A Visit to Jamaica

Dinner in Mandeville with Harold and MaryAnne Hancock (left), Owen, Frances and Sasha Gordon (right), and Donna Hollopeter (at the rail).

Malvern Camp as it stands currently. The first floor was used during camp. Jamaica is raising funds and volunteers before we proceed with this 50/50 project.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

At the end of August, Donna Hollopeter and I traveled to Jamaica and met with the leadership there. Here are a few notes from that visit.

Jamaica Bible College is now called Regent College of the Caribbean. The president of Regent is Owen Gordon, a UB pastor in Jamaica Conference. The school now accommodates a high school program for delinquent teens, business, education, and trade school programming.

Harold and MaryAnne Hancock arrived in August as Global Ministries staff serving at the college, and were settling in well and ready to start the semester.

Regent is building a new dining commons. The current facility is outdated and far too small to accommodate students for meals and chapel services. Up until now, they have been working on the project without any requests for assistance from Global Ministries. However, I’m sure they would accept any volunteer assistance.

Owen Gordon continues to coordinate building projects for Jamaica Conference. All projects are submitted to conference leadership, whether they include Regent projects or not, so there is no concern regarding potential conflicts of interest.

We visited Malvern Camp. More work needs to be done, but the conference was able to hold three weeks of camp using the new (but incomplete) building. At this point, Jamaica Conference needs to determine costs to complete the project, and the preparedness of their people to contribute funds and volunteers before we can make plans for more work teams.

We discussed various issues with Bishop Isaac Nugent and other Jamaica leaders, including the idea of church-to-church partnerships between Jamaican and North American churches. Such partnerships would be limited to no more than 3 years and a partnering agreement should be signed indicating roles, responsibilities, and specific goals.

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