'The Church should adopt a child'
ANNOTTO BAY, St Mary:
Having worked as an educator for the past 18 years, Cordia Wong loves to help children and teenagers, but her interest in young people extends way beyond the confines of the classroom where she teaches history and social studies at Annotto Bay High School in St Mary.
Wong appears to be equally passionate and concerned about the future, and believes that if the nation is to develop and produce a new generation of confident, cognisant, and competent young leaders, more students should be exposed to The Church.
She told Family and Religion: "I'm a Seventh-day Adventist, and although I'm not a minister, ministering is a part of my role as a teacher, and if it wasn't for my religious beliefs, I don't think I would still be teaching, that's what gets me going and motivated.
"As a parent, I don't want to hit out at families, but I really don't think they are doing enough to properly socialise their children. The crime rate cannot be fixed unless children realise that certain things are wrong, and there are certain moral laws they just don't know. The church teaches not just wrong and right, but to also accept responsibility for your actions.
"One thing I love, and I'm not just talking about in my church, is to see young people so involved that they don't have time to get caught up in negative activities. I think young people who are a part of the Church work harder, get into fewer problems, and are more likely to end up in university.
Mother of two
The 40-year-old mother of two insists that even though her mission to spread Jesus' gospel is primarily targeted at young adults and children, she is hopeful of attracting some parents too.
"I think as a church, what we need to do is adopt a child," Wong explained. "For example, I don't just take my two children to church. I say to my neighbour: 'Please get your child ready, I will be responsible for them today'. If you were to take a headcount at my church on a Sabbath morning, three quarters of the children are non-Adventists from the community.
"Sometimes you can't reach the parents because they are stubborn and stuck in their ways, but we can reach more children and get them to understand that we are here to make them into better men and women who are able to function effectively in society, and not only contribute, but become nation builders and role models.
"But the truth is, I don't just want children in the Church, I want parents to be a part of it. We can start by targeting children, but to fix the problems in our society, we need to reach the parents. I have to target the parents so they can shape the children from home and then we can do the rest at school."