Asia SDA building bridges of hope
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…” 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
With a strong mandate of the Church to reach people even outside of the four walls of the building and even more so to show love and satisfy the needs of communities where it counts, the Asia Seventh-day Adventist Church is doing just that and more.
Not only is the church trying to reach persons through spiritual programmes, but it has provided Internet access to a significant part of the community with the hope that people will join in the church’s live streams and the children can access virtual classes at their respective institutions.
Foundation member of the church and coordinator of the team of other members who live overseas, Sandra French, told Family and Religion that the project began out of the need to help individuals adjust to the physical-distancing changes brought on by the pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit, my family and I started to meet on Zoom on Sabbath, and we started inviting others from other countries, including Jamaica. Out of that weekly gathering, we learnt about the issues of Internet connectivity in the area,” French told Family and Religion.
French said not only did the team want persons to hear the good news of salvation, but they wanted students to be connected to virtual school.
“We realised that some students had their device but no data. So it was then that I consulted with a cousin of mine and she told me that of the 12 children in her Sabbath school class, about eight of them had no Internet connectivity to join the class or join classes for school.”
It was then that the church decided to use the facility as a hotspot location for the community.
“We got [SPC Communications headed by Kevin Hines] that was able to provide Internet service, but in order for the residents to get Internet throughout the area, we had to install the polls for the wires to be run. We had some obstacles, but the church, along with the residents, was able to get the project under way.”
French said funds would be raised by the church to cover the monthly costs and to secure additional equipment to host live streams and be a spiritual light to the community.
“It is a beautiful thing to see the church and the community coming together for a purpose that is bigger than all of us, and I am very happy to see this outcome. It is great when you can find solutions to problems that are so obvious, and I am grateful that the children, particularly those who don’t have Internet access at home, can have the church provide that for them.”
Local representative from the church Brendon Coleman said that what while the church grounds are now a hotspot area, persons have a greater opportunity to secure their own Internet because the area has been retrofitted to accommodate greater connectivity.
“Based on the reach, more than four communities with hundreds of the residents have greater access to Internet. It is good that we are able to reach so many persons, and it is our hope to reach many more,” he noted.