Story by Rev. Charles St-Onge, who oversees mission work in Jamaica, The Cayman Islands, Haiti and Puerto Rico. Pastor St-Onge lives in Montreal with his wife, Deborah, and two daughters.
Photos: Jana Inglehart
Thank you for your steadfastness in upholding the Church’s work in Jamaica, prayerfully and with your sacrificial gifts. We pray you and your family are healthy, well, and finding the blessings in these unprecedented times. Pastor Ite shepherded both Kingston area congregations and Parade Gardens Lutheran School (PGLS) through the peak of COVID-19 and continues adjusting to the joys and challenges of a new normal. By God’s grace, everyone affiliated with Lutheran Ministries in Jamaica (LMJ) was preserved from contracting the virus.
Faith and St. Andrew’s have returned to holding in-person worship and are working to rebuild their respective memberships. Both facilities installed hand sanitizer dispensers and instituted temperature checks for worshipers. Additionally, an online-only Sunday evening service will begin in September to serve members island-wide. Utmost importance is given to midweek opportunities to be in the Word; Faith offers an in-person Bible study and St. Andrew’s, a virtual one. Members from both congregations joined in an outreach training seminar on August 19 and will come together again soon for a second session. Speaking of outreach, LMJ partnered with Food for the Poor on a food relief project that benefitted both church members and the community at large.
COVID-19 interrupted PGLS’s regularly scheduled summer school, but most children attended a modified session that bridged portions of July and August. The staff is exercising caution in bringing students back to campus for the fall semester; meetings to help both new and returning families feel comfortable are ongoing. Whenever and however it begins, the 2020-2021 academic year will also usher in new uniforms and a new principal.