THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
JAMAICA WELCOMES SOUTH AMERICAN TOURISTS—07/18/09
Travel agents and journalists have come to Jamaica as the Tourism Ministry enhances its efforts to expand the market in South America. According to Wayne Sterling, marketing representative with Jamaica’s Tourism Board, familiarization visits from South Americans are critical in raising arrivals on the island during the global economic recession, which has negatively impacted the urge of North Americans for travel.
GAY PEOPLE IN JAMAICA LIVE IN FEAR FOR THEIR LIVES—07/19/09
In spite of the image promoted by Jamaica’s tourist boards, gay people on the island say that Jamaica is the most hostile place for homosexuals in the conservative Caribbean region. Particularly in poorer communities, gays are victims of frequent abuse and violence and have little legal recourse because of the sodomy law that bans gay sex in Jamaica and 10 other former British colonies in the area.
JERMAINE JACKSON SAYS NO PERFORMANCE IN JAMAICA SLATED—07/20/09
Jermaine Jackson, member of the Jackson 5 singing group and Michael Jackson’s brother, says that he and his surviving brothers Marlon, Randy, and Tito, will not be reuniting for a tribute to Michael and performing at Reggae Sumfest in Jamaica. A report from TMZ said the brothers would perform at the event.
POLICE LOOK FOR JUVENILE ESCAPEES—07/20/09
A search for three male juveniles who escaped from the Frome Police jail is underway. The teenagers are from Westmoreland and were being held on serious criminal charges. The escapees, Dwayne Clarke, 16, Aaron Ramsey, 17, and Hugh Collins, 17, have been charged with crimes including illegal firearm possession, rape, robbery, indecent assault, and murder.
FINANCE MINISTER OUTLINES BORROWING RELATIONSHIP—07/21/09
Audley Shaw, Jamaica’s Finance Minister, plans to outline his government’s resumption of a “borrowing relationship” with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Prime Minister Bruce Golding had previously indicated to Parliament that Jamaica’s return to the IMF was likely to occur because of the global financial crisis, worries about the island’s balance of payments, and pressures on Net International Reserves.
SUMFEST TO IMPLEMENT RECYCLING—07/22/09
Carreras Ltd. plans to sponsor receptacles to collect plastic bottles at the 2009 Reggae Sumfest in an effort to facilitate recycling participation at high-profile public events. The initiative follows the success of similar efforts at the 2009 Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. The recycling program is jointly operated together with the Protect the Environment Trust. Plastic bottles that are collected will be shredded for export.
IMF: JAMAICA CAN APPLY FOR AS MUCH AS 600 PERCENT OF QUOTA—07/23/09
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Jamaica could be charged about 1.31 percent on US$1.2 billion in loans requested from the agency and have up to five years to repay the amount. Jamaican can borrow as much as twice the proposed US$1.2 billion proposed by the government on the basis of revised IMF guidelines.
HOLNESS TO INTRODUCE PERFORMANCE-BASED CONTRACTS—07/24/09
Education Minister Andrew Holness reports that the Jamaican government will introduce performance-based contracts for principals in order to eliminate illiteracy at the primary level. Although he didn’t say when the contracts would be implemented, Holness stated that they were necessary because he was unsatisfied with the quality of leadership in several island schools.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN-OWNED FIRM OPENS FRANCHISE IN GEORGIA—07/18/09
Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, a Jamaican-owned food distribution and production firm with headquarters in New York, plans to expand the franchise to Atlanta, Georgia. Anthony Johnson, Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, will deliver a keynote address and cut the ribbon at opening ceremonies at the fourth Golden Krust restaurant in Atlanta on July 18.
JAMAICAN PRODUCTION TO PLAY TORONTO, MIAMI—07/20/09
In 2006, “The Harder They Come, the Musical” opened on London as an adaptation of the film script by Perry Henzell. After three successful tours in Britain, the production is set to open in Toronto. Justine Henzell, Perry Henzell’s daughter and co-founder and producer of the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica, is credited with being the story editor for the show. After Toronto, the musical will travel to Miami for a two-week engagement.
ROCKLAND, NEW YORK TO CELEBRATE JAMAICAN INDEPENDENCE—07/21/09
Jamaicans in Rockland, New York, will commemorate the independence of the homeland with a memorial cricket match, dinner, and church service, among other events. The Jamaican Civic and Cultural Association of Rockland will begin the anniversary celebration on August 1, 2009, marking the 47th year of independence for Jamaica.
