There is something special about Jamaica- Whittington
PORT MARIA, St Mary:
Last week, the president of the Word Deliverance Crusade, American televangelist Reverend Jim Whittington, travelled to St Mary to announce a plan that will result in Port Maria Hospital receiving more than US$3 million worth of medical supplies in 2017.
Whittington, whose church is based in Wilmington, North Carolina, has been travelling to Jamaica for the past 30 years, and once donated more than US$1 million worth of books to Penwood High School in Kingston, helping to increase attendance at the facility by around 60 per cent.
His relationship with Jamaica has developed over the years, and despite its problems, Whittington insists the island is still a special place with much to offer.
He told Family and Religion: "I've been to Jamaica more than 200 times. When I was a boy, I heard about Kingston and Montego Bay and said to myself, 'I would like to go there'. One day, I came, just to say that I've been, but ended up fooling around and falling in love with the people, and began to work with the churches, and the more I worked, the more I wanted to work here.
"Yes, there are problems, but I would say this: I found something in Jamaica that I didn't find as much of in the United States or any other country. There are lots of different churches that operate and work together here, and there is a unity amongst the people in Jamaica, irrespective of their denomination. They come together, worship, and fellowship, and Jamaica has an ingredient that I don't think I've found in any other island or country."
CRIME A GLOBAL PROBLEM
Moreover, Whittington insists that whatever issues exist on the island should be viewed in a global context. He explained: "You hear a lot of people talk about crime in Jamaica, and there is far too much. But this is not a Jamaican problem, this is a worldwide problem. This year, there have been more people killed in one city in the United States, Chicago, than there have been in Jamaica.
"What the world needs is a revival, a resurrecting, a renewing, and a refreshing to where once again, we realise that we need God.After all is said and done, we need God because without Him, we can do nothing."
Whittington's favourite scripture is John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" because the minister believes "... the whole premise of the gospel hinges on that one scripture. It's all right there in that one verse".
Accordingly, Whittington is attempting to implement the lessons taught in the gospel by trying to help regenerate Port Maria Hospital. He said: "Right now, we're looking for what's next that God wants us to do because it's more than just preaching and praying. The only hands God has are ours, and we wanted to do something, so we are trying to bring more equipment, more prayers, more love, and more care to the people here."