Since our last submission, we have benefitted greatly from the services of Brother David and Sister Cassie Giordano (current in-field missionaries) at several of the Island ecclesias, with our youth and in our homes. Brother David spoke at the February 14thAsh Wednesday Fraternal in the Broughton Ecclesial Hall on the theme – “The gods of the Bible: Idle Worship” – a topic which laid the groundwork for the lively discussion groups! An All-Island Fraternal was help on Easter Monday April 2ndat the Round Hill Ecclesial Hall – Jamaican brothers lead the day’s studies on the topic of “Interpreting the time – What have we become after our baptism?”.
The Triennial Caribbean Christadelphian Youth Camp will be hosted this year by the brethren in Jamaica. We are delighted to confirm that a site has been secured, the Montague’s Teachers College, in the parish of St Ann on the Northeast end of the island. It is in close proximity to the resort town of Ocho Rios. This is a quiet, peaceful and picturesque area of the island unaffected by criminal activity found in some parts of the island. The brethren in Jamaica have been working very hard to prepare for this camp.
Youths, both baptized and unbaptized, eagerly look forward to this opportunity to gather together with those from around the Caribbean (and even with some from North America) to make new friends, renew old friendships and to immerse themselves in a community of those who treasure God’s Word and long for the return of our Lord. They hunger for spiritual food and the chance to gain new insights and fresh thoughts. For many this will be the first time they have ventured out of their home country and their first opportunity to gain a sense of a larger community. Since this event occurs only once every 3 years, they may have only 2 opportunities in their lifetime to participate. For some, this is a chance to find a partner for life who shares their faith. They do not have the myriad of youth conferences, weekends around the Word and Bible Schools with classes geared to their needs found in North America.
CBMA/CBMC is committed to trying to address financial barriers and to make it possible for all eligible youths to attend. The biggest expense is the airfare. It costs about the same to travel from Guyana to Jamaica as it does to travel from New York to Jamaica. The families of these young people contribute as they are able, but there are many whose parents do not have the income to finance this trip.
This is where we in North America can help these young people! We are hoping to raise 60 scholarships of $400 each to make this camp a reality. We pray that you will find it in your hearts to support this effort by sending your earmarked donation to CBMA (in the US) or CBMC (in Canada). We are thankful for whatever level of support you can give to make CCYC 2018 a truly memorable event for the many youths who so look forward to this. Contact information for making CBMA and CBMC donations is found on the Donations Page.
The Study Theme for the week is “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth (Eccl 12:1) – Accept the Challenge & Seize the Opportunity!” Further information regarding this youth camp can be obtained from bro. Keith Kinlocke, CBMJ chairman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in attending the camp, you can download the registration information here.
I was blessed to have the opportunity to spend eight weeks in Jamaica from Sept 25 to Nov 20, 2017. During the first week, Bro Don Luff (link brother), Bro David & Sis Cassie Giordano and I did a tour around most of the island. After the first week the others flew home, and this was in a sense where my real Jamaica experience began, getting to know the local brothers and sisters, working to provide support with the difficult situations they faced and encouraging them to maintain a fervency for the remarkable hope that we have been called to in Christ.
In some parts of the island the focus was on building a firm foundation, while in others it was on ecclesial unity. Our ecclesia’s need to be a place where we can come for support and growth. It takes much more thought and effort to build up, carefully placing the building materials in the right places.
The following are a series of snapshots of my experiences in Jamaica.
If we are members of a fairly large ecclesia, and some members are unable to attend ecclesial activities with regularity, weekly meetings continue. However, in countries where transportation to meetings is not simply getting in a car for a relatively short drive, it is a completely different matter. The members in La Paz realize that life in the Truth requires commitment, not just obtaining a ride to meeting by public transit in a very traffic-congested city, but attending meeting as often as possible. Regular contact with interested friends and communication between members is also so important. Read more »
During 2017, the CBMA and the CBMC received many inquiries regarding volunteer opportunities in both Latin America and the Caribbean. It has been so encouraging to receive contact from overseas members planning vacations and wanting to visit ecclesias at the same time. Brothers and sisters of different ages have also expressed interest in supporting the mission effort and a number have travelled to various countries on mission sponsored activities. Approximately 25 members have assisted in Latin America and about the same in the Caribbean during 2017. This does not include the regularly scheduled visits by CBMA and CBMC linkmen and other fieldworkers. Read more »