WASHINGTON EMBASSY KEEPS JAMAICANS INFORMED—07/22/09
The Jamaican Embassy in Washington, DC, plans to keep Jamaican organizations informed about developments on the island and the government’s work via a series of quarterly meetings. Leaders of groups in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, and Washington, DC participated in the first gathering by meeting with Anthony Johnson, Jamaican Ambassador to the United States
JAMAICAN WOMEN LIKELY TO REPEAT OLYMPIC-LIKE SWEEP IN BERLIN—07/18/09
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser, Sherone Simpson, and Kerron Stewart are ready to repeat their performance from the Beijing Olympics in 2008, sweeping the top three places in the 100-meter final at the Berlin World Championships. In Beijing, the Jamaican women achieved the first-time-in-history rankings in a little under 11 seconds.
YOHAN BLAKE IS THIRD FASTEST JAMAICAN—07/20/09
Jamaican Yohan Blake, 19, has provided two under-10-second performances in the 100 meters in the Jamaican World Championships. He became the third fastest Jamaican man in the 100 meters with a personal best of 9.93 seconds, but finished in sixth place in the Championships, leaving him as an alternative sprinter for the relays.
JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM CHOOSES OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS—07/21/09
Jamaica’s world-renown bobsled team has agreed to make the Savage Beagle bar its “official team headquarters” during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Whistler, Canada. Team members report they will be “partying” at the Savage Beagle next February 12-28 every night. The establishment hopes that the team’s endorsement will enhance its popularity during the games.
JAMAICAN WOMEN COULD WIN TWO MEDALS IN 400 METERS IN BERLIN—07/22/09
Jamaica’s women runners could win two medals in the 400-meter matches at the Berlin World Championships in August 2009. In 2007, Novlene Williams-Mills won a bronze medal in the 400 meters at the IAAF WORLD Championships in Japan, while Shericka Williams won a silver medal in the 400 meters at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
How Does the Line of Your Perspective Fall?
“And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:19-20, KJV).
Christians who live by the horizontal perspective will invariably miss the workings of God in their day to day experiences. For most of us, this is where we live. In a culture where, despite words to the contrary, we take credit for our accomplishments and blame others for our disappointments/failures, we seem naturally predisposed to this perspective. From here we see people and things, and because they’re so much a part of the social environment with which we interact, we link them to our experiences. They either caused something good or bad to happen to us, or prevented something good or bad from happening to/for us.
Most readers will recognize our reference text as coming from the culmination of the story of Joseph. This story with its many twists and turns can be found in chapters 37-50 of Genesis, and for those not familiar with it, I would recommend its reading for a “front seat” view of one of the most amazing Biblical narratives. However, as we travel with Joseph, we see a son who was favored by his father and the object of much jealousy by his eleven brothers. Thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, accused of sexual harassment and attempted rape, thrown into prison, interpreted a couple of dreams successfully, interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams successfully, released from prison, made governor of Egypt, and finally had oversight of affairs during the predicted seven-year drought. His life came full circle, so to speak, when during the famine his brothers came to Egypt, not knowing who he was as they believed him to be dead, in search of wheat. As predicted in his youthful dreams, which partially provoked the jealousy, they “bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth” (42:6)
The vertical perspective – “God did send me before you to preserve life.” Joseph knew enough to recognize that all along the way, the events in his life were orchestrated by God, for His purpose. Along the pathways through every hurt, every disappointment, and every betrayal, the eyes of God never left him. So as his brothers stood before him in fear of revenge, Joseph assured them, “ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Couldn’t God have done it differently? Sure He could have, but as He told us through Isaiah, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways … For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (55:8,9).
Because God doesn’t always do things the way we think He should, it is difficult to appreciate that maybe some of the disappointments and hurts we experience are part of His plan for our lives. But ask Joseph, Job, and some of the “heroes of faith” whose lives and characters were fashioned through difficult circumstances. Instead of harboring negative feelings and emotions and asking “Why?”, “Why Me?”, how about resting in God’s Sovereignty? There we can rest assured that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
As you struggle with your respective situations, what perspective are you taking?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.