Exuding gratitude and belting out Gospel hits, Samuel Johnson yesterday moved into a brand new house, which represents a major improvement from the dilapidated rat-infested hut that he once called home.

“I am rejoicing; I am feeling good in God,” declared the resident of Clarke’s Avenue in Ewarton, St. Catherine.

He added: “There is a saying that what people plan to be bad, God turn it out for good because this is one of the good things that happened. A lot of people were laughing [at me], but here is my nice house. I can sleep tonight and sleep comfortable.”

Johnson, who walks with crutches because he is nursing sores on his feet, spent about a year in his neighbour’s hut until he was evicted in June.

The hut owner carried out the eviction to facilitate construction of a concrete house where the hut was located.

Johnson told The Beacon that he ended up in the neighbour’s hut after the house his family occupied was destroyed by fire.

The new house has been built on the same property where the old one went up in flames.

The new structure, made of plywood, comprise a bedroom, bathroom and a cooking area.

It has been furnished with a chest of drawers, a bed, and a stove – none of which Johnson had while he lived in the hut.

The new house was donated by Servant Rebecca Stewart and her church – Come As You Are Healing And Deliverance Centre, located in Brookly, New York.

The church’s liaison officer in Jamaica, Pamella Cummings, said Servant Stewart took on the project after seeing The Beacon’s initial report on Johnson being evicted from the hut.

Johnson’s deplorable living condition was brought to The Beacon’s attention by a St. Catherine resident, Ann Henry.

Cummings, on behalf of Servant Stewart who is off the island, yesterday handed over the house key to Johnson and observed as he settled into his new place of abode.

She said her team pressed ahead with the project despite being told by residents not to assist Johnson.

“So many things were said about him (Johnson), but Servant Stewart said, ‘Miss Cummings, what would Jesus do?’ That’s what she always said. So, we leave the past [regarding Johnson] where it belonged and looked at the present. That’s how the work started,” Cummmings further disclosed.

She noted that all the work done on the house was through paid labour.

“The work has been completed about two weeks now – the house itself, and then last week we did the piping and the painting,” Cummmings said.

She also explained that Servant Stewart wanted to be on the island to personally furnish the house for Johnson, but she had to cancel her trip due to certain circumstances.

Johnson, in the meantime, commented: “Servant Stewart has done great. I wish she was here today to tell her how much I thank her and how much I love her and how much I am praying that God will strengthen her to continue to do the good that she is doing because God has a whole heap of blessings for her.”


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By Mills