THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
FIVE GIRLS DIE IN JUVENILE DETENTION FIRE—05/23/09
Five teenaged girls lost their lives in a fire at the Armadale Juvenile Center in St. Ann parish. Police were called to investigate a disturbance among inmates, and during their investigation, a fire damaged a portion of the lockup, and some of the girls were trapped inside. Some 12 other girls were taken to the hospital with burns.
UNIVERSITY STUDENTS DISAGREE WITH FUNDING REGULATION—05/24/09
University students are opposed to the government’s decision to regulate funding via the Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB) in order to ensure that more students focus their studies on areas deemed critical to the development of the nation.
BUSTAMANTE MUSEUM ARTIFACTS NOT INSURED—05/25/09
The Bustamante Museum, which is home to a multimillion-dollar collection of memorabilia related to former Prime Minister Sir Alexander Bustamante, is not covered by insurance. According to Nora Strudwick, project manager at the Museum, the collection of letters, photos, regalia, and other things is at risk due to lack of funding, which has also hampered adequate fire and security plans.
GROUP GIVES AT-RISK YOUTH HOPE—05/25/09
The Boulevard Baptist Church’s skills training program has given many at-risk youth in Kingston the chance to change their lives. In a search for hope, Anthony Smith, 25, enrolled in the program after his father and brother were killed in violent incidents via the HEART Trust/NTA organization and has completely turned his life around. The project, which currently has 70 participants, began in 1982 and targets at-risk individuals who need job skills.
GUESTS AT MILK RIVER HOTEL SAVED BY BOAT—05/26/09
Louise and Milton Chance were celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary at the Milk River Hotel and Spa in Clarendon, but heavy rains interrupted their plans by causing the Milk River to overflow its banks. The couple, 11 additional guests, and two staff members were left marooned at the remote resort. The guests were transported from the area by boat.
DISPUTES OVER TRADE CAUSES BAD FEELINGS AMONG CARICOM NATIONS—05/27/09
Manufacturers in some Caribbean nations want regional governments to resolve trade disputes more quickly. These disputes are hampering the free flow of goods across some of the borders of CARICOM. Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Associations issued a joint statement stating their concern over outstanding regional trade issues.
JAMAICAN GANGS SCAM AMERICANS WITH LOTTERY—05/28/09
Residents of the United States sent over $30 million to Jamaica in 2008 in order to claim their winnings in a Jamaican lottery, despite the fact that there is no such lottery. Jamaica is becoming the center of internationally famous lottery scams. This puts more money into drug and gun trafficking, say Jamaican authorities, since a network of gangs uses lottery monies to invest in these areas.
DAMAGES FOR FAMILY OF WOMAN WHO DIED ON HOSPITAL FLOOR—05/29/09
The family of Esmin Green, the 49-year-old Jamaican immigrant who died on the floor of an American hospital after being ignored by staff, has settled a wrongful death suit against New York City for US$2 million. Green’s death and the hospital’s negligence were caught on videotape at the Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA WINDS SILVER GILL AT CHELSEA FLOWER EXHIBIT—05/23/09
The entry by the Jamaica Horticultural Society to the 2009 Chelsea Flower Show in London has won the Show’s second highest award, the Silver Gill Medal. The society’s entry is called “New Season” and features a broad range of plants, fruits, tree pods, and seeds from the island.
JAMAICANS EXTRADITED FROM U.S. ON DRUG CHARGES—05/28/09
Two alleged members of the Shower Posse gang in Jamaica have been extradited to the United States. Tonya Brown, 36, and David Stewart, 34, are believed to be members of the notorious drug ring. They will face charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA AID EDUCATION AT HOME—05/29/09
Jamaicans who live abroad are being encouraged to help the education system on the home island through a new initiative from the Jamaica Partnership for Education (JPE). A partnership effort by the Jamaica National Building Society and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) established the joint project as a “self-sustaining tool” for the advancement of national development.
SAMUDA WORKS TO SEE JAMAICA BECOME MORE COMPETITIVE—05/29/09
Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce for Jamaica, plans to learn from the business development experiences of Canada during a visit to that nation. He wants to find ways that will help the island become more competitive.
STEWART GOAL GIVES JAMAICA A TIE WITH HAITI—05/23/09
During an international match between Haiti and Jamaica, the island’s Damion Stewart made a goal in the 88th minute to give Jamaica a 2-2 tie with Haiti. Stewart made a shot past Haiti’s goalkeeper Peterson Occenat to score, tying the match in which Haiti had led 2-1 on the strength of a goal made in the 65th minute.
RUDDOCK ENDS JUNIOR YEAR WITH 100-METER WIN—05/24/09
Natasha Ruddock, former sprint hurdler at St. Jago High, has ended her junior college year by winning the 100-meter hurdles in the final day of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Track and Field Championships at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. She ran the course in 13.45 seconds to retain her title. Ruddock will attend Texas A&M University in August 2009.
CAMPBELL-BROWN WINS SHORT SPRINT AT FLORIDA MEET—05/25/09
Veronica Campbell-Brown, Olympic champion, won the short sprint at a meet in Florida with the help of the wind, clocking 10.81 seconds one week in advance of the Reebok Grand Prix in New York. The win marks Campbell-Brown’s first victory since being sidelines for over a month due to an inflamed toe.
BOLT”S OPPONENTS SET—05/26/09
Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world and an Olympic gold medalist, will face five other Olympians and three under-ten-second rivals at the Festival of Excellence at the University of Toronto in Canada on June 11, 2009. Shawn Crawford, 2004 Olympic gold medalist, is expected to be Bolt’s chief contender at the meet.
Baring the Soul
When was the last time you told God how you really felt? Not the last time you spoke to Him, but the last time you bared your soul and told Him exactly how you felt? It seems every time someone is asked “How are you?”, a “I am fine” or something similar is guaranteed. We have become very good at masking our feelings, our innerselves, and unfortunately we take that into our relationship with God as well. Sure we talk to Him at different times but how many of those prayers were petitions for things on our laundry list of needs? If we didn’t have physical and/or material needs that we have to rely on Him to meet, would we find a reason to talk to God?
These thoughts came to mind as I read David’s cry, “Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak” (Psalm 6:2a, KJV), and it occurred to me that we could just as easily substitute a number of words in place of “weak”. For starters, how about “worried”, “frustrated”, “angry”, “discouraged”, “fearful”, “troubled”, “overwhelmed”, “heartbroken”? For some of us, these are emotions that often go unacknowledged in our prayer times because we fail to realize and appreciate that God cares about how we feel. This is even more important in these challenging economic times when despite our best intentions we find ourselves troubled by life’s uncertainties. However, regardless of whatever emotions we experience, we can rest assured that “As parents feel for their children, GOD feels for those who fear [H]im. He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we’re made of mud” (Psalm 103:13-14, The Message). In other words, nothing about what we feel or the way we feel will surprises Him.
Someone may ask: “If nothing surprises Him why do we need to tell Him still?” One of the characteristics of functional relationships is vulnerability, the state of being vulnerable or exposed. In our natural relationships we want the people we care about to “expose” themselves to us when they are having those valley experiences that seem to sap their mental, emotional, and physical resources. Truth be told, we are hurt if they do not trust us enough to share those difficult times. It is that same kind of open relationship that God desires to have with us; one in which we trust Him enough to tell Him not only what is going on with us, but exactly how we feel.
From personal experience I can assure you that there is no greater balm for the soul than to bare our soul to the one who invites us to do so. The next time you speak with your Father, why not give it a try?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.