The Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (CIC) commenced its fifth Quadrenneial Session on December 8, 2019 at the George Town Seventh-day Adventist Church. Dr. Gamaliel Florez, Education Director of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD), and representative of the president of the IAD, in his message at the opening ceremony presented the life of Joshua.
Dr. Florez reminded the over 150 delegates to the session that each of them is a leader and that God expected each of them to lead with integrity and with a spirit of service. “Leaders are the first to serve and last to be served”, said Dr. Florez.
Being the father of two adult children, Dr. Florez presented what he considered a very disturbing statistic which states that the church loses over fifty percent of its young people. As he read the words of Joshua saying “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord”, Dr. Florez asked; “How many of us can honestly utter these words?”
In the conclusion of his spiritual charge Dr. Florez asked each delegate to prayerfully submit themselves to the Lord before making decisions at the session. “You are making decisions that will impact the lives of your children”, said Dr. Florez as he continued to explain that it is fine to have you plans and ideas but that everyone must first ask God what His desire is for CIC.
“Remember that God will not bless what he did not inspire”, exclaimed Dr. Florez.
On December 9, 2019, the CIC delegates will appoint committees that will elect the president, executive secretary and treasurer for the conference for the next quadrennium. The executive committee, which will be highest governing body of the CIC will also be elected along with departmental directors and coordinators.
Pastor Peter Kerr, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU), made a presentation to the 2019 Annual Council of Seventh-day Adventists on the impact of Hurricane Dorian on the Northern Bahamas Conference and on the Union at large. He expressed great appreciation to the worldwide Adventist community who stepped up even while the storm was over the northern Bahamas to pledge their support.
Unions and conferences have sent funds and containers of relief supplies to assist affected persons
A special prayer was offered for the North Bahamas by Pastor Abner De Lo Santos that the Lord would restore the affected islands.
By ATCU Communication Department
“My heart is full,” said Sherrell Taylor, a resident of Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas, as she tried to describe her experience during Hurricane Dorian while still at the residence of the Women’s Ministries Director, Mrs. Arlene Sands to which she had to evacuate.
Hurricane Dorian traveled north from the vicinity of Puerto Rico and gained strength as it turned towards the northern Bahamas, approaching the Island of Abaco as a category 4 storm and strengthening to a category 5. It devastated the Islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama for most of Sunday, September 1 and Monday, September 2, 2019.
Residents who were directly on the coast and in low-lying areas were instructed to evacuate, but Sherrell had never experienced flooding in her neighborhood and decided to ride out the storm at home with her family. “Even during previous storms, my area has never flooded,” said Sherrell.
However, while looking outside as the storm approached, she was amazed and shocked as she saw the waters rising around her house. “I only had a few seconds to pack a small bag, put on proper clothing and shoes, and make a run in the monster winds.”
Sherrell and her family were able to get in her car and flee to the Sands residence from which she described her ordeal on Monday evening, September 1. “I still have family on the other side of the island asking to be evacuated,” she said. “But, as night falls evacuation efforts have come to a halt.”
Persons have been asking to be evacuated from 7:00 a.m., and up to sunset the overwhelmed evacuation teams have not been able to get to some. Many persons are still unaccounted for and even the structures of some of the shelters have been compromised. The Freeport and Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Churches were both used as shelters during hurricane Dorian. The level of damage sustained by these structures is unknown at this time, but all those who sought shelter there are reported to be safe.
The administration of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) and the sister conferences of the North Bahamas Conference are all monitoring the situation and mobilizing efforts and resources to be able to bring relief to those affected by Dorian as soon as the all clear is given by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Pastor Peter Kerr, president of ATCU, has been in contact with as many persons as possible in Grand Bahama and Abaco in order to better mobilize efforts after the passing of the storm. “We are always extremely concerned about our brothers and sisters affected during the passage of storms. We pray and ask for God’s intervention, and we also bring relief to the physical needs of the members and residents,” stated Pastor Kerr.
