Pastor says church leaders must rescue young men from gangs
“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” Psalms 119:9
President of the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Levi Johnson, is making a call for all young people to develop their lives in accordance to the dictates of the Holy Spirit.
Speaking to a gathering of young people in the Mandeville Park recently, Johnson said that young men, especially, must be given special attention.
“I want to appeal to all of our pastors, all those engaged in youth ministries. I charge you to spend more time with our young people. I want you to zero in on our young men,” he said.
He added, “I got some statistics the other day. I held my head down, and I asked the Lord for a vision, because in Jamaica, approximately 35 per cent of our boys are suspended from schools because of how they are conducting themselves. What this is saying is that there is a large percentage of our young men who should be in school and are not in school.”
He said that those who are not enrolled in school often find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
“All over Jamaica, there are gangsters, individuals who are just there to spring upon these young men and get them to become part of their gangs. We must do something to rescue our young men from gangs. As your president, I know my leaders will do everything they can to get back our young men into the fold of God”, she said.
Johnson revealed that there is a plan under way to partner with the Jamaica Constabulary Force for a special camp geared towards delivering youths from a life that will not serve them.
“We want to invite over three hundred  young boys and young girls to Camp Verly, Spanish Town, this year, [those] who are from volatile communities and have never been to church. We are going to endeavour that the at-risk youth, will get this form of training, and when they return to their communities, they will be brand-new boys and girls for Jesus Christ.”
He made mention of those who continue to share their love and kindness in the form of care packages and the distribution of Christian literature and encouraged its continuation.
“Jesus, when He was on Earth, spent most of His time ministering to people. The Bible says He went about doing good. So, when we visit sick people and nursing homes, we are just following the mandate of Jesus Christ. Young people must become passionate about the work.”
He continued, “Some of us are too rough. You come to church, but you are rough; as anybody talk to you, you get upset. Young people who are in love with Jesus must allow Jesus to run things… We must transform our communities for Jesus Christ.”
He said that young people must be guided continually because it is easy for them to lose their way through the pulls of the world.
“Jesus says, ‘I want all in the hearing of My voice to do a greater work’. Look at His health plan, look at how he treated people, look at Jesus, and you will agree with me that He did an excellent job. Young people, when you go into these communities, you need to hold on to the Spirit. If you go alone, young men, on your own strength, [if] there are free guns in communities, you may just leave with one. Young girls, you may get caught up in promiscuity and prostitution. You need the Holy Ghost’s power,” he ended.