Teams from the Central Singles’ Ministry brightened the holidays for scores of families affected by housing instability and homelessness. On Sunday, December 22, 2019, Coordinator Joan Willock and her group diligently delivered care packages to many individuals in Frederiksted, St. Croix.
Statistics from the government reveal that there are approximately “200 chronically homeless individuals in the Virgin Islands territory” and several are on the streets of Frederiksted. It is a clear sign that more outreach and treatment programs are needed.
Sister Willock commented on the ministry’s current undertaking, “We wanted to make a difference. The people on the streets are not working and will be having a difficult time acquiring hygiene products. Most of them are able to get food but we decided to go one step further by giving them something more. This has, solely, been a project to help the basic needs. As a ministry, we decided to start because it is only when we start that we will be inspired to keep going. The Lord has called us to serve, to look for ministries, and we believe that while the need exists, we will continue to feed and bless people with God’s help. Bibles and literature were placed in the bags containing the care packages.”
The Central Seventh-day Adventist Singles’ Ministry was launched about two years ago and embraces singles who desire to find an avenue for wholesome worship, fellowship and service. To realize this project, the team made personal donations and invited members of the church to partner with them.
The Senior Pastor of the congregation, Pastor Thomas Rose, elaborated, “This is about the church understanding its mission well. It is about getting outside of the four walls of the church to be in the streets, in the community.”
Dozens of volunteers arrived early in the morning to prepare for the outreach and spent the day intentionally seeking displaced families. One team member, Sister Dianne Theophilous, thought the outreach experience was awesome. “Showing that the church is concerned for the needs of people is at the core of the initiative. We saw so many people filled with joy and grateful for everything they received,” said Sister Sanida McKenzie, another team member and Treasurer of the North Caribbean Conference.
Sister Willock added, “Helping to eliminate hunger and needs in the community, especially during the holidays, is part of our mission. All of us, together, have to do what we can to give [people] hope. This provides the opportunity for these individuals to say, we’re not different – yes, we’re struggling financially, but at least a couple times a year we can be like the rest of our [community]. I think that’s really important because if you don’t have hope, if you aren’t sharing hope and exuding hope, life gets pretty miserable.”
Several families expressed appreciation for the care packages and the Singles Ministry decided that the initiative would become an on-going ministry project.