As I was reflecting on our week in Jamaica, there was one word that continually came to mind…
We met up with so many people who were in need. People who were in need of medical care, or clothing and shoes. They were doing everything they could to survive. Some were living a life full of alcohol and drugs. Every remote village we went into, people were in need of their lives to be restored- physically and spiritually.
There was a group of us who went into a branch of Teen Challenge in an area almost an hour outside of Ocho Rios. It was way off into the woods. Some of our medical team came to tend to the participants. The evangelism team led by Marc Pritchett from RUSH and myself led a devotion time with the men. The ages of the participants ranged from 15 to well into their 50’s. All had led a hard life with drugs, alcohol, and even crime. They were there to have their lives restored. Some were well on their way; others were struggling. Those that were doing well chose the right path to help in that process- a life with Jesus Christ. Marc preached about Jesus being the only way to a new life. You could see those that devoted their lives to Christ were filled with the Holy Spirit. They knew that He was the only way for a life restored.
I spoke to some of the men afterward and they shared their stories with me. There was Dewayne, who had struggled for some years, got into trouble and tried to break his addiction. He was on his way but slipped up. Now, Dewayne lives his life walking with Jesus. He says he is the happiest he’s ever been. He wants to take what he has learned and go out to help others recover through a relationship with Jesus. He also wants to regain a relationship with his 18-year-old daughter, whom he abandoned years earlier. With God’s strength, Dewayne is well on his way to restoration.
There was a young lady who I met two years while we did a medical clinic at a church in Oracabessa. Monique came over to a group of us who were singing, and she mentioned she too was a singer. She then sang for us the worship song “Break Every Chain,” and we were blown away. God gave her such a beautiful gift. She told us that would occasionally sing at the church, and we prayed with her for God to continue to use her voice to minister to others. We went back to that church last Sunday, and I asked if Monique was going to be there. They said she had not been there for a while. She did show up later on in the service, and I was able to talk to her afterward. She said that she initially wasn’t planning on coming because she has been going through some rough times. Someone in the church phoned her to say we had been asking for her, and she decided to come. We prayed with her again, asking God to restore her spirit and to continue to use her beautiful voice to lead others in a meaningful relationship with Jesus.
God is in the “restoration” business. He wants to and can restore your life no matter what you have done or where you are right now. In Psalm 51, verses 10-12, David asks God to restore his spirit, and God to give him the strength to fight his battles and restore joy in his life. I love verse 13, which David then says he will take that joy to help others find God and lead them a restored life. I saw Dewayne in that passage. He has asked God for restoration and now has the fire in him to want to go out and lead others to Jesus.
We are broken people as well. Everyone on our mission team has, in some way, needed restoration. God used our team to help lead the people of Jamaica to a life of restoration through Christ Jesus. He can do the same for you. I encourage you to turn to Him in your brokenness and allow Him to restore your life. Then, don’t be afraid to share your restoration story with others. Allow God to work through you to help others find the same strength, peace, and joy you have through Jesus Christ.
In Christ’s love,
P.S.- If you want to see pictures and video from The JOY FM/ RUSH Ministries Jamaica Missions Trip, click here