Pastor Henry Moncur III, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Director of ATCU, though personally affected by Dorian as he is a resident of Grand Bahama, is in close communication with ADRA International in efforts to bring relief and support after the passage of the storm.
“To be honest, I can’t put words to this whole ordeal. It’s surreal and emotional, but even when things are bad, God is still good,” said Sherrell.
Please continue to pray for the residents of Grand Bahama and Abaco in the Bahamas, and please contact a local Adventist Church or conference to find out how you can assist with donations.
Cayman’s Youth Benefit from International Support
Eighty-seven Cayman youth and youth counsellors depart for Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on Sunday (August 11) for an international “Pathfinder Camporee”, joining some 50,000 other Pathfinders from more than 100 countries.
Preparing Cayman’s youth for the five-day international camp in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the Adventist 2019 Youth Congress (Friday-Sunday, July 26-28) held at the Lions Centre featured a 30-member visiting choir in the three-day programme. The weekend culminated in a multi-dimensional gospel concert on Sunday (28th).
The Camporee to which the large contingent of Cayman’s youth are headed Sunday is held every five years for members of the Pathfinder Club, a nearly two million-member global organisation aimed at “enlarging … windows on the world and building a relationship with God,” organisers said. The camp experience, organisers added, has become “a leadership and spiritual rite-of-passage for youth and adults.”
Meanwhile, choir member Chueyen McIntyre said that he had opted to be a part of the 30 visiting members of the 80-strong choir based at the Kencot Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica because “It is part of our role as Christian youth to help other youth.”
“The idea of youth-reaching-youth led to the invitation to the Kencot Youth Choir (KYC) to lend their support to Pastor Henry Vaughan, Youth Ministries Director for the Cayman Islands Conference,” said KYC Director Dianne Boyd.
The choir sang throughout the three-day Youth Congress, organised by the local Adventist Youth Federation, in an initiative themed “Life in Transformation” (LiT).
The concert at Sunday’s finale featured a multi-media programme packed with dramatic interpretations of poems, ballet choreography illustrating gospel music, and high energy choir presentations drawn from a variety of musical genre.
The script for the programme, authored by Choir Director Boyd, captured the Genesis story of creation through to the Bible’s Revelation climax.
Joining Choir Director Boyd in creating the power-driven vibrancy of the event, author and poet Denise Simpson served as the evening’s mistress of ceremony.
Another Kencot Church member, Ms. Simpson invigorated the programme with her dramatic interpretations of poems and masterfully welded the evening’s diverse programme in a harmonious whole.
Commenting on the attendance at the Youth Congress, local Youth Minister Henry said that the weekend’s programme was considerably magnetized by the visiting choir: “The weekend event drew the largest turnout of young people I have seen locally—it was staggering.”
Beginning on Friday evening (26th) with a parade of youth from the various churches marking the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the Adventist Church in the Cayman Islands, the Youth Congress continued on Saturday morning (27th) with breakout sessions exploring spiritual dimensions. Afternoon workshop sessions focused on topics such as leadership, conflict resolution, and youth and spirituality.
These activities were followed later on Saturday afternoon by a parade that included youth clubs such as Pathfinders, “I-Serve” and the Amplified radio ministry.
During this afternoon session the Youth Federation launched the “Adopt-a-Ministry” programme, in which youth organizations in the various local churches committed to adopting a street or community for youth engagement. Youth Minister Henry said that he envisaged that these activities would include health clinics, health fairs, and door-to-door contacts, among other possible undertakings.
“The Adventist Church in the Cayman Islands is making serious effort to energise their young people spiritually, reclaim their missing youth, and reach other youth,” Mrs. Boyd said, goals that boosted the opportunity for KYC’s ministry during their visit.
In addition to exercising their voices in choir appearances and the concert over the weekend, on their final day (Monday, 29th), KYC members volunteered for a work day at Cayman Academy. Helping to prepare the campus for the new school year, the choir members painted, cleaned and gardened.
