The energy was contagious at the two-day Do Something World Festival May 14-15, as over 8,500 people enjoyed gravity-defying stunts from skateboarders, BMX, and FMX demos. The enthusiasm continued throughout the evening as the crowd danced, jumped, and sang along to music from Papa San, MXPX, Monty G and Trip Lee. Each night, the festival concluded with lives being changed for eternity as Pastor Miles McPherson shared the Gospel with the crowd and 443 people came to Christ. Over 500 Cayman volunteers, 90 San Diego volunteers, and 45 Cayman churches partnered together to put on the Do Something World event.
“It was a distinct honor and blessing to help provide sustainable solutions to practical community needs and to touch the hearts of so many people with God’s love,” said Pastor McPherson, who noted that Miles Ahead volunteers were equally blessed by the warm reception they received as they delivered evangelistic, social and economic contributions to the country.
While thousands of Caymanians attended the two-day festival at Grand Harbor, the Do Something World Campaign began months ago for Grand Cayman and will continue to affect the island. Rather than conduct a single event, the Do Something World campaign’s goal is to establish a culture of service that will impact the country for Christ. Consequently, the Miles Ahead team meets months in advance with local leaders to establish a timeline before and after the event for service projects that directly address the country’s needs. For the Cayman Islands, these projects began in March.
On Saturday, March 24, 173 Caymanian volunteers kicked off the Do Something World campaign with a bang at the Health Services Authority/George Town Hospital. The team completed 630 hours of volunteer service. In addition to painting curbs and landscaping, the Cayman team beautified the hospital’s Healing Garden. Volunteers painted a mural and landscaped to create an environment where patients can receive treatment outside of their hospital room. One of the highlights for volunteer and Director of Medicine, Dr. Greg Hoeksema was being able to witness the Healing Garden used for a cancer patient’s chemotherapy session.
“The patient would typically have to sit in her room for hours to receive her treatment. Instead, she got to be outside, listen to the birds chirp, and enjoy the new mural that was painted. Ultimately, we hope that this area will help patients with their healing process.” said Dr. Hoeksema.
The following week, a team of 211 volunteers completed 734 hours of service at the Frances Bodden Girls home. The home serves as a refuge for girls that have been placed in the foster care system and it recently experienced a fire that caused interior damage. The team landscaped and helped with beautification projects. While each of the projects are created to enhance the community, they often have an impact that is beyond what was planned. For Kizzie, a 16-year-old that lives at the Bodden Home, the Do Something World campaign had an eternal effect.
“I did the service project the week before at the hospital and made many new friends. It meant a lot to me when those new friends showed up the following week and served at my home. I’m thankful that God gave me life so that I can share with other teens that we can change Cayman,” shared Kizzie.
The spirit of serving continued on May 7, when 90 volunteers from San Diego arrived to join the efforts of the Cayman volunteers. The group was divided into teams, Sports, Medical, Evangelism, Deaf, Prison, and Construction, each with the goal to use their skills as a platform to share Christ. They used activities, testimonies, and skits to present the Gospel. Throughout the week, the team saw over 700 people come to Christ. In addition to the outreaches, several of the San Diego volunteers equipped the Cayman leaders with principles that they have used to establish their ministries, thus helping ensure that ministry will continue long after the San Diego group is gone.
One of the highlights for the San Diego group was the Construction Team’s project at John A. Cumber school. The school was experiencing overcrowding in classrooms and was not able to do anything about it because of budget cutbacks. With the help of the Do Something World campaign, the volunteers were able to conduct a classroom expansion project worth $1.5 million (US), which extended several classrooms to create 3,500 square feet. The volunteers were able to make major headway during their week of service and the overall project will be completed in June.
The work of the Cayman volunteers and Miles Ahead team through the Do Something World campaign did not go unnoticed. Throughout the week, several Grand Cayman dignitaries including the Premier, Governor, Police Commissioner, and Minister of Education visited the different projects to see the contributions the volunteers were making. All of them were thankful for the work of the volunteers.
“I often say that the volunteer groups in this country do work that our government cannot afford to pay for. The churches do work that our government cannot afford to pay for … and I am happy that many have joined in this Do Something Cayman program,” he added, recognizing the motivating spirit of Do Something World. “Government just cannot pay for this type of goodwill,” Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush concluded.
The Do Something World campaign is not meant to be a stand-alone event. Rather, it is to establish a spirit of community service that impacts individuals and the community for Christ. Miles Ahead is committed to not only enhancing the quality of life in Cayman, but also sustaining the volunteer efforts well after the US staff and volunteers are gone. There are two more service projects that have already been planned for May 22 at John A. Cumber School and May 29 at George Town School. Miles Ahead’s Do Something World Director will continue to work alongside Cayman leadership to oversee and document these initiatives. Hopefully, the energy that was at the Do Something World festival will continue to spur the people of Grand Cayman to continue to serve each other and their country for Christ.