A Brooklyn clergy member is in Jamaica on a missionary trip to help the country’s needy. Bishop Jackie McCullough went with more than 200 volunteers and medical professionals on a weeklong mission last week Aug. 27-31. For two decades the religious leader has traveled to the island nation for similar trips, but this year she focused more on the psychological needs, with an emphasis on teaching preventative measures.
“This year is a bit different because we focused on intervention, wellness, and the area of nutrition,” she said. “We wanted to show people how to educate themselves on exercising to control diabetes and high blood pressure, while pursuing a spiritual transformation.”
And that was all guided by faith, in an effort to revitalize the beliefs of the people they served.
“Strengthening the relationship with god and respect for each other was a major component of this mission,” said McCullough. “We are preparing a generation on how to care of themselves and how to help make Jamaica great again.”
She was inspired to create the trip years ago, when she learned that her ministry tapes were being broadcasted on radio in parts of Jamaica, and resonating with many listeners. After learning that she was a popular voice, she wanted to return the favor and lend a helping hand.
“As a result of me being played on radio, we got a lot of love there and it was so overwhelmingly that I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “But a friend of mine, said ‘You’re a nurse, why don’t you bring medical supplies to bring healing?’ And I’ve been doing it since.”
With the exception of 2010 when the group went to Liberia for a missionary trip, she has gone to Jamaica every year since 2001, according to McCullough.
The group traveled to Spanish Town, Jamaica, where McCullough felt that she could have the most impact because she says struggling locals are not getting adequate health care. And the team of medical professionals helped supply medication and conduct vital tests.
McCullough says despite being of Jamaican descent, she mostly inspired to return to her ancestral home to help because of her personal connection, and witnessing her family’s dedication to charity.
“My mom and dad have been in the ministry for more than 60 years, and all my life my mother was engaged in mission work on the grassroots level,” she said. “In her own way, she was always taking on something to help. When Hurricane Hugo went to Jamaica, she packed a suitcase on her own and stood on the street and giving out stuff. So it just came natural to me.”
She says that as an annual mission, the group is trying to build a children’s clinic and a reading room and could use monetary support to assist the construction.
“We’re very glad for any and every support, because everything is expensive is the best and all donations are welcome at this point,” she said.
Interested donors can call the organization at 845-362-8900.