CITS visits the Eastern Caribbean on a fact-finding mission and finds something else!
Guy, a taxi driver, picked us up at our hotel in St. Lucia for the hour and half drive to the airport. He began pointing out noteworthy places along the way, sharing his country’s history and culture.
As our time together increased, he shared with us more about his community in particular. He explained how the people within each village gather during the week to discuss and prioritize the needs among them. On Saturday morning, the community turns out to accomplish the goals they have set. They may prune banana trees for one of the village farmers. Or, perhaps repair the church roof. The beneficiary of the project typically provides locally grown items like dasheen, bananas or breadfruit to the group at lunchtime. Together they sit, break bread and mingle a moment before resuming work.
This community does not go it alone.
As the drive continued, Guy talked about his family of origin. His father, a plantation farmer, taught him, “When you wake, drop to your knees and give thanks. Then it’s time to hustle.” His mother was a school teacher. A warm smile came over him as he reminisced that there had always been a chalkboard in their house, and how his mother had always been teaching him and his siblings. When he was younger, he thought his parents were hard on him; yet, on reflection, Guy had gratitude for all they had taught him because he knew it made him the man he is today. Guy paused and then, as if he was having a revelation, he said, “They never quit on us.”
This family did not go it alone.
A few minutes before we reached the airport, he handed us his phone, the screen lit up with a picture of his six-year-old son. He was beaming with pride, and on Guy’s face in the rearview mirror, we could see the love of a father for his son. He shared much in those last minutes, but the thing I remember most was his passion to make sure he is raising his son to be prepared for life—that he has the tools to succeed as a person.
Guy is not letting his son go it alone.
And we don’t have to either. We have much in common with Guy and the people of St. Lucia. Community makes our life sweeter, more poignant and meaningful, and connects us to live in the way we were created. The intimacy of our deep personal and soulful connections with friends, family, spouses and children are what ground, grow and carry us through this life.
Yes, we had come to St. Lucia on a fact-finding mission, but it turns out, there were even deeper lessons to learn. Don’t quit on yourself. Impart your wisdom to the next generation. And above all, let’s not go it alone.
-Toni Strickland, Christ in the Smokies Administrator
Christ in the Smokies is a biblically-based father-son adventure camp based in the North Carolina Smoky Mountains. We partner with fathers and sons, empowering them to restore their relationship and share the abundant life that comes through Jesus. To read more about our mission and see if a Passage to Manhood Camp might be a good fit for you and your son (or someone you know), visit our website.