A Word from our Board of Directors Chairman, Dr. Guy…

A Word from our Board of Directors Chairman, Dr. Guy…

Sitting on a recent flight to Jamaica reading the “American Way” magazine, I came across an article entitled “Refueling Your Emotional Tank”. I reflected on how little time I had spent over the last eight months in recharging my emotional batteries. Covid has robbed us of many activities that usually help to do just that; many of us have not been attending regular worship services, bible studies, family visits, volunteering or even working out.

 Being back at Galina Breeze this month reminded me of how thankful I am to be part of ACE. The energy that still persists at ACE warms my heart! The hotel is looking great, getting new solar panels to help us reduce our cost of electricity and be off the grid. The ACE campus is housing volunteers spending one to four weeks working on the farm and with Cloud 9 Chocolate. The ACE house is buzzing with students who are out of school working in virtual classrooms. Child sponsorship is still running full time to help feed students and their families as well as attend to other needs.

 Cloud 9 Chocolate is busy upping production for the upcoming holiday season. Bruce (our expert chocolatier) has been experimenting with new flavors, like incorporating sorrel flower into the chocolates. We are also getting ready for chocolate tours from the cruise industry when they return to the island. The jerk center on our Green Life Llanrumney property has been a big success with increasing business, providing the best jerk on the North Coast! Our newest tenant in the center is Knutsford Express. Two buses a day stop to pick up and deliver packages and people to Montego Bay and Kingston – that will be bringing even more business to that area.

 I had the chance to meet Robin, our cattleman with well over 50 years’ experience. Our pastures are ready, and we will be bringing 60 head of cattle to graze and get ready for market. The wellness center is ready and waiting for our medical and dental teams to ramp up soon. We are working with health officials to prepare a team for February.  We were proud to show off our facilities recently to the Smile With Heart foundation, a non-profit that partners with volunteer professionals to provide dental care to children in need.

Well, after spending the last five days traveling and engaging with the ACE staff in Jamaica, I am recharged, refueled and my heart overflows. Covid can’t minimize the impact of ACE. When you are getting weary or feel burned out, when your emotional tank reads E, say a prayer for ACE, sign up to sponsor a child or make a donation.  We are still changing lives and transforming communities. We encourage your continued prayer support and we are thankful for your time and treasure.

 May God bless and continue to encourage you as you serve,

Steve Guy

Marla’s Minute: ACE and AVC

Marla’s Minute: ACE and AVC

Since all the craziness continues in the Education Department in Jamaica over who learns online vs. who goes to school, ACE found a common problem happening among our sponsored students…well, among several common problems.

Most of our students were unable to learn via tablets because they didn’t have one. Then there was the issue of students being given instructions to use their parent’s phone for lessons using data. The problem was there were two to three students in different grades all wanting to use mommy’s phone at the same time, as well as mommy! So, that wasn’t working either. We know these facts because ACE has many parents of sponsored students employed with us who told us, and we heard from other parents in the sponsorship program. No internet, no tablets, no phones and, if a parent works, no supervision. Sound familiar?

We hope it’s better in the U.S. than here because our Ministry of Education is having to correct or modify its policies weekly. And, frankly, I would not want to be in their shoes. They are trying to keep adjusting even while the Ministry of Health is making constant changes to the health codes. It really is craziness.

Then ACE had an idea. What if we create a place where at least 30 of our students who had no way of connecting to an online class could do so on a daily basis in a safe environment with adult supervision to help with connections and facility needs?

Introducing ACE Visual Classroom or AVC! AVC will be held at the ACE office at Llanrumney and at the hotel. Beginning November 1st, ACE staff plans to implement a Visual Classroom upstairs in the Henry Morgan room for 15 students, one ACE person, and a volunteer parent. The second AVC will be in the ACE Headquarters office on our Llanrumney property for another 15 students.

The question came up earlier, why just 15 per classroom and not more? In accordance with the Ministry of Education guidelines, ACE is not a school and therefore can only provide enough space per location for 15. If we chose to have more than 15 per location, we would fall under the guidelines of a school and, well, let’s face it, we are not a school. Each location has bathroom facilities, full internet and tables for spacing. We are seeking the advice of principals, former teachers and Board Members on how to do this in the best way possible.

There was just one thing missing from this idea. We didn’t have computers or tablets for our student to join on the internet for their classes. Have you ever heard the expression, “The lights are on, but no one is home”? That’s us. Everything was in place — even the students that will be walking to AVC – but nothing to use.

