Barbados Testimony 2019
By Micah Jones - Senior; Student Body Chaplain
The Barbados mission trip was a life-changing experience to say the least. I knew it was going to be incredible from the moment I first started practicing with the rest of the team—we all had good chemistry and got along very well from the beginning. Most of us had gone to Denver together, so we already had a close bond. During the practices, I enjoyed getting closer to the others and seeing us all come out of our shells even before we left. You might expect performing in front of other people to be scary, but in reality it felt really good. We all had a great time at every one of our performances, both in the US and in Barbados. By the time of our last domestic performance at Trinity we were all hyped up and ready to leave.
Our first taste of performing in Barbados came with the secondary schools—the Barbadian equivalents of middle and high schools. At these schools, we performed our dramas and handed out gospel tracts to the students. At first, we thought they weren’t getting anything from our performances because the kids were laughing at some of the skits, but then we started seeing some hearts change; people were crying, which to me meant that they were being moved. It hit me seeing the kids' tears that we weren’t just another assembly to them, we were missionaries coming to share God’s love.
The industrial schools were another type of place where we performed, essentially juvenile detention centers, and they were emotionally moving as well. You go in intimidated by the fact that these kids are basically in junior prison, only to be touched by the students’ humanity. You realize that they aren’t heartless felons, just ordinary teenagers like you or me who got caught up in some stupid stuff or with the wrong crowd.
The real heart-breaker though was the special needs primary school. This is a government-run place where parents who are unable to meet the needs of their special needs children leave them. It was brutal on all of us, emotionally speaking, seeing all these innocent children suffering in positions that could have just as easily been us or our family members. Most of us cried there or on the bus ride back to housing, but needless to say, we gave our all to make those kids happy. Pastor Hemphill said that at that performance, we were acting out the heart of Christ.
I think of all the types of places we performed, everyone's favorite was the primary schools where the little kids were. Everything about those performances brought us joy, from hearing the burst of applause when the kids first saw the puppets to being unable to do the dance at the end because all the kids were swarming us with hugs and high-fives. They were always happy, always loving, and always receptive of our performances, and we left each school filled with energy. For me, personally, I saw God in those little kids; even if they didn't know Him, they showed us His untainted joy and His unconditional love. They showed me as much about God as we did to them.
Barbados is an incredible place, and it will certainly always hold a special place in my heart and in the hearts of my teammates. If anyone has the opportunity to go there and continue building on the foundation that our team and those that came before us laid, I cannot emphasize enough just how strongly they would be impacted.