Church elder living in hell
A church elder feels his faith in God is being rigorously tested through numerous tribulations. Ivan Sampson, 73, an elder at the Sabbath Day Church of God in Linstead, St Catherine, said for some time now, he has been down on his luck, unable to get his auto parts and garage business off the ground to support himself and his ailing wife. "We know all what Job went through, and I tell you the truth, I see myself in a situation like that," he said, likening himself to Job in the Bible.
During his mid-20s, before becoming a Christian, Sampson started a club and restaurant called Big A in Kingston. Business was booming for some 28 years, and he was able to maintain a comfortable life.
However, he had to close down due to an unfavourable business deal, and things just kept heading downhill from there.
Still an entrepreneur at heart, Sampson started a garage and used auto parts shop. And having exited the clubbing world, he eventually got baptised. But baptism did not save him from tribulations, as he was shot by gunmen. "One night, while at the garage, I heard some noise outside, not realising that it was gunmen cutting the fence to come in. All of a sudden, shots started firing and I got hit right under my rib cage. I don't know where I got the courage to run from Heroes Circle straight to Kingston Public Hospital," he said.
myriad of problems
Though wounded in flesh, Sampson was strong in faith, and determined to continue serving the Lord. He started attending the Sabbath Day Church of God, journeying from Kingston to St Catherine multiple times weekly. Some five years ago, he decided to move to Linstead and make life there with his 70-year-old wife, Cynthia. He planned to continue his garage in Linstead, but was hit by a myriad of problems.
He said he leased a property to start the business but when he introduced his faith to the landlord who was of a different religious background, things began to fall apart. Sampson said he laid a container on the premises, planning to convert it to a shop, however he was ordered to vacate the property, and his container thrown to the back of the premises, exposing it to thieves, who made off with his supplies.
With this major setback, Sampson has been trying to get back on his feet, but the bills are mounting, and his wife is seriously ill.
Cynthia suffers from multiple ailments, and at one point said she was on 135 tablets for the week. She has reduced the number, because of the toll it had on her. "I have hypertension, I have diabetes, I trouble with weak heart, I had a heart attack about four years ago, poor circulation in the feet, the doctor said I have pinched nerves, it's a whole heap a things," she explained.
The elderly couple is barely surviving on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) programme. Their children and church help when they can. "Like Job, I'll be patiently waiting until my change comes," Sampson said he can be contacted at 1-876-474-6327.