Church delivers hope

With many families struggling to make
ends meet during one of the leanest holiday seasons that Cayman has seen in
years, one local church decided to reach out to the community in a different

The leadership and members of the Agape
family Worship Centre gave supermarket gift certificates to families in need
over the Christmas and into the New Year.

Instead of the usual toys and gifts
that are collected and distributed around the Island, the church raised
approximately $23,000 through offerings from the members and a few donations
from citizens in the community and used the funds to purchase gift certificates
from Foster’s Food Fair and Hurley’s supermarkets in denominations of $100 and

The church also teamed up with the
Department of Children and Family Services and enlisted the Department’s Community
Care Workers’ to assist in distributing $10,000 worth of certificates in each
district. The remaining $13,000 was distributed to the elderly, indigent and
shut-ins in the community.

Pastor Al Ebanks, leader of the
Agape Family Centre, estimates that approximately 400 families received
certificates from the outreach.

“We believe this was a more
practical gift for the people of our community this year,” explained the
pastor, who added that, “With the economy on a down turn, many people found
themselves unable to put food on the table or maintain their traditions over
the season.

The minister thanked all for their
efforts and said his prayer was that 2010 would be a year of renewed hope and
many blessings for the Cayman Islands.