Patrina Pink, Gleaner Intern
Despite living miles away in foreign lands, far from Jamaica's shores, diaspora members have still found time to whisper a word of prayer in the eager hope that the island will be transformed.
Intercessory Prayer Ministry International (IPMI) and several concerned members of the clergy in Jamaica's United States, United Kingdom and Canadian diaspora will be staging their sixth annual Jamaican Diaspora Day of Prayer and Fasting. The event will take place on August 2 at centres across the North American and the European continents, and is what organisers describe as a multi-denominational approach to addressing the moral decline that Jamaica has seen in recent years.
"As Christians, we believe that prayer is one of the ways we can counteract Jamaica's moral decline and, over the years, we have seen this event transform into a grass-roots movement," said the Reverend Newton Gabbidon, pastor and head of the Brooklyn-based Intercessory Prayer Ministry International.
The event has received a significant amount of support from the Caribbean community, with endorsements coming in from Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller. The event has also been endorsed by Geneive Brown Metzger, consul general of Jamaica in New York.
Metzger lauded IPMI for leading the charge.
"It is, therefore, heartening to know that IPMI continues to lead the way in mobilising the Jamaican Diaspora in this fashion. Prayer must be the arsenal in our war against crime, economic adversity and social decay."
The prayer arsenal is one that has been used quite often in recent times. Several public and private-sector groups have held prayer sessions, with one recently held by the Nurses' Association of Jamaica and LASCO at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel just last week.