Jamaican school

Jamaican elementary school children

March 2009, Mandeville, Jamaica

I climbed out of the packed, dusty, hot van in front of the little, concrete elementary school next to a big, concrete church. A Dora mural was painted on the front of the school.

Jamaican elementary school children

We had pulled up a short dirt drive through a big field after a bumpy prior drive on other dirt roads. We were there to play and sing and perform a puppet show from behind a sheet and take pictures and print pictures for who knows how many Jamaican elementary students. 

Jamaican elementary school children

I ungracefully climbed out of the van wearing the standard missions trip attire — loose, knee-length skirt, t-shirt, flip flops. The others on our team from college climbed out, too. We stood outside the school for a second, waiting to see where we should go. I held the suitcase full of old, raggedy puppets.

The students started streaming out. They all came toward me, chattering and smiling. I set down the suitcase, and they hugged my legs tightly, rubbing my pale, white skin. I started to cry, inexplicably. All I could do was say hi, smile, ask their names, and feel a deep passion bubble up inside me. 

Jamaican elementary school children

I saw Jesus in their faces. 

Jamaican elementary school children

This is the tenth post in my 31 Days series. This page will be updated each day with the newest post, if you want to come back to it from time to time.

moments that mattered to me // 31 days @ little things + big stuff