Audley Black, Jamaica — Update
COVID 19 The buzz word on most, if not all persons’, lips continues to be COVID-19. Everyone has been affected adversely by this pandemic. Many have lost loved ones, lost jobs, lost opportunities; schools have been affected, economies struggling at all-time record lows, and the list goes on. In all that has been taking place, we thank the Lord that the doors of the church have never been completely closed. We have had restrictions in the number of persons that can attend but we never close the doors. At one point, our restriction was ten persons, but we learnt to live stream the messages on Facebook which now reach many other persons that would not be in church. We do miss the face-to-face fellowship with many of our brothers and sisters, but God is giving us another way to care for each other. This has also been a great opportunity to draw near to God personally. We recognize that God is still in control. If we allow Him to control our lives, then there is nothing to fear. Let us keep leaning on the promises of God (2 Tim 1:7;1 Cor 10:13; Phil. 4:13; Is 41:10). OUTREACH We must give thanks to Almighty God that He continues to sustain His people despite what is happening around us. As a church, we were able to give care packages to some members and to others from the community. This was done with the assistance of ministry partners. Over two hundred packages were given out on four different occasions. To complete the program, we planned one final outreach on Boxing Day to our elderly “Shut-in” members. This has become an annual endeavor to add to the Christmas cheer. YOUNG PEOPLE As always, this year we saw a number of our young people transitioned from high school to college/university. We celebrate and praise the Lord with them and their families. They have successfully completed their exams needed to matriculate into tertiary education. Most of them did exceptionally well. A couple of our youths have completed college and are now looking for jobs. At a time when many are losing jobs, employment is hard to find. ONLINE MINISTRY The pandemic has seen many middle-age and elderly persons moving out of their comfort zone and embracing the use of the Internet. With church online and school online, the whole family is challenged to work together to teach one another. The elderly imparting knowledge and the younger teaching the computer skills. The family is forced to work together. This online ministry has broadened the fellowship and worship to include some of our members living abroad. That has become a major blessing. FAMILY Thanks for your continuous prayers for us as a family. This year, Sheneil started another course of study towards achieving a doctorate degree. She has done well in her first semester. Sheldon has done some work with auto-electrical work. He is seeing the need to go back to school and has made application to the same. With the COVID-19 effects, he has worked on and off this year. It is now one year since we moved into the home with which the Lord has blessed us. Donna and I are very grateful. Even though the house is not yet completely finished, we continue to take our time and work at different sections with the hope that one day it will be totally completed. Part of the year’s blessings is the planting and reaping from a small garden. Donna and I want to thank you for your support in many different ways. We are grateful for your encouragements, gifts, and prayers which have helped to sustain us in ministry. Thanks again! CHRISTMAS SEASON “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…Isaiah 9:6. With all the power struggles around the world about superpowers, we are thankful that the government of God reigns forever and that there is no end to His rule. We are glad that He is our Savior and we serve Him. Donna and I want to wish you a merry Christmas. May you be strengthened with God’s power over the next few days that are left in the year, to meet the challenges of the new year. Let celebrate the birthday of Christ, whether loved ones are able to visit with us or we will be alone. We may not have all that we may want, but having Christ is having what is most essential for this celebration. Let us worship Him!