April 28, 2013

Welcome back to Jamaica
Visit by our Area Welfare Manager Bennie Lilly his wife Denise and the Assistant Area Welfare Manager Julio Acosta.
Bennie Lilly, his wife Denise, and Julio Acosta Visited Jamaica in April.  The main focus of their visit was to help with the Wheelchair program and to visit both active and new Short-Term Food Projects   in development.  As reported in March many wheelchair recipients were not being properly fitted to their chair.  Food For The Poor, “FFP” is our major Wheelchair partner and distributes chairs to 19 sub-partners.  FFP is key to correcting the problem.    Sitting around the table starting from front left: Susan Moore, Odean Durah, Bro Julio Cesar Acosta, Elder Rex Murdock, Sister Cathie Murdock, Sister Denise Lilly, Bro Lilly, Tracy Anderson, and Michelle Duncan-Walker.  Not pictured but present was Jacqueline Johnson, Executive Director of FFP.  Mon is not really sitting at the head but rather at the far end of the table.  We do a lot with Susan, and her team of  Odean, and Michelle.  They are our key people in charge of the Wheelchair program at FFP.
Wheelchair fitting

We had the pleasure of helping Sister Anderson our Wheelchair Monitor deliver and Fit Sister Johannah Reid with her new wheelchair.  She had been waiting over 18 months for her chair.

Food For The Poor received a shipment wheelchairs from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  This shipment has been long awaited and much needed. We inspected the shipment with FFP at their warehouse.  With the shipment were some wheelchair parts which we received and will be delivered to the new wheelchair repair center we are working on establishing.
From High Powered board meetings to the Jungle
Branch President Lester lives in the jungle outside Ocho Rios.  After continued encouragement he very humbly asked if he could get some help putting the roof back on his home.  It was set on fire twice by an arsonist.  President Lester is a very humble and giving man who continually helps others even while living in the burned out ruins of his home.  Next month you will have the rest of the story. 
For now let’s talk about his Jungle living.  He has planted many fruit trees around his home like Mango, Coconut, Star Apples, Banana, and the fruit in this picture is a Cocoa pod.  He told us to try some of the white creamy stuff but we kind held back until his teenage son Peter ran up grabbed some and stuffed it in his mouth.   It did look like it was covered in melted white chocolate. It tasted kind of like a sweet lemon meringue.  Don’t ever chew a raw cocoa bean, yuck.  The bean is dried and pounded into a power just like cocoa you buy in the store.

 Then he showed us how he makes charcoal.  First he cuts some wood about the diameter of your leg or your arm and a foot or two long.  The wood is buried in the dirt covered with dry grass and leaves, set on fire and the covered over with dirt and Zink (corrugated tin).  When it quits smoking, its charcoal.  This process can take 3 days, depending on how much wood you are making into charcoal.  President Lester has no stove, it was lost in the fire, so all their hot meals are prepared over a charcoal fire.  It works just like the charcoal briquettes you buy in the store.  
 This picture shows how they cook real jerk chicken or pork.  On the bottom is Charcoal like President Lester makes.  Then pimento logs are placed over the charcoal and the sliced meat is placed on the logs and covered with tin (which they call zinc)
Most of the week was planning, preparing reports and writing projects. Picking up wheelchair parts and purchasing supplies for emergency preparedness.
Well that is about all for now.  We will write again next week.   You know you could write too…just saying….lol
Love to one and all
Mom and Dad
E/S Murdock
P.S. Tomorrow would have been my fathers (Wesley Eldon Hibben’s ) 101st birthday.  Love you daddy