February 5, 2019
Praises Ring Out in Jamaica
From the Superintendent's DESK
A team to Jamaica arrived in Kingston on Saturday evening, January 12, and immediately traveled to Castleton, a town in the mountains, to the home of Rohan Clough, who leads our work in Jamaica. He and his wife Charmaine had offered to host the team for the duration of their stay. This included Mark Worthington, his wife Rosemary, and David Budean, all of Sacramento, California, as well as Balu Ajanaku and Goodnews Osunkwo of Worth, Illinois. They spent nine days in Jamaica and sent the following report of their time there.
On Sunday morning, we stepped next door into the lovely sanctuary of the Castleton church and worshipped together with the sweet saints there. We listened as the choir lifted their voices in beautiful songs of praise. We praised the Lord together in congregational singing and then heard testimonies of victory. One young man, just the week before, was in a terrible car accident. His car was totaled, but he was spared. He is so thankful his little girl still has her daddy!
Our team provided special music and testimonies during the service. Then Brother Mark took his text from 1 John, emphasizing a life of victory over sin. He talked of the effectual work of sanctification in remaining free from sin. After a time of prayer, we mingled with the saints and felt a sweet spirit of love and fellowship.
Sunday evening found us in Kingston where we worshipped in the Greenwich church. Again, we lifted our voices to God; much praise rises from the Jamaican saints. We felt a sweet spirit and we heard more testimonies of victory. One woman told how cigarettes controlled her life, as well as fighting, and she also wore a continual angry expression on her face. When Jesus came in, what a change occurred! The cigarettes and fighting were gone, and Jesus even changed her facial expression to one of peace!
The sermon was taken from Revelation and spoke of the glory that waits in Heaven for those who overcome. It was noted that to overcome simply means to maintain victory over sin, and Jesus gives us that victory and the ability to maintain it when we are saved. The congregation was admonished that Jesus is coming soon, and we want to have that overcoming victory!
The next day, we traveled to Crofts Hill to a little church sitting on a hillside. What a sweet time we had! The service followed much like the preceding ones. One testimony told of a man who had no hope. But Jesus came and changed all that! A little boy stood up and told of running in a race. When he fell, Jesus helped him get up, and he even won the race! A woman told that the gas ran out in her stove at home. She had no flame and was not able to cook for three weeks. Then she prayed about it, and God made the stove light, and she was able to use it for several weeks after that. There were also testimonies of miraculous healings.
Brother Mark preached on consecration and told of a time in his life when God brought him up short concerning a consecration he had made. God asked him, “Do you really mean it?” After consideration, his answer was yes. Years later, that consecration was required of him. When we make consecrations, we need to keep them on the altar, for they could be required at any time. We had a wonderful time of prayer in the tiny Crofts Hill church.
We traveled to Troy on Tuesday, to a little church nestled in the lovely Jamaican mountains. Many praises went up to the Lord in wholehearted song. Testimonies followed, and more than one person told of victory in their lives because of Jesus. One woman told that Jesus rescued her and set her free. The sermon was on the rich, young ruler and how it would be easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for an uncommitted person to get to Heaven. Many people make excuses, some being, “not now,” or “not all,” but only a full commitment, right now, will assure us of Heaven. After the prayer service, a time of fellowship and refreshments followed.
Wednesday evening found us at the church in Spanish Town on the coast of Jamaica. We had a sweet time with the saints as we joined in songs of praise. In testimony, we heard how one young man realized he could not live on his parents’ salvation; he needed his own experience. Thank God he received it! A One woman told of God sparing her life, and another of how she heard a small voice that led her to a little church where she was able to find God. Brother Mark preached from Genesis, chapter 1, on the miracle of creation, and compared it to the miracle of salvation. He also spoke of the end time signs taking place, and that Jesus is coming soon. It is so vital that we be ready. We had another wonderful time of prayer following the service.
Thursday evening’s service was in Albert Town, another church up in the hills of Jamaica. This church is growing, so the walls are being expanded to accommodate the congregation. Songs of praise filled the chapel. During testimonies one told of being “snatched from the burning” while another told of turning away from the past when she was saved. Also, a young man told of victory in his life and of how God has given him a loving family when so many in the world have troubled homes. One woman said she went to the ATM three times for money, but the balance showed a negative amount. She knew this could not be right so she prayed and put God on the case. Then she went to the bank, and thankfully after some discussion, they restored the rightful amount.
The sermon was from Romans 8:6, which tells that God’s Spirit will witness to us when we are saved. Salvation is not just an acknowledgment of God, but a total commitment. It means praying through until we receive His witness that we are His.
We arrived in Spring Vale on Friday evening after traveling long and winding remote roads. Another precious group of saints met us. We more songs of praise to the Lord, and heard more testimonies of victory. One woman admonished the congregation to get saved, “while the blood is running warm in your veins.” I believe she meant to do it soon, because we have no promise of tomorrow. The sermon centered on deliverance from sin when we are saved. This involves godly sorrow, and a turning away from sin. True salvation brings freedom from all guilt. We felt God’s sweet presence in the service.
On Sunday, we traveled to Christiana for their morning service. This is a lovely church, settled on a small ridge with yam fields round about, and a lovely view across the valley. We lifted our voices to the Lord and heard inspiring testimonies. Brother Mark preached on Jabez’s prayer and how God could take something painful, as the name Jabez implies, and make something lovely and worthwhile out of it. God honored Jabez’s petitions, even allowing a city to be called by his name. God will make something beautiful from our lives if we give all the pieces to Him.
Our team truly enjoyed their time of fellowship in Jamaica, saying it was a blessing to meet more of God’s wonderful family. They emphasized to the Jamaican saints that we are all one family in Christ, and they have many brothers and sisters in the Gospel who pray for them at headquarters and around the world.