Page 10 - Annual Meeting, 2022
P. 10

Jamaica Project, Annual Report 2021
               Andrea Pogue

               Who knows that a little country girl from St Catherine, Jamaica who visited Port Royal,
               Jamaica, would end up living in Port Royal, VA, and  have a priest named Catherine.  After
               leaving Jamaica over forty-five years ago, I promised to heed most of my mom’s
               advice.  “Don’t forget God is in control; stay true to yourself, give with your heart, have
               faith, stay hopeful, and never forget where you are coming from.”  I practice this advice
               daily.  I promised myself that I would visit Jamaica every two years with God’s help.  What a
               deal, getting to visit a beautiful island, carrying along suitcases full of groceries, shoes,
               clothing, etc.  I refer to this undertaking as my miniature mission trip/vacation.  After
               taking care of family members and people in surrounding neighborhoods, watching the joy
               and gratitude on their faces, I knew I needed to do more, something big, something more

               What could I do to make a difference for a lot more people in one shot?  Lightbulb went off;
               my primary school where I started my education journey was always on my list to give
               back to and to try to help.   As I planned my 2019 visit to Jamaica, I made an appointment
               with the principal Annette Steele.  The visit was amazing; after the formalities, we talked
               about various needs for the school, painting, and a new fence, computers for the kids,
               uniforms, and the most everyday basic tools, school supplies.  At that moment I promised
               that I would get every kid in that school a backpack with supplies; Annette thought I was
               crazy, my faith told me otherwise.  I left the meeting with a new friend, more motivated,
               and a new mission, determined to make an impact on some kids’ lives.
               I spent part of the rest of my trip running various scenarios in my mind, and then I
               remembered one of my favorite phrases.  Team work makes the dream work, with God’s
               help.  On my arrival home, I asked Catherine if she could put the idea on our Vestry Agenda
               to consider this undertaking as St Peter’s next mission trip.  Needless to say, the Vestry was
               unanimously on board. I was tasked with the logistics of collecting backpacks , getting them
               to Jamaica , and distribution. I also had to plan flights, transportation, and lodging.

               This mission was set to take place in August 2020 as a back-to-school event for the start of
               the school year. Unfortunately, the country and the world  were hit with COVID 19,
               changing lives, and literally putting the country on lock down. We all spent the next months
               and months trying not to get this virus, embracing Zoom, and relearning all our family
               members’ new or not so new habits.

               While this virus has taken many lives, affecting families and friends in many ways, we are
               extremely grateful for another year as we continue to pray for an end to what is being
               called a Pandemic. In February 2020, we decided to move ahead with the mission. Then
               here comes Delta! Our goal at this time was to get the backpacks  to Jamaica  and Annette,
               and her staff would handle the distribution.

               We collected over three hundred and fifty backpacks, along with notebooks, pencils, pens,
               sharpeners, erasers, and rulers, in addition to the generous online donation of $3000.00,

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