Although the physical church was inaccessible to most for over two months given government’s restrictions, this did not prevent members of the Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre’s Missions Ministry from gathering every week to prepare and deliver meals to scores of needy persons across the corporate area.
The restrictions meant only a few of the Ministry’s members could meet on any given Sunday to assist with distribution, but undaunted in their quest to provide help to members and non-members alike, they adjusted themselves accordingly.
Leader for the FCDC Missions Ministry, Sister Carmen Lewis, said the team distributed hundreds food packages and meals during the two months.
“The very first time, we delivered over 55 packages,” she said, while explaining that these packages generally consisted of chicken, rice, tin mackerel among other items. Toiletries were given based on special requests.
Much like the beneficiaries of these packages, the menu each Sunday was varied. On Easter Sunday for example, they were given bun and cheese, Spanish rice with cooked vegetables, sprat, baked chicken, soup and drinks.
Deliveries were done with the church bus driven by assistant ministry leader Brother Paulus Morris. In order to expedite the process, Sis Lewis also used her personal vehicle on occasions to assist with the deliveries.
Areas visited by the team included Harbour View, Red Hills Road, Duhaney Park, Bayfarm Villa, Mountain View, Molynes Road, Seaward Drive and communities off Waltham Park Road and Spanish Town Road.
Prior to Covid-19, the team prepared the meals and the majority of persons would pick it up on the church’s compound, while deliveries were made to members of the church who are shut-in. As the crisis intensified locally, they had to personally deliver to everyone.
It’s definitely more work, but the members of the Mission Ministry’s team do not mind.
“Because of the gravity of Covid-19 and its effect, there is a sense of feeling that you have contributed to saving a life in some way,” said assistant ministry leader for the team, Sister Charmaine Morris.
“When we go, we just don’t take food. There have been instances where persons looked depressed and they were encouraged and prayed for,” she noted.
The beneficiaries were always grateful and often used the opportunity to share how much they missed interacting with their church family and hearing Bishop Herro Blair deliver the message in person.
“They thank God that the church remembers them in this time of crisis,” Sis Lewis said.
“We the members are committed and dedicated to reach out to these persons because they need our help,” she asserted.
Valerie Campbell, one of the beneficiaries, always looked forward to greeting the team whenever they visited. The 90-year-old church member lost her only biological child earlier this year and so she welcomes any opportunity for social interaction.
“I get food, I get drinks, I get toiletries, I don’t know what I don’t get,” the senior citizen said.
She particularly likes the two puzzle books that a member of the church donated to the Mission’s team, as her preoccupation with these treasured gifts helps to ease her anxiety whenever she thinks about the passing of her son.
As an elderly citizen, Sister Campbell knows she is among those listed as being most vulnerable to Covid-19, and so she hasn’t been outside much for the last few weeks. This has been quite an adjustment for her as she hardly missed a service prior to Covid-19.
“A Sunday don’t miss me. For the past three years, I think I’ve only been absent from church one Sunday. My daughter in law came from America, and we went to the country, that’s how I come to be absent,” she boasted.
The need for help is growing, but the Missions Ministry stands ready to assist. Members of the team often pool their resources and combine it with what they receive from the church’s office, altruistic members of the faith and the Business Club.
“We are commissioned by God to be His disciples;feeding the poor and taking care of the elderly and widows,” Sis Lewis said.