United States ‘street preacher’ Duane H. Lyon, whose mission of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ has taken him to 31 countries, has declared Jamaica “the friendliest island on Earth”.
The west Kentucky-based missionary, who said he had been touring the world for most of the past 26 years, said the reception he has received in Jamaica belied the country’s reputation as a place where crime and violence thrived.
“The reception in Jamaica is beautiful. The people are so warm, beautiful and happy,” said Lyon, who has been ministering on the streets of Montego Bay for the last two weeks. “Based on my experiences here, I believe Jamaica must be the friendliest island on Earth.” Having previously visited countries with tough reputations, such as Lebanon, Syria and Haiti, Lyon said he was not intimidated by what he had heard about Jamaica.
But Lyon, who is married with six children, said the warmth of Jamaicans took him by surprise. “I know that things are not perfect here because I have been approached on the streets by a few people offering illegal stuff, but I simply show them this,” said Lyon, holding up a ‘Jesus Saves’ banner.
“Once they see what I am about, they simply move on,” said Lyon, whose ambition is to visit every country on Earth twice. Lyon said he believes that Jesus Christ is the answer to the problems facing the world. That’s why he’s spending six months out of every year traveling to different countries to spread the gospel.
Interestingly, Lyon made his decision to visit Jamaica 20 years ago. According to him, while he was in Bible school, his class was slated to visit Jamaica but it never materialized.