Church: Brownsdale UMC
District: River Valley
Submitted by: Deb Harvey
Fourteen people from the small community of Brownsdale recently returned from a 12-day OC Ministries work team experience in Brown's Town, Jamaica.
The project included working on a playground at the Eccleston basic school and starting a fence project at the Boro Bridge basic school, as well as painting the inside of Boro Bridge Church and the outside of a church addition. Team members were housed at the Brown's Town manse, the home of Boro Bridge Pastor Earl and June Harrison and their son, Andrew. The three hosts shared their home, their life story, a wonderful garden, and exceptional meals with the group.
Many friendships from previous trips were renewed and new ones formed as the days went by. There were many opportunities along the way to see faith in action and to witness the fruits of the spirit among team members, the host family, and the locals at each work site.
"We could not have accomplished so much in so little time without them," says leader Deb Harvey, "especially at Eccleston where we moved several truck loads of fill (mostly rock, some dirt) by wheelbarrow and buckets into the playground area. When we took water and rest breaks, they kept hauling."
The team kept a blog during the adventure and people back home checked it faithfully. They had almost 1,900 hits by the end of the trip.
The team included eight youth, six of whom will be seniors at Hayfield High School this fall. The planning and fundraising for this trip began six years ago; the team waited for the time when the trip would be most meaningful for the age group of the young attendees.
"The trip did not disappoint!" Harvey says. "Hard physical labor was mixed with laughter, sunscreen, nightly team meetings, kitchen duty, and of course, the beach! Climbing Dunn’s River Falls was great fun. Each of us went on the trip expecting to give of ourselves, but as always, we received so much. It was a wonderful trip!"
For more, check out the team's blog at brownsdaleumc.blogspot.com.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church