Sunday, March 20, 2011

The original message....eternal life.

Sometimes life throws you a surprise and you reflect on it over and over again in your mind. Although this story is very sad, my reflection is the reality of eternal life. Let me start at the beginning.

On March 10th, Den went to pick up Irvin D. Clown and Uncle Marty at a meeting place where the pastor they had been working with in Kingston would bring them. They were with us for 5 days. Irvin D. Clown is no stranger to Jamaica. He has had ministry here over the years so he is an easy guest. There is no cultural adjustments when he is here. This was a special trip for him because he was able to bring a friend. Uncle Marty is 72 years old and had never flown before. He is a gem. We enjoyed having both of them with us for a few days. He just flowed with whatever was happening at the time and ministered with Irvin as though they had done it many times!

Irvin D. Clown's focal point in ministry is salvation. He has led thousands in a prayer of salvation and directed them to stay connected in the local church. He is a happy clown with a positive message. He has been a guest of ours over the years we served in the district office, pastored a church, and also on missions trips that we took from New England. Since we have been in Jamaica, Irvin has been with us twice. Our Bible College students have learned about children's ministry and especially clowning from Irvin.

Before Irvin's arrival, Denny had arranged for him to connect to Pastor Mullins in Hatfield. There would be ministry on Saturday, Sunday, and in the schools on Monday. When Irvin comes into a community, he doesn't sit in the church and wait for the children to come, he hits the road running, well at least making a lot of noise!

One of the special things about Irvin D. Clown is that he makes it easy for others to clown with him. Renee was trained by him! Our students are trained by him and he carries alot of luggage to outfit others!

On Saturday Irvin D. Clown, Uncle Marty, Lolli (Renee) and Den the videographer took off down the road from the church to "collect" children! Little did they know that Joshua would be one of the special guests on Saturday and then again on Sunday. Little did Pastor Mullins know that this would be the last time he would have contact with a special little guy called Joshua.

The services were great and exciting. It was all about the message....eternal life. I am not sure if Joshua was in one of the schools on Monday or not. I sure hope so! If he was, he felt loved by the clowns once again. There is just something about the love of Christ that people feel when ministers of all kinds come to Jamaica....even ministers that are clowns!

On Thursday of this week we received a tragic message from one of our students that is from Hatfield. Joshua was dead. Whoa...what? He met a tragic death when a gun was found and the bullet went straight to Joshua's heart. He was gone. Eternal life was his. We have learned that the church community reached out to his family immediately.

What a difference a week makes. Here today....Heaven tomorrow. There is so much to be said about reaching the children. There is so much to be said about Carpe Diem (seizing the day). There is so much to be said about reaching past the 4 walls of the church building. There is so much to be said about the effect of missions efforts made by people who sacrifice money, time, energy, care, compassion for another culture. There is so much to be said.

Click on the link for the article from the newspaper about Joshua's death.

Tragedy in Hatfield

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