November 12, 2013

Dear Family and Friends
I know you have heard a lot about the Singram Medical Project but it has been a lot of fun.  We have really enjoyed working with Doctor Graham and her husband on this project.  This is a good project where the Church partnered with SMS to purchase some needed medical supplies and vaccine. With the donation of these medical items SMS will become more self-reliant and better able to serve the poor and needy. The medical supplies will also help them assist with Community and Church sponsored Health Fairs, and they will help provide Prospective Missionaries with reduced cost medical exams and free vaccines.
It is expected that there will be 1580 helped through the Church Sponsored Health Fairs. Included in this number will be 680 members and 900 nonmembers with an additional 200 prospective missionaries being helped for a total of 1780 beneficiaries.

The Project started with two celebrations; Singram Medical’s open house for their new facility and the start of the Humanitarian Project.  Doctor Sinclair Graham is the lady in black cutting the ribbon.  The first Prospective Missionary had an appointment on the same day.

 Sister Murdock was the first patient in their new building.

Saint Anthony’s Soup Kitchen was another great project.
This is a picture of the leadership that put the project together.   Father Jim is a Catholic Pastor who started the kitchen.  It is run by the Roman Catholic Church in Negril.  The kitchen has been serving the community for three and a half years and for 3 ½ years the LDS missionaries have been helping prepare food and serving every Thursday.  It is a very well-run project that helps the community serving meals for school students in the morning then lunch for the wider community, they serve roughly 150 meals average.  Because of the devastating effects of poverty, some of the people that eat lunch at St Anthony’s it will be the only meal they get for the day.  This project is a joint effort in serving the community under the direction of the St. Anthony kitchen. We repainted the premises inside and outside and provided some tables and benches for the meals. St. Anthony’s kitchen volunteers are a great group of people and have close links with the community. Negril Branch and LDS Missionaries enjoy this relationship.  The service will make the church better known and show us in a positive light.  Making our presence better known in Negril can make the chances even better for the Branch to grow and flourish. More importantly:
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto unto of the least of these by brethren, he have done it unto me” Mathew 25:40

 Many for the Branch, Catholic Church and community turned out to help with the work.

 There was even time to have fun.

 Everyone helped.

 Even old Missionaries helped.  It was just like old times working in my shop making saw dust.  Father Jim asked me why I was sweating. (Dad couldn’t wait to have some power tools and wood in his hands again!) Negril Branch is a very small branch and to see this many people turn out was great.

 We also got to deliver another wheelchair this past week up in Linstead.  It never ceases to amaze us how these people get around in what is left of their wheelchairs. Zephaniahs’ chair was so worn out that he had completely lost one of the front tires, even the wheel assembly was gone! The other front tire had been worn completely off down to the wheel but he still was using it.  He had replaced the back tires several times and the ones he had now were smooth as racing slicks. In order to move around he had to do wheelies all the time.  Not an easy thing to accomplish over rough terrain.  They can replace the back tires here with bicycle tires but there are no replacements for the front tires in Jamaica.  They have to wait until another shipment of chairs comes and pray there are enough extra spare parts.  The seat and back rest were worn through.  He had stuffed enough rags and plastic bags into the seat area that he could sit down on and tied straps across the back to hold it together so he could lean back in his chair.  He was so happy to have a working chair.  The rough terrain and humidity sure is hard on the wheelchairs. These people do the best they can in their circumstances.

We are also in high gear getting ready for the Wheelchair Trainings to be held the last week of January and the first week of February.  There is much to do for this.   We just found out that the shipment of wheelchairs for the trainings is now at sea headed towards Jamaica.  It will take about a month to arrive and then another month to get through customs.  It should work out just in time for the training! 
We hope you all are well and progressing in your testimonies.  We can see how Satan tries his best and never lets up…he is relentless in his efforts.  We need to remember that it is the Lord who is in charge.  It is the Lord who will prevail.  If we truly want to return back to live with him as families, there is a way provided for us.  We just have to remember why we are here.   This life is supposed to be a test, but we have been given all the answers in advance.  We need to study them and live them so the Lord can claim us as His own.  Hold to the Iron Rod, ‘twil safely guide us thru…’
Elder and Sister Murdock