A few weeks before starting this blog, I called an old friend and mentor (Dave Loftis) to get his thoughts on my newest project. He listened patiently to what I had to say for about 20 or 30 minutes, and then said, “Well, I certainly think it fits your gifting!” Then he said, “I’ve been waiting for you to call me. I have a team going to Jamaica in a few weeks to teach at a music camp and I need a keyboardist. Based on what you just told me, it sounds like there may be some synergy with your new project.”
That’s really how it went down.
So I just finished up an amazing week of camp (that’s me in the dark blue shirt on the left), working side by side with an incredible team of musicians and leaders from the East Coast and Jamaica. It was a ton of work, but the opportunity to build relationships across cultures is such a blessing. Everyone worked so hard, campers and leaders alike.
Dave (middle in red) has dual Jamaican and American citizenship = a Jamerican. He spent ten years of his youth in Jamaica, so he has the Patois accent. I’ve heard his Jamaican accent before, but it was so fun to see the code switching he employs when talking to a primarily American group vice Jamaican group, and how he would throw down indecipherable (to me) lingo to build a little street cred.
Special thanks to Pleasant Garden Baptist Church, NC for their support of this trip. The camp was a continuation of many camps Dave and Teach 412 have maintained since Dave’s dad first started the camp in Jamaica in 1966. Finally, this short-term missions project could not have happened as effectively without Jamaica Link ministries. I now know many of the people in the video that follows.
I am so grateful for this opportunity and for the chance to teach and learn together with gifted musicians who are serving the church in North America and Jamaica.