Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
LINSTEAD, St Catherine
UNDOUBTEDLY, JAMAICANS at some time or another need encouragement and spiritual intervention to strengthen their resolve to overcome life's challenges.
Cognisant of this, about six weeks ago, some members of the Cheesefield Seventh-day Adventist Church's prayer band in St Catherine embarked on a mission to provide this solace for residents in that community, as well as adjoining areas in the parish. So, on New Year's Day, their assignment took them into the Wallens Housing Scheme near Linstead, St Catherine.
"What we are doing today is just going around encouraging people to recommit themselves to the Lord because you know at the end of the day there are only two roads, it's either we are serving the Lord or we are serving the Devil," Venessa O'Meally, one of the leaders of the group shared with The Gleaner.
According to the 24-year-old O'Meally, who is the holder of a bachelor of science degree in experimental biology from the University of the West Indies, activities such as ministering serve as a catalyst for personal development.
"What keeps me going is the faith that one day when I am fully prepared, maybe when I have honed certain skills from volunteering as I am doing now, that will be beneficial to me when I do get a job," she said, noting that she worked temporarily in the 2011 population and housing census.
Twenty-eight-year-old Elijah Watson, who works in the building construction industry, said ministering to people "strengthens me, mentally, physically and helps me to know how to apply love to my life, so that as I talk they may see that love in me, and it would help to bring them to Christ".
Alwayne Shaw, a 16 year-old St. Jago High school fifth former is one of the youngest members of the group. "Adventist means follower of Christ and the Bible tells us that we are supposed to go into the world seeking people first, that they can follow us and so I am very happy to be able to do this," said Shaw, also a member of his school's Inter-Secondary Christian Fellowship.
Persons with whom the group interacted expressed gratitude for the gesture. Steve Smith, a 36- year-old labourer and father of three said he was inspired by the intervention and motivated to examine his lifestyle and make a change as part of his 2013 resolution.
"I love what they are saying to me because it's really important to get ready, live the right way and don't wait. So I will have to look into it and try to get myself together," he told The Gleaner.