To my brothers and sister who have shown interest in my recent adventures in the Caribbean Sea, blessin’s from the breezy island of Jamaica. I am back from my mission’s trip … back from the land of warm breezes and tropical sun to a land where the winds blow in an actual temperature of 20 or more degrees below zero and yet I say it is good to be home. Many lessons were learned in the process of our trip as well as the Lord confirming a work within me that He is doing in my life as He continues to show his unfailing love to all.
In the total of ten days, from wheels up in Grand Forks to wheels being back down in Grand Forks the team that was composed of 13 other individuals and myself had the opportunity of a lifetime as we ministered to the physical and spiritual needs of the Jamaican people. In these 10 days, we did many things. That may or may not be considered spiritual in some circles, but regardless, of the chicken coops being built, the dog house that was constructed, the food that was eaten, all these things were done for
ONE reason …
That God’s kingdom be established in the hearts and lives of those we impact.
As the days unfolded, the unofficial theme of the trip to Jamaica seemed to be the breaking of chains. This was evidenced time and time again as the tear flowed and lives were changed. The lives that were touched in Jamaica represent changed generations … transformed family heritages. The life-controlling chains of drug addiction, anger, alcohol, promiscuity, unforgiveness, unfaithfulness, materialism, and many other controlling devices were broken as Christ’s life began a new work for His Kingdom’s sake in these men and countless others.
One lesson I continue to learn is my need of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I was sharing with Adja, a 17-year-old boy whose family was in the fishing business how we are all like a certain crew on a fishing boat in the middle of the ocean, far out to sea. As fate would have it, their little craft developed a leak, one in which they could not fix and drowning was their inevitable fate. Far from any shore and without hope they all began to sink. They were doomed. Some of the crew members were hardened criminals while others were mere boys still unable to grow a beard … regardless, they were all doomed equally. Then, as if from nowhere, a stranger came and offered them a hand into his craft, if only they reach out and grab ahold of his hand. The fishing crew did not know the stranger, they had not done anything to deserve the stranger’s gift of salvation, and they only had to receive the gift. I gave Adja a Bible and read to him a couple of verses: Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:8-9, and lastly Romans 10:9-10. I explained how we are all sunk. Regardless of who we are, where we are from, or what amount of sins we have committed, we are all in the same boat. We cannot do enough good things to earn our way into heaven. No matter what we do, we all have a hole in our lives that longs to be filled with Christ. We cannot fill it with drugs, human relationships, cars, sex, money, religion, etc. All of us are doomed and are in need of the Stranger named Jesus who has come to save all, if we but believe in Him. We all have that gift offered to us. None of us has to accept it. It is a gift; we cannot earn it. We can take it or leave it, but it is for us all the same. I want to take this lesson and remember it every day I am alive. As I reflect on this special moment, there is nothing I can do, no amount of good karma I can perform, to win my way into God’s good graces. It is about a relationship with Jesus. There is only one-way we can get to Heaven, get to God, and that is through Jesus, John 14:6.
During the days and weeks that we prepared for this amazing trip and during the days and nights on this little island of Jamaica, I always knew that God was with us, right there alongside me, helping me, and encouraging me. I know this because of the tremendous love and support of the people praying for me/us as we embarked to take the good news into a dry and thirsty land. Thank you. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your support. Thank you for being willing to be used of God in His ministry. I look forward to the next trip … I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me next!
Until later . . . Jonathan Watson
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