"I felt led to do my part"
Hi everyone! I know it has been a while since the last update but I am very pleased to be sharing more of my journey here in Jamaica with you all. The first thing I am sure some of you are already aware of is the work I have been doing with women and vulnerable groups who are marginalised, abused, abandoned and violated in Jamaica. I had the honour of meeting 2 beautiful young women who had survived sexual abuse as children. They came to share their story at a woman's leadership convention about HIV and AIDS , as well as gender based sexual violence. I was deeply moved by their stories and inspired by their growth and transformation. As part of the convention, we were put into denominational groups to create an action plan based on all we had learnt during the 3 days. In addition to the one created for us as Baptists in Jamaica and Worldwide... I also created a personal one where I am responsible for doing something in response to the issues we had been discussing. One of the things that was already in motion was the "Black Thursdays" movement. For those following on my Facebook account, you would have seen my posts from the last 2 Thursdays regarding 'taking a stand for this cause'. #STOPTHEVIOLENCE against our girls and women! Of course we can and should pray for violence of all humans to stop; so I ask if you could do this please and make "Black Thursdays" a day to reflect, pray or start a campaign of your own.
The second thing I want to share with you all is the children's ministry that I started last Saturday, making today our second week. As I am staying in the "marriage and family" quarters on campus, there are a few children as my neighbours. They are such lovely children, mainly young boys aged 1- 13. During my time here I noticed just how hardworking and amazing their parents are to be going to work, training as ministerial Pastors and still finding time and energy to raise their children and look after their home. As part of the community and an Aunty to 2 nephews, I felt led to do my part. I was always told it takes a village to raise a child. I started the ministry with the youngest boy aged 1 and decided to do some free painting. After about an hour or so, the other children were eager to paint also. We had so much fun together painting on paper, the trees, the ground and I even allowed them to paint on my apartment. If it didn't rain, I think we would have been painting all night. The children didn't want to stop as it is something they do not do often but is something that they really enjoy. In fact, last Sunday at church two of the children ran up to hug me and asked if I was doing painting that evening. I am hoping to keep it going every Saturday and to include Bible stories/lessons so that they have something to reflect on in the week. I am asking for you to pray for consistency as weekends can easily get busy and that the children are blessed by the ministry as much as it is a blessing for me to be a part of.
The final thing I want to share with you all is the Jamaican community of Boys Town/Trenchdown. It is a community with so much potential, especially cricket wise. It is also the place where Bob Marley spent a lot of his time hanging out. I was able to experience some of the Beautiful land and people that Boys Town had to offer this week just gone. I met some of the lovely children at one of their schools and some young people training in hospitality and civil service. Like most places I have visited though, there is a lack of support and resources but some organisations like YMCA are doing their best and making a difference. They also own part of the land for camping and other activities for the youth but due to funds it needs renovating and is something I will definitely be praying about. Overall, I am just grateful for every experience and every person and community that I am able to embrace and be in the midst of. I feel as if this is a home away from home; especially as my ancestral roots are here. As I end this, I want us all to reflect on this notion of family and community, not just where we were born and grew up, but around the world and places we visit. God's love and family is for everyone...it is everyone. "Love thy Neighbour" (Mark 12:31) let us reflect on these words and love each other Intentionally and actively remembering that our little bit can do a whole lot for someone else. Blessings and peace, Dion-Marie White xx
Please contact Wale Hudson-Roberts to find out more