Today, we finished up our work at the Church Hill Primary School working on the principal’s cottage so that the principal and his family can live closer to the school. Our work began yesterday, and I spent the entire first day in a single bedroom ripping out nails, painting a primer coat and sweeping the floors. What I appreciated most today was the sense of accomplishment when we finished this room off with a fresh coat of “Waterfall” blue paint. The transformation from when we arrived to when we left rendered that room nearly unrecognizable. It is amazing how our teamwork improved as we bonded, and we accomplished so much more together than we could have individually.
Tonight, we spoke as a group about the difference between helping and serving. Something that stood out to me was how helping is based on inequality, while serving is among equals. The Jamaican people have already taught me so much about joy, worship, contentment and optimism; I honestly can say they have served me as equally as I have served them this week. We also discussed how helping is draining and exhausting, while serving is renewing. I am beginning to fully understand this difference simply by experiencing the peace and genuine happiness the kids at the school and the workers we worked alongside brought me.
I’m saddened to leave these wonderful people tomorrow as we head to Treasure Beach, but I am thankful for the impact they’ve made on my life, and hopefully I have made an impact in their lives. I’m excited that we still have another school to work with and I look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the difference between helping and serving.