‘The Church should adopt a child’

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Orantes Moore Gleaner Writer fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­erjm.com

ANNOTTO BAY, St Mary: HAV­ING WORKED as an ed­u­ca­tor for the past 18 years, Cor­dia Wong loves to help chil­dren and teenagers, but her in­ter­est in young peo­ple ex­tends way be­yond the con­fines of the class­room, where she teaches his­tory and so­cial stud­ies at the Annotto Bay High School in St Mary.

Wong ap­pears to be equally pas­sion­ate and con­cerned about the fu­ture and be­lieves that if the na­tion is to de­velop and pro­duce a new gen­er­a­tion of con­fi­dent, cog­nisant, and com­pe­tent young lead­ers, more stu­dents should be ex­posed to The Church.

She told Fam­ily and Re­li­gion: “I’m a Sev­enth-Day Ad­ven­tist, and although I’m not a min­is­ter, min­is­ter­ing is a part of my role as a teacher, and if it wasn’t for my re­li­gious be­liefs, I don’t think I would still be teach­ing. That’s what gets me go­ing and mo­ti­vated.

“As a par­ent, I don’t want to hit out at fam­i­lies, but I re­ally don’t think they are do­ing enough to prop­erly so­cialise their chil­dren. The crime rate can­not be fixed un­less chil­dren re­alise that cer­tain things are wrong, and there are cer­tain moral laws they just don’t know. The Church teaches not just wrong and right, but to also ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for your ac­tions.

YOUNG PEO­PLE

Wong added “One thing I love, and I’m not just talk­ing about in my church, is to see young peo­ple so in­volved that they don’t have time to get caught up in neg­a­tive ac­tiv­i­ties. I think young peo­ple who are a part of the Church work harder, get into fewer prob­lems, and are more likely to end up in univer­sity.”

The 40-year-old mother of two in­sists that even though her mis­sion to spread Je­sus’ gospel is pri­mar­ily tar­geted at young adults and chil­dren, she is hope­ful of at­tract­ing some par­ents too.

“I think as a church, what we need to do is adopt a child,” Wong said. “For ex­am­ple, I don’t just take my two chil­dren to church. I say to my neigh­bour: ‘Please get your child ready, I will be re­spon­si­ble for them to­day.’ If you were to take a head­count at my church on a Sab­bath morn­ing, three-quar­ters of the chil­dren are non-Ad­ven­tists from the com­mu­nity.

“Some­times you can’t reach the par­ents be­cause they are stub­born and stuck in their ways, but we can reach more chil­dren and get them to un­der­stand that we are here to make them into bet­ter men and women who are able to func­tion ef­fec­tively in so­ci­ety, and not only con­trib­ute, but be­come na­tion builders and role mod­els.

“But the truth is, I don’t just want chil­dren in the Church. I want par­ents to be a part of it. We can start by targeting chil­dren, but to fix the prob­lems in our so­ci­ety, we need to reach the par­ents. I have to tar­get the par­ents so they can shape the chil­dren from home and then we can do the rest at school.”

WONG

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