December 11, 2014 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | ANN staff

The Men’s Fellowship ministry of the Mt. Salem Adventist Church in Jamaica presents Euphemia Raymond her new home, which the group built to replace the dilapidated structure she was living in. Image by Jonathan Myrie

A men’s group from a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica brought an early Christmas present to a local resident who lived in a dilapidated home that couldn’t keep out the rain, the Jamaica Gleaner reported.

The Men’s Fellowship ministry of the Mt. Salem Adventist Church in St. James presented Euphemia Raymond, a senior citizen, the new home on December 4. Neighbors came out to watch the ceremony in which men from the Mt. Salem church presented Raymond with the keys to her new house, the Gleaner reported.

One nearby resident jokingly remarked to Raymond that “Santa had come early” for her.

Paul Stanton, president of the Men’s Fellowship group and a police officer, said the new home had nothing to do with the mythical Santa Claus, but that it was the group’s gift to show that they care.

“[F]rom time to time, members of the fellowship engage themselves in missions of caring and sharing,” said Stanton. “We are always looking out for persons who are in need, with a view of coming to their assistance.”

Raymond, praised the group for their gift as tears flowed down her face.

“Today, I am one of the happiest [women] on earth,” she said. “A God [sent] them. God bless them. I am happy, happy, oh so happy.”

Stanton told the Gleaner that fellowship members became aware of Raymond’s plight earlier this year when they discovered she was living in a structure that offered no protection from rain. The group determined repairs wouldn’t be sufficient, and instead decided to build her a new house.

Stanton said the project was funded by fellowship members and through their fundraising projects. The project is spurring the group to find other service initiatives.

“With more assistance from corporate Jamaica, we can do much more for the less fortunate in our midst,” Stanton said.

Glen Samuels, president of the Adventist Church’s West Jamaica Conference, attended the presentation ceremony and offered encouragement to Stanton and his group. Samuels said the building of the home was “a true reflection and testimony of what the church is doing—catering to individuals who are in need.”

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