The team finally headed out of the Jamaica airport around 5:30 pm. We were met by “Steven T” an older, white man from Atlanta who is coordinating our visit with his wife, Diane. Our driver was a Jamaican man named Paul who has a van & works as a “driver for hire.” As we pulled out of the airport, it felt very strange to be driving on the “wrong” side of the road. I didn't realize that Jamaicas drove on the right-hand side of the road. It felt very strange. We were all starving so Steven T said we could stop in Kingston to get some food. YEAH, not 10 minutes out of the airport & we were heading to get some Yardie food – or so I thought. Of all places, we pulled up to Kentucky Fried Chicken for our first meal on Jamaican soil.
I knew the City of Refuge was in the mountains outside of Kingston, but I didn’t know it sat atop a mountain outside of Kingston. The drive up to the children’s home was one of the scariest 40 minutes of my life. We were on a narrow, one lane dirt road that had signs of flooding from the recent storm that served two lanes of traffic. Our “experienced” driver took the turns through the mountain as though there was not 6 inches separating us from the cliff’s edge and a one-way ticket to meet our maker. Oncoming traffic seemed to play this crazy game of “chicken” to see who would pull over first. Combine this with the fact that oncoming traffic was on the “wrong” side of the road and I’m sure you can understand why I was silently crying out to Jesus for the duration.
Just when I thought I was going to be ill, Diane points out a series of lights just ahead in the distance & tells us that we’re looking at the City of Refuge – the city upon a hill. We pull up to the property which was once a hotel/resort about 60 years ago. The entire property covers over 26 acres of lush, green, beautiful mountainside. There was no doubt that God had his hand all over this place.