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SLM’s Newsletter – Friday 17 August, 2018

Festival of the Laity, 2018 | Barbuda Giving Back! | Campers take Advantage of the Long Weekend …

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Festival of the Laity, 2018
Parade of Flags

August 8 – 11, 2018 | Maracas Valley,Trinidad | Shelton Benjamin 

On Wednesday August 8, 2018, the University of the Southern Caribbean in the lush Maracas Valley in Trinidad was buzzing with excitement and great anticipation as the long awaited Inter-American Division and Caribbean Union Conference FESTIVAL OF THE LAITY AND CROSS-CULTURAL MISSION under the theme: CELEBRATING THE PAST: REACHING ALL PEOPLES FOR CHRIST was nearing commencement. It was the first of its kind having the Cross Cultural theme added to the usual festival, and the near 600 delegates from across the Division would not miss any part of this historic occasion.

It all started at 6:45 p.m. sharp on the eve of Wednesday 8th, with a grand opening ceremony dubbed Parade of Nations. Every union and nation within IAD was well represented, with their flags flying beautifully across the platform. The welcome was done in various languages, displaying the diverse cultures and people groups who make up the division. A brief overview of the program, the importance of Cross Cultural Mission was given by Dr. Samuel Telemaque, the director of the Office of Adventist Mission in the Inter-American Division and Pastor Ashton O’Neil, Personal Ministries director of the Caribbean Union. The host for the evening was none other than the energetic Dr. Clive Dottin, the Director of Adventist Mission in the Caribbean Union Conference.

Our President of the Caribbean Union Conference, Dr. Kern Tobias was on hand and charged the delegates to take full advantage of a glorious opportunity to know more, and that we should learn all we can about Cross Cultural Mission in this forum. Giving brief remarks was Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts in the Trinidad and Tobago House of Representatives. The guest preacher for the meetings, Pastor Easton Marks, gave a sterling and powerful message to start the meetings; reminding us that we are to minister to everyone, especially if they are not like us, since it is known that it is easier for people to interact with only people who appear to be like them.

Festival of the Laity Platform Personnel –

Throughout the four days of meetings, we experienced heavenly music from groups around the Division. So diverse were the meetings, that we heard music in Dutch, English, French, Spanish, Creole, and many more languages. One of the highlights in the program was the various translators who were on hand to interpret the various languages spoken. Daily there were interactive breakout sessions where the delegates feasted on practical ways to minister effectively cross culturally especially in a rapidly changing society.

While at the meetings on Friday August 10th, the announcement was made that the newly elected President of the Inter-American Division,
Dr. Elie Henry and his wife had landed safely at the Piarco International Airport. This would mark Dr. Henry’s first visit to the territory since he assumed office on August 1, 2018. On Sabbath morning, the atmosphere sounded heavenly as there was a great fanfare to welcome Dr. Elie Henry into the University’s newly built auditorium. It was a grand and fitted welcome for the distinguished leader of the church and man of God.

L-R Dr. Elie Henry, President of the IAD with Dr. Kern Tobias President of the Caribbean Union

The festival came to an end on Sabbath August 11th with a powerful Sabbath School program, with the children dealing with different ways to effectively witness to others. Lesson study was done with a dramatic display of Peter’s experience in witnessing and healing. The highlight of the day was the message brought by Dr. Elie Henry from Psalm 18: 1-29. President Henry challenged the delegates and guests to keep doing supernatural things and recognize that our success is only because God is with us. He stated, “When God is with us, all things are possible”. He reminded us that walls are placed in our minds too often concerning other people who are not like us, but we should take the initiative and jump over the walls of fear, race, culture etc. One of the greatest and most impacting impressions made on my mind was the simple yet dynamic way Dr. Henry delivered the gospel.
Throughout the program we saw and listened to numerous reports from the various fields of work that has been done regarding evangelism over the past five years. These reports were inspiring and powerful, and from all reports many delegates could be heard saying how happy they were to experience such a electrifying and spirit-filled program. One delegate indicated to me that she’ll be planning and committing to conducting a two-week campaign next year all because the fire was
 reignited once more at the meetings. The words of the theme song would forever be our mantra: “I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, over mountain or plain or sea; I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord; I’ll be what you want me to be”. 

