Cool Shade Church - Repairs
The following report is written by Kevin Johnston in December 2018 regarding the original work that GME was apart of in Jamaica and that is still being supported:
A number of events have been taking place at the church in Coolshade: In November the church hosted a music concert and talent night, and people came from several other churches in the nearby areas to hear various groups, mostly of children and youth sharing their music, and enjoy some special treats and desserts made by ladies in the church. The purpose of this concert was also to raise money to go towards the renovation project, currently happening to replace the church's aging roof with a concrete slab roof (see pictures).
In December, the Sunday school kids put on a Christmas concert on a Sunday evening, which was a joy to parents and people from the Coolshade church. Children sang songs and recited Scripture verses and short skits for those who came out.
There are several important needs which need to be highlighted. Anyone able to contribute towards these would be appreciated, as it is very hard for people in the area to get jobs, and most people are living on what they can sell of their own meager crops. For those that can find jobs, wages are very low, and the average income of someone with a job is rarely more than $90.00 - $140.00 per week, which makes it hard just to provide basic needs. As mentioned, the church is undergoing renovations to replace the wooden rafters and metal sheet roof with a concrete slab roof which is more durable during the hurricane season each year. The current rafters in the roof are over 40 years old and have rotted and been eaten by termites.
This has created a somewhat critical need, as during major hurricanes the church is considered a shelter and refuge for those lacking adequate protection from the winds in the area. Also, the housing structures owned by the pastor and his family that are a part of the mission/church property are in dire need of concrete and roof repairs. As the area is subject to extreme humidity during the rainy season, often followed by droughts in the winter/ spring seasons, this is hard on buildings as well as the people.
Some progress has been made on the church in the past year. Since I was there for a visit in September of 2017, work has begun on removing sections of the walls to make room for pillars, which have now been poured into the concrete forms (needed to hold up a much heavier concrete slab roof).
There are many other needs which could be mentioned and any contribution of any amount would be appreciated, as the amount of outside help is low for people living in the Coolshade area. It is a remote mountainous region and it often happens that only other poorer people living in the area are the ones who help with the needs. Most of the original missionaries who supported the work in earlier years have passed on and there are only a few people living outside of Jamaica sending any support.
The attached photos are of the December Christmas concert and church renovations.