THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
AGRICULTURAL ORGANIZATION FOCUSED ON HELPING FARMERS—12/27/08
The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) is implementing programs and devising others designed to help farmers on the island produce, market, and sell their goods more effectively. Senator Norman Grant, president of the JAS, believes the strategies will improve food security and eventually raise Jamaica’s farm production.
RESIDENTS RETURN TO CRIME-RIDDEN AREAS—12/28/08
Jamaicans are returning to their neighborhoods two weeks after gang violence forced them to leave their homes near Kingston. According to Monsignor Richard Albert, chairman of a crime prevention group in Gravel Heights and Tredegar Park, some people are moving back since the gunfire has stopped, and things are getting back to normal. Feuding among armed gangs forced over 200 residents to leave on December 10.
ENTERTAINER WHO CREATED BOLT’S VICTORY DANCE KILLED—12/29/08
The Jamaican entertainer who created the dance moves performed by Usain Bolt after his victories at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was shot and killed in a bar in Kingston. David Alexander Smith, also known as “ice,” was killed after a brawl. Robbery was a possible motive for the crime, say police. Smith created the “Gully Creepa” dance move used by Bolt at the Olympics.
BUS COMPANY PROFITS IMPACTED BY ILLEGAL BUS OPERATIONS—12/29/08
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), the bus company operated by the government, is losing about US$1.25 million every month because to illegal buses. According to Michael Henry, Minister of Transport and Works, his agency will examine the situation and report to the Cabinet about how to address this problem. Among the possible solutions are amendments to the Road Traffic Act.
GUNS, AMMUNITION HIDDEN IN TELEVISIONS SEIZED BY AUTHORITIES—12/30/08
Danville Walker, Customs Commissioner, reports the seizure of high-powered weapons and many rounds of ammunition. The guns and ammo were found concealed in television sets in a van at a Kingston port. New scanning equipment aided agents in finding the weapons. The origin of the weapons is still unknown.
VINCENT FORD, JAMAICAN SONGWRITER, DEAD AT 68—12/31/08
Vincent Ford, the Jamaican songwriter credited with writing “No Woman, No Cry,” the Bob Marley classic, died at a hospital in Kingston of complications from diabetes. Trench Town where both Ford and Marley lived during the 1960s inspired the song.
GOLDING DESCRIBES NEW POLICIES FOR 2009—01/01/08
Prime Minister Bruce Golding says that there will be intense conversations between government, unions, and the private sector as they try to develop new policies that will move Jamaica safely through the global economic downturn. The discussions will coincide with the preparation of the 2009-2010 budget.
THREE DIE IN NEW YEAR’S ACCIDENT—01/02/08
Three people died in a road accident in St. Elizabeth on the Brompton main road. Two others were hospitalized. According to authorities, the driver of a Mitsubishi Lancer lost control and hit the left side of a truck. The driver of the Lancer was killed, along with two men from Goshen.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN WOMAN TO BE JUDGE IN U.S.—12/29/08
Gail Chang Bohr has been elected judge in the Ramsey County District Court in Minnesota.
Bohr, 64, was born in Jamaica and was a St. Andrew High School head girl. Her parents owned and operated Chang’s Emporium, one of the first supermarkets in Jamaica. She moved to the U.S. in 1962 and attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and then worked for 19 years in social work. Bohr started law school in 1987 because she felt a law degree would enhance her abilities as an advocate for children and families. Bohr has served as executive director of the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota since 1995.
JAMAICANS SENT HOME FROM FARM IN CANADA—12/30/08
Pearnel Charles, Minister of Labor and Social Security, will investigate what happened to cause 18 Jamaican workers who had been employed on a mushroom farm in Ontario, Canada, to be repatriated under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. In addition to the Jamaicans, a total of over 70 workers were sent home, and union representatives believe Rolland Farms, the employer, fired these workers. Rolland Farms says it is restructuring its business due to economic pressures.
JAMAICAN FINED FOR TRANSPORTING DRUGS—12/31/08
Kevon Anthony Campbell, a Jamaican “drug mule,” was convicted in Antigua and fined $300,000 for trying to import drugs. Campbell pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis, as well as to importation of a drug and possession with the intent to transfer.
JAMAICAN STRIKER FACES PROBLEM AFTER BRAWL IN UK—01/01/08
Ricardo Fuller, Jamaica’s Stoke City striker, will face disciplinary action after an attack on one of his teammates during a loss in the English Premier League. Fuller and his captain had a heated exchange during the match and Fuller was ejected for violent conduct.
GAYLE LIFTS WINDIES TO VICTORY—12/27/08
Chris Gayle led the West Indies team to an important victory with the first-ever “super over” was use to break a tie for the first Twenty20 International against New Zealand. Gayle achieved three huge sixes in the decisive super over, leaving the field to a standing ovation.
NIGERIA, JAMAICA COULD REACH AGREEMENT ON MATCH—12/31/08
An agreement is close to being finalized between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Jamaican Football Federation concerning a proposed international friendly match between the nations’ senior national teams in February 2009. Both organizations have corresponded to make sure the agreement is finalized before February 11. Jamaica approached the NFF after Ghana decided to play Egypt in Accra on the same day.
WALLACE WANTS TO JOIN TEAM—01/01/08
Gavin Wallace, former Jamaica Under-19 representative, hopes the regional selectors will notice him at the West Indies Cricket Board four-cay championship. Wallace was one of two specialist spinners named to the Jamaican team. Although he is a newcomer, Wallace says he has relevant experience, since he represented the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) team last season.
CHANDERPAUL MAY NOT PLAY IN CRUCIAL MATCH—01/02/08
Shivnarine Chanderpaul will have to wait until the day of the second one-day international (ODI) in Queenstown, New Zealand, to find out if he can play. Chanderpaul missed the opening ODI because he has a hand injury. He has been receiving treatment, but a determination of his fitness to play will be made just prior to the match.
Get Him Involved
Moses was in a bit of a quandary. The LORD had given him a new mission but had not provided much details. They were now together in the tabernacle, with the LORD speaking “unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11, KJV). The narrative provides an insight into the dialogue, “And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? ” (vv.12-16a).
While a proper exegesis of this portion of text is outside of our scope, it is important to note that Moses had his priorities right. He fully recognized that going anywhere without the presence of God among them was not worth doing, and he even had the tenacity to tell the LORD that if His presence was not going to be with them, He shouldn’t bother carrying them. Centuries later, Solomon, the wisest of men, would reaffirm the importance of God being in the midst when he wrote, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psalm 127:1). Nothing that is worth accomplishing can be accomplished effectively without the LORD being a part of it.
As we stand at the beginning of a new year, what better thought to take with us as our guide for the rest of the year? Except the LORD build our lives, our relationships, our families, our businesses, our homes, our careers, we who strive to build them ourselves, do so in vain. Dare we say like Moses, if your presence is not going to be a part of what we’re doing, we’re not going to do it! This is not a bout of arrogance, but one of realizing our utmost dependency on God to guide our steps.
As we look back on the global economic crisis and other turmoils of 2008, how could we go into 2009 without the LORD on our side? As we face an uncertain future, it is a tremendous reassurance to know that we can talk with the one who knows the future and all that it holds, and even more importantly, He invites us to trust Him to lead the way. “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” Don’t make the mistake of doing anything without Him being a part of it; make sure He’s involved, and wait until you’re sure that He is. That requires a relationship, one of transparency between you and the LORD. Have you checked on the status of that lately?
To you and yours, God’s very best for 2009.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.