We spent our morning in a guided tour with Taishan. We learned about the history of the Maroon people and Accompong. The Maroon people had to make peace amongst themselves before they were able to gain independence from the British. They signed their own peace treaty among three tribes at the “Kindah” tree. The Maroon people fought the British for 50 years. Taishan told us that they signed their peace treaty with the British in 1738 and the rest of Jamaica gained independence in 1739, six months after the Maroons. We learned about the rituals done at the January 6th independence ceremony. No visitors are allowed unless a village elder invites them. Taishan is trying to help lead the village elders in creating an infrastructure that will preserve their rich history and improve the quality of life of the generations to come.
The afternoon brought our first MAD camp session. We had prepared the night before but were not sure what to expect. It was sink or swim. We conducted sessions performing a drama, signing choir, dance, and a game time. Jean and Faith spent the afternoon with many, high energy little ones who were not old enough for MAD camp. At our morning devotional, it was mentioned that through God we are sufficient even though we feel insufficient. As leaders, the youth had to teach and manage the campers. By the last session, the youth leaders looked like they were wiped out. Many of the youth found out how a teacher feels during 8th hour on a Friday. They found the energy to last another 30 minutes, playing soccer and visiting with the campers. Even at our weakest, God provides us the strength 🙂
So we survived our first day of camp. We are spending our evening debriefing our first day and making plans for tomorrow and the rest of the week. Also relaxing a bit. It has been great to bond as a group. We are developing relationships in a way that could only happen through an experience like this. Jordan and I are watching the youth grow so much during our time here; we are blessed to be a part of this with them. At times like this, words seem insufficient.
From our devotional for today, Galatians 5:13-14, “For you were called to freedom, brothers (and sisters). Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Itwas such a fitting passage for the day.
Continue to pray for strength when we feel weak, to love in our actions when we are at the point of exhaustion. Pray for our relationships with God to grow as our relationships between each other continue to grow.