Festival of the Laity, SLM Delegation

The curtains came down with yet another dramatic and colorful display of all the nations represented at the festival. As I sat and reminisced on the experience, the words that come to mine is hitherto hath the Lord helped us. He has seen us through the past five years and I am confident that he’ll continue to give much success to the Inter-American Division and His Church at large. Let us go forward. MARANATHA!

Barbuda Church Giving Back!
Pastor Harris Presenting Community Services supplies

August 10,, 2018 | Codrington, Barbuda | Prince Harris

The Seventh-Adventist Church worldwide can be viewed as an organization that gives. Although the Barbuda S.D.A. church’s main worship area was destroyed after the passage of Hurricane Irma in 2017, the members still modeled this example and saw the need to give back to their community.
From July 28 to August 11, 2018, the members worked as a collective body to distribute cleaning and food supplies to the residents of Codrington, Barbuda. Members who participated were delighted in being a part of this venture. They reminisced on the Bible principle taken from Acts 20:35, it’s more blessed to give than to receive.

The Church also went further with assistance from the Bronx S.D.A. Church in New York who donated hospital supplies allowing the Barbuda Church to make a valuable contribution to the Hanna Thomas Hospital, in Barbuda. The Church presented gifts such as
wheelchairs and disability walkers to the hospital.

A presentation was made to the hospital where members of the Barbuda Council and hospital staff were on hand to witness the event. Making the presentation were members of the Community Services department. It was indeed a time to give, and as we seek to rebuild we ask that we all put hands and hearts together to continue to show the compassion of Christ thus changing hearts for the Glory of Christ.

Wheelchair Donation to the Hanna Thomas Hospital
Campers take advantage of the Long Weekend

Roland Haywood’s homemade tent was extremely comfortable.  

August 6th, 2018 | Ffryes Beach, Antigua | SLM Staff

The summer heat is on in Antigua and Barbuda!  During these hot summer months parents are always seeking for things for their children to do.  

School is out until around September 3rd, 2018, give or take a week, and children are energetic and active and always looking for something fun to do. Some parents pack up their children and ship them off to relatives and loved ones in other parts of the world.  Some parents look for summer programs or summer Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) to keep their children active and occupied in a wholistic way during the summer months.

Unfortunately, summer programs and VBS only last for one or two weeks and eventually the children are back home again.  Sometimes the days are filled with watching TV, reading, and playing sports or video games.  

In Antigua and Barbuda, during these hot summer months, the long Carnival Weekend holiday (first Monday and Tuesday in August) is traditionally a perfect time for Seventh-day Adventist families to get away from ‘it all’ and go camping. This tradition has exploded over the last few years.  Churches often put a program together and move to a beach or sometimes off island to go camping.

Several Churches camped along the Ffryes Beach

This year, several churches occupied the Ffryes Beach in Antigua.  These included: St. Johns, All Saints, Pigotts, Steps to Christ (Spanish), Bible Speaks and others.  These churches occupied the long stretch of beach and took the time to bond as families and also as a church family.  There, they worshipped together, prayed together, ate together, took care of camp duties together and played wholesome games together.  

Well organized in Streets and Lanes

The atmosphere was extremely relaxing and enjoyable, the beautiful ocean breezes bathed and relaxed each person as did the beautiful ocean waves as they gently washed against those who chose to enjoy the oceans warm embrace.  

The New Maranatha SDA Church took it a step further and took LIAT over to St. Kitts where they too enjoyed summer fun in ‘Sugar City.” 

Over the weekend, instead of going into the city, SDA’s were able to enjoy nature and have a closer walk with Jesus.  Although the camping atmosphere was a very relaxed one it was also spiritually charged.  

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