Vincentian gospel artiste LaFleur Durrant and her Jamaican counterpart Croswell Daley brought the house down Saturday with heart-wrenching gospel songs as the Bronx-based St. Matthias Charities, Inc. hosted its annual fundraising prayer breakfast at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn.
Durrant gave enthusiastic patrons an appetizer with “Look to the Father,” “In the Sweet,” “I know the Lord Will Make a Way” and “In the Cross.”
She later returned, after the sumptuous breakfast, with “I am Your Child,” “Lord, You are King,” “I Sing Hallelujah” and “I would not be Denied.”
Daley — who received an award from St. Matthias Charities, Inc. for his continued support and community role — transfixed patrons with “Without Love,” “At the Altar,” “The Source of my Life,” “Take Your Flight” and “Forward March.”
“I give thanks for the man (Jesus), who likes to give more than he receives,” said Daley after receiving a plaque from St. Matthias Charities, Inc. president Pastor Robert McBarnett.
“A lot of times, we give flowers when we’re in our graves,” he added before singing a “Thank You” song “to tell you what love is like.”
In getting patrons in the Christmas spirit, Zita Adams, a public school teacher in Brooklyn, who earlier led the US National Anthem, rendered “O Holy Night” and “An Old Christmas Card.”
Venice Alleyne, who sang the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Anthem, echoed “Joy to the World” and 6-year-old Kairiyah Evans convulsed patrons with “Jesus Loves Me This I know.”
In his message, the Rev. Lemmew Samuel, pastor of Chebar Evangelical Assembly, Inc., in Brooklyn, urged patrons to always help the poor, basing his text on Psalm 40:1.
“As David speaks of the man who ‘considereth’ the poor, the promise is made in the deliverance of men,” he preached.
“The word speaks of him or her, who is sick or weak,” Rev. Samuel added. “David, while he took that introspection look, also took a prospective look.”
Howie Prince, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to the United States, urged the audience to “never eat and see somebody suffering, and don’t offer them something,” alluding to Matthew 25:40.
“When you have, remember somebody who doesn’t have,” he said.
McBarnett disclosed that his group Friday night packed a 46-ft. container of food and medical supplies to be shipped for distribution in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Over the years, the St. Matthias Charities, Inc. has been conducting missions to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, distributing, among other things, medical supplies to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in capital Kingstown, and other hospitals and clinics in the country.
To date, the group has also raised funds for and distributed eight electrocardiogram (EKG) machines in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
After Saturday’s appeal, patrons donated US$868.00 towards purchase of another EKG machine for use at another clinic at home.
McBarnett said St. Matthias Charities, Inc., which had conducted a mission to Grenada a few years ago, plans to do so again soon.
He disclosed that his group will ship a container of medical and other supplies to the “Spice Isle” during the first week of October next year.
“You have to work by faith and not by sight,” said McBarnett, quoting a famous biblical verse.
The group will host its annual fundraising gala dinner on April 9, 2019 at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center.