2000+ CJC youth ‘nice up’ Clarendon during OSAY 2024

Local Conference | Lawrie Henry April 4, 2024

Young people are not always glued to their cell phones, and Adventists in Central Jamaica can prove it. “Where’s the proof” you say? Well, OSAY!

On March 17 an army of youth over 2000 strong from the Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) of Seventh-day Adventists (SDAs), came together to make a massive impact in the parish of Clarendon during Operation Save a Youth (OSAY).

CJC Youth, Children and Adolescent Ministries director, Pastor Dwayne Scott, says more than 50 projects were executed with services including beautification, painting, minor repairs and construction, clean up and evangelism.

“We painted the Summerfield girls home and the St. Augustine boys home, the May Pen and Lionel Town hospitals, May Pen police station and sidewalks in the community. We cleaned-up the Welcome and Rocky Point beaches and had a massive effort in the (May Pen) town center.

Some minor construction and repairs were done to support individuals that needed bathrooms and house renovation,” Scott said.

Five beds, two wheelchairs, and 100 care packages were donated to the Clarendon Infirmary  while the May Pen Hospital received one bed, a wheel chair and care packages. Meals were distributed to the indigent on the streets.

Scott notes that as temporal needs were met, the gospel was also shared widely.

“We handed out prayer fellowship cards, SDA tracts and books, right across the parish from Chapelton to Racecourse and the May Pen town center,” he said.

One precious soul was baptised during the OSAY Health and Education Expo in Bargain Village, May Pen.

The expo also included over 30 exhibitors and service providers that performed medical and dental checks, eye screening, free massages, counselling and other services.

A highlight of the expo was the awarding of a total $1 million in scholarships to 22 students. High school awardees received $40,000 each and university students received $50,000 each towards educational expenses.

A massive road march through the May Pen town center was a sight to see and people lined the streets to watch the marchers go by.

The high energy, high impact day was capped with a grand concert for fellowship and thanksgiving.

The effort garnered substantial local media coverage. In a Jamaica Observer report, CJC president, Pastor Nevail Barrett, explained that the annual OSAY, which began in 2016, was halted by the COVID 19 pandemic.

“Fast-forward to 2023, we started the planning for this operation in Clarendon. A lot of work went into this…For us it’s not just about preaching the gospel, it’s about scratching where it’s itching, because people have genuine needs and it’s our objective to minister to the needs… just as Jesus did,” Barrett was quoted saying.

A CVM TV report showed May Pen Mayor, Joel Williams, on the ground where projects were being carried out.

“They are working with me and the municipal corporation to make May Pen clean again to the point where the citizens can be proud of their town and environment,” he said.

Though not the largest staging in its history, OSAY 2024 made an indelible impact. Scott said the success of the operation would not have been possible without the partners and 25 sponsors who came on board.

“In all we give thanks for the contribution of the (church) members and of our various sponsors. Our major partners included the Clarendon Municipal Council, Clarendon Health Department, Northern Caribbean University,  SPM Waste Management Limited, The National Blood Transfusion Service and the Jamaica Union of SDAs,” Scott noted with gratitude.

OSAY has impacted the three parishes in the CJC over the years, namely Manchester, Clarendon and St. Catherine. Scott says St. Catherine can look forward to benefiting from OSAY for the third time in 2025.