Then it happened – again. We prayed that God would provide what the students needed to attend online classes and, thanks to a very generous family, ACE has 10 tablets on their way down to Jamaica. These are not cheap tablets, either; they will handle everything the school needs our students to do. Thank you, friends, for making a huge difference in the lives of these young Jamaicans and their families.

Stay tuned for pictures and updates next month.  In the meantime, remember all the PB&J you brought down? ACE is providing lunch for each child who cannot bring a lunch with juice. We’ve got enough PB&J to last us to the end of the year hopefully. Thank God for His ideas on how to create change. When we ask our volunteers to remember some key sayings, it’s because we had to learn them first…. it’s just the way we like it!

Blessings and Very Grateful


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A new arrival at Green Life Llanrumney Farm

A new arrival at Green Life Llanrumney Farm

Anyone who has ever been to Jamaica with ACE knows that Marla and Allen are not natural farmers – particularly Marla. She can dress the part, but when it comes to knowing how to handle the cows, pigs, and donkeys, well, let’s just say, ACE leaves the real work to the farmers who know what they are doing. When we acquired the property, there were four female donkeys and a “Jack” (male donkey).

Funny enough, they are all pregnant (well, not Jack) and just last week, one of the ole girls gave birth to another female. We thought about asking everyone to come up with a name for our new arrival, but then, it just came to us…. “Covey”… get it?  What do we need donkeys for, someone asked?  We use them for collecting those coconuts we have on the farm whenever we can get to them. Donkeys carry coconuts on their backs.

What do you do when you can’t see your friends at the Infirmary?

What do you do when you can’t see your friends at the Infirmary?

This is the question so many people have asked us during this COVID season of masks and isolation. We were asking the same thing at the beginning. At first, we decided to keep the driveway maintained to the Port Maria infirmary which was something we always did quarterly, which at least let us say hello through the fence to our friends like Richard and Christopher who would walk down to wave.

Then we thought maybe we’d bring a nice meal once in a while for everyone. But with COVID, we couldn’t just send food into the compound, so we decided to bring the staff to us at our newly opened Buccaneers Jerk & Juice location.

If you aren’t familiar with Buccaneers, here’s the story: when ACE took over the Llanrunmey farm last year, there was a closed-down jerk centre on the property. ACE decided to transfer the expert kitchen talent and other staff from Galina Breeze over to Buccaneers while still maintaining GB’s Jerk at the hotel.  Guess what? It’s working. People love to stop in for barbeque ribs, hotdogs, hamburgers with fries, and, of course, that good ole Jerk chicken, pork, and fish. Plus, with our Boat House yard and plenty of grass and space, it’s a perfect place to have lunch outside.

So, while the residents can’t leave the property at the Infirmary, the staff can. ACE arranged a shuttle service with a big thank-you lunch to all the essential workers at the Infirmary for two days. Jamaicans are no different from Americans – offer free good food and we stumble over each other to get to the event! Our turnout was delightful. Many of the employees of the Infirmary expressed such gratitude that it prompted us to start planning a Christmas lunch for them. We love the way God continually “retools” ACE to meet the demands of the day regardless of the outcome. Thank you, Staff at the Port Maria Infirmary, for all you do and especially to Matron Burke who allowed them all get away for a bit to enjoy some fresh air and delicious food!

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Farming With the Family: August 2020

Farming With the Family: August 2020

Last Tuesday, Green Life Llanrumney Farms (GLLF), an ACE micro-business, hosted its first “Llanrunmey Agricultural Meeting” at Buccaneers. Local farmers in the area and district were invited to attend a one-hour meeting to learn about what ACE, through GLLF, plans to do in the agricultural field of growing. We were so pleased at the turnout! Approximately forty farmers, both men and women, joined us in the conference room to hear about the possibilities of farming on the Llanrunmey property – as well as on their own farms – with the seeds we prepared in advance, thanks to a generous farmer in Kentucky who donated the vast variety of organic vegetable seeds.

Much discussion was had over the ups and downs of farming, like the lack of land, and lack of equipment to plow and prepare the property for planting. GLLF was able to share the vision we have for the farming side of the property and how that would benefit all. We think the most important outcome of this meeting was the excitement of everyone wanting to can the food when the prices are low to use later.

We agreed and will be looking for more supporters to help us with another gross of canning jars from the States. Everyone left their names, numbers and locations. We will be physically following up with our farmers by charting their planting season to see who is serious and who is not. After seeing the initial planting, we hope to have several local growers for Galina Breeze Hotel and ACE. They eat what they grow and what farmers don’t eat, Galina Breeze will purchase at a fair market price. Now that’s some real groceries growing! Stay tuned for more of this exciting venture as we are growing not only our farmers’ livelihood but our family as well!

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