So I went to Jamaica last week to visit the family that I began sheltering back in August. They finally made it to Jamaica the week before and had invited me to come see them. So I gave up one shift at work and spent Tuesday through Thursday night with them, traveling Friday morning to get back in time for work Friday afternoon (never had to tell anyone at work where I was, either, heh).
I made sure to bring Gospel tracts with me on the trip, but, as usual, not nearly enough. I had to ration my tracts every day just to have some on Thursday. People were just as receptive to tracts as I experience here in the States. However, the common language is a dialect of English called Patwah (I might be misspelling that), and, while it is possible to understand it, it is difficult to speak it back to them. Fortunately, most of them understand American English quite well.
I had several good conversations while waiting with my friends at the bank for more than an hour and a half (boy, business is done differently in Jamaica!). I was at first afraid that the security guard might stop me from handing out the Million Dollar Bills I had brought (leftover from St Patrick's Day; they are all gone, now), but then I realized that they really do business differently in Jamaica! Passing fliers, of whatever sort, is just part of life.
Just like driving like a maniac, cutting people off, being cut off, honking the horn, and being honked at. I am a "by-the-book" driver, so I would be dead driving in Jamaica. But it certainly was fun! Next time I go, I'm going to have to get a step ladder and preach in Spanishtown. There are always big crowds there, and often there are radios blaring the truth right in the middle of them (not like people stop and listen).
Although most people would probably think that Jamaica is a Christian nation, in truth, all they do is claim it. The religion class in school teaches about the gods and practices of religions around the world. Christ is not exalted. This reminded me of the Bahamas, where they teach you to be a good person, but don't tell you the Gospel or even the Ten Commandments. Not very Christ-like, I must say. He not only taught the Ten Commandments, He explained their spiritual nature, and then became the sacrifice that not only cleanses us from sin but also aids us in following the spiritual requirements of the Law (Matthew 5, Romans 6). So I'm definitely looking forward to re-engaging the Jamaican culture, whenever I get to return.
Please pray for the people I was able to speak to and to give tracts to. Please also pray for my neighbor Mike, whose alcohol-destroyed liver is giving out. Tomorrow is actually his birthday, and he's not happy about spending it in the hospital. He's not saved, either, so please pray for that, too.
God bless. Thank you.