Residents of Douglas Castle, St Ann recently received much needed relief after a two-day donation mission from Henry Fernandez Ministries and the Children Upliftment Restoration Foundation delivered supplies to the flood ravaged community.
Douglas Castle was one of three communities in the parish greatly affected last month when rivers which flow from St. Ann to Clarendon inundated their banks during heavy rainfall resulting in severe flooding and landslides. Residents were marooned, and forced to use rafts to traverse the flooded community. A joint team from The Faith Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, led by Jamaican-born Henry Fernandez and the Children Upliftment Restoration Foundation headed by Dr. Velma-May Brown visited the community donating toiletries, canned foods, baby diapers, rice and water to victims of the flood. Both stated entities were also accompanied by members from the New Life Assembly of God Church for the mission.
“Bishop had seen the devastation on social media and wanted to help. He reached out to our organisation and we assisted in making the necessary arrangements. Being here and seeing it firsthand, really is just sad. The crops are still covered with water and you can see the gravity of the damages suffered. I am happy we were able to provide support. At the Foundation we believe that we are blessed so that we can bless others. We have done some things here, but there is still much to be done and I hope other organisations will do their part,” said Dr. Brown, president of the Children Upliftment Foundation, charitable arm of Caribbean Legal Suite.
While expressing gratitude for the donations, Beryl Wilson, Douglas Castle resident underscored the timeliness and urgent need for relief for the farming community. “The rain affect us real bad. All we crops drown. Me grateful til me caan grateful no more. A true uno no know how me glad. Me glad cause me did in need of it,”Wilson said.
The two-day mission trip also included visits to the Edwin Allen High School in Clarendon, which was also affected by flooding as well as Salvation Army’s-The Nest Children’s Home and The Golden Age Home in Kingston which received cash donations. These institutions he noted, represent his passion for the youth - the future of Jamaica; and the seniors who are often times forgotten, yet both of whom require upliftment, encouragement and restoration. A total of US$ 25,000 was donated in cash and kind during the trip which Bishop Fernandez explained was raised over two weeks from special offering and benefit concert including recent “Whatever you want to become in life you can actually do it when you purpose in your heart convert Marion Hall.
Addressing the youth at Edwin Allen, Bishop Fernandez, challenged them to dream and persevere to reach their desired goals. You have to work hard. Never give up. Never quit. You are full of potential. You have to decide what you will become in life. Don’t forget I’ve been where most of you are today. I grew up in Jamaica in one of the poorest communities. But with my hard work, my faith in God, I can truly say to you that I have beat the odds. You can beat the odds. It doesn’t matter where you were born, how you grew up, the lack that’s in your family. If you work hard, and own your own happiness, I promise you, you will be successful in life.”