Helping Hungry People
Have you ever been really hungry? Have you ever had to go one whole day with no food? What about two or three days? days? How would you feel? What would you do?
On the small island of Jamaica in the Caribbean Sea there are hungry people—boys and girls, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. From day to day they never know if or when they would get something to eat.
Making a Difference
But one day a small group of Seventh-day Adventists decided to help the hungry people. They started by giving out some packed lunches one day a week to needy people in the capitol city of Kingston. More and more people started coming, and soon they were giving out hundreds of lunches. They bought an old building right by the Hero’s Circle Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kingston. Then they fixed up the old building and called it the Good Samaritan Inn.
God has really blessed the Good Samaritan Inn, and now they serve hot lunches three times a week to more than 900 people. That means every year they serve 48,000 free lunches! The people are very happy because now they know they can always get a good hot meal at the Good Samaritan Center.
They can also take a shower, get their hair cut, and wash their clothes at the Inn. And there are even beds for mothers and children to spend the night when they are having a hard time.
Janiel, 12, is very happy for the Good Samaritan Inn. “They help me with so many things,” she says. “I have six sisters and two brothers. We started coming here when we didn’t have a roof over our heads. They gave us food and clothing. They help us by giving us school uniforms and a bag with supplies and books!”
When she’s not in school, Janiel likes helping to serve lunch to the people. She says that what she likes most about the Inn is that “it makes us loving. When they are preaching and talking about God, it is so interesting. And sometimes they make us laugh! And the food is good too.”
Olivia is 11 years old and she has been coming to the Good Samaritan Inn with her mother and sisters for seven years. She especially likes the Christmas programs and learning about God. She was recently baptized at the Hero’s Circle Seventh-day Adventist Church. “If it wasn’t for God,” she says, “I wouldn’t be in school, or wake up this morning, or have a roof over my head.”
Nema and her mother first came to the Inn when Nema was a teen. “Once you walk through the gates, you can leave your problems behind, because in here it’s a new start!” Nema says. “It’s a place of worship and peace, and a place to get help. This place has become a home, a family, a rescue! Before I came here, I was really shy, but coming here allows you to come out of your shell. You get to talk with people, and talk with God, and learn what He can do for you.”
A Requirement Turned to Happiness
Shade first came to the Good Samaritan Inn because “serving others” was one of her Pathfinder requirements. But she enjoyed it so much, she just keeps coming back. “I feel great!” she says. “I love helping the children and the older people, too. I help serve food, play games with them, and sometimes wash their hair.”
Shade also leads a prayer circle for children her age, and tells us about an experience she had: “This girl was telling me about some of her problems—and they were similar to mine. We prayed for her in my prayer circle and started crying with her. It made me feel cared about and happy that I could be there.”
You can also help the children at the Good Samaritan Inn. There is going to be a dental clinic at the Inn, and this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help buy a dental chair that will be used just for children. You can help by bringing your special offering this Thirteenth Sabbath. Thank you!