January 12, 2014

Dear Family and Friends
This week has been one of miracles, and we thank the Lord every day for them.  We have been struggling to get the supplies for the upcoming wheelchair training. At each turn of the road it seemed that we were being blocked by one problem or another.  Then this week things began to seriously come together.  The tool bags have been sewn and stamped with the church logo and we now have them ready to insert the tools.  The picture below is of Sister Cole from the Spanish Town 1st Branch..  She is the 76 year old sweetheart who sewed all of our tool kit bags together.   It is hard to see, but she has made a slot for each tool to fit into and then you roll it up and tie it shut.
 We still don’t have all the tools we need but the Cullimores from SLC will be here on Thursday and will be bringing the rest of them.  Even the wholesale outlets were out so we were buying tools 2 to 3 at a time trying to get everything we needed. Wheelchair training polo shirts and supply bags with the church logo have been ordered and should be ready for pick up this Wednesday. The four training classes have been filled and the emails sent out to the respective participants. All of the notebooks and supplies for the bags have been purchased. The foot blocks and benches used to measure the people receiving a wheelchair are being built for the training classes too. The lunches for the training classes have been ordered and the wheelchairs are in port now just waiting for clearance to be delivered to the Salvation Army.  Even the Certificates of Completion are almost ready. We have a plan for the visits to the food projects this week and then the wheelchair training starts the week after that…..the list goes on and on but the point is that things are coming together in answer to prayer.  The Lord is mindful of all of us in our efforts to serve him and the people of Jamaica. What a blessing it is to know that He loves all of us and is watching over each of us always.
Also we were able to get the Electro Cardiogram (ECG) machine we have been trying to get for the last 5 months. And we have another project for hygiene kits that has been approved.  It should be here in about 2-3 months. We have ordered 340 adult Layer Hens for Salvation Army School For the Blind and the Church’s Yallahs Branch Chicken projects that are in progress now.  They have to be ordered early as they will deliver them to us when they get to be about 6 months old and ready to begin laying.  It is actually cheaper here to order the adult birds than it is to raise them up from day old chicks.  The cost of feed is going up!
We have been assigned the Ocho Rios Branch as member leadership support (MLS) . We will attend there when we are not traveling….that means more lunches by the Sea.  We usually pack a lunch for the Sunday travel days.
 Below you can see the old and the new parts of life in Ocho.  The old boats that the locals use for fishing and the hotels the tourists stay in in the background.  Just off to the left of the picture is the port where the cruise ships dock at when they come to Ocho Rios.
 Pres. Brown asked us to encourage any able senior couple to put their mission papers and consider coming to Jamaica.  We sure need them here as I am sure they are needed all over the world.  The time is now and the call has been given to each of us as the ‘time of the Lord hastening His work’ is now. Here in Jamaica the church is poised for growth.  What better time to thrust in your sickle than where the field is white and ready for harvest. 
You may remember that we met a man who was our guide as we went for a tour in the Green Grotto Cave last November..  His name was Ched. He remarked that he felt the Holy Spirit very strong when we went through the cave with another senior couple (the Evans), he kept repeating ‘Who are you people and why do I feel the Holy Spirit so strong around you?  You people glow!” With his permission we turned his name into the Missionaries in Ocho Rios as that is the closest branch to where he lives.  The Sisters Missionaries have been teaching him and he has accepted a baptismal date of Feb. 2.  We are so happy for him and hope that he will continue to grow in the gospel. The Sister missionaries are teaching him with the aid of a family in the Ocho Rio Branch.
This past week our family celebrated the 2nd birthday of our grandson ‘little Rex’.  He is the son of Aaron and Marci Murdock…such a cutie…. On the same day Aaron and Marci celebrated their 8th Wedding Anniversary…wondering if they are setting a trend there….consolidating birthday and anniversaries???
As always please know that you all are loved and cherished, and as always you are in our thoughts and prayers. Stay strong; stay true, it’s the right thing to do…
Mom and Dad
Elder and Sister Murdock