School transport association prays for safety of children

School transport association prays for safety of children

Monday, January 20, 2020

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MEMBERS of the St Catherine School Transport Association on January 12 – start of the second week of the new school year – gathered at the Portmore Heart Academy in St Catherine where they put the nation's children before God in prayers.

Held under the theme 'Rescue the nation's children from the clutches of the enemy through prayer', tears flowed as some of those offering prayers spoke about the attacks children suffered in 2019 as well as the disregard shown to them by some motorists on the roads.

In addition to members of the association, mainly women, students from schools who use the service provided were joined by their parents, guardians, teachers and well-wishers in giving praise to the Almighty and asking for His protection as they prepared for another school term.

President of the association, Adrian Walker, said that the service was very fitting given the rate at which children were targeted by criminals last year.

“Every year we start off the school year with prayer. This year we wanted to do something different and put the nation's children to God. We realised that they have been attacked all of 2019 so we said we need to start the year right by putting them at the foot of the cross.

“What we normally do is select a church from one of our members to just sit and worship with them at the beginning of the year. This time around we said we are going to do our own thing, as in putting the programme together and inviting various churches to come on board. We believe that by putting God in everything, success will be reaped,” Walker told the Jamaica Observer.

He noted that most of the schools at the service were based in Portmore and principals and students from those school were in attendance.

“We transport mostly primary and infant school students,” said Walker.

Parents in attendance were grateful for the initiative and described it as a refreshing effort as the rate at which children were harmed last year was a cause for concern.

'I'm really appreciative of this church service. Children are a gift and throughout last year they were victimised way too many times,” one parent said.

“...Whenever I send my child to school I worry because they are being preyed on, so to be here today and dedicate them to the Almighty it gives us comfort,” said another parent.

Association member Camille Bourg, who was spiritual coordinator of the service, was happy with the turnout and level of praises and prayers that went up for the little ones.

Bourg, better known as Aunty Camille, has written on the back of her bus “Prayer Time #1”, which says a lot. She prays and worships with the children she transports daily to and from Glowell Preparatory School, Southborough Primary, Portmore Gospel Assembly Preparatory School, St John's College, Growing Minds, Portsmouth Primary, Christian Gardens Basic, and Portmore Missionary Prep.

Asked why she prays and ministers so often with the children she carries, Bourg said: “I love children and we help to instil discipline and values in them [as] they are the next world changers like Evangelist Billy Graham; Kathryn Kuhlman, American evangelist; Dr Ben Carson, neurosurgeon; former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller; like the founders of WhatsApp and Google; Usain Bolt; Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, among many others they can emulate,” said Bourg.

She said herself and assistant, Maxine Cole, who was spiritual advisor for the special service, encourage the children to have a relationship with their creator, through worship and prayer, and all they need to do is believe and trust God.

The idea to have the special service was conceptualised at a meeting of the association's directors on September 27, 2019, said Bourg.

Directors, she said, were concerned about the frequent abuse of children, adding that president Walker wants members to have the spirit of discernment as children are collected from their homes daily and they need to be able to recognise when they are hurting. Some, she said, don't know their father or mother; some are being molested by family members and friends.

Prayers also went up for the Government, parents and guardians, and the association itself.

According to Bourg, over the past 15 years she has been providing the service she has reserved her front seat for a child who is believed to be hurting. “I would put that child in that seat beside me and reason with that child. The Lord sent me Maxine to help take it to another level, and sometimes she takes them in her lap and pray for them.”

Bourg said it is emotional when a child being transported for all the years of primary school has to move on, “But we know that they carry a seed of knowing that there is a God, and all they need to do is have a relationship with Him.

Maxine and myself do celebrate with them when they get their schools of choice, and we are looking forward to celebrate with these nine now in Grade 6 who will be going to high school this year.

The St Catherine School Transport Association said it is hoping to make the church service an annual event.

Guest speaker at the service was Rev Marcus Williams, and among the other speakers were Kenute Hare, head of the Road Safety Unit, and Gloria Jack, principal of Glowell Preparatory School.

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