Cooley July 2021 - Jamaica
Dear Ministry Partners,
Today was a banner day! We didn’t have as many as we anticipated for our first in-person service, but we did have seven, and they were very responsive to both the message and during our conversation after service. Given the culture here, and particularly the church culture, I expected to run into conflicts over church leadership and the charismatic gifts, and we probably will in the future, but not today! The Lord gave us at least a Sunday where everyone present was better than supportive; they were enthusiastic when I explained to them that we believe the Bible demands male pastoral leadership and that we believe we ought to rely entirely on the Bible, and not supposed private revelations, for truth.
Again, I thought we would have a bigger crowd, but I also expected that several would visit us just one time and then never look back once they understood what we believe. Today was, therefore, better than I could ever have imagined.
It might take someone who has ministered in a similar context to understand this next part, but I also explained as I spoke with the people after the service that one of the things we want to avoid in our church is people of different economic classes feeling unwelcome. I told them that we did not want people to feel judged because they don’t have the means to dress as formally as others. Most of the people there were obviously not totally
destitute and yet they responded, again, with enthusiasm.
It was pretty warm in our underground meeting place today because the power company didn’t get our new meter installed yet, but that will hopefully be remedied this week so that we can at least make people a little more comfortable next week. We’ve also got a little bit of signage to be finished so that our location can be recognized from the street. When we do, we may even get international visitors given that the church is, literally, not more than two blocks from the Sandals Resort Hotel.
We do have one significant prayer request. I’ve been thinking for the last month about how to make this appeal, but we need partners, and really several partners, who could come, help us to plant churches and train leaders. Pooled financial resources and cooperative effort, has the potential, in my opinion, for us to make a very significant impact in Jamaica. There may have been a time when Jamaica was evangelized, but if that’s true, it’s been generations ago. This Jamaica is far from evangelized, and even the churches that do preach the Gospel are compromising most of their other theology which, of course, undermines their evangelistic effort. There’s no place for legalism here, but for a spiritually mature couple with a solid biblical theology, patience, and a love for people and reaching out to them with the Gospel, Jamaica is a great place to be right now.
John & Tammy Cooley