Christians pushing ‘THUG’ life in the streets
A group of True Heroes Under God (THUG) has its sights set on one thing: to bring about meaningful change in the lives of those with whom they come in contact.
In a one-on-one with Family and Religion, Dawit Jeffery, leader of the group, said its formation came from the desire to be effective in ministry.
"We never wanted to be just known as persons who were following Christ, but individuals who had an impact ... we are thirsty. It was also birthed as a support for my ministry as a gospel artiste," he said of the ministry, which started eight years ago.
THUG pushes its ministry through intercessory prayers for those with whom they come in contact - on the streets and in the hospitals. Part of its outreach involves providing food for the less fortunate, sometimes combining forces with other existing organisations such as MoGAVA (Men of God Against Violence and Abuse).
"We also do tract distribution and evangelism, where we take the time out to tell people about God and pray without imposing on them. We are also called in by various churches to do worship sessions," Jeffery shared of the ministry.
DRIVE BY OUTREACH
One of the evangelism outreaches that connects with others and gives a chance to spread the word is 'Drive By'.
"I would be driving around and pulling up on corners of gangsters for a minute or two and share the word, and then drive fast to another corner, just spiritually shooting individuals," he said.
For THUG, there is no greater joy than seeing individuals to whom they have shared the word being receptive and receiving Christ as their saviour.
Their ministry does not come without its challenges, but like the heroes they declare themselves to be, the group of 16 young Christians, whose ages range from 18 to 30 years, and who are attending school, with the minority working, are totally committed.
With backgrounds from different churches - Church of God, Church of the First Born, Church of God of Prophecy and the New Testament - they have united in one faith to keep the spiritual fire burning.
Looking ahead, Jeffery said that the ultimate dream for the team is simple: living out their motto, which is 'Taking over the world, one soul at a time'.
"We want to go all over the world to spread the word - any forum, any event - as long as we can tell someone about Christ."
A Christian for almost 14 years, Jeffery, who hails from Parade Gardens in downtown Kingston, is a member of the Glad Tidings Assembly.
Losing his parents early in life, he was no stranger to poverty and hardships, but it also proved to be his greatest motivation to want more and to change the conditions for individuals, encouraging them that the garrison doesn't define them, but that instead, they can define the garrison.
"Growing up in the community and attending Donald Quarrie High School, individuals thought I would amount to nothing, especially with the loss of my parents, but my mission was to change that train of thought, spread the word, and impact people, which led me to my present profession of being a guidance counsellor at Stony Hill Primary and Junior High," he shared.
The vice-president of the Gold Street Police Youth Club, Jeffery, is very involved in the community, trying to maintain the peace and spreading the message of love.