Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

August 2, 2013

Mission team gives a hand up in Jamaica

TAHLEQUAH — Almost 200 years ago, Methodist missionaries established churches in Jamaica.

A local missions team recently traveled to Jamaica to host Vacation Bible School and do needed repairs to Crawle Methodist Church in Duncans.

From July 5-13, a Volunteers in Mission team from Tahlequah First United Methodist Church shared a love for Christ with children and their families through games, music, and Bible studies.

They also repaired the kitchen, windows and doors of the facility.

Participants included James and Jane Bond, Dudley and Sara Brown, Sarah and Keith Dunlap and sons Noah and Jesse, Billie Walker, Suze Heinrichs of St. Louis, and Greta Heru from Memphis. The trip was organized by Linda Davies Alegria, who is serving with the Peace Corps.

“I wanted to see Linda in her workplace,” Sara Brown said. “We’ve been friends since she was my co-worker at NSU.”

They collected things to take for the children, said Brown. “NSU donated 60 jump ropes, beach balls, lip glosses and 20 Frisbees and NSU T-shirts.”

The T-shirts were given to volunteers in Jamaica who pitched in. The travelers also took soccer balls and children’s books, as well as toiletries, soaps, pencils and bandages. Billie Walker crocheted hats to be given away.

The two Dunlap teens enjoyed playing soccer with the area youth, and one Jamaican young man was proud to have a soccer ball at the end of the week, said Brown.

Sara Dunlap and Eric Moran, a Jamaican team member and volunteer, respectively, led music every day.

“Everyone loved the music and would sing at the top of their lungs,” Brown said. “One night, we had a musical evening for surrounding churches, and [members of] four churches came.”

The children of area churches were attending the VBS each day and the musical evening gave everyone a chance to get together.

Jane bond enjoyed seeing the children have a good time.

“They were quiet at first, then the more they got to know us, they loosened up,” Bond said.

One of the best experiences of the trip was taking individual photos of the children, then giving a photo to each child.

“Those photos tell the kids, ‘you’re important and we care about you and want to take your picture,’” said Bond.

Seeing the world in a     different way

Mission trips allow people to see the world in a different way, James Bond said.

“For the children, it’s also valuable to share their point of view, to have a person be interested in them,” Jane Bond said. “It’s important to have money to fix the windows and buy supplies. But as Sara pointed out, it means so much for them to be doing hair and having a person to care enough to be there for them.”

The group took funds to buy supplies for church repairs, and hired local workers. They took $1,000 for church repairs and left about $500 for additional projects.

While the inside of the church was receiving some much-needed TLC, the outside grounds also got attention.

“One day we all picked up trash outside, we filled nine huge trash bags,” said Dudley Brown. “We got the kids more interested in making the environment a more respectful place.”

Getting to know the people of the community was one of the joys of the trip.

“The people at the church were very kind,” Brown said. “One lady had a beautiful farm and invited us out for a traditional Jamaican lunch.”

Fruit was in abundance, including star fruit, papaya, guava and passion fruit.

“It was so good,” Dudley Brown said. “The area reminded me of the foliage in Zambia when we were there.”

Traditional food a delight for visitors

Another time the group was treated to a traditional meal of jerk chicken and rice, which was served in containers, so each child got a meal in a box, Brown said. The last day they had a cake and ice cream treat.

The trip was the Brown’s seventh mission experience since they’ve lived in Oklahoma.

“It’s a wonderful way to make a small difference and also learn so much about the people you work with and appreciate their culture,” said Sara. “

It especially makes the boys appreciate the things they have, and to understand that not all people have the same resources and opportunities, and they can share that with their peers.”

Dudley Brown was surprised to see how many single family homes there were and how so many men were unable to find work.

“So many of the men and women live separately,” he said.

“I’ve traveled all over the world but I hadn’t been to the Caribbean Islands, so I wanted to see friends and make new ones. It’s broadening for anyone who goes on a mission trip and also for those who are recipients; it broadens their world outlook.”

Text Only
Local News
  • ts-Tax-free-main.jpg Shopper's delight

    Tax-free weekend coming up Aug. 1-3, just in time for back-to-school savings

    Attention, shoppers: Oklahoma’s Tax-Free Weekend is coming up, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 1.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • ballard-amanda.jpg Woman pleads no contest to molestation

    A Tahlequah woman accused of having more than 20 sexual encounters with a 13-year-old boy has pleaded no contest in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence, though 10 years have been suspended.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-arch-society.jpg Archaeologist: Spiro Mounds may have been ancient music haven

    People gathered from across the country at the “center of the universe,” bringing with them different styles of music and instruments, each thought to have its own power and importance.
    This could be the description of a modern music festival, but to Jim Rees, it is a picture of the Spiro Mounds 1,000 years before Columbus came to the Americas.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two headed for trial for conspiracy to kill judge and others

    Two of the four people accused of conspiring to kill a Cherokee County judge and several other targets were bound over for trial Friday following a preliminary hearing in Tahlequah.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman accused in embezzlement sought for arrest

    Court officials have issued a bench warrant for a woman who previously pleaded to embezzling more than $40,000 while she worked for Tahlequah attorney Park Medearis.

    July 28, 2014

  • CN, UKB battle over trust land application

    Two Tahlequah-based tribes presented oral arguments Friday in a protracted fight over a land-in-trust application.

    Over the course of five hours, attorneys for the Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation Entertainment and the Department of the Interior made their cases before Northern District Judge Gregory Frizzell in a hearing that was originally scheduled for February.


    July 25, 2014

  • ts-NSU-Main-1-a.jpg No NSU pool, for now

    NSU experiencing delays in fitness center construction

    Earlier this month, Northeastern State University announced it is experiencing delays in the renovation of its fitness center and pool.
    The facility was officially shuttered Sept. 17, 2012, and at the time, the projected completion date for renovation was this fall.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • jn-Suspect-1.jpg Officials: Images of suspects may help nab church burglars

    Cherokee County investigators hope surveillance footage captured around the Crescent Valley Baptist Church in Woodall helps lead to the suspects accused of breaking into the complex and setting fire to one building this week.
    According to Undersheriff Jason Chennault, cameras captured footage of two suspects on bicycles early Tuesday morning, July 22.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw-movie-night.jpg Local library hosts family movie night

    Nova Foreman and her two daughters were about to leave the Tahlequah Public Library Thursday, when they saw the Family Movie Night flyer.
    The three decided to stay and enjoy a movie they had not yet seen at the free, theater-like event.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Keys.jpg Grant to fund stepped-up Keys PE program

    Kair Ridenhour’s new office is filled with pedometers.
    Ridenhour officially started his new position as assistant elementary principal at Keys Public Schools on July 1.
    But his other role at the school – that of physical education project coordinator – prompted the influx of pedometers.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow