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LCF devotions in High Schools and Community Colleges

April 2007 heralded a renewed commitment of the LCF to revitalise a programme targeted at ministering to youngsters attending school. There were two primary catalysts which led to this renewed effort:

  1. A statement made to the media on April 18, 2007 by the Principal of the Denham Town Primary School to the effect that students of that school had been traumatized by the recurrent violence in surrounding communities yet not one church group had ever shown any attention or offered assistance.

  2. A challenge proffered on April 21, 2007 at one of LCF’s Breakfast Meetings by Rev. Dr. Stephen Jennings encouraging groups such as the LCF to offer greater practical service on a regular basis to the poor and needy in our nation.

Under the leadership of the immediate Past President of the LCF, Mrs. Shirley Richards, a commitment was made to visit the Denham Town Primary School (“the School”) to lead Devotions. A small group of four of us visited the School on April 27, 2007 and led Devotions with the students and the staff of the School. This session proved to be a blessing to those of us who participated. We were amazed that the students although standing in the blazing morning sun, listened attentively and participated enthusiastically during the Devotions, which lasted for over twenty minutes.

Thereafter, throughout the rest of 2007 and during 2008, we visited the School from time to time to lead Devotions. We soon realised that since these interactions were so mutually beneficial it would be ideal to establish an organised programme of visits to the School, and as of January 2009, we have tried to lead Devotions on the last Friday morning of each month during the school term. The Devotional Sessions have been quite interactive and lively and they have been well received by the students and staff of the School.

However, there was still a burden on our hearts to reach out to the students on an even more personal and individual basis. We had discussions with the Principal and the Guidance Counselor for the School and the decision was made to organise monthly mentoring sessions with small groups of students. The first such session was held in May 2009 with a group of approximately ten students from Grades 4, 5, and 6 respectively. The session proved to be delightful, yet sobering and insightful. It reinforced the fact that many of our children are faced with spiritual, financial and social crises and that they are in great need of adults who are willing to listen keenly, guide them patiently, and advise them in a non-judgmental manner. We therefore hope to assist in fulfilling these roles via these sessions.

Apart from the Devotional and Mentoring Sessions we have also on a few occasions managed to offer small monetary donations to the School and we have even contributed to the re-painting of hop-scotch diagrams on the playground. The School has also participated in our annual LCF Week of Activities by performing at the meeting held at the Justice Square last year.

On August 22, 2009, two of us participated in a Workshop staged by the Jamaica Child Evangelism Fellowship and the Women of God in Service Ministries International, and one of the presentations dealt specifically with ‘Conducting Devotions in Schools’. We look forward to utilising many of the meaningful guidelines given.

We hope to accomplish much more in the near future but those of us involved in this particular outreach programme are few in number. Special appreciation and gratitude must be extended to our immediate past president Shirley Richards, our current president Stokeley Marshall, vice president Philippa Davies and LCF member Olubusola Akinladejo who have faithfully and consistently devoted their time, efforts, and resources to this particular outreach programme. We also wish to sincerely thank those persons who have encouraged us and prayed for this programme and we look forward to their continued support.

We invite more persons to get actively involved in this outreach programme whether by giving of their time, suggestions, and/or financial resources. Please feel free to contact us [920-6921/ 920-7229 or at maureen_theoc@cwjamaica.com ] We look forward to being able to extend this outreach to other schools.

“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes Me.” Matthew 18 v 5

Maureen Edwards Theoc
LCF Member