After two long years of not travelling due to COVID-19 restrictions, I was excited to go on the international development department’s annual Partners in Mission resource trip this past year to collect photos, videos and stories on the work being done in The Salvation Army’s Caribbean Territory. As media resource co-ordinator, I was part of the team that travelled to Jamaica, where the Army has been meeting people at their point of need for more than 120 years.

Before arriving in the country, I remember watching sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah, Jamaican native and Olympic winner (considered the fastest woman alive) at the 2021 Olympics when she received the Order of Distinction, an award given to Jamaican citizens who render outstanding service to the nation.

“I have been inspired and motivated by powerful women around the world,” she said. “Powerful women from my island home in Jamaica.”

Once we started visiting various ministries across the country, I was reminded of those words.

Around the world and in Jamaica, The Salvation Army is a strong advocate for equity and women in leadership, uplifting and amplifying the voices of women on every level—spiritually, physically and emotionally.

Here are three examples:

Spiritual Care

Major Pauline King
“There’s a respect and love for The Salvation Army in this community,” says Major Pauline King

Our first visit was to The Salvation Army’s Allman Town Corps, where Major Pauline King is the pastor.

“The biggest joy in this ministry is to see people come to know Jesus,” she says. “Many of our church live in the inner cities where there is dire poverty. We thank God that we’re able to be here.”

While the crime rates are high in Kingston, The Salvation Army is widely accepted and appreciated in the community. This can be attributed to many things, but one of them is the respect they have for the women who nurture and lead there.

One morning, Major Pauline walked into the church and realized it had been broken into. While she was on the way to the police station, an individual from a local gang discovered what happened and took matters into his own hands.

“Everything that was lost, from the bathroom tissue to the funds, were recovered,” she says.

“They know us. No matter what walk of life you come from, there’s a respect and love for The Salvation Army in this community,” she says. “With God’s help, we can continue to do another 135 years.”

Physical Care

Claudette Heslop
“I find so much joy in my job,”says Claudette Heslop

Next, we went to The Salvation Army’s feeding centre, supervised by Claudette Heslop, that assists around 50 to 200 individuals a day.

Growing up in The Salvation Army herself, Claudette is passionate about the church’s mission to reach people in need. 

“Once people receive their food, I sit down with them and find out how we can help them,” she told us. “When lunch is finished, we go out of our way to get them what they need, whether it’s a clean change of clothes, a bath or soap.”

Her hope is to grow the centre and expand its outreach.

“We need each other,” she says. “Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, which is why I reach out with love and why I find so much joy in m yjob.” 

Emotional Care

Ruthlyn Bryan
Ruthlyn Bryan being interview by the Partners in Mission crew

At The Salvation Army’s School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the only boarding school of its kind in the entire nation, Ruthlyn Bryan, the supervisor at the girls’ dormitories, ensures that everyone feels supported and cared for.

Also known as a “house parent,” she ensures the students are supported socially and emotionally.

From preparing their breakfasts to reading to them before bed, she is the parent or guardian a child deserves.

“Some of the parents don’t often have the chance to visit,” she says. “As a house parent, I’m here to fill that gap.”

And while watching the interactions between Ruthlyn and the students, it was evident that there is a mutual love and bond between them.

“There was one student who graduated and didn’t want to leave,” she recalls. “The bus was ready to take her, but she kept coming back to the dorm. She said, ‘Miss, you don’t know what you’ve done for me. If I had the choice, I wouldn’t leave.’ That’s whenI knew I was making an impact.”

Powerful Women

On our trip, we asked many people across Jamaica what their favourite Scripture verse was. And most of the people we spoke to would say the same thing: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 New King James Version). It was clear that Christ is working across the Caribbean—and that the women who carry the Army shield are instrumental in carrying out His message with genuine compassion and commitment.

Individuals, students and communities across Jamaica can walk confidently and courageously into the future because of the powerful women who care. I am privileged to have met just some of them.

If you’d like to learn more about the Army’s ministry in Jamaica, visits

Photos: Mark Yan

This story is from:

Leave a Comment