Hundreds of St. Ann Adventists stormed its parish capital, St. Ann's Bay, this past Saturday with an urgent appeal for people to accept Jesus as their Saviour.
The ‘Jesus in the City’ outreach came seven days after Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson; the General Conference president addressed the delegates of the Urban Mission Conference gathered at the General Conference headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. He said, “It’s time to move forward. It’s time to reach the millions living in the great cities of this world.”
While the appeal centered on the great cities around the world, the St. Ann Adventist Youth Federation President for North Jamaica Conference, Mrs. Felicia Miller was captivated by the idea.
Mrs. Feleshia Miller, St. Ann Adventist Youth Federation President.
“We were on the largest continent in the world, Africa, in July of this year. We participated in the big city outreach programme dubbed, ‘Impact South Africa’. It was fun, and we recognize how effective the programme was and the blessings it brought the recipients. Therefore, as a federation we wanted to implement that activity here in our region.”
With that, dressed in polo and ‘T’ shirts of different colours and with words in bold on the back, ‘Jesus in the City,’ the Adventist youth turned up at the children’s ward of the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital, the St. Ann Infirmary and in the homes of the aged and the indigent. There they sang, prayed and gave a word of encouragement. The children received coloring books, pens and crayons while the adults received care packages.
Mr. Roland Bennett, looks on as Christine McKenzie presents to his sick daughter, Dahlia a gift, courtesy of the 'Jesus in the City' outreach.
Kerry Richards was visiting the children’s ward for the first time. “It was a touching experience for me,” she explained in a text message, “There I met Rhianna who has a stomach problem. So I’ll be praying for her daily. I am so glad I went on this outreach.”
The youth then journeyed into the heart of St. Ann’s Bay and were joined by church officials, adults and children alike. They distributed hundreds of Priorities magazines, prayed and invited many to church.
Mr. Jermaine Johnson persues a motorist ensuring that he received a copy of the Priorities magazine during the Adventist Youth outreach event dubbed 'Jesus in the City.'.
Mrs. Felecia Miller recounted, “This young lady just came up to me and I handed her a Priorities magazines, she said to me, ‘I have always wanted one of these, thank you, thank you, thank you’. When I enquired why she so was excited about getting the Priorities magazine, the young lady said that while she was on her way to St. Ann’s Bay something came over her and it’s like a voice told her that Jesus was in St. Ann’s Bay. Suddenly she just burst into tears and I had to just pray for her right there on the spot.”
Adventists conducting a praise and worship segment in front of Morgan's Hardware in St. Ann's Bay.
While the distribution continued, the group met in front of Morgan’s Hardware, in the heart of the town and that’s when the praise started. Choirs and groups from Adventist churches across the parish lifted up Jesus.
“I am indeed happy to see what the church is doing today,” said Ian Bell, member of the St. Ann Parish Council and of the Mile End Adventist Church.
Councillor Ian Bell, (centre), gives a lady a copy of the Priorities magazine during the outreach event. Elder Rueben Fullerton and friend look on. Mr. Bell is the Councillor of the Beecher Town Division.
“People have been shouting all the time that the church is quiet. I hope that they will now realize that the church has hit the streets and I hope that persons will stop, listen and take heed.”
And that’s what many did. Nicoy Walters was one of the passersby who paused from conducting his business affairs to join in. “Mi love this man,” he said smiling to his friend. “I am really enjoying the praise today. Man, I have to be in church next week.”
Not only that, when Pastor Ammiel Summerbell stood and began to preach, the traffic almost came to a stand-still and the crowd swelled even more.
Pastor Ammiel Summerbell, Intern Pastor in North Jamaica Conference delivering a very sobering message during the 'Jesus in the City' event.
“I recognize that there are a number of people who traverse the town to conduct business,” said Summerbell, an intern pastor of the Conference. “People in various situations leave their homes and come to the city to buy and sell. Everybody wants to go to the city. In the city you will find the good and the bad. And I dare say that in the city you will find the pretty and the ugly. But it doesn’t matter who you are, because Jesus is mighty to save.
“If you believe you are good, Jesus can make you better. If you are bad, He can make you good. If for some strange reason you believe you are ugly, Jesus can fix you up! And listen, you don’t need any bleaching cream, all you need is the righteousness of Jesus Christ who can cover you from head to toe! He will fix you up and make you whole!”
With that message and the appeal, many responded for prayer and twelve signed up for baptism and bible study.
Zoie Cunningham-Maroni signs up her decision for Jesus. Pastor Mobrey Lews stands in front.
“I felt the blessing here tonight and I am ready to be baptized,” said Zoie Cunningham Maroni who responded to the call. “I have been away from God long enough. After hearing the preacher I now realize it’s time for me to return to Jesus.”
Ms. Pat Brown and her daughter, Patrice Brown-Thomas, members of the Praise Circle singing.
The four-hour event drew to a close with Praise Circle, who sang, “The blood, the blood, covers it all. My Saviour’s precious blood covers it all.”
Pastor Fitzroy Bailey, Youth Ministries Director said, “This is not the last of the outreach. Our next stop will be in Albert Town, Trelawny on November 2, and our final stop will be in the town of Falmouth on November 30.”
Worshippers giving praise during the 'Jesus in the City' outreach.
The St. Ann Adventist Youth Federation thanks all its members and sponsors. They especially thank Mrs. Judy Morgan, ASi President for Inter-American Division and owner of Morgan's Hardware and Digicel as well.
Story and pictures by Dyhann Buddoo-Fletcher