Monday, February 9, 2009

first day in jamica

Once again a group of white people all dressed alike( bright yellow Calvary Assembly of God t-shirts) gained a lot of attention.

Being as I have never left this country I had know idea on what to expect. The team leaders had tried to prepare me but I still had know idea what to do or say. She was a young Jamaican women, with a heavy Jamaican accent. This would be my first interaction with a local, and although as I said before they speak English but it is very hard to understand.

She took my passport and looked it over, and then she asked a question I was not expecting. She said in a very broken English/Jamaican accent" Are you a Christian?"
Left alone to answer this question I felt a small sense of panic come over me. As I said before I had researched the country and learned the Government does allow open religion, but a flash came over me for a moment, it was as if God was testing me to be true to him or hide it from this women because I was afraid of persecution.(again a little dramatic, but true)

Our church has sent teams to Vietnam, and Poland and these teams must travel under a much different pretense. Christians are persecuted in those countries and all activities are conducted under ground so to speak. Our pastor would sneak in and out of private homes that were converted into churches after dark.

For one moment I had to think, what was the answer. Not willing to deny why I was there(o.k. if we were trying to be secret entering into the country I doubt we would have chosen those shirts to wear)(I know that now, but at that moment I was not thinking reasonably.) I answered yes, she smiled said a few more questions I sorta of understood and she stamped my passport and sent me to the next line.

This line would take us out of the airport, but first we had to stop at a large guard and answer a few more questions. He ask what was in our suit cases, were we bringing things in for the children. I had not, but we were told to tell them nothing so we would not have anything taken or charged with duty.

Once we past the last chk point we went outside to a very busy, pick-up area. I knew where all the people were. Outside waiting for a taxi or their ride to pick them up. We weaved our way though the crowd to an open area. Buy this time it was dark and it was still very hot and humid. The sidewalk and surrounding areas were very dirty and produced an oder.

We assembled at the end of the sidewalk. Just as we gathered we were approached by a man, a white man, a tired looking man. This was the first time we would meet our host. Pastor Steve Puffpaff.

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