Trelawny Adventist Farmers' COVID19 Charity Mission

Pastor Jermaine Johnson

By Pastor Jermaine Johnson

May 01, 2020

It was an act of Christian concern and duty that led a team of farmers from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Warsop, South Trelawny, to coordinate the charitable distribution of hundreds of pounds of produce to needy persons on lockdown, in the parish of St. Catherine, on Wednesday.

The mission, led by Elder Anthony Whyte, saw several persons from the Warsop SDA church and community putting together over 750 pounds of yam and 24 bunches of bananas, along with plantains, for distribution. These items were transported by a team of farmers from the area to be distributed at the Tent City SDA Church in Portmore, St. Catherine.

Pastor Everett Smith, Community Services Director of the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, who was among those on location to receive the items, was elated at the goodly gesture of the Trelawny brethren: “It was well appreciated. The brethren were delighted and the conference is truly grateful. It has really opened our eyes that we can do great things when we work together. Every three weeks, packages are prepared and distributed to the less fortunate and we hope to arrange to include more farm produce in the same”, said Smith.

Trelawny is renowned for its yam production, which serves as a main source of income for those living, especially, in the southern section of the parish. The Warsop SDA Church falls within the North Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (NJC), which serves the parishes of St. Ann and Trelawny.

When NJC Communication reached out to Elder Anthony Whyte, as to what inspired him to coordinate such a thoughtful initiative, he said, “Because of the suddenness of the lockdown, I thought that people must be in need. I was also watching the news and saw a lady walking to Coronation market; so I decided to coordinate with some of my fellow farmers and carry out a charitable mission to the parish. So we put together, both persons from the church and the community, and brought two vehicles with the produce, which we distributed in collaboration with the Tent City SDA Church and the JLP Caretaker for that constituency.

Persons as far as Pigeon Shoot also benefited from the distribution, aided by Elder Robert ‘Big Rob’ Miller of the Spanish Town SDA Church, who also serves as Caretaker for the constituency of South-East St. Catherine. Miller was overjoyed by the gesture: “It was a very good initiative. I was truly moved by the gesture. What Elder Whyte and his team gave to me, I took it to an informal settlement, by the name of Pigeon Shoot. When I saw the needs there, tears came to my eyes. I bought some rice, flour, oil and canned food and distributed them to the people over there, along with the produce we got from the Trelawny brethren. The people were truly overwhelmed and highly appreciative of what took place. This is what the Bible speaks about, when it says we must give to those who are hungry and thirsty.”

Pastor Dr. Karl Archer, President of NJC, also added his voice, “The gesture by the brethren in Warsop was a tremendous one. As a result of COVID-19, we are experiencing challenging times financially and otherwise, but we know that our God never fails, and that He will continue to help us. We continue our partnership with the local churches, as well as our other organizations to try and mitigate the needs around us, as best as possible.”

In response to the positive feedback, Whyte says, “I feel good to know that we can reach out to each other. That’s what we are here for. Love is not just talk, it is also action. Wherever the needs are and we can help, we should; and it will make it easier for us to witness, as well.”

St. Catherine has been on lock-down since April 15, as the spread of the Coronavirus continues to escalate in sections of the parish, as well as across the island. We encourage everyone to abide by the government regulations, as well as to exercise personal care for themselves and others, while trusting in God’s protection and provision amidst the circumstances.

Volunteers package produce for distribution

Volunteers package produce for distribution

A portion of the produce brought from Trelawny

A portion of the produce brought from Trelawny

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