SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth:
LITTLE DID Kevin Warren and then Kedisha Samuels (now Warren) know that meeting on the telephone for Bible study on a Friday night would turn into an islandwide outreach ministry of Seventh-day Adventist youth witnessing and reaching out to those in need.
At the time, Kevin Warren, the president of the group, who lives in Greenwood, on the border of St James and Trelawny, would get together with the woman who would become his wife, who then lived in Petersfield in Westmoreland. After doing that for a while, they invited others to join with them in their study.
?This ministry began March 2008 by two persons who normally have worship over the phone on a Friday evening. The number further increased from two to an islandwide network of more than 30 persons worshipping each Friday evening via teleconference. [Overall], we have approximately 110 members and [we are] growing. Subsequently, we gave the group a name, the Gospel Outreach (GO) Ministry, and a mission: to spread the gospel in an organised way through service and sharing the word of God. The Gospel Outreach Ministry is a group of Adventist youth from across Jamaica. They seek to spread the gospel in a practical and tangible way. This involves community outreach,? Kevin Warren told Rural Xpress.
Warren said every quarter, the group decides on a community and plans a new outreach project. He said the area for the outreach is determined by a needs assessment done by the church that hosts them.
?The community outreach is done every quarter in a community selected by the Adventist church. A need assessment is usually done by the church to help with our preparations for the project. Currently, all resources needed for each project comes from the members of the group. Even though it may not be adequate at times, we make use of what is available. My motivation comes from just being able to help someone in need.
?The members of the GO Ministry touch the lives of people wherever they go. This group has changed lives in so many ways. Educating, empowering, bringing [spirituality], inspiration, love, [and] service to the needy are some ways in which we impact our communities,? he added.
Dishon Anderson, who was one of the first persons to be added to
the group, said the group is all about leading people to Christ.
?The purpose of the Gospel Outreach Ministry is to lead persons to Jesus by sharing the gospel in all its forms, including praying, preaching, helping and sharing. We realise that telling someone about Jesus is not enough if we don?t take care of their other needs,? Anderson told Rural Xpress.
He added: ?We ask the church to select a project they would like us to do that would best impact the community. It can range from the cutting of yards, house cleaning, visits to children?s homes and homes for the elderly, repairing or building of houses. We also have parts of the group that go on prayer walks simultaneously.?
When asked about his motivation for continuing to be a member of the group, Anderson said it was ?the impact we have on the church and the community, and also we minister to ourselves also to make sure all our members are doing [well] spiritually. The impact has been positive in my estimation and in the eyes of other members I have spoken to?.