As the back-to-school season gets into high gear, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Montego Bay has set out to make it somewhat easier for the parents in their neighbouring communities to face the anticipated demands of the period. The Union Street-based congregation conducted a grand health fair and back-to-school event on Sunday, August 19, 2018, on the church grounds.
The program catered to over 250 registered patrons who benefited from various health services, financial advice and school-related assistance. With a medical team, including doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners, mental health professionals, scores of persons were able to have their school medicals, other basic care, blood pressure and blood sugar levels tested during the event.
“The fact that we are seeing this today,” said Mrs. Shirlene Bingham-Armstrong “is evidence that God has brought his people from these communities, to come and see what His church is doing.”
Mrs. Bingham-Armstrong, the program’s chief coordinator, expressed satisfaction with the overall attendance and the positive impact that the program had on the citizens.
“I am sure that this will just be the initial step for a lot of people to start a relationship with God. They will see that we don’t just care only about the spiritual but the physical and mental aspects as well” she ended.
All the departments of the church combined their efforts to make the program a reality to fulfill the overall vision of the Church for the community.
“It was born out of the vision for the community” explained Elder Hervilyn Forbes-Williams “We started out with a needs assessment of particularly the communities that are closest to us.” What was originally contacts made through Bible studies became a platform from which a greater need was observed. “We thought that we could do more for them and so this is a part of that process” ended the Elder in charge of community outreach.
With the combined contributions of church members, over 150 students were given school bags and other school supplies in preparation for the new school year. This was one of the many elements of the program that the parents appreciated.
“I think this is a very good program” said Ricardo Rose, a parent from Catherine Mount, “put on by the Seventh-day Adventists. Persons can come and get their check-ups free and back-to-school supplies, that can take some expense off the parents.”
Andre Johnson, Pastor of the Church, was more than delighted with the outcome of the event and the level of leadership given to the program by the leaders and expressed his gratitude.
“It is my great delight to see the kind of leadership the Montego Bay Church posses,” he said. “I am also happy for the burden that the church carries for the community in staging this program to reach the inner cities, including Sewell Gully, Canterbury and other areas. I also want to thank all the members and entities that partnered with the Church for the program.” The pastor went on to note the various follow-up programs that are planned for the year, which has been dubbed “The Year of Outreach” by the Montego Bay Church.
Also on location were a number of Government agencies including PATH, NWC, NIS, St. James Health Department and the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ), who provided application services and educational presentations for the community members. There were also booths showcasing the offerings of the Gateway Co-operative Credit Union, Northern Caribbean University and the HEART/Trust NTA.comments powered by Disqus