A LITTLE HISTORY | A little over six years ago, I made a decision to pursue ministry in Galina, Saint Mary. The Lord spoke to my heart while waiting for a flight at Narita airport in Tokyo. I immediately called the only person I really knew well in Galina, Marla, and shared what the Lord had said, and in her usual way, she said, “Come talk with me when you get back to Jamaica.”
Needless to say, the ministry was established and it seems that the hurdles, the challenges and the work were more than I was capable of undertaking. Several times, as I sat in tears in the Galina Breeze office, it was Marla who heard the heart and the vision and the purpose for our region.
A small band of teenagers and I, along with a youth group from Mountain Lake Church and David Putman, first trekked through the lanes and back alleys of Galina, going home to home. We prayed for the young, old, anyone that would stop long enough for us to share a word with them. The church was launched on the Pavilion of Galina Breeze Hotel. What a sense of the presence of God was felt that day, in “the church without walls.” I stood and looked across the vast sea and worshiped God for his creation and vision for ACTS Church.
TODAY | We see so many young people, so many disconnected souls that once had a close relationship with God, so many that never had any relationship at all, and those that come from various churches to hear the Word shared in simple yet life changing teaching meeting.
Our youth have been inspired to look beyond their limitations and into God’s opportunities. Within the last two months, three of them have been accepted to programs that provide jobs overseas and they are now at their location in the US and on a cruise ship. I credit their motivation to the Lord. A few words of encouragement have gone a long way.
We started an Internet Café in Port Maria managed by Kelly Lewis, a young man that told everyone that he wanted to have nothing to do with Church. But the day I met him and invited him to come to Galina Breeze for service, he came and has never stopped coming. He became our Audio Visual Technician and now supports the technical side of our ministry.
Kenisha was not going to Church and did not have the best level of self-esteem when she began to work with us, and after several years, she now supervises our children’s ministry. She creates and utilizes lesson plans, develops computer based lessons and engages the children beyond what she thought she was ever capable of doing.
Shaundean, one very challenged young man, I met when he was eleven years old. Many have given up on him, and he may at some time even given up on himself. But during an announcement for Baptism, he came to me and asked to be baptized because he decided that his life must change. I’m sure many of you have seen the picture of me walking down the beach with him heading into the water.
Many of you have joined us in our community outreach walks and that has yielded fruit in our ministry as more people have been coming in to visit and participate with us.
WHAT WE DO | We change lives! We influence destinies! We bring hope to the hopeless and change life’s paradigm for our members and friends at ACTS Church. We serve the churches in Port Maria and Galina, mentor so many young people in Kingston’s inner city community of Tavares Gardens and young adults in a Saturday morning Mentor’s Event held on Social Media video conferencing. We walk from house to house in Port Maria and Galina and bring a message of God’s mercy and grace to our communities.
Our farm projects, rabbits and chickens have been embraced by our kids and youth and they maintain the animals. We are looking forward to the revenue generated from sales over the next few months.
WHAT WE LOOK LIKE | Eighty percent of our congregation is under 30, recently we have had to relocate to Port Maria for our main service but still hold children’s ministry meetings in Galina on Sunday morning.
WHERE ARE WE GOING | in a few weeks we will begin construction work on the Ministry’s Mission Site in Galina. What an incredible season of fulfillment of that Narita airport encounter with the Lord. Our church is evolving into what the Lord has planned and purposed, it has not come without its challenges but I see our young people and our leaders becoming pillars of the community and leading the way for a great move of God in our community.
Can you help us with our building purchase and our construction project? Just send your gift to ACE with our name and ‘Building Project’ and we will be sure to receive it.
May the Lord continue to bless you all.
The students march in a straight line from their classroom down to the paved court. As they get closer, they strain to see what activities they will be participating in today. When they see the ropes and bucket and mats, they can hardly contain their excitement– Some even have to be reined in by their teacher! Eagerly, they walk over and chorus in the way only Jamaican children can: “Good morning Sir!” This is the opening scene for PE at Water Valley every Tuesday and Thursday morning.
The faculty and teachers are excited to be partnered with ACE again to provide PE for the students. In an effort to encourage the parents to purchase the PE gear, ACE offered to match half the cost of the uniforms. To say that has been a success is an understatement! Each morning, it is a sight to behold all the students decked out in their blue gear.
After warming up by doing laps around the court, the students are eager to participate in the activities for the day. But, before they begin, they have to tell Coach what the objective is. From grade 1 to 6, they are all able to answer: “Team work!” In the game “Diminishing Squares”, the students huddled together while trying not to topple over with laughter as Coach removed square after square! It is no question that the students at Water Valley are not only enjoying PE but are also learning to work together as a team. The students respectfully follow the instructions of Coach, who ensures that they have fun while learning. Truly, when the team works, the dream works.
You may have heard about one of our little guys who is in our sponsor program named Justin. Justin has been very sick for many years with asthma and other breathing problems. Lecepth, our child sponsorship coordinator, took on the responsibility of finding what exactly the problem was. After many trips to the specialist in Kingston, it was determined that he had been misdiagnosed and needed his tonsils removed immediately. However, since his asthma had hindered his breathing, it was necessary to get that under control before the surgery.
The good news is Justin came through his surgery last week with 100% success!! He’s sore, recovering and has to go back for follow-up. But now this child has a new life all because a concerned sponsor cared and wanted to help. If you would like to contribute to the remaining balance due for Justin’s surgery, please mark your donation to “Justin’s surgery”. We need about $2500 US to cover the cost. Thank You!