Good morning.

As Patron of the NLPB, I extend to you my warmest greetings, and my appreciation for your attendance and participation in this year’s function.

I also wish for each one of you a happy, healthy and fulfilling new year.

2018 is the 38th iteration of the NLPB service for Leaders.  I think many of you can still recall the etiology of this event, that it was a time of serious crises.  We think that the efforts of the NLPB through prayer helped to ameliorate that situation.

Each year we take this time to remind and encourage even the most cynical among us, to remember the blessings we enjoy and our potential for greatness.  It is also apropos for us to gather to give thanks and appreciate God’s continued guidance and protection.

Since we met last year, there have been many occurrences and activities which cause us great concern and discomfort.  And though we have had interventions by religious and social organizations, we have not suppressed the negatives that impact the society so greatly.  This is a compelling reason for us to return for our annual prayer session; in addition to that we must follow the injunction of our Lord that ‘men and women must pray and not faint’. 

Certainly these times demand bold faith, bold action and fervent prayers.

The nation still clamors for us who form the leadership core, to be peddlers of hope, to stand in the gap in:

  1. Providing opportunities for people to build their future here in Jamaica,
  2. Reinforce the notion of individual responsibility,
  3. Recognizing and rewarding achievement/punish unacceptable and unlawful behaviours
  4. Show by example the care and protection, respect and understanding of the rights, the potential and the possibilities of those whom we lead, and
  5. We must have the strength of mind and will to persevere even when our energies are waning.

On Monday January 15, Martin Luther King day was celebrated in the USA.  I saw a quote attributed to him, about leaders, which I share with you: “We need leaders who are in love with justice; not in love with publicity but in love with humanity”.   This is how leadership can impact and produce positive results.

We know that for some of us, our work and efforts will never make headlines; however if you make a misstep, you will never be allowed to forget it.  But do not be disheartened colleague leaders, nor discouraged.  Stay in the trenches, do your best…. And God will reward you in the end.  

This morning we are here uniting ourselves as one people around one common purpose, that of making our country truly a place where we can live, work, raise our family, and do business.  We know that this is not a ‘walk in the park’.  It is a long, hard, sacrificial and rewarding journey. 

Let us continue to use activities like this, which is right for Jamaica, to help in fixing the things that are wrong among us.

I greet you well and pray God’s blessing on our fellowship today, and on Jamaica land we love.

I thank you.