Making it all possible for the 30-member visiting contingent, choir director Boyd said members paid half of their airfare, with the rest contributed by sponsorship and fundraising in Jamaica. Some financial support was provided by the Kencot Church and the East Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
The local Youth Services Department of the Adventist Church arranged accommodations and transportation.
Mrs. Boyd, an educator and administrator and an elder at the Kencot Church, has directed the choir for almost two decades.
Discussing the choir’s range of activities, Director Boyd said that KYC’s ministry involves performing at religious and civic functions, opening and providing background music for local and international artistes in major gospel and fundraising concerts, ministering at events and services across Jamaica, and assisting with the physical and spiritual needs of children homes in Kingston.
Maintaining their spiritual tone was a priority, she said, adding that KYC’s in-reach activities for its members included a prayer and visitation ministry, a weekly Friday evening small group devotion and Bible study meeting, and an annual prayer and fasting retreat.
These activities, along with social support, supported “the maintenance of the spiritual vitality and community experience necessary for the choir’s ministry in the various initiatives,” Director Boyd said.
NCU Alumni Chapter Announces Scholarship Awards
Following the Jekalyn Carr fundraising concert on June 30, 2019, the Cayman Chapter of the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) Alumni Association has announced the availability of its second four-year scholarship to attend the Jamaica-based university.
The first four-year scholarship was awarded to Sonia Asharie Bailey at the June 30 Lions Centre concert. The scholarship, fully funded by a local donor, covers tuition, books, and boarding.
The chapter also announces its top concert ticket seller, Dr. Martin Richards, who wins two nights for two at the Little Cayman or Cayman Brac Beach Resort, courtesy of Clearly Cayman Dive Resorts.
Commenting on the generous support by the community for the five-day youth outreach initiative that culminated in the June 30 concert, Ms. Patricia Ebanks, president of the Cayman Chapter of the NCU Alumni Association, said: “We were moved by the enormous demonstration of goodwill by the community.”
The availability of both scholarships is a direct result of the many donors’ concern for, and commitment to, the wellbeing of the youth of the Cayman Islands, Ms. Ebanks said, adding: “We thank them for their community spirit and generosity.”
The June 30 concert and a youth convocation sponsored by the Judicial Administration were the high points of the chapter’s five-day youth outreach effort that featured US motivational speaker and three-time Grammy-nominated singer Jekalyn Carr.
Three-time Grammy-nominated singer Jekalyn Carr in concert at the Lions Centre on June 30, 2019, at the finale of a five-day youth-outreach initiative. Concert sponsorship, along with large attendance at the concert, enabled the grant of a second four-year scholarship tenable at NCU in September 2020. Interested persons should email NCU.KyAlumni@gmail.com. (Photo credit: Rohan Riley)
All public and private secondary schools and more than 50 youth organisations were invited to nominate representatives to attend the June 28 Judicial Administration’s youth convocation held at the Grand Court.
In addition to the youth convocation and the concert, the singer’s Cayman tour, with the theme “Unleash your Potential; Hold Fast to your Values,” included visits to Northward and Fairbanks prisons, Cayman Academy, and churches.
Meanwhile, scholarship-awardee Bailey will commence her studies at NCU in September, 2019. She will be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education to prepare her for a teaching career.
On hand at the concert to welcome Ms. Bailey to NCU was the university’s president, Dr. Lincoln Edwards, who congratulated Ms. Bailey on her achievement.
Presenting the award, Ms. Ebanks commented on Ms. Bailey’s tenacity in qualifying to attend NCU via night classes at the Adventist Church’s CXC programme while holding down a full-time job.
Ms. Bailey, in turn, thanked the chapter for affording her the opportunity, saying that it had put on her track to realise her dream of becoming a teacher and equipping her to help other young people.
The chapter’s second four-year scholarship will be tenable at NCU in September 2020. Candidates may elect to pursue any of the university’s bachelor’s degree programmes. For further information, email NCU.KyAlumni@gmail.com.
