On Sunday, religious leaders and members made their presence felt through the village of Rose Hill in Saint Patrick, as the Alliance of Evangelical Churches (AEC) aimed to provide spiritual intervention in the parish.
This initiative followed two cases of suicide in Rose Hill during the month of April, one in another community (Mt Rose) in May and subsequent reports of an attempted suicide in the same parish, all male individuals.
Pastor Dave King, who pastors and lives in Saint Patrick, said this initiative is the church doing its part in society to bring comfort and words of hope to the villagers.
Last Friday, there were also reports of a suicide in Saint David.
During a media conference last Wednesday (June 24), President of AEC Pastor Devon Rachae, said the recent suicides are cause for concern.
He shared his opinion that there may be underlying spiritual concerns. “When you have spiritual issues sometimes they are manifested in the physical and as such we see the need to deal with such from a multi-faceted type of approach which would begin with the need to look at the spiritual dimension,” he explained.
Pastor Rachae added that there is also a need to look at the phycological dimension and other areas causing a level of hopelessness.
Also last Saturday from 7am to 9am, the AEC engaged in “United Prayers for Saint Patrick.”
Chairman of Elderly Association, Dianne Roberts, said the “vision is to combine forces, strengths, and resources and to go in one voice seeking and calling on the name of God to have his kingdom that is declared in Heaven for our parish to be manifested on earth in the various communities.”
She added, “We are hoping to seek the hearts and lives of the people of Saint Patrick changed and to turn to Jesus because we know this is our only hope.”
Pastor King noted that apart from these initiatives, churches within the parish have been giving tangible help to villagers.
Sunday’s walk through concluded with a worship session at the playing field.
Noting that persons across the country may be negatively impacted by the challenges of COVID-19, Pastor King said religious leaders must now consider how they can reach out to other communities and parishes to bring cheer to the people.
Part of the strategic plan of the AEC is to establish a commission of qualified Christian counselors, which it hopes to launch by August 2020.