Hunger is a wicked thing,” says Joy, a client at the Good Samaritan Inn in Kingston, Jamaica. “There are a lot of hungry and angry people—when they are hungry, they are angry.” But since coming to the Good Samaritan Inn, Joy and her two children feel much better. “There’s great food here, and we’re very grateful for it. We always look forward to coming here.” In addition to the food, Joy appreciates how the Inn has helped with her daughter’s school fees, new shoes, and a backpack for her son. “I’m very, very grateful and thankful . . . really blessed.”
“What I like about the Inn,” says Lloyd, “is that it isn’t only for the meal—it’s about the uplifting of people’s lives.” Lloyd used to be a heavy drinker, but since coming to the Inn he has experienced a real transformation in his life. He no longer drinks, and now works as a security guard at the Inn under the direction of Vermont Murray, the Inn’s manager.
“Elder Murray is a very nice person, and Sister Moore is a very nice lady who does the registration. Without them, I don’t know how we could exist. They can communicate with our level of people, and if we can communicate, we can have a more peaceful society.”
Beulett Carol Hunter, an ASI member who serves as a policy analyst and researcher for the Ministry of Education in Jamaica, has been involved with the Good Samaritan Inn since its beginnings. “I came on board when they were in just a little shed. There were persons from lower socioeconomic groups. Some were on the streets. You had children with social problems, learning disabilities—people were just hopeless. And they were dirty, very dirty and smelly. But then we established bathrooms so they could get showers, then a place to clean their clothes. We gave them hygiene tips. When they first came, the people were very boisterous. Food was here, so everybody rushed for food. They never had any training or discipline.
“But over the years, we could see the change in how they dressed and in their hygiene. For the children, we would sometimes bring in the Pathfinder Clubs to do devotions and to talk individually with them.
“Talk about a metamorphosis—I can attest to that! We are now seeing people who are much cleaner, healthier, who can converse freely. And they are active participants in the devotionals. They love to sing. They want to participate. This is coming from a level where they wouldn’t say anything, except for cursings.”
Ms. Hunter attributes the amazing changes to better nutrition, health talks, and devotional presentations. “What we want to do,” she says, “is to let them see that life isn’t just sitting in a ghetto or a slum. That they can achieve, despite their circumstances. We want to open their minds, so that they are no longer contented to be where they are. We want to open heaven to them.”
Nema and her mother first came to the Inn when Nema was in high school. “Once you walk through the gates, you can leave your problems, because in here it’s a new start!” says Nema. “It’s a place of worship, peace, and a place to get help—education, clothes, books, anything that you need.”
Nema is now pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of the West Indies in Kingston. “The Inn has been so much of an influence on my education,” she says. “I had to stop because of the school fees. When I thought I’d have to drop out for good, [the Inn] actually got me back in school again. . . . This place has become a home, a family, a rescue—such a good place! Before I came here, I was really shy, but coming here allows you to come out of your shell. You get to talk to people, talk to God, and learn what He can do for you. My life has been impacted a lot by the Inn. I don’t think I would have progressed this far in education, or spiritually, if it wasn’t for the Good Samaritan Inn.”
You can help support the Good Samaritan Inn by giving generously to this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. Thank you.