Among recent achievements, NCU retained its first place in the National Science and Technology Competition hosted by the Scientific Research Council (SRC) of Jamaica, on July 4, 2019. (See recent report in Jamaica Observer: http://m.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/ncu-dominates-national-s-t-competition_169767?profile=1286&template=MobileArticle
Other Jamaica and international wins for NCU include the Microsoft Imagine Cup, on behalf of Jamaica (2010); the International Business Model Competition (2018); the Girls in ICT Caribbean Hackathon (2017-2018); the National Science and Technology Competition (2018-2019); and first runner up in the Girls in ICT Caribbean Hackathon (2019).
NCU is among three universities in Jamaica that are fully accredited by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ).
NCU Alumni Association Cayman Chapter president Patricia Ebanks, left, introduces Sonia Bailey, the recipient of the Chapter’s first four-year scholarship to attend NCU. Ms. Bailey will commence studies in September 2019 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in education. (photo credit: Devarro Whittaker)
TEACHING POSITION(S) AVAILABLE
GRAND BAHAMA ACADEMY OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA
Grand Bahama Academy of Seventh-day Adventists is seeking qualified teachers in the following disciplines for the 2019-2020 school year:
English Language & Literature – Grade(s)-7-12
Physics & Chemistry- Grade(s)-10-12
Business Studies & Information Technology –Grade(s)-7-12
Applicant is required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized University in the relevant subject area and a Teacher’s Certificate, and preferably a minimum of three years’ experience in the classroom.
Letter of interest accompanied by a resume and supporting documents should be emailed to email@example.com or mailed or delivered to the following address, North Bahamas, Conference Office, P.O. Box -40515, Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas on or before June 30, 2019.
-NBC Office of Education
Advertisement for Vice Principal
Maranatha Academy (formerly Maranatha High School), a Seventh-day Adventist institution located on the island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, seeks suitable candidates to fill the position of Vice Principal beginning September 2019.
Salary scale ranges from US$35,000.00 – US$40,000.00 per annum and is also based on years of experience and qualification.
Applications (cover letter and resume) should be addressed to:
The Education Director
c/o The Principal
287 Millennium Highway
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands
Applications can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for applications to be submitted is May 30, 2019.
The Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists will celebrate Symposium 2019 in the South Bahamas Conference on Wednesday, May 29 at 7:00 p.m. sharp at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church on Tonique Williams-Darling Highway in Nassau, Bahamas.
You are invited to come and be blessed by Christian fellowship, revived by God’s word, uplifted by majestic music, and inspired by the praise reports from the Cayman Islands Conference, the North Bahamas Conference, the South Bahamas Conference, the Turks and Caicos Islands Conference, and Northern Caribbean University.
Don’t miss this opportunity to lift your heart, hands, and voice in praise to the Almighty God for the great things He has done thus far in the Atlantic Caribbean Union! See you there!
By ATCU Communication Department
For the most part, meaningful discussions on mental health are seldom held and often avoided largely because of the misconceptions surrounding the topic. Given the importance of mental health to the overall wellness of an individual, the Health Ministries Department of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU), led by Annie K. Price, felt the need to focus on mental wellness and, therefore, conducted its first Mental Health Summit during April 1-3, 2019, at the union headquarters in Nassau, The Bahamas.
Dr. Carlos Fayard, associate professor of Psychiatry at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, addressed the role of church members and the clergy in providing support for those suffering from mental health issues. Dr. Fayard presented research data showing that a significant percentage of those who may be suffering from some form of mental health issue reach out to their pastor. This is noteworthy because it shows that the church plays a vital part in addressing mental health in communities. “They come to clergy because in many cases this is who they trust,” explained Dr. Fayard.
Dr. Sean Knowles, a physician in the Department of Psychiatry at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre in The Bahamas, brought awareness to addiction. He shared information on its causes and ways to address it and stressed the need for support for those suffering from addiction.
