Adventist Possibility Ministries in Jamaica Brings Joy to Deaf Student Preparing for Exam

Inter-American Division

Adventist Possibility Ministries in Jamaica Brings Joy to Deaf Student Preparing for Exam

According to the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD), there are more than 30,000 people in Jamaica who live with a hearing impairment.

Jamaica | Nigel Coke

As the time draws near for students who will sit in at this year’s Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) examinations, one member of Jamaica’s Deaf community was overwhelmed with joy by the support she has received for her preparation.

On March 9, 2023, 18-year-old Emily Johnson, a student of the Lister Mair Gilby High School for the Deaf, received a much-needed laptop to help with her School-Based Assessment and studies.

The laptop was given to her at an Assistive Technology and Mental Health Symposium held at the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Manchester. It formed part of an annual Possibility Ministries Awareness week organized by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica under the theme “Reflecting the Beauty of Jesus.”

“I feel excited,” said Johnson through an interpreter, Lyvene McLeish. “I always wanted one and didn’t know how I would get it. There is SBA to be done, and it’s very hard for me because my school doesn’t have a computer to facilitate it, and my father, who doesn’t have a consistent job, cannot afford it. I am so grateful for this, and I thank God.”

Johnson will be tested on five subjects: mathematics, English language, information technology, human and social biology, and principles of accounting. Last year, she achieved success in English and mathematics at level 3 in the city and guild.

Lyneve McLeish and Emily Johnson [Photo by Nigel Coke]
Lyneve McLeish and Emily Johnson [Photo by Nigel Coke]

McLeish, who is a retired family social worker for the Jamaica Association for the Deaf and has worked with Johnson for some time now, described her as a very intelligent, knowledgeable person who reads a lot.

As an elder of the Portmore Seventh-day Adventist Deaf Church, of which Johnson is a baptized member since April 2021, McLeish said, “[Johnson] is highly intelligent and willing to share and does sign language very well. She reads a lot and participates in the activities of the church, and is always present at church and is rarely absent. She is also very involved in sports at school and can run very fast.”

Regina Johnson, vice principal of the Lister Mair Gilby High School for the Deaf, described the 18-year-old as “a good student who complies with all the policies of the school. She is very obedient and consistent with her school work.”

According to the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD), there are more than 30,000 persons in Jamaica who are either deaf or hearing impaired.

While most people refer to ministering to persons with a disability as Disability Ministries, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has decided on the nomenclature “Possibility Ministries,” which recognizes the potential, promises, possibilities, and life-changing, transformational outcomes that can take place when persons from the disabilities community are involved in the activities of the church and society.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division website.