About Our Mission

Outreach Jamaica was founded in 1992 by Jacques and Beverly Blackwell.
Jacques is a native of Jamaica. He is the youngest of 8 children and was raised by a single mother, as his father died when he was 2 years old. He became a Christian at the Ocho Rios Church of Christ in 1973 after attending a summer youth camp for the first time at age 17. He attended Johnson Bible College in Knoxville, TN from 1976-1980, and Dallas Christian College for one year (1980-81). He was ordained into the Ministry by the Elders of the Bedford Christian Church in Bedford, TX in 1981, and went immediately to serve as a missionary to Uganda and Kenya, East Africa. He served there from 1981-1985, starting churches in previously unreached villages.
Bev and Jaques portrait
Bev (Rhodes) Blackwell is from Casper, WY. She is the 3rd of 7 children. She became a Christian at the Riverton Christian Church in Riverton, WY, in 1973 at age 9. Her family later moved to Casper, WY where she attended Paradise Valley Christian Church. She attended Ozark Christian College for one year, then returned to Casper to her job as a dental assistant. She spent the summer of 1985 working with Outreach International in Jamaica, and in 1986 went to Uganda to work for a summer with an orphanage and medical clinic with Outreach International.
We were married in Casper, Wyoming in 1987, and in 1990 returned to Uganda for 2 years before the civil war there forced us to leave. Our oldest son, Nicolas, was born while we were there. We returned to Jamaica in 1992 where we ministered with the Northview Church of Christ, and in 1994 moved to Beecher Town, where we currently live and minister at the Beecher Town Church of Christ. We have 5 children. (one biological, 4 adopted in Jamaica) Three of our children live and work in the U.S. (Nicolas, 29; Brady, 26; Megan, 24) and two are living with us in Jamaica. (Roshane, 29; Shamar, 16). We also have a 6 year old granddaughter, Emileigh, who we help care for here in Jamaica.

Upon returning to Jamaica in 1992, we contacted the Department of Children’s Services (now known as Child Protection and Family Service Agency) to see how we might best be of assistance in helping to care for the growing numbers of children in Jamaica in need of care. We immediately became certified foster parents, but were presented with the need for a Place of Safety to be built. In 1997, Agape Harbor Children’s Home was founded. We are usually the first stop for children immediately as they become wards of the state, both long and short term, if no immediate family is able to step in to care for them. We are the recognized Place Of Safety for Region III (3 parishes) for the Child Protection and Family Service Agency (CPFSA). We have fostered dozens of children, ages birth-18 years old, with their stays ranging from a few days – up to 11 years. (We currently have a sibling set of 3 children who have been with us for 12 years.) We also have a young man still living with us who aged out of the system 13 years ago.

We are involved in several different areas of ministry. Jacques ministers full time to the Beecher Town Church of Christ, and also fills the pulpit for some of the many rural area churches without a full-time minister. We coordinate and plan outreach events for the youth, especially in the rural areas of Jamaica. We hold summer camps, youth retreats, one-day community outreach events, Vacation Bible Schools and Youth Conventions/Crusades. We are involved in holding morning devotions at the 2 schools in Beecher Town on a regular basis. Partnering with the Beecher Town Church of Christ, we operate a food pantry and school feeding program, helping provide free breakfast and lunch to at-risk school children as well as food to families with children over weekends and long school breaks, and recently extended to assist others in the community in need.

Jacques is a Justice of the Peace for the parish of St. Ann, and also a Marriage Officer. We both serve on various Boards, including the Beecher Town Primary School Board; the Northview Christian Academy, (primary prep school operated by one of our sister churches); the Social Development Committee; and the Beecher Town Give-Back Association.