‘Ghetto’ pensioner gets brand new house

‘Ghetto’ pensioner gets brand new house

BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau cummingsm@jamaicaobserver.com GENEVA, Westmoreland

Thursday, February 13, 2014

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FOR more than 10 years Evereth Findley, 80, has been living under very difficult and deplorable conditions at his dilapidated house in a section of Geneva known as 'Ghettto'.

Over the years, the former cane cutter at the vast Frome Estate in Westmoreland, has been unable to effect meaningful repairs to the frail wooden structure, due mainly to his small savings and meager pension.

The dwelling, which had a dilapidated floor, leaky roof and broken windows and doors, was also home for Findley's wife and five children whose ages range from 13 to 18 years.

They now live elsewhere in Westmoreland, leaving the pensioner to battle the elements on his own.

But, Findley's existing living conditions will soon take a turn for better.

Late last month, the pensioner was handed the keys to a brand new house, following the intervention of Jamaica native Reverend Kevin Chantilou head of the Florida -based Kevin Chantilou Evangelical (KCE) Ministries International.

Findley is expected to start occupying the house later this month. According Rev Chantilou, he first met Findley in October 2012 during the hosting of his ministry's Bi-Annual Empowerment Conference at the New Life Community Church International in Grange Hill, Westmoreland.

"On one of the days of the conference a group was doing community evangelism in the Geneva area and upon reaching a certain distance in the community, I saw an elderly man coming out of the bushes and I began a conversation with him," said Rev Chantilou.

"He gave his name as Everett Findley and I gave him a hug even though he responded that he was dirty. During the conversation I asked him where he lives and he pointed at a house across the street. When I looked at the house I was in disbelief because the house was in a deplorable condition and not fit for a human to be living in," Rev Chantilou recalled.

He told the Jamaica Observer West that after taking a close look at the dwelling, he promised Findley that something would be done to assist him.

Upon arrival back home in the USA, Rev Chantilou said he decided that he would "turn the situation of Mr Findley into a project," hence the birth of Vision For Humanity (VFH), the charitable arm of his ministry, which is an affiliate of the Canadian District Council of Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.

As the vice- chairman of the council, Rev Chantilou said he asked and was granted permission to do a power point presentation on "Findley's case" at an executive meeting of the council in May last year.

"At the end of the presentation the Diocesan Bishop Dr Mark C Tolbert of Kansa City, Missouri, was touched and impressed, and without hesitation the Bishop set the tone by giving the first contribution and challenged the executive board of Pastors to follow," he told the Observer West.

"It was later agreed that the house would be built by the KCE Ministries International and the Canada District Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.

Dr Gosley Thomas, a Pastor and noted businessman in the Grange Hill community of Westmoreland was contracted by VFH to build the one -- bedroom house, which consists of a kitchen and bathroom facilities, for Findley.

At the recent handing over ceremony Findley held at Bullstrud in Westmoreland, Findley thanked Rev Chantilou for "keeping his word in assisting him with a proper house to live in," adding that he is now a happy man.

Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar Bertel Moore in his remarks at the ceremony, lauded VFH for providing much-needed help to Findley.

"People believe if Government don't make a move to help people it can't be done. What Vision For Humanity has done is an act showing that people can come together for a common cause. It is really commendable that natives of the land still consider the needy back home," the politician argued.

Bishop Dr Barrington Smith, Senior Pastor of Kingdom Life Ministries in Ontario, Canada and Chairman of the Canadian Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, in his greetings, pledged the council's continued support to VFH in its bid to give back to their homeland.


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