As we navigate this new normal forced on our society, we tend to feel displaced. Although many things have changed in our lives, soldiers in the Lord's army continue to care for the sick and those with the greatest needs.
The Central Jamaica of Seventh-day Adventist's (CJC) Community Services Department's drive and passion for ministry has remained undaunted. In response to the crisis, the department, under the leadership of Pastor Everett Smith, ramped up its response to the growing need to care for members and non-members alike.
"The Conference on a whole, under the leadership of Pastor Levi Johnson, has a passion in keeping with the teachings of Jesus, to ensure that the less fortunate and the elderly are taken care of in this time of crisis", shared Smith recently.
The Conference partnered with both government and social organisations to increase its reach, including the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to assist children on the PATH programme in the parishes of St. Catherine, Manchester and Clarendon. In association with Food for the Poor, the Conference was allowed to minister and distribute packages to persons within Spanish Town, St. Catherine.
The Conference's WHEEL Programme contributed more than 2.1 million dollars to the 54 pastoral districts, to assist with localised relief. Following up with this action, the Parish Development Action Committees (PDAC) within the Conference purchased 1.2 million dollars worth of food to be distributed. Within the three parishes in the Conference, care packages were distributed. In St. Catherine alone, there were more than 450 packages distributed.
Donations from individuals, such as Mr Anthony White of the Warsop Seventh-day Adventist Church in Trelawny, continue to help in the ministry. He contributed 600 pounds of yam and more than 30 bunches of bananas to the churches in Portmore, with each district receiving 15 packages, 10 for members, and five for the community.
Pastor Everett Smith shared that other programmes will be rolled out by the end of May with the purchase of another 1.2 million dollars worth of supplies, and said, "Simply, what we are doing is fulfilling the mission that Christ gave to the church. This is what the church exists to do - for us to be our brother's keeper".