CaribZone Commentary: Aubrey Campbell – Wednesday, December 23th
In messages from key community leaders, hope springs eternal. Hope that you will use this period of reflection to engineer change for the greater good of humankind. Of course that change has to start from within.
From New York City to Miami, there is no mistaking that Santa is near, that Christmas is here. The hustle, bustle and jingling of bells, provide more than enough reminder of the reason for the season. But no sooner we sit down, it’s over and done and we are back to basics!
In conversations with friends, colleagues, associates, the common thread is that…what the world needs now, more than ever before, is love, sweet love. And no, not just for some, but for everyone!
You don’t have to be like the ‘Jones’ next door, nor do you need to tear them down in trying to build yourself up. Yes, we will know that you are worthy of our support, by your expression of genuine love, not malice, masking as friendship via a popular medium.
Read my lips, we are in the silly season!
Having surveyed the landscape over these past 12 months, we here at ‘The Zone’ – a small but dedicated staff, would like to join our hearts, thoughts and voices in wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and enjoyable holiday season. Please, be responsible!
Our singular responsibility is a simple one, to keep you informed and in the conversation, on matters of the Diaspora. That is why your feedback matters!
For today’s conversation, allow me to use this space to share with you, unsolicited messages from the Rev. Newton Gabbidon, chair of the Intercessory Prayer Ministry International (IPMI), a Brooklyn based, inter-denominational unit that organizes the Jamaica Diaspora Day of Prayer and Fasting (JDOP), August 1, each year, and Hon. Franz Hall, Consul General of Jamaica in Miami.
MESSAGE FROM Rev. Newton Gabbidon,
The Christmas season is upon us once again. As Christians, at this time of the year, we tend to think of the Luke 2 account, with the shepherds, the magi from the East, the lowly stable and manger. We remember that “Emmanuel”-God with us-was born because God so loved us that He came to dwell among us, taking on the form of a man so that we might be able to touch Him, hear Him, see Him and know Him.
Most importantly, the Luke 2 account reminds us of the most important purpose of Jesus’ birth in a lonely Bethlehem stable, as the angels so gloriously announced in these words:
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10– 12, NIV).
One of the most remarkable demonstration of God’s involvement in human history is the outworking of this promise concerning Jesus, through His death on Calvary’s cross followed by His triumphal Resurrection on the third day, ushering on earth God’s everlasting Kingdom, the offer of salvation to all humanity and peace to our troubled world.
This Christmas season, as we pause to reflect on this wonderful miracle of the advent of Christ’s coming and of its relevance to our troubled world, we are very mindful of the opportunity God has offered us here at Intercessory Prayer Ministry over the past 18 years to participate in this wonderful ministry of reconciliation through the vital work of intercession for the nations. But we are also cognizant of the fact that this wonderful journey in ministry over these years would not have been possible without the support of our friends and partners.
Thank you for your support during 2015. We also trust that you will consider engaging with IPMI for another great year of ministry during 2016.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!
MESSAGE FROM, Hon. Franz Hall,
No matter where we are in the world, I know that the traditions of a Jamaican Christmas will be observed to the fullest extent possible. But as we eat, drink and celebrate in our own unique way, let us also find ways of sharing the spirit of the Season with those who are in need.
In reflecting on 2015, we can say that it has been a challenging year for Jamaica as we continued to grapple with issues that affect all Jamaicans whether at home or in the Diaspora. However, despite these challenges, Jamaicans shone brilliantly and positively affected the global community.
Who can forget the impact of Kaci Fennel who many felt was cheated out of the Miss Universe crown, or Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce who led the superb Jamaican team to a triumphant 13 medals at the IAAF World Championships, or Marlon James, Jamaican author who was awarded the Man Booker prize which recognizes excellence in fiction.
Jamaica also hosted the 6th Biennial Diaspora Conference in June, which sought to identify sustainable options to positively engage with the Jamaican Diaspora, in particular its younger demographic. There has been progress in establishing an effective mechanism for support and collaboration, and while more work is required, there has been some measure of success in the areas of healthcare, education and agriculture. The Consulate General looks forward to the continued engagement with the Diaspora on all matters of mutual interest.
I also use this opportunity to salute the work that so many organizations and individuals undertake, quietly and without public recognition, in providing critical services and assistance to various communities and charities in Jamaica and in their communities here in the USA.
At this time of year, let us remember that one of the meanings of the Season is Hope. Let us put our collective energies to good work and focus our thoughts on positive outcomes. I encourage all of us to work together, in good faith and in hope, to achieve a safer environment in which we can begin to realize the best outcomes for ourselves, our families, our communities and our respective countries.
On behalf of the staff of the Consulate-General of Jamaica in Miami, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Have yourself a very Merry Christmas! And while you do, take the time to get in the last word. Let us hear from you. Share your thoughts. It matters, it counts!