I think it’s true what they say… “Time flies when you’re having fun.” Although I think that time flies no matter what.
It’s hard to believe that it is 2013. Saturday will mark 1 year that Krista and I have been here in Jamaica. When I stop and think about it, sometimes it seems like we have been here for years and sometimes it seems like just yesterday we were just living life in Knoxville. Every January CCCD has a large annual meeting to talk about what has happened over the last year in all of CCCD, and because of this meeting I have had to put together a report of all that has happened here in the past year. Our primary goal of the first year here was to develop relationships. Those relationships will help us move forward with our ministry here. We have focused on that but so much else has happened as well. We have had 18 teams here doing a variety of work. I have preached at church a number of times, which is something that I thought I would never do. We have worked to support the people here by providing more work and increasing production on both the farm as well as the factory. We have seen people come and go. There has been transitions of titles and positions and through it all we have felt God leading us. Throughout this entire year we have felt God preparing us for future work here. We know that God has called us to be here for more than 2 years. If we were only going to stay here for 2 years we would be half way done already! I feel like our work is just beginning.
For more about our personal ministry as a whole, check out our latest newsletter for a month by month recount of what happened.
click here for the December 2012 Newsletter
Coming up in 2013
JDV will host, at this point, 22 teams. That is the most teams in a number of years. Teams bring work, workers, and funds to move forward. We will be working on the new CRC building primarily with more road work to do as well.
Krista and I will be heading home in April and early May. We will be using that time to visit both Tennessee as well as Michigan. We are looking forward to seeing all of our family and friends and to worship with our home church, Faith Promise, again. We, unfortunately, will be trying to raise some more support to help keep us down here. We have lost a number of large donors and know that we really need to add some more support to help us as we minister here.
Much of what I have been doing is focus on the business side of JDV. My hope is to increase business enough this year to employ the 3 main workers here 5 days a week and to add 2 more part time jobs. If the farm can continue to be profitable we should be able to easily do that. My goal for 2014, that’s right 2014, is to have JDV self-supported by all of the different businesses we have here.
We will be adding solar power later this month. We hope to cut our electricity bills in half by the end of the year. We have been conserving our power but due to fees our bills continue to rise. Power costs 3-5 times what it does in the states and we would much rather use that money to support the work we are doing here at JDV.
We want, and need, to put a roof on our new conference and retreat center. That building means a lot for the future of JDV. We have the material money raised at this point but with our roof team dropping we are needing to raise additional funds to have a company here in Jamaica put the roof on.
Krista will have her own classroom this semester focusing on reading. It’s a big job but she is excited to have her own classroom and not to be substitute teaching again.
Throughout all that is happening we plan to support the church and Pastor Damian even more than we have last year. The church needs to be the cornerstone of what we do here and anything we can do we know we need to.
Please pray over this year. I truly believe that God wants big things to happen if we would only put our trust and faith in him. I’m excited for the new year and can’t wait to see what God has planned.