Does his story sound fishy?


December 14, 2016

Dear Pastor,

I am 17 years old. I read your column on a regular basis. I am a trainee at the college of hospitality and vocational skills.

One Friday I visited Turtle River Park in Ocho Rios, St Ann, where I saw a homeless man. He is 21 years old. I was fascinated by this man.

I asked him where he was from and he told me Annotto Bay. My best friend told me that he has seen this homeless man before. Nevertheless, I started questioning him.

Pastor, this brought tears to my eyes. He has been sleeping on the streets after his grandmother died. I asked him how he had reached this area.

He replied, "After my grandmother died, the owner of the house rented it and took me to Ocho Rios. He told me that he was going to buy a phonecard but he never returned."

The homeless man told me that he sleeps in the market and takes a bath beside Turtle River Park. Immediately I was in tears. As tears fell from my eyes, I asked him if he was not cold at nights.

He said that he was, but he does not have any sheet to cover with. I asked if he was hungry. I gave him something to eat and some money.

He said he had spoken to a pastor, and the pastor sent him to an organisation for help. Unfortunately, they could not accept him because they could only accept persons who drink and smoke.

He told me that his relatives are overseas and he does not know their numbers. He told me that he has tried to look for a job but was told that they had no vacancy.

Pastor, please pray for this man. I relayed the story to another pastor and asked for help. He told me that something was missing from the story.

I gave the young man my number. He said that he would borrow a phone and try to get in contact with me.

He said that he eats once every second Sunday in each month at a Baptist church in Ocho Rios. Otherwise, he begs on the roadside.

Pastor, please help this man. Pray for him. I see potential in this young man. I know that he can make it despite his situation.


Dear A.H.,

I wonder what you have seen in this man that has fascinated you so much. And I also wonder why you believe his story.

He said that he was living with his grandmother and after she died the owner of the house rented it to someone else and took him to Ochi Rios and left him there.

That account of his life doesn't make sense. What happened to his grandmother's belongings? Did he sell them? What happened to his parents?

Who took care of his grandmother's death? If the owner of the house in which his grandmother lived took him to Ocho Rios and left him, why didn't he contact other relatives for help? Surely, he has other relatives.

If this young man is so intelligent and has ambition, he would have been able to work his way around Ocho Rios and find a job.

There are many churches in Ocho Rios which would help him with day's work. I do not believe this man's story. I am sorry.

Nevertheless, I suggest that he should talk to very minister at the Baptist church where he said he eats every second Sunday and ask them for help.


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