Adventist Church launches mentorship clubs
Some 35 adolescents were inducted into mentorship clubs at the Tent City Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in Portmore, St Catherine. The clubs, known as the Girls of Eloquence, Morals and Standards (GEMS) and Brothers of Eloquence Morals and Standards (BEAMS) seek to inspire young girls and boys to attain a higher level of spiritual, emotional and moral standard and to be the best they can be in their Christian walk.
Howard Grant, pastor of the Tent City SDA Church commended the women's and men's ministries departments of the church for spearheading the initiative and underscored the timeliness of the launch of the programme.
"In an age where so many young people are being initiated in various activities such as gangs and secret societies, it is fundamental that the Seventh-day Adventist Church come up with this programme so that we can keep the young people in the Church and at the same time prepare them for leadership in the Church," he said.
Dr Lorraine Vernal, family, women, children and adolescent ministries director of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, urged the youths to be a beacon of light in their communities. Dr Vernal was the main speaker at the launch.
"You are called upon to shine your light, and if you are going to talk about Jesus, you can't follow somebody who you do not know. You have to know Jesus for yourself," she said. "GEMS and BEAMS is a lifestyle , and so, you are going to need to develop characters, but you have to know the Master Builder, and it means you have to get intimate with your Bibles because you need to know about Jesus," Dr Vernal continued.
She informed the young people that they are living in a world where girls are assaulted, where school and community shootings are happening, and where people are murdered, and when one stand-up for their right, they may lose their lives, but they are not to be daunted.
"This is not about looking cute and taking your pictures. It means standing up for the right even when it look wrong and when you are told 'man a nuh man' when you don't do certain things, but sometimes you have to make the sacrifice to do what is right," she said.
Vernon McGowan, Men's Ministry coordinator, said the BEAMS Club is comprised of young boys aged 12 to 19 and is a channel created to encourage young males to reach their full potential, express their values and beliefs, and enhance their spiritual base.
"They will be empowered to witness especially by lifestyle. BEAMS is a ministry geared to reaching and addressing the needs of young men with principles derived from God and where boys gain knowledge and are nurtured to apply biblical truth in governing their lives," he said.