Claver and the raft that he built by hand.

When we were in Jamaica, we took a relaxing bamboo rafting trip down the Grand River. Claver was our guide. He was very proud of the raft that he had built by hand. Claver was the father of seven children. His first wife of 25 years and the mother of five of his children had died of breast cancer. He had recently remarried. The company that he works for has about 50 or so “captains,” and they take turns getting to work. After our trip on Wednesday morning, he said that he probably wouldn’t get to work again until Sunday or Monday. Part of the “package” was that we got a limestone foot massage – and, oh my – it was lovely! He said that he had to go to school for many months to be a professional.

He massaged the limestone on and then 30 minutes later, on down the river, he washed it off!

During our morning on the river, we had several interesting conversations. Of course, Claver endured several of Steve’s jokes and was gracious enough to laugh! But then, he asked, “Is Jamaica what you thought it would be?” I was honest – “I saw great poverty on the bus ride to the river. I wouldn’t feel safe walking down the street alone here, and yet – he was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.” He replied, “People are people – everywhere you go – there are some that are good and there are some that are bad. Most people are just doing the best they can.” I’ve thought of that conversation many times in the past week. He is so right! On the ship, the crew consisted of people from 56 different countries around the world. They were able to all work together – just doing the best they can!

I’m so thankful that Jesus was willing to come to this earth and die on the cross to make a way for ALL MEN (and women, of course) to go to heaven. May we all strive to do the best that we can to obey His commandments. God Bless, Courtney

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