Posted July 13th
We were sorry to leave behind the beautiful Cayman islands but excited to travel on to new horizons! We had written several weeks in advance to various members of the Couch Surfing network in Montego Bay & had received a positive response to stay with one of them for 5 days. It was a relief to have a place to land (for a change!), but then 3 days before our arrival date, we received an email that our accommodation was ‘not possible’ — Oh no!
There didn’t seem to be any other possibilities on the horizon & so we basically arrived in a brand new country with zero accommodation but plenty of promises in God’s Word that He would supply all our needs & be with us ‘unto the end of the Earth’! Exiting the airport terminal, we saw there was a large hotel-like building on the hill just opposite & after confirming with locals that it was indeed a hotel, we decided to drag our suitcases up there & ask the director if he could donate a room for one week to help our missionary work. Needless to say, there were plenty of exorbitantly-priced taxis that wanted to ‘help’ but we politely declined…..
Arriving on a Sunday morning is often the worst time to look for a hotel director but luckily for us, he happened to be on the property & agreed to give us a complementary room for 3 days with a slim possibility of extending it. As soon as Monday morning came around, we walked to different schools to arrange to conduct our programs on the dangers of drugs & smoking.
Here again, we were quite fortunate to be able to immediately set up programs in the 4 main high schools, as the school holidays were rapidly approaching & so their schedules were heavily booked with exams & other end-of-term activities. Amazingly, in stark contrast to the Cayman islands, none of the government schools we approached asked for any autho-risation from the Ministry of Education, thus making our job much easier. (In the Cayman islands it took almost 4 weeks to get an official authorization to visit the government schools!).
Being frequent travelers, it was actually fun to stay in a hotel with a complete view of all the airport comings & goings. It became a new hobby to google various airline names (Westjet, Jet Blue, Spirit etc) & to find out where these planes were coming from or going to!
Getting started in a new country is often quite intense as we have to decide whether our top priority is searching for accommodation, or whether it’s going around the schools. Both of them are ‘full-time jobs’ that often involve long walks, long waits & requests to come back to meet someone higher up the chain of command. We decided to make the schools our top priority & to trust the Lord for our accommodation.
After conducting our first few programs in the schools, we went back to the hotel owner to show him our progress & received some very good news: we could stay one week at Montego Hotel—enough time to now start searching around for other possibilities….