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Truth Corps in Jamaica

Getting up close to the poverty surrounding most of the world is grounding.
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Truth Corps 2023 was deeply positive for the May Pen ecclesia, the Truth Corps team, and the young Sunday School attendees who participated in the Vacation Bible School (VBS). More than anything, I suspect the success could be attributed to a combination of some very solid team members and a very strong host family. 

The team stayed at the home of the Johnson family. The Johnsons are remarkable. They provided excellent accommodations, relentless hospitality, catering, and great fellowship. I suspect, for the young people, the Johnsons were the strongest support as they provided the most learning (both Sis. Lorraine and Bro. Leroy are staunch Bible students) and Scriptural engagement. We had lively discussions around the readings with them, and many follow-up engaging conversations followed. 

We had lively discussions around the readings

The team itself, while small, was deeply rich. Having the two Johnson boys with us, Okeimo and Lorenzo, may have contributed most substantially to this. Both boys participated in the VBS classes. All of the team were game for any extracurricular activities and often led the way.

I was thrilled to see the heavy lifting of the North American young people. It would take a lot of work to find a way to infuse more learning into the VBS. Sis. Sydney Pitman, Sis. Jane Kohlman and Bro. Judah Lange were all in during their lessons with the students. Bro. Erick Cervantes and I covered the teen classes, and the folks who were in the room supported us with some lively commentary. Every time I looked into the younger class, it was a “hive” of learning. 

The team benefited from the presence and leadership of Bro. Erick Cervantes. It is hard to replace young, enthusiastic brothers willing to do this sort of work. Bro. Erick is such a great example to young people.

Overall, the experience, while blisteringly hot, benefited everyone. Work in developing countries is exhausting work. It’s an emotional labor as well. We live in distorted circumstances in the West. Most of us take the opportunities surrounding us for granted: safe neighborhoods, access to a robust economy, a moderate climate, and legal accountability. Getting up close to the poverty surrounding most of the world is grounding.

The greatest strength of Truth Corps is that it allows young people to have these experiences and support our community. Hopefully, we all recognize the ties that bind us. God’s call to righteousness transcends the wickedness, inequity, and disorder that make so much of the rest of the world. 

Meeting with brothers and sisters who love and understand the calling of Scripture, despite difficult circumstances, encourages those of us in the West, surrounded by perennial indulgence, to stay grounded and appreciate the abundance we’ve been blessed with. Hopefully, we can leverage our privilege into greater service. It’s hard to ignore Paul’s directive in Romans 14:17 that the Kingdom is “about righteousness, peace and joy.” 

Please consider contacting Truth Corps contacts in your area to get information and encourage young people to volunteer some of their summer to support this worthy work. As part of your CYC or Bible class, I strongly recommend you have a “Zoom” session with Truth Corps alumni to get some insights and encouragement to join or support in other ways. 

 Dana Kohlman,
Calgary Ecclesia, AB
Truth Corps Leader

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