Jamaica Observer / Missionaries of the Poor (MOP) on Tuesday received four solar energy batteries from the German Embassy to aid in the self-sustenance of its Mount Tabor Monastery and Retreat Centre home in Iron River, Golden Spring, St Andrew. The apostolate, which was opened in July 2008, houses disabled children and homeless boys. It also serves as place for study, prayer and retreat for the missionaries and is used to host and serve MOP’s lay-associates, benefactors, friends, and volunteers locally and from overseas.
“We have had this solar system for a while and it was giving problems on and off. It started showing signs of failure in September last year. In December it went completely dead and a solar technician had to come out and pull out some other batteries and put us on emergency relief,” Brother Jesu Amalraj told the Jamaica Observer.
He added that the batteries, which are worth over US$1,700, were a godsend as the facility, which has 21 solar panels, would have been without electricity if the Germans had not assisted.
“When we asked the Jamaica Public Service if we could have poles they told us that we had to pay for them, along with installation. So the batteries have been a very tremendous help for us,” said MOP founder Father Richard Ho Lung.
Amalraj explained that Mount Tabor, which sits on 70 acres of land, is self-sufficient.
“We pump water from the river and we do the filtration. We also raise pigs, rabbits, and cows here to help to feed those in need as well as ourselves,” he said.
“We can currently accommodate up to 120 missionaries at a time and we are also building additional accommodations so we can house more,” he said.