2017 Jamaica

Greetings,

Another year has come and gone, and once again we bring Good Tidings of great joy to the people of Jamaica. Romans 10:14-15 (ESV)
14  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
15  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

We arrived in Montego Bay Jamaica the afternoon of Jan 3, 2017. I arrived in Jamaica by way of Athens, Ga. where I preached the Gospel with some friends downtown on New Years Eve. What a blessing and an encouragement to share the Good News with young adults, mostly students attending University of Ga.and to hear the sound of fiery, yet compassionate preaching, warning, and pleading for souls to come to Christ. Along with my friend and host, Bobby McCrery, and some other members of the evangelism team in Athens, we were also joined by 3 men finishing up their final years at a seminary in South Carolina. I also stopped in Orlando to visit with my dear friend John Baros. John has been blessed by God with a tremendous burden for the babies brought to the abortion clinic in Orlando, OWC, and for the mothers. And God moves there often, working in the hearts of those who hear his message
In Jamaica the  mission trip is organized by my friends, Mike and Robert, who call their ministry “Cross Country Evangelism”. They have been kind enough to invite me, and it is a privilege to  minister alongside them. They invite Christians, seasoned evangelists, or sometimes someone who wants to get involved in evangelism and learn. A large part of their ministry is encouraging and teaching others how to share their faith in obedience to the will of God and for the glory of the name of Jesus. As in past years, our main base is in Montego Bay, at the most reasonably priced hotel we have found. Jamaica has always been and is increasing at an alarming pace; a dangerous place. In daylight hours and popular areas there is some semblance of safety and order, and If your knowledge of the country is obtained from a tourist website, you might be convinced that by being reasonably cautious, you could avoid real danger. On the island however, you can hear or read the local news, and there is an entirely different picture. On an island with a little more than 1 million people, there were 35 murders committed by January 15, 2017. Last year there were more than 1300 murders in Jamaica; no longer only in large cities like Kingston, but all over the country. So while there, we exercise caution and more importantly we pray and trust in the Lord. And we thank God for those that support us and pray for us. And we thank God that we all returned safe but tired, and testifying to the faithfulness of God. The team in Jamaica included about 12 different members, some arriving, some leaving on different days. There were mostly men and a few women from Canada, England, Texas, North Carolina, New York, Colorado, and of course Va. While there we traveled and shared the Gospel in Montego Bay, Falmouth, Ocho Rios, St. Lucea, Negril, Savannah La Mar. In addition to much preaching and conversations beyond numbering, we distributed approximately 200 pds of Bible
( 100 Bibles ). Bible are in great demand in Jamaica, despite so many building where people meet for religious purposes; even 1000 Bibles would not meet the demand. The predominant religion in Jamaica is Seventh Day Adventists. The teaching in this church is rooted in the teaching of Ellen G White, and it may be that Bibles are not available because of the deviations in the Adventist doctrines compared to the Bible. Rastafarians and black Hebrew Israelites are also increasing. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe; hence  the groups like the Adventists are helpless when contending other false religions. They may have an appearance of religion and a list of rules, but with no Gospel, No regeneration, and no Holy Spirit, they will ultimately fall. Our favorite spot to set up and preach is in Montego Bay at Sam Sharpe’s Square. A photo of his statue and the plaque describing his life is included below. He is their 1st national hero and he is pictured on their currency. Ironically, in addition to being a slave, he was a lay-deacon at Burchell Baptist Church, which still exists; located several blocks from his statue. So while all the strange religions there denounce Christianity, Sunday worship, and faith in Jesus Christ, Sam’s statue remains; a statue of him preaching to a small group with Bible in hand. The life and death of Mr. Sharpe were instrumental in bringing an end to slavery in England and in Jamaica. Though he was executed for his part in a slave riot in 1832, slavery was abolished in 1835; even 30 years before America ended slavery. The slavery that now exists in Jamaica is quite similar to all men in all countries; ” sin “. So we preach the Gospel by faith, with love, and prayer; Asking God to set the captives free. We preach to the poor, the homeless, the sick, the lame, demon?possessed. The tourists from America and Europe seldom stop to listen, and often will not even receive a free Gospel tract. But the Jamaicans will listen, and converse, and read, and ask for payer. Very few profess to be atheists, evolution is not taught in public schools, and abortion and homosexuality are not promoted or applauded. We have not yet found a Bible-believing church there. Adventists, JW’s, Oneness Pentecostals, prosperity & wealth, etc. are plentiful. They teach that ultimately each person’s salvation is based on some external action they have partaken of, rather than the work of God  in their heart. We pray that the Gospel that we preached there would now be watered by the Holy Spirit. We pray that the enemy would not steal the precious seed of God’s Word. We pray that God would be pleased to save souls there; that His name would be honored there, and Jesus would receive the reward of His suffering. May it be that John’s vision of every nation, tribe, and language would include many; singing their praise in Patois, the dialect most often heard in Jamaica.

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Greetings

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