‘God is LARGE and still in charge’

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Gareth Davis Gleaner Writer J. Em­mette Weir Con­trib­u­tor fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­erjm.com

OSTONY HILL, Port­land: NE OF the first things that Morde­cai Pat­ter­son, a Sev­enth-day Ad­ven­tist Chris­tian at Bound­brook will tell you, is that God is large and still in charge, which ac­cord­ing to him, is the mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor be­hind his religious jour­ney.

Pat­ter­son, who hails from one of the most de­pressed com­mu­ni­ties of Stony Hill in Port­land, has been ex­posed to ha­rass­ment, ridicule, and threats, all of which he takes with a smile, with­out any thought of re­tal­i­a­tion.

“I am too blessed to be stressed. As far as I am con­cerned, vi­o­lent and trou­ble­some per­sons ex­isted cen­turies ago, and that will not stop un­til the good Lord comes. I try not to be an­gered or both­ered by what peo­ple say, as they, too, have a right to their opin­ion. But with each pass­ing day, some of those same per­sons have calmed down and we are now get­ting along much bet­ter. My Chris­tian val­ues and at­ti­tude al­ways pay off, and I re­late OUR SCRIP­TURE read­ing this morn­ing in the midst of this very busy hur­ri­cane sea­son comes to us from the Gospel ac­cord­ing to St Matthew: to them about the love of Je­sus Christ to­wards mankind,” Pat­ter­son told Fam­ily and Re­li­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to Pat­ter­son, who has held the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing head dea­con on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, his Chris­tian be­liefs have as­sisted him greatly all over, which of­ten­times makes the dif­fer­ence be­tween peace and con­flict. His com­mit­ment to Je­sus Christ has cre­ated in him a con­science, a kind heart and a car­ing at­ti­tude.

But while Pat­ter­son has cre­ated a good im­pres­sion on those dis­play­ing an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour, his great­est as­set is prob­a­bly be­ing able to en­cour­age back­slid­ing mem­bers to re­turn to the fold, while ex­plain­ing to them that the out­side world has no hope to of­fer them in this life or the one to come.

“I was never born a Chris­tian, and I was once a fre­quent vis­i­tor to the rum bar. How­ever, more than 30 years ago, I had an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence, which pointed me straight to Je­sus Christ, and I have never re­turned to my sin­ful state since. The point that I am try­ing to make is that if I was able to ac­cept Christ as my per­sonal Saviour, then any­one can change. Pray­ing earnestly is a di­rect con­nec­tion to God, and He is a good lis­tener.”

These days, Pat­ter­son’s love for God has pro­pelled him to join the men’s choir at Bound­brook Sev­enth-day Ad­ven­tist church, a de­ci­sion, which even to­day, still baf­fles his wife, Thelma, as her hus­band has al­ways been on the shy side, es­pe­cially as it re­lates to singing with an au­di­ence present.

PHOTO BY GARETH DAVIS

Morde­cai Pat­ter­son, a Seven­th­day Ad­ven­tist Chris­tian. UN­FOR­GET­TABLE EX­PE­RI­ENCE

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