Mon | Dec 5, 2022

Tamarra Sharpe shaping young minds in Clarendon

Published:Sunday | July 31, 2022 | 12:06 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Tamarra Sharpe
Tamarra Sharpe

Students and volunteers come together for a photo shoot.
Students and volunteers come together for a photo shoot.
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Tamarra Sharpe is passionate about making a difference in the lives of children as, she said, that is where it all begins.

For the past several months, she has been engaging children in the community of Paisley in May Pen by inviting them to attend a Sunday school class that she teaches at the church she attends – Paisley Pentecostal Church of God.

Sharpe, who lives in Palmer’s Cross, said the Sunbeam Bible Club started after she noticed children idling on the streets in the community on Sundays, when they should be in church.

“I went to the homes of the parents and asked them if they would allow their children to come to the Sunday school I was organising,” she said, adding that word started to spread and before long, less children were idling on the streets on Sunday and, instead, were being engaged at the Sunday school.

On a mission to impact the lives of the youth positively through the teaching of the Bible, Sharpe said she came up with a name for the Sunday school that fits her mission to take kids off the street and show them that there is a better way of life, and also to introduce them to Christ.

“Most of these children are not able to survive without being on the corners, so I’m trying to get them to stay focused and not get entangled in crime. I’m just trying to provide a better outlook for them. We have special projects and lessons for them in church, and we also feed them,” she said.

Pointing out that the enemy is attacking “little babies” by having them on the street wasting time, Sharpe said she thought of a way to prevent that.

She went to her pastor and shared her vision with him. He encouraged her to start the Sunbeam Bible Club, which would help to grow their faith and knowledge of the Bible, with the end result seeing them becoming young men and women with good values.

Every Sunday evening, attendees are also given a warm meal. Membership in the club has grown from 13, when it first started in March 30 to currently.

“Six of them gave their lives to the Lord. Parents experience changes in the lives of their children, so it takes a village to raise our children...now it takes the world,” she said.

Sharpe, 43, gave her life to the Lord over 14 years ago. She moved to Clarendon and attended Cross All-Age School, when her parents separated.

She recalled God calling her for service at an early age, but said she had so many excuses why she could’nt answer His call.

“One day I could not resist the calling of God on my life any more. Nothing I tried ever worked out, until I surrendered myself to God. Now I feel a deep satisfaction nurturing young minds, knowing that that means one less gunman, scammer, unwanted pregnancy,” she shared with Family and Religion.

Looking ahead, Sharpe said her ultimate goal is to continue making a difference and hoping her impact on others will see them doing the same by reaching out to others, too.

Come August, she said, she plans on treating her Bible students by giving them school supplies.

“We are not there yet, but we will be receiving help from the Northeast Diaspora via Donovan Longmore from Connecticut. He and his wife, Jackie, have devoted time and support in terms of providing back-to-school packages, brunch for the students, and words of encouragement through their D&J Longmore Foundation,” she said.