Call it the Adventist Royal Salute… At least, that’s what some campers and youth leaders dubbed the special “send-off” for Youth Ministries Director, Pastor Christopher Harvey, during a special farewell exercise held at the Treasure Beach Campsite in St. Elizabeth on Monday August 5, 2019.
Amidst the shouts of joyful celebration, were youth leaders who fought hard to hold back tears as they expressed their sentiments to the Youth Director for his sterling contribution and impact made on their lives.
“We understand why he has to leave but we don’t want him to go,” said Anice Lyn who serves as one of the Area Coordinators for the parish of St. Elizabeth. “We are certainly going to miss him. He came into Youth Ministries with tremendous energy and passion and to think, he has only been serving for one year! Pastor Harvey is well loved by us all and we wish him well” she ended.
The highlight of the afternoon’s affair was Harvey’s arrival to the parade in a flashing motorcade, which transported him in a 2019 Toyota RAV4 SUV, organized by the Department. He was escorted by Youth Leaders and Deputy Directors to the place he would receive the final expressions of gratitude in his current portfolio.
“Pastor Harvey is a hardworking and committed leader” said Damion Williams, who serves as Federation President for the Parish of Westmoreland, during a recently conducted interview. “Harvey has always been passionate about seeing the young people do their best. As a leader, He has demonstrated his ability to think outside the box. He will certainly be missed” he stated.
Harvey’s unquenchable passion for the advancement of the youth and his desire to see them excel in their endeavours, were sentiments shared by the overwhelming majority. Tributes took the form of songs, verbal expressions of gratitude, the presentation of a plaque to the Director and special toasts.
While seeming to fight back tears, the Youth Director thanked the youth leaders in the constituency for their unwavering support over the last year.
“Having served as Youth Ministries Director at the West Jamaica Conference, has been an honour” he said. “I have been motivated by the unwavering support of Senior Youth Leaders like Elder Rob, Adlin Smith and ‘White Girl,’ and their commitment to passing on an Adventist Heritage to the youngsters. I pray that all would have evidenced that I have done my best” he said. “May all who come behind me find me faithful and may the same be said about the next leader when his/her time comes.”
Harvey also passionately urged the team of leaders to build on the strategic plans established by the department between the last and current Quadrennia. “Don’t stop until the campsite is through,” he said. “Keep striving to achieve the infrastructural development our young people will need to have. Keep building on the multipurpose court in Westmoreland and improve the football field at Headquarters along with the Recreation Centre. Also be sure to keep youth mentorship at the helm of the department going forward” he ended.
Harvey will officially demit office at the end of August, as he joins his family overseas, where they will continue to impact lives in ministry.
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