On an island whose length is slightly greater than the distance between Philadelphia and Washington DC exist nearly 50 children’s homes for the many youth who have been court-ordered to leave abusive environments. These injustices go ignored by those who only see Jamaica as "Tropical Paradise". While we enjoy luxury vacations, poverty continues, crime rates rise and hope becomes a blur.
Athletic participation reaches the hearts of the young people in a way to which they can relate and for which they hunger. Ignite International has seized opportunities to have an impact on this beautiful island where creation’s beauty is only superseded by that of the people.
Our first group to Jamaica was a university women's basketball team. Through partnership with the Jamaica Basketball Federation, we enjoyed friendly exhibition games at a prison in Spanish Town, at the national team training complex in Kingston and also in Montego Bay. We also enjoyed a random encounter with a school group at Hero Circle, a memorial park with monuments for each of the Jamaican National Heroes. The teachers allowed the children to play with our team, and after sharing our purpose, approximately 50 people made Salvation commitments that afternoon!! Ignite Founder, Judy Fox, was also asked to share a motivational message with the Jamaica National Volleyball Team, hoping to qualify for the World Championships.
Ignite has also taken coaches and athletes from Ignite Volleyball Club, who conducted volleyball clinics at children’s homes in Kingston, Runaway Bay and Montego Bay. They also trained with the Jamaica Youth National Volleyball Team.
Jamaica is steeped in religious undertones. The influences of the Rastafarian movement, numerology, witchcraft and other beliefs are evident throughout. Yet through the eyes of athletic competition, Ignite International has had the open door to build relationships and to share the Way, the Truth and the Life.