Jamaicans: wealthy or poor?

I’ve come to realize after going to Harmons, Jamaica three times, that the Jamaicans have changed my life more than I changed theirs. Yes, we go there and build a couple of houses, bring them clothes, medical supplies and school supplies, but the things they’ve taught me about my faith will never compare to the few material things I’ve given them.

This past trip to Harmons I was privileged to have deep conversations with many of the Jamaicans I became friends with over the last two years. Conversations about what their lives are really like, what their families are struggling with, even conversations about what they are struggling with personally. After every tear-filled story that left me hurting for my Jamaican friends, they would always end with “God is good” or “God is so faithful.” I soon began to realize that the Lord was humbling me and teaching me tremendously through these conversations.

Each time I leave Jamaica, I am reminded of what child-like faith looks like. However, on this trip it was even more jarring and evident than the past. Most of us know what it means to have child-like faith; to depend on the Lord in every aspect of our life: as our provider and our Heavenly Father, but how many of us actually do this?

Even as I write this I am reminded of a conversation I had with my friend Ganga while in Jamaica. Our last day in Harmons the team had the afternoon off to hang out and relax, so me and a couple other people took this free time as an opportunity to walk to Ganga’s house and meet his family. On our walk he began to tell us that he has not had electricity in his house since April. He also told us that his family wasn’t going to eat dinner that night because they didn’t have enough money for it. Yet despite these problems, he was confident that the Lord would provide for him and his family.

How many of us cling to the Lord as our Heavenly Father, depending on him for every need in our life, even things that seem so little to us, like electricity and dinner? We are blessed with so much, yet we tend to forget that the Lord has given it all to us willingly. Jesus tells us in Mark 10 that “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” We are to have faith that trusts the Father more than anyone else with a sense of wonder and amazement about who he is, just as a child would trust their earthly father and view him as the strongest and most amazing daddy alive.

The Jamaicans don’t want more earthly things; they just want more of God. The friends I’ve made in Harmons may not be very wealthy by our standards, but they are wealthy in Christ. I long to be wealthy like them.


About jessiparrett

I graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Magazine Journalism and came on staff with Veritas shortly after. I'm originally from St. Louis, but now consider Columbia my home. I love: reading, coffee, spending time outside, getting to know people and traveling.
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