With the official launch of the Ambulatory Care Assistance Programme (ACAP), on January 14, 2023, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Braeton is now ready to provide wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, hospital beds, mattresses, walking sticks, and other ambulatory equipment, to residents of the Portmore community who before could not afford them without assistance.
The need for the service became obvious when members and non-members alike kept appealing to the church for assistance in obtaining these items which are usually costly, and which often increase the overall healthcare and recovery expenses.
The initiative was the brainchild of the Health Department, under the leadership of Elder Randall Williams. The foundation was laid as early as 2019 to launch the programme but was delayed as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Notwithstanding the seeming delay, the service operated for three years in a quiet way. According to individual testimonials, many a person benefited from the programme even before the launch was made including Bro. Williams, who, in 2021 was diagnosed as having contracted COVID-19 and was unable to breathe on his own. "The loan of an adjustable bed from the ACAP was the only relief that I got while I was oxygen dependent," said Williams. “We are blessed by God, and to know that we can serve the community in this way, makes my heart glad,” he stated.
Mr. Fitz Jackson, Member of Parliament for South St. Catherine, who was present at the launch said in his greetings, ”This is a continuation of what the Braeton Seventh-day Adventist Church has been doing over the years and I see this as merely an extension of the services that you are providing in the area of health care. There is always an ongoing gap between what is needed and what is being provided, and you having recognized that, and have tried to play your role in a system to close that gap, and to make life for ordinary persons a bit more pleasant, more comfortable and in many instances, extend their lives.”
Mrs Deon Henry, Assistant Health Ministries Director of the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (CJC), who cut the ribbon and unveiled the equipment along with Mr Fitz Jackson said that the launch of the ACAP is a demonstration that the church is operating as a centre of wellness.
Pastor Everett Smith, Community Services and Publishing Ministries Director at CJC was the Guest Speaker and stated that a part of our mandate while waiting for Christ’s return is to care, share, support, love and assist.
“Outreach shows love to those who are needy and should be done despite denomination, because wherever there is a need, the church should be there,” Smith said.
Among the attendees were members of the Braeton Seventh-day Adventist church fraternity, representatives from several Citizen's Associations, members from our sister churches in Portmore and well-wishers.