All is set for the Woman to Woman, Men, and Youth & Children Conferences 2012, which will take place at the Montego Bay Conference Centre, July 4 – 8, under the theme Breakthrough Not Breakdown.
The conferences, which are endorsed by the Jamaica 50 Secretariat, seek to contribute to national growth and development socially, economically and spiritually by partnering with Government, the church, corporate citizens, the Diaspora and other prospective stakeholders, in initiating, facilitating, and participating in activities, services, projects and programmes which foster national development.
Organized and hosted by Life Connections Ministries, under the leadership of Pastor Shirley-Ann Chong, the conferences will seek to maximize the benefits that exist in faith-based tourism, a market which remains untapped. The conferences have been marketed in the Tri-State area of the U.S, Canada, England, Africa, Parts Europe and The Caribbean, through Tourism Ministry, tour and travel companies, the media, churches, and outreach organizations.
“People are anticipating the conferences and I expect them to come out and be revived and regenerated,” said Mrs. Chong. She noted that she expects persons from all strata of the society to be in attendance. “From the marginalized to the rich and famous, there is room for everyone to find a place to get answers to questions,” Mrs. Chong explained.
The conferences, which had their genesis in 2008 in Kingston, have seen tremendous growth over the past five years, giving birth to a second leg in Western Jamaica, Montego Bay, St. James. Backed by the church and corporate citizens, the conferences have been attended by government officials, heads of denominations and have been attracting thousands of patrons locally, as well as from other Caribbean countries, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Africa.
Woman to Woman and Men Plus Youth & Children Conferences aim to unite, motivate, educate and empower individuals through workshops, seminars, symposia, counseling, interactive fora and other training sessions designed to equip them to effectively handle life’s challenges through messages from Jesus Christ.
Youth – The Battle for a Generation
A major focal point for the conferences is the Youth. The organizers have intensified efforts to mobilize youths from across all areas of Jamaica by working in collaboration with schools, churches, communities, youth centres, clubs, homes, Youth for Christ (YFC), Youth With a Mission (YWAM) Inter School Christian Fellowship (ISCF), Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF). The aim of this thrust is to pull youths from all over the nation to be in attendance at the conference, where they will be engaged in symposiums, workshops and other activities that are strategically designed to bring resolve to issues concerning them.
Speaking about the importance of focusing on the youth, Mrs. Chong spoke of the link between the youth and Jamaica’s future prospects.
“We must capture the youth. Anyone who captures the youth, their hearts, holds the future,” Mrs. Chong, who is host pastor for the conferences said.
“We need to win the war to recapture the youth. The quest is to restore hope and confidence in every area of their lives. The youth must make themselves ready for opportunities and must make themselves marketable. We must get our nation’s youth ready so that our nation may, under God, increase in beauty, fellowship and prosperity and play our part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race,” Mrs. Chong emphasized.
The Woman to Woman and Men plus Youth and Children Conferences are also being marketed as catalyst to economic growth. According to a proposal document released by Life Connections Ministries, the conferences “have been and will continue to contribute significantly in all three areas, as (they are) poised to bring a boost to our ‘economy in crisis’ by attracting thousands of visitors to our nation in a time when the tourism industry would experience a low influx of visitor arrivals, late June to July and late November to early December.”
Keynote speakers include Rev. Dr. Jacqueline McCollough, Dr. Cindy Trimm, Dr. Juanita Bynum, Bishop Joel Laurore, Pastor Steve Green and Reverend Shirley-Ann Chong as host. Other persons scheduled to speak are Rev. Mary Wildish-Reece,Dr. Joy Keane, Dr. Heather Jones-Fray,Dr. Lilieth Grant, Bishop Neville Owens, Dr. Barbara Daubon, Rev. Maria Harbijan.
Other ministers include Angella Christie, Minister Kevin Downswell, Pastor Junior Tucker, and Minister Jermaine Edwards.