March 10, 2013

Two Humanitarian Missionaries in Jamaica.
This week involved lots of work with the Church’s Wheelchair Initiative.This program involves the Church sending shipping containers full of wheelchairs to our Major Wheelchair Partner Food For the Poor (FFP).Then there are several wheelchair sub-partners who work with people that are mobility impaired. The sub-partners assess a person’s need for a wheelchair, get them a chair from FFP, then adjusts the chair to fit the person.The chair adjustment is critical, if not done right, the chair owner can get very serious pressure sores.We found that some wheelchair recipients have not been fitted to their chair.So we are visiting these partners and getting commitments from them to do proper fittings. It will take us several weeks to visit all sub-partners as they are scattered across the Island.

Tracy Anderson is the Church Wheelchair Monitor.She is the one who checks with the wheelchair recipients to see that they have been properly fitted and adjusted to their new chair. She is a marvelous young lady. We get to spend a lot of time with Tracy and have gotten to know her well. She is a returned missionary and newlywed too. Tracy is always happy and a positive person. She and her husband Rondell are exceptional members.Rondell is in the Spanish Town (includes the Kingston area) District Presidency. They live in a very small house that has a Living room/bedroom/Kitchen, and bathroom.Rondell is studying Engineering and has another year to graduate.If the church had a branch full of couples like these people, we would have a Temple here.We are having a local wood carver make us a small statue of a Jamaican woman holding a baby out of Iron wood, and we have used Tracy as a model.We took her picture (with permission of course), side view and profile, to Mitey Gully where Dillion Gabbidon will do the carving.He is an extremely talented artist.The church helped him get his carving tools. Mitey Gully is a place in Old Harbour where they take young men off the street and into their compound and give them some training and guidance.Dillion now has about 6-8 young men who are carving and earning a living instead of begging on the streets.He did a bust of Joseph Smith from a picture that is stunning to see.
 One of our wheelchair partners is Mustard Seeds Communities.They take in children with disabilities or aids who have been abandoned or who have no family.Mustard Seed provides a place where they can live.Mrs. Williams is loved by the children and many would run (those who could) across the compound to get a hug or just hold her hand.This young man peddled his hand powered chart over to get his hug
 Look at the young man on the right front what a haunting look.Now imagine living with no family, in a wheelchair, in a compound. We found our wheelchair sub-partner organizations have great dedicated people who truly want to help those who can’t help themselves.The service they provide is invaluable and we are proud the Church is able to help them help others.They do all they can but there is no replacement for a good family.
Typical childrens dorm room found in many chartiable organizations.It is better than where many families here live.

 This is Gungo Beans or “Peas”. They grow wild. One day we met an old lady out in the country taking the beans out of the pod preparing them for dinner. I made a comment about her cooking and that I bet it would be good. She pulled a funny toothless face and said no, no, you no like this is poor mans food. Rich man no like. Later I learned Gungo Beans are really called the poor mans dinner, they have a kind of bitter tast. HowerverTracy likes them and she is growing them in her garden. Tracy and Rondell are the typical “starving college students”. Meaning they make the best of what they have.
Today we attended Boulevard Branch here in Kingston. We had some information to share with the Branch President Hamilton about a project we are working on. His branch will do a service project to coinside with our Humanitarian Service (HS) Project. We do a service project with every HS Project that gets approved. It helps the church become known for one of the things we do best…serve our fellow man. Dad and I are still doing well. We took a P-Day and went with the Larsens to the beach to hunt for shells. Sister Larsen expressed an interest in going to look for Conch shells. She found many to choose from. We parked at the Fort Rocky Ruins on the south east shore of the island, by the airport . It is the ruins of an old English Fort that has not been restored. We enjoyed an hours worth of walking and headed back to the apartment and back to work. We are sending our love and prayers to you all back home and encourage you to ‘Hold to the Rod’. Stay true and faithful so you can have the blessings the Lord would give you. He desires us all to be happy and has provided for each of us, if we will only be true and faithful.
Love you all