Our Stories

Ryan c.

2018 Mission Team Member

"During the week I spent in Jamaica, I learned plenty of things and I fell in love with each person I talked to. "

Summer 2018

During the week I spent in Jamaica, I learned plenty of things and I fell in love with each person I talked to. When we were told to write a short essay on one story that stands out from the rest, I had to take a step back and think, “which story captures, everything I did the whole week into one short essay.” I believe I am able to do that with this story.

On Tuesday, both the groups met up in Jerusalem for Mass, and to spend the day with the kids. After Mass, we went to the grass field and started the Olympic games. When it was time for the girls’ race, a girl by the name of “Africa” got ready to run. As I started to prep her to run, I Began talking with her and exchanging stories about our lives. I had soon learned that she will be competing in the National Special Olympics in Jamaica. She blew by the other two contestants and made her way back to me as we did the dance, the “fling” together. Whenever we had to go, I told her I would come back and we could break out some more dance moves.

The next day, our High School small group went back to Jerusalem for the afternoon. The first thing we did there is have lunch. Shortly before I went over to lunch, Hakeem had asked me to help carry some boxes into the office upstairs. When I came back, I heard this little voice call out “Coop!” I turned around and it was Africa, after talking with her for a few minutes, I told her I had to go eat. Throughout the whole day, as we carried dirt from one end of Jerusalem to another, I kept asking God, “please let me see Africa again today.” As the day went on and we went from task to task, I was yet to find Africa, finding out she was looking for me too. As we were walking back to the bus, Kristen and I were talking about how I had wanted to see Africa the whole day but yet I couldn’t find her. As I got to the bus, I put one step on the bus, and I heard someone say, “Coop!” and I just knew that it had to be Africa, as I turned around not only did I see Africa, but, I saw God in the sky right behind her. As I ran up to Africa, I gave her a big hug and gave her my sunglasses and told her I would see her next year and that I would have a new pair of sunglasses to give her.

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