctly! Lord willing, if things with coronavirus remain stable in Jamaica and State-side over the next few weeks, we will be visiting Michigan at the end of this month! We will be in West Michigan for three weeks (August 21 - September 12). We are looking forward to quality time with family and friends, Pat being ordained, and Silas being baptized.
A N N I V E R S A R Y
Our third wedding anniversary is August 4 :) So much has changed since we wed - where we live, where we work, how we spend our days, our family structure - and we could not possibly ask for more. Thank you for supporting our family and our marriage! (Here's a couple photos from that day for nostalgia sake)
P A R T N E R S H I P
We have been so blessed with how our community has supported us - both prayerfully and financially! Would you consider partnering with us if you have not already? We rely solely on the generosity of others for our finances, and would love to talk more about our family and ministry needs if you are interested! To find more information about giving, please visit our website here. We also understand that finances may be tight for many right now, and would love for you to consider prayerfully supporting us on a consistent basis. We have found prayer to be our most powerful tool!
J A M A I C A N I S M S
Going to the bank in Jamaica is a whole day affair! Many arrive to the bank at least an hour before it opens, and still find themselves there for at least another 4 or 5 hours. Much of this time is waiting in line, but also the service time is much longer. Pat and a worker here had an experience where they went to the bank and waited in line for the ATM for nearly two hours. Upon getting to the front of the line, the ATM broke down... Pat took the situation in stride!
- Praise for continued rain! Even though this is typically a dry season for Jamaica, we have been getting a healthy amount of rain. Our cistern is (literally) overflowing!
- Praise for no cases of coronavirus within CCCD (or our families!)
- Praise for more opportunities to be in relationship and deepen our JSL knowledge this past month!
- For safety, health, and seamless travels over our trip to the States!
- For safety of CCCD students spending more time at home. The Deaf population is already more susceptible to abuse, and increased time at home under stressful circumstances further increases these chances
- For continued health within CCCD and the island of Jamaica (and all over the world)
- For God to completely eradicate the coronavirus - and if not, for His name to be more known and proclaimed in the midst of it!