MMJMP is not just a mission group; it truly is a family. Being able to experience the mission trip to Jamaica is truly a blessing and gift from God. Traveling to Jamaica and being hands on with the people is life changing and definitely worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears.
Hi! About a year ago I saw an article in our Parish Bulletin and it caught my attention! It covered a voluntary, charitable trip to Jamaica made by people recruited yearly for Msgr McCormick’s Jamaica Mission Project (MMJMP) – January 2019. Any skillset is welcomed, along with the desire to be of service to these less fortunate Jamaicans. The Newsoms, Rick and Lisa, run the MMJMP on the USA side; recruiting help, giving us informational booklets to help prepare us for the trip, holding team-building meetings well ahead of the trip, scheduling our multiple fundraising events that fund the project homes (2 usually) that we build in Jamaica and donate to pre-selected families . This is only a partial USA-list of how the Newsoms support us. The Jamaican-list adds more items and the Newsoms are handling it all as our ever-present resource/support team!
This is a working travel-trip, not a vacation. We repair, sand/paint, build (2) homes, as mentioned above, repair rain gutters, hang doors, around the Mission compound area. We bag beans and rice for local food distribution and repackage meds from bulk supplies to smaller amounts to be given to patients of the Mission Clinic. This past January, we had 2 brothers who, over 4 days, after school, taught Lego robotics to the children and teens; most of whom had never been exposed to anything like this before. The kids were so happy when the robots they built came to life and worked! Cool to witness! I got to work in the Medical/Dental Clinic, doing RN duties and some days helping in the Pharmacy, giving out the prescribed prescriptions and repackaging pills to meet the client’s needs. The clients would stop by the worktable and tell us, “Thank you for helping in this Clinic”! They are so thankful that we are there, donating our time and skills. The days start early, run late (our chatting), weather can be hard-to-handle, but the gratefulness of these cheerful Jamaican people, who hold their heads high, despite their abject poverty, makes this trip so worth it! Join us for the Jan 2020 Trip!
God Bless you all, Chris McKinney, ADN, RN – Fresno
My time in Jamaica was incredible!
It came at a time when I needed it most, and did I ever feel God on the trip! Father Marek is a walking Saint, that has provided so much good for the community of Maggotty. To be in his presence, to see his work, and to talk about the Catholic Faith with him for a little while was inspiring in my life. I traveled across the world, to enjoy time with a holy priest, clearly doing the work of our savior, Jesus Christ, while also meeting some of the kindest & most sincere people I’d ever met. It’s a beautiful island, full of kind people, a priest who is a perfect role model for all people, this trip is the experience of a lifetime and it changed my life for the better!
- Michael B.
This mission project has truly impacted my life and my walk with the Lord. I met so many beautiful people in Jamaica and experienced first-hand a new culture. I was blessed to be a part of a team where we could live out the gospel and serve others, whether it be through passing out new shoes, building a house for a family, or simply having a laugh with a local person. We’re all called to serve others in some way. This trip has reminded me that with any kind of service, whether it be as large as building a house for a family, or as simple as dancing and laughing with a local group of kids, we truly become more human—more like the people God intends us to be!
Give the gift of service to others and you’ll receive so much in return!
Through this mission we, as a family, learned how to serve others and disconnect from our busy lives. We found out more about ourselves and how to help others through what God has given us. #jamaica #missiontrip @ Maggotty, Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica
-Henny, Brandon & Brian A.
In January of 2018 I was one of six college students from St. Paul Catholic Newman Center to travel to Maggotty, Jamaica. We were there only a week, but I learned a lot, and had an experience like no other.
That first weekend we were there we attended Sunday Mass. It was packed full of prayerful Jamaicans. They came from all over the area to attend Mass. Many in attendance were not even confirmed Catholics! They were there to hear the word of the Lord and receive a blessing. I remember sitting in the pew and a sense of wonder came over me as I took in the sight of everyone in the chapel. I was already excited for the trip, but that moment made me so happy I grew even more excited for the week ahead. This was the first time I realized what it means to go out and do God’s work.
We spent the next three days building homes for two families. They were simple homes, only three rooms, and the families loved them. We spent two days with the first family. They were very nice, and we got to know them well. There were kids around our age there working on the house with us. We really bonded with them as we talked and worked. We learned a little bit about each other’s cultures and even learned some pop culture. The family gave us sugar cane and a fresh coconut to try, as well as making lunch for us. It was all delicious.
As we completed each house the families were so happy to see their finished homes. Being part of the process was truly rewarding when I saw the looks on their faces. That moment made all the hard work, sweat, and rain delays worth it. This was the second time I realized what it means to do God’s work.
My absolute favorite part of the week was after we had finished the houses. We woke up at 6:00am and waited for a freight shipping container to be delivered. When it arrived, everyone worked to quickly empty it. There were people from all over the area who came to pick up deliveries. It is not often that they can get deliveries like we can here in the States. Once we all had everything out and sorted our visitors went on their way. After they left, we had to sort through all the donations. We received donations of toys, school supplies, and more. Fr. Marek directed us as to what was to go where, and we made quick work of it. We then had to make the deliveries to the schools. We must have gone to ten or eleven schools ranging from basic all the way to high school. When we arrived and said we had supplies for them they were ecstatic, and some were moved to tears. It was amazing to see how things we take for granted, like simple school supplies, can have such a profound impact on the teachers and students. This was the third time I realized what it means to do God’s work.
This experience is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was a huge blessing for me because it put my life into perspective. It showed me how very blessed I truly am and how simple it is to brighten someone’s life. I learned that anyone can do the work of God even if it is something as small as giving school supplies to a school. On this trip I had an amazing group of people that I went with and we had a blast. I am so excited to take all that I learned, and to go forth and continue to do God’s work in any way I can.
A group gathers for a photo beneath the "giant sequoias" of the Fresno Air Terminal. We are 15 volunteers ranging in age from 11 to 83, myself firmly at the upper range of that scale. We're ready to board a plane for Jamaica. It's Jan.3, 2019. A small column in the Holy Spirit Church bulletin led to this moment.
Would I really be able to build a house from scratch in a country where I had so far been only a tourist? Would a retired RN actually be able to help this mission be a success? Thanks to the people skills and organizational abilities of Lisa and Rick Newsom and the guidance of Monsignor McCormick, I was able to have a memorable & rewarding experience.
The next morning, we stepped into a completely new world; a small community parish built from the bottom up by its priest, nuns & volunteers, set in a lush countryside. I spent time working outdoors and in the community's clinic. The facilities for us were comfortable & the food healthy. Many special activities were planned for us and the spiritual aspect was the key to enjoying everything. Many thanks, Lisa & Rick for a successful trip!
I was privileged to be part of a 9-person Mission Team who traveled to Jamaica in 2013. The experience was so rewarding for both the local people, and the Team. The people of Jamaica were so beautiful and gracious! I will never forget my time there. I hope to be a part of the Mission Team in January 2020.
I had always planned to participate in a mission trip and my experience with MMJMP was beyond my expectations. Heartbreaking, as there is extreme poverty... heartwarming, as the recipients of your work are immensely grateful. You will return to the blessed life you have with a renewed wholeheartedness and purpose for doing good in the world!