The Cayman Brac community enjoyed its first health fair organised by the Adventist Church’s Community Services Department in collaboration with national and local private and public support.

Part of the team of 46 volunteers who travelled to Cayman Brac to participate in the weekend of community services activities. Forefront in blue shirt is Community Services Director Pastor Caple Thompson.

The large contingent of nearly 50 Grand Cayman volunteers joined forces with the Brac’s volunteers in a three-day community outreach programme during which they launched the health fair. The volunteers arrived on Friday evening, 16 June, and departed on Monday, 19 June.

“It was truly a collaborative effort involving businesses and individuals on the national and local levels and the many hardworking volunteers on both Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac,” said Associate Director Angela Hall. Coordinating the Cayman Brac volunteer effort leading up to the visit was Brac Community Services Leader Neila Jones.

The Associate Director especially noted the contribution of Brac MLAs and Cabinet Ministers, the Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and Deputy Premier Hon. Moses Kirkconnell, who jointly funded one night’s accommodation for the Grand Cayman’s contingent’s at the Brac’s Esperanza Guest House. She also thanked Esperanza’s Manager Rochelle Smith for special discount rates.

Then there was the Brac’s PWD that loaned tables and tents; on Grand Cayman, Foster’s and Cost-u-Less gave funds and goods. The Cancer Society contributed vouchers for free mammograms, eight of which were given out at the fair, and arranged free prostate cancer testing for nine men at the Faith Hospital.

Back to school supplies were distributed at the fair. Community Services volunteers Natalie Anderson and Janice Blackwood flank recipients.

The food and school supplies were additionally funded from the $2,535 raised at a Community Services’ garage sale and brunch on Grand Cayman in May, Mrs. Hall said.

The visit’s centerpiece, the health fair, was held at the parking lot of the Kirkconnell Market in Stake Bay. In addition to the provision of the vouchers for free mammograms and arrangements for free prostate cancer tests, the fair offered glucose, high blood pressure, and cholesterol checks; counselling and prayer sessions; an exhibit of natural cosmetics and remedies; massages; and a juice bar, and more.

 

The food distribution team with bags of supplies ready for distribution.

During the fair, 120 bags of groceries were distributed along with 40 school bags and supplies to assist parents as they prepare their children for the upcoming school year.

 

 

“We had thirty bags of groceries and twenty school bags and supplies remaining after the fair, and we left those behind for distribution in the Brac community by the Creek Church’s Community Services Leader,” Mrs. Hall added.

As a prelude to the fair, the joint Brac/Grand Cayman Community Services volunteers visited homes on Saturday to conduct a needs-assessment survey.   On the last day of the visit, further calls were made to Brac homes for food distribution.

 “We were very pleased with the welcome we received on Cayman Brac,” Mrs. Hall said, “everywhere we went Brackers opened their homes.  That, and the joy that showed on faces as we extended our services to them, made all the planning and hard work worthwhile.”

Commenting, Community Services Director Pastor Caple Thompson said: “The fair went very well, despite the weekend’s inclement weather,” adding: “while attendance at the fair had a slow start, it picked up in the afternoon when those who attended morning church services dropped by.”  Pastor Thompson hopes that this first joint event of its kind will become an annual event.

The director manned a prayer and counselling booth, along with Brac-based Pastor Moises Espinosa.

Manning an anti-drug abuse booth and exhibit, Ms Jewel Meekle, who is otherwise engaged in the busy role as Deputy Principal at Cayman Academy, explained the reasons

Community Services Volunteer Jewel Meikle (back on) explains anti-drug abuse information and strategies to a young visitor to her booth

she thought that her participation in this event was so important: “Faith without works is dead,” she said. “The weekend activities offered an opportunity to witness outside of the church, and I believe that Christ does not like just ‘talk’, so I value these opportunities to be what a Christian should be.”Ms Meikle and her team counselled a total of around ten teens and adults about the dangers of drug use and abuse.

 

 

Another team, headed by Ms Simone Richards, dispensed advice on the subject of teenage pregnancies.

Volunteers Simone Richards (left) and Shenoya Evans Luggs with a teen at the counselling booth dealing with some of the serious concerns facing young girls.

The grocery distribution team, drawn from Kings and Newlands churches, was headed by Mrs. Stephanie Jackson, who said that she was motivated by a desire “to touch people’s lives” and to share her message of hope springing from her religious experience.  “I enjoy the different reactions and expressions as we touch lives,” she said.

One example related by Mrs. Jackson was an encounter with someone who was obviously drunk and who confessed that he was a drug addict.  When she explained the transforming power of a relationship with Jesus Christ, he willingly agreed to be taken over to the counselling booth, she said.

 

Volunteer Patricia Solomon (right) shares information on cosmetics that can be made from natural ingredients, such as coconut oil, baking soda, lemon juice, among many commonly available household grocery goods.

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