The Christadelphian Bible Mission Canada (CBMC), which supports ecclesial activities in the Caribbean (including Guyana) is urgently appealing for a full-time missionary presence in Jamaica – this could be a brother or a married couple. Are you interested? Here is a summary of the current situation:
- In the mid-2000’s, there were 12 active ecclesias on the Island of Jamaica (see map). In 2017, six ecclesias are holding regular Remembrance Services – Broughton, Harvey River, Kingston, May Pen, Round Hill and Spanish Town. Currently, there are about 100 active members spread across this country – approximately 25% are brothers and half of these are ‘platform active’. This puts a great burden on a few brothers to minister the Word in their own ecclesias, as well as supporting other meetings. At the same time, it must be stressed that the sisters are a great source of strength in the various meetings! However, the Jamaican ecclesias have great concern for the future of the Brotherhood on the Island. Why has there been such a change? Here are some of the multiple reasons – members emigrating to other countries, partly due to economic hardship in Jamaica; small ecclesias in remote areas suspending meetings due to dwindling membership and no youth; and elder leaders with physical health problems. Also, the demands of daily life make it difficult for members, in general, to dedicate the time required to sustain regular ecclesial activities. The Christadelphian Bible Mission Jamaica (CBMJ) has appealed for more help from the CBMC.
- One of the gravest concerns is for the next generation! You will see by the 3 group photos accompanying this appeal the large number of children, teens and young adults in the ecclesias. The multiple events throughout the year, sponsored by the CBMJ, are a place of refuge for the youth in this very troubled and evil world. Thankfully, there were 3 youth baptisms in 2016. As in all ecclesias, the young need Sunday School teachers, CYC leaders and wholesome activities.
- The CBMC is a support organization, along with the Christadelphian Save the Children Fund (CSTCF). Together, we have increased our volunteer, financial and practical assistance in recent years – but more is needed. Numerous overseas volunteers assisted the ecclesias in Jamaica in 2016 for periods of a week to a month. We hope to sponsor more fieldworkers in 2017. Also, some of the practical help has included: Sunday school supplies, secular school materials, clothing, hygiene items and food staples.
- How can you help? Prayers for God’s blessing on this initiative are paramount. Financial and practical support is needed as well. However, the most urgent need is for a full-time, financially supported missionary presence in Jamaica. This service could be for a month or months, a year or more. The duties would consist of preaching, pastoral and welfare support of members across the Island, in cooperation with the CBMJ & the CBMC. One of the several areas of rewarding service would be to increase the youth related activities.
If you are interested in more information regarding any aspect of support for the Jamaican Brotherhood, and especially missionary service, please contact the undersigned. Thank you for your continued support!
|Brother Phil Snobelen – CBMC chairman
|Brother Keith Kinlocke – CBMJ chairman