"I am honoured, delighted and very excited to declare the Crux Pathfinder Club launched in the Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) of Seventh-day Adventists (SDA)", said Pastor Levi Johnson, President, CJC.
Pastor Johnson was speaking at the service organised for the historic launch of the Crux Deaf Pathfinder Club on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at the Portmore SDA Church, 7 Port Henderson Road, St. Catherine.
The evening opened with a march parade by the forty members of the Crux Pathfinder Club, twenty six of which are deaf or hard of hearing, who under the leadership of their Director Lyneve McCleish, executed an outstanding display, following sign language commands.
Director McLeish, who is a translator and interpreter of sign language, outlined that these members of the club were to be commended for their commitment and sacrifice.
"What you are seeing today is the fruit of months of practice and dedication from these young people, and I am very proud of them", she said. She also stressed the benefits to be derived from their involvement in the pathfinder club.
"There are many voices calling the youths today and many more to come, and so the children's minds are at risk of being negatively impacted. Pathfinding is the institution to guide them into positive character development. It is for the saving and training of our young people", she concluded.
Pastor Coniel Morgan, Pastor of the Portmore Deaf Church, agrees that the Pathfinder programme is the best that exists among us at this time, and pointed out that "as our deaf young people are fully integrated in the functions and privileges of being exposed to a more positive and disciplined side of life, they will certainly influence other deaf young people to do the same". He also highlighted the significance of the name "Crux" Deaf Pathfinder Club.
"Crux is a prominent constellation in the southern sky. It is the smallest of all 88 constellations. In spite of its size, Crux is one of the best-known constellations in the southern hemisphere. It is easily recognisable for the cross-shape formed by its five brightest stars. Jesus is the focus of this Club; it is because of the cross why everything else is possible," said Morgan.
Meanwhile, Pastor Adrian Cotterell, Personal Ministries and Special Needs Director of the Jamaica Union, in bringing greetings shared that this historic and milestone for the CJC and the Deaf Church is proof of how dynamic the Special Needs Ministry is.
"It is a fantastic sight and a warm feeling to be standing to watch members of the deaf community, who despite their challenges, are standing as stalwarts of the kingdom".
He continued, "I am particularly proud to be associated with this church and am privileged to be here to witness the launch of the Crux Deaf Pathfinder Club. I am proud of all the members of the deaf church, for making the sacrifice to ensure that the church grows from strength to strength, as we work together for the enhancement of the Special Needs Ministry (soon to be Possibilities Ministry)", said Cotterell.
Pastor of the Portmore SDA Church, Dexter Dennis also commended the members of the Deaf church and highlighted that this deaf ministry is a great blessing and will inspire many people around the world.
Another highlight of the evening was the keynote address from guest speaker, Elder L. David Harris, Communication Director, CJC. Harris encouraged the members of the newly launched Crux Deaf Pathfinder club not to be dissuaded.
"The fact that you are part of this ministry is a great blessing, and you are to inspire others around the world", he said. He continued, "I charge you always to remember that the purpose of your ministry is that you continue to share the 'crux of the matter' that Jesus saves".
Using John 9 as the foundation for his address, Elder Harris drew a parallel between the healed blind man having only one message, and what the focus of the club members should be. The blind man said of his Healer, "Whether He is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see"! (John 9:25). Similarly, the crux of the matter, for the Crux Deaf Pathfinder Club, is to share with the world only one message.
"You need to tell others about the message of the cross and that Jesus Christ dying on the cross gives all access to salvation", concluded Harris.
Following this address, President Johnson appealed for parents, club and church members, and leaders to continue to work unitedly.
"Your commitment cannot stop here. For any club to be successful it needs teamwork, and these Pathfinders who will matriculate into other areas of Youth Ministries will need the support", said Johnson.
The service ended with a special prayer of dedication for the members of the Crux Deaf Pathfinder Club, by Pastor Carl Cunningham, Director of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries, East Jamaica Conference.
It was a historic day in Portmore many will remember, for years to come.