Blessings in the Caribbean
It was my privilege to attend the Caribbean Conference (CC) followed by the Eastern Caribbean Conference (ECC) held consecutively this year in St. Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands.
The Caribbean Conference began on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the Frederiksted church. The CC is made up of representatives from the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Eastern Caribbean islands. There were good devotional and prayer times as we sensed the inspiring presence of God together. I gave greetings from World Missions, as well as a presentation and report of 9 of our mission fields.
The E. C. Conference consisted of pastors of 11 churches in the Eastern Caribbean islands. I am greatly impressed with their leadership. They have, by their own initiative, organized themselves to work efficiently together for the spread of the gospel. I was impressed with the unity and order displayed in all the sessions. Agenda items included, among other things, a project to rebuild the Youth Camp in Virgin Gorda that was virtually wiped out by Hurricane Irma last year.
As a part of the ECC, each pastor reported their average attendance, conversions, baptisms, membership, and youth participation for the past year. We rejoiced with each report.
The church building in North Sound, Virgin Gorda, is not yet rebuilt after losing its roof in the 2017 hurricane. The congregation meets in the home of the pastors, Dr. and Mrs. Steve Lennard. Dr. Lennard is also the newly-elected General Overseer for the Eastern Caribbean churches.
The Valley, Virgin Gorda is rebuilding from the storm and making good progress, led by Pastor Gleason Brooks. Average Sunday morning attendance is 74, and they saw 5 conversions. (Pictured below: The Valley church sustained much damage from the hurricane in 2017; this year, the structure is being reinforced.)
The St Thomas church has a new roof and parking lot, and a multipurpose building is being planned. They have begun 4 new prayer cells in efforts to see God move in their community and church. They have 63 students in their school with 8 teachers. We rejoiced especially with the report of the French (Haitian) congregation that shares the facilities in St. Thomas. Pastor Denise Pierre gave testimony of how God led them to the St. Thomas church and blessed them in doing so. I have never seen Pastor Kenrick Bukle so encouraged and blessed.
Anguilla has 3 new converts and 135 in average attendance. Pastor Philip Gumbs said their goal was to see at least 10 new converts in the next year. He also has a weekly radio talk show.
Since the passing of Rev. Leon George, Rev. Stephen Marcel is serving as pastor at Christiansted, St. Croix, as well as continuing to lead the Frederiksted church and teach and direct the school. He has assistants who help him in this momentous task, including Lindon Clarke, recent graduate of Kansas Christian College. I would ask us to pray for this great work of God.
St. Lucia, led by Pastor Didacus Cadette, reported 3 new members and a fundraising effort to purchase property. They now rent 2 buses to bring in people to their 2 rented facilities.
Pastor Carl Henry from St Vincent reported 7 new converts and 4 new members in their 3 churches.
Let us join in prayer for the vibrant churches in the Caribbean. Their buildings suffered great loss from the hurricanes, but the Spirit of God is working through the clear preaching of the gospel.