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Margaret Dennis - a saviour for the youth

Published:Thursday | October 15, 2015 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey
Margaret Dennis with one of her brightest students after Bible School class.

It was not with hope for reward or praise that Margaret Dennis opened her home in Greenvale, Manchester to the children of her community. Instead it was out of an innate drive to help others and spread positivity all around.

On August 24, 2006, Dennis began a youth ministry which has seen hundreds of children attending her summer school, Sunday school and vacation Bible school held at her home. She has also taken it upon herself to stand the full responsibility of feeding, clothing and educating a few of these children.

"I always saw a lot of children on the street on a Sunday and I would invite them to church but they always said they didn't have any clothes or shoes. So the Lord put it on my heart to start a ministry. One night I had this vision. Somebody came to me and said, 'let none hear you idly saying there is nothing you can do, while the soul of men are dying and the master calls for you. Take the task he gives you gladly. Let his work your pleasure be. Answer quickly when He calls. After that, I knew I had to do something," she said.

At first, Dennis was only able to accommodate 12 children on her verandah. As the number grew, she hosted the children in her living room but eventually had to build a structure next to her house to accommodate all the children.

looked to god

Dennis had no money to begin this venture but looked to God to provide all the things needed.

"Apart from the hundreds that have passed through my hands, I have 23 children I have to care for and there are days when I don't have it. I have to shorten my fare to work or give them the money and trust a drive to work. I remember once a child visited me and she had no shoes to go to school. I took off my shoes I had on for work and gave it to her because I want the best for them."

The office attendant at the Jamaica Police Coorperative Credit Union, said she has started excavation for a homework centre she hopes to build for her children.

"I want to have afternoon classes for the children where they can come to get hot meals and help with reading. I also want for them to have computers and Internet connection to do research for projects and homework. I have borrowed some of the materials from my house, but I don't know how far I will be able to go. But I am trusting in God."

Dennis said that during the drought periods she gets up at 4:30 a.m. to fetch water for the children, as nothing gives her greater joy than them happy.

"I do it all because I love them. My father was like this and I just have to maintain tradition. "