Lumen Christi Students Serve in Jamaica Over Spring Break

Lumen Christi Students Serve in Jamaica Over Spring Break

Beginning in 2004 and for fifteen straight years, Lumen Christi students along, with their chaplain and chaperones traveled to St. Ann Parish, Jamaica, to serve the families of the Seville Heights neighborhood. Then in the spring of 2020, with the airplane tickets purchased, the permission slips filled out, and donations rolling in, we had to put the mission trip on pause as the world dealt with a pandemic. After three long years, we were given the go-ahead, and I jumped in with both feet as the new trip director. It quickly became evident that filling out our team would be a little slower than in the past – there wasn’t any student currently enrolled at Lumen Christi that had gone on the Jamaica Mission trip in the past. I put together a slideshow from my past trips,  and visited all the theology classes to encourage student interest. We built a team of thirteen students and seven adults. What a team it was – from the beginning, they became a family. They watched out for each other, helped each other, worked with each other, and  made the trip the success it was. Together they completed a “Little Blue House” in just two and a half days, leaving enough time to be able to re-side and paint another house. They made friends with children of all ages and spent hours sharing stories, playing games, and blowing bubbles. They divided and conquered the food basket shopping, enabling us to gift six families with a month’s worth of groceries.

One of the highlights of our mission trip in years past was the visit to the St. Ann Infirmary. This is more like a nursing home than a hospital,  as the name implies, and as such could be a difficult afternoon for some of our participants. But, if you sat down beside a resident and asked them their story, the love and compassion would soon be pouring forth from you. Unfortunately, this activity was still under COVID closure so we were unable to visit, but with proper authorization and through the generosity of our Lumen community and the Jackson parishes, we delivered a new deep freezer, a refrigerator/freezer, four cases of adult diapers, thermometers, gauze, gloves, and masks. I was allowed to go into the facility just long enough to fill out paperwork for our donation and to take a picture of the freezer and refrigerator. The staff was so thankful; their previous deep freeze had just quit and they had lost medicines, as well as a great deal of food. We were able to fill a need, not just a wish.

Each evening we came together to talk about our day, sing songs of praise, pray and reflect,  and as Fr. Brian loves to say, “Get a lot of Jesus.” We invited our night security guard to join us. Near the end of our week, he brought a co-worker that he needed prayer. The team surrounded James, laid hands on him, and prayed with and for him. The love of God shined bright that night.

Our mission trip is not all work – it is our spring break, and we have many opportunities in the evenings to spend time on the beach or at the pool. We had a free day at the end of the week, and we traveled to Ocho Rios for some sightseeing, shopping, and lunch. In the afternoon, we climbed the crystal clear, 960-foot Dunn’s River Falls under the blue skies and Jamaican sunshine. JAM 23, as the team called it, meant so much to so many: to Elaine who has a new home with comfort and security; to Michelle who received groceries to feed her fourteen dependents; to Chanelle at the Hope Center who was able to pass out twenty pairs of new shoes to the children; to Ben W. (sophomore LCCS) “It was an enlightening and very fun mission for God.”; for Olivia B. (senior LCCS) “Since everyone was so kind to us it made me feel a part of their community with so many loving people”; and to Dr. Christi (parent/chaperon) “The JAM 23 trip started as a way to help people much less fortunate than myself, instead I found out how much more they helped me, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to assist in providing much-needed aid to the wonderful Jamaican people.” To me, it is that all of our team found there is room in their heart for the precious children of God who live in Jamaica.

Until next year,

Eileen Lienhart

Jamaica Mission Trip Director


3483 Spring Arbor Road
Jackson, MI 49203
Phone: 517-787-0630
Fax: 517-787-1066