'Bring God back to the homes'
The topics patrons and organisers discussed at the Senior Citizens' Parish Sports Day, which took place at the soldier camp in Port Maria, St Mary, last week, were both numerous and diverse.
They focused mainly on the sprints, relay races, and eating competitions taking place that morning and afternoon. However, Madge Jackson, a
70-year-old retiree from Retreat, was happy to speak with Family and Religion about some of the social issues affecting her home town.
She said: "I think the biggest issue facing families in St Mary is the number of broken homes and single-parent homes, where there is either no father or mother. That's a big problem because when children don't have both parents to guide them, sometimes they go astray.
"It wasn't always like that. When I was younger, most families had two parents. I think what's changed is the Christian background because if you go way back, most parents and children used to go to church and do more things together, but you hardly find it like that now.
BREAKDOWN OF FAMILIES
"I think there is a link between less people going to church nowadays and the breakdown of families. Now, people are more into worldly things and sporting, but the Church is important because it helps us stick together in a godly way and teaches us love and respect for one another and the elderly."
Jackson believes the situation, sadly, is unlikely to improve much before the Second Coming. She explained: "I think God has to come in the midst to change these things. Man can hardly change what's going on now. We have to seek deeper intervention from the Lord to raise our children with that spiritual background so that we can come back together as one."
Jackson, who attends the Church of God of Prophecy in Retreat, is passionate about religion, athletics, and music. She combines the last two hobbies by singing in her church choir.
She said: "My favourite scriptures are Psalm 100: 'Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing,' and Psalm 121: 'I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.' I do like music and even though I can't sing so well, I sing on the choir still.
"I also like athletics and my favourite event is the 100m. I used to love running when I was younger and would always come in either first or second. Today is good because we do different activities, such as potato race, egg and spoon, 50m, and 100m, to encourage people to exercise and keep fit because sometimes we have aches and pains. I think sports day is a great idea because it brings the elderly together, so we can enjoy ourselves and not feel left out."