Mandeville, Jamaica…Nigel Coke
Scores of members of the disabilities community in Jamaica benefited free medical check-ups, assistive devices and presentations on mental health, Psychiatrics, Ophthalmology and gift vouchers during an Assistive and Mental Health Symposium held at the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Manchester.
The Symposium formed part of a week of the annual Possibility Ministries Awareness Week from March 5-12, 2023 organized by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.
“The week calls attention to the Adventist Church community and the wider community to this often forgotten group of persons by the society of their rights and the need to accord them similar privileges to experience joy, happiness, liberty and contentment”, said Pastor Adrian Cotterell, Possibility Ministries Coordinator of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.
A beneficiary of the week’s activities was the Mustard Seed Community: Gift of Hope, which care for 27 physically and mentally disabled residents. They received a visit of their institution on Tuesday by a team from the Church and were presented with much needed toiletries.
Ann Marie Parker-Dale, Administrator of the Gift of Hope and other representatives and a resident of the institution attended the Symposium expressed their appreciation for what was presented.
“The visit to our institution was an exceptional one. We were really happy for the donation received,” said Parker-Dale. “I have learnt so much from this Symposium that I will be able to go back and make their lives a lot better. I have spoken to the Psychiatrist, the Ophthalmologist, the Doctor and the information that I got will enhance the delivery of care to the residents.”
Michael and Louise Swinton, were happy to receive a new wheelchair for their 26 year-old daughter Britanny.
“I am happy for this wheelchair because the one we are presently using,” said Louise. “My child is not comfortable in the current one. The tires are not so good because these are tires that were recently replaced. The new one is more solid and pretty. She looks good in it. I love. I really appreciate this one. Thank you very much and may you continue to be a blessing to others.”
The Week started with the planting of trees in many areas across the Island, visits to infirmaries and place of care for the disabled, prayer and church services, a symposium and a grand Convention on Sunday, March 12, at the Portmore Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. Catherine.
“Disability has no boundaries,” exclaimed Cotterell. “It has no face or race. It has no colour or creed, it has no religion or denomination. Disability may affect anyone at any time and so I appeal to our members and the wider society to show more love, patience and kindness to members of the disabled community,” Cotterell added.
While most people refer to ministering to persons with disability as Disability Ministries, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has decided on the nomenclature Possibility Ministries, because it recognizes the potentials, promises, possibilities, life-changing and transformational outcomes that can take place when persons from the disabilities community is involved in the activities of the church and society.