More than One Hundred Honored on International Women’s Day of Prayer


Written by: Ruth-Ann Brown, Digital Media Coordinator, East Jamaica Conference | Thursday, March 7, 2019


More than one hundred women were recognized by the East Jamaica Conference, for dedicated service in Women’s ministry during the International Women’s Day of Prayer celebration at the Andrews Memorial SDA Church on March 2, 2019.

 “Walking with Jesus”, was the theme of the day, which also signified the Jamaica Union Launch of the ‘Year of the Women’. Elder Claudette Genas, Family, Women, Children & Adolescents Director of the conference, invited Elder Lorraine Vernal, Union director of Family, Women, Children & Adolescents ministries to officially launch the special year. 

Elder Vernal boldly challenged the congregation to focus on their relationship with Jesus, and to unashamedly reflect his character.

“You cannot tell others about a Jesus you don’t know,” stated Elder Vernal.

“Be an advocate in your community, be a good representative in your home, whatever you do daily, you are doing for Jesus,” she added.

2019 is to highlight ‘Women in Mission’, with the objective of having every woman regardless of their age, engaged in strengthening their missionary potential through friendship, mentoring and study of the Bible.

The honorees were highlighted for their dedicated and loyal service towards the advancement and growth of Women’s Ministries both at the local church and conference level.

Of those recognized was 95-year-old, Hortense Fraser, a notable dedicated member of the Florence Hill SDA church, and the oldest honoree.

The young ladies referred to as Girls of Eloquence, Morals and Standards (GEMS), were amongst those honored, travelling from as far as St. Thomas. This ministry initiated by Elder Claudette Genas is now being coordinated by Dr. Yvette Castell.

Since its launch, the GEMS Initiative has broken barriers. Not only has it impacted the young women of local churches, but it has made its way to a school. Through the leadership of EJC GEMS President, Shireka Campbell, a GEMS ministry was launched at a non-SDA High School last year.

“When I just started High School, I lacked self-confidence and I was so shy,” explained Campbell.

“The mentorship that I’ve received has helped me to develop lady-like characteristics that I want to pass on to the future generation,” she added.  

Guest Speaker, Nadeen Campbell, carried the congregation through stories of the Bible, reminding them of characters who were transformed by having a close relationship with God. She encouraged all women to make the same decision. 

“Do you think we can so talk to God, that we reflect his image? Is that what we’re called to? Let’s do It!” said Campbell exuberantly.

Family, Women, Children & Adolescents Director of the East Jamaica Conference, Elder Claudette Genas, highlighted some of the activities to be launched throughout the year. SOAR which stands for ‘Sisters Organized to Achieve Results’ is aimed at increasing the literacy of women. Another initiative, Take 7, will involve door to door praying for families. Elder Genas also encouraged members to continue witnessing and working with their family members.

“Our mission is saving souls and we need to start with our families first,” emphasized Elder Genas.   

The women were given a string with a paper heart attached, as a symbol. The heart is to serve as a reminder to pray for one family member, a friend, a neighbor that they would like to see in the kingdom.

Special mention was made of Pastor Ryandro Brown for his work in the GEMS Ministry. Pastor Brown along with his wife Paula were commended for their significant role in boosting the GEMS Ministry of the Woodford SDA Church and now the Seaforth SDA Church, where they are now pastoring.

The remainder of the year will see other various activities and projects including the annual EJC GEMS Anniversary and Women’s Retreat.  

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