Church group presents new home to senior citizen
Adrian Frater, News Editor
The Men's Fellowship group of the Mt Salem Seventh-day Adventist Church in St James, last Thursday, presented Euphemia Raymond, of Retirement community, with the keys to the new home they constructed for her.
The gift, which rescued Raymond from the dilapidated structure she had been living in, was welcomed by residents of Retirement, who came out in their numbers to watch as she moved into her new dwelling.
"Gwaan Miss Euphie .... Santa Claus come early fi yu this year ... that is a neat, likkle house Santa drop fi yu," remarked one resident.
President of the Men's Fellowship, Paul Stanton, who is a senior police officer based in Montego Bay, said the gift of the house had nothing to do with the mythical Santa Claus, but was the way his group decided show that they care.
"This was not a gift from Santa Claus, as from time to time, members of the fellowship engage themselves in missions of caring and sharing," said Stanton. "We are always looking out for persons who are in need, with a view of coming to their assistance."
According to Stanton, the members of the fellowship became aware of Raymond's plight earlier this year when they learnt she was living in a house that offered no protection when it rained.
Assessment and funding
"Earlier this year, we learnt that a woman was living in a house that was in need of a roof as the existing one was akin to a strainer," said Stanton. "We did an assessment of the house and it was borne out that repairs would not suffice. A decision was then taken by the fellowship to build a new house for this lady."
Stanton said the project was funded by members of the fellowship, albeit they had a few fundraising events. The labour was also undertaken by members of the fellowship.
"This is, by no way, the end of our efforts," said Stanton. "As a matter of fact, it's just the beginning. The determination of the men in the fellowship is strong. With more assistance from corporate Jamaica, we can do much more for the less fortunate in our midst."
For Raymond, who was a picture of happiness, no praise was too much for the church group, whose effort she praised lavishly, as tears flowed down her face.
"Today, I am one of the happiest woman on earth," said Raymond. "A God send them. God bless them. I am happy, happy, oh so happy. Thank yu Lord. Thank yu Men's Fellowship. I now have a roof over my head."
Pastor Glen Samuels, president of the West Jamaica Conference, who was on hand to bless the house and offer encouragement to Stanton and the other men, said: "The erection of this house is a true reflection and testimony of what the church is doing - catering to individuals who are in need."