A Trip of Firsts to Jamaica Deaf Village
Hi, my name is Patti Stoudt, and I am currently serving the Lord on CCCD’s US Board and Jamaica Board. I recently had the privilege to attend a Jamaica Board meeting at the Knockpatrick Campus. What an honor to experience many firsts on this trip, even though it was my 8th time to the island.
First with new leadership: CCCD had many leadership changes in 2016. So the board meeting on January 17 and the Annual General Meeting at JDV on January 18 were exciting, especially to see Mrs. Tashi Widmer, CEO of CCCD and Mr. Nicholas Headley, COO of CCCD, in their new roles. They have been working hard to settle into their new roles, and to take inventory of where we are in CCCD, what is needed and where we go from here. I am proud to see both growing in their roles and seeking to honor the Lord through every aspect of CCCD. I invite you to pray for each of them.
First mission trip for my husband: My husband Paul was finally able to travel with me to Jamaica. He knew several of the folks who live at JDV, who had stayed with us in our home in Pennsylvania while visiting the States. But now he could see them in their home environment. Paul enjoyed helping with concrete work and painting. He claimed he understood why Jamaica has such amazing runners in the Olympics, as he ran the hills at JDV several mornings for his workouts! He also now understands my love for the people at JDV, or as I usually say “our JDV family!” Paul also loved tasting the results of the artistry of the young men with Deaf Can Coffee. I think he’s hooked!
First volunteer time in a deaf school: Our daughter, Heidi, is deaf, and a senior in college in PA, pursuing a degree in deaf education. This was her third trip to Jamaica, but the first she was able to be here while school was in session. She thoroughly enjoyed spending time with some of the Knockpatrick students, and interacting with the staff.
First time sponsoring a child at CCCD: Our family decided to take up the challenge to sponsor a child, and chose one of the students who grabbed Heidi’s heart in her time at the school. We look forward to seeing how the Lord nurtures our relationship with “our” little girl. Won’t you please consider sponsoring a child? It’s $32/month… or perhaps your Sunday School class or small group could share a sponsorship?
First time visiting in one of the deaf family’s apartments: Each time I have visited JDV, I wanted to respect the privacy of my friends who live there, so I have never initiated a visit to their homes. I wanted to wait until I was invited. One of the folks who visited our home in PA and his wife invited my husband and me to visit their apartment. What precious time of fellowship and challenging one another in our marriage relationships and praying for one another!
First time meeting the newest person around JDV: I was so blessed to meet a deaf man, who did not have the privilege to go to deaf school, nor to meet many other deaf people until coming to JDV recently. He is basically learning language and his first formal signs as he helps with the farm work at JDV. It filled my heart to overflowing to see other deaf people at JDV nurture this man. You see, years ago when I had the opportunity to teach Deaf Ministry workshops with Joni & Friends, I shared my heart with the following statement: Deaf ministry is not really deaf ministry until the Deaf people are ministering. That’s what I saw at JDV. The Deaf people ministering!
So what FIRST is waiting for you? Your first time coming on a mission team to a CCCD campus? Your first time sponsoring a child at a CCCD school? Your first time supporting a CCCD missionary or staff member? Your first time hosting a banquet in your home area for fundraising for CCCD?