“Addiction to gambling is something that has become very prevalent in our region,” said Dr. Knowles. “And what is most interesting about gambling addiction is that the addict almost never shows physical signs of addiction.” Dr. Knowles explained that one of the most important aspects of treating addiction is that the addict must recognize that he/she has a problem. He further pointed out that it is very difficult to reach out to someone suffering from addiction if he/she does not want to admit that he/she has a problem. “I often tell people that addiction is prison where the locks are on the inside,” Dr. Knowles stated.
Dr. Stacey King, clinical psychologist in the Bahamas, and Dr. Carolina Osorio, psychiatrist with specialty in geriatric psychiatry, addressed the complexities of suicide prevention. Dr. King emphasized that many persons have had interactions with persons with suicidal tendencies and did nothing to help because they were ignorant of the signs. She, therefore, identified some of the signs presented by suicidal persons and explained what to do should one suspect that a person is contemplating suicide.
Dr. Osorio described how to relate to those who may have experienced mind-altering situations such as abuse and trauma and how to best assist them in getting the help that they need. Giving practical scenarios for the participants to analyze, Osorio shared treatment options that included things as simple as breathing to referral to a specialist. She also helped the attendees to identify agencies and facilities that can help persons with various mental health issues.
Belkis Archbold, health ministries director of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD), emphasized the importance of following the Biblical laws of health in order to maintain good mental health. Good nutrition, exercise, drinking water, getting sunshine, having enough rest, and trusting in God are some of the laws of health promoted through the health initiative, “I Want to Live Healthy,” spearheaded by the Health Ministries Department of the IAD.
Archbold expressed excitement over the success of the summit, including the fact that the Pan American Health Organization’s Health Systems and Services advisor, Dr. Gustavo Mery, participated and presented in training sessions. “I am leaving with the hope that everything that we learnt in these few days will be used for the betterment of the church and the communities,” said Archbold.
The summit was attended by Health Ministries leaders and pastors from the Cayman Islands Conference, the North Bahamas Conference, the South Bahamas Conference, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Conference both physically at union headquarters and via live online video conferencing.
Participants expressed great appreciation to Annie K. Price, ATCU Health Ministries director, and her team for planning the event. “I believe that God orchestrated that the summit would be at this specific time to prepare us to help persons in our church and community,” stated Pastor Edward St. Fleur from the South Bahamas Conference.
Annie K. Price and the conference Health Ministries directors will continue to collaborate to provide support and training for their respective conferences as they seek to help persons with mental health issues.
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Lord Transform Me 2019 ATCU Update
The officers, directors, pastors, and members of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU) rejoice and celebrate with the more than 600 souls that committed their lives to Jesus Christ in baptism during the Lord Transform Me Campaigns held in The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands during January and February of 2019.
Pastor Peter Kerr, president of ATCU, expressed excitement and was enthused to see the leaders and members throughout the union mobilized and energized to win souls for the Kingdom of Christ. “I am happy to see that there are many churches who did not end their campaigns on February 9 but are continuing to spread the gospel of Christ in local church campaigns,” said Pastor Kerr.
As of February 17, 2019, the number of persons baptized has exceeded 650, a final tally will be given at the end of the first quarter of 2019. “I know that the vision of Total Member Involvement (TMI) has caught on throughout ATCU as I am seeing pastors and lay persons refusing to pause their evangelistic efforts because they know and believe that Jesus is soon to come,” Pastor Kerr declared.
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By ATCU Communication Department
Born when one of the modes of transportation in The Bahamas was the horse and carriage, Elizabeth Moses, affectionately known as “Betty,” is the grandchild of the first Seventh-day Adventist in The Bahamas. Thanks to Adventist literature evangelists who visited the Bahamas, William Charles Antonio, a shoemaker and the paternal grandfather of Betty, accepted the Advent message. Reading books like The Desire of Ages and Bible Readings for the Home written by Ellen G. White prompted Charles and his wife to engage in further Bible study. These studies resulted in Charles, his wife, and their four children keeping the Bible Sabbath and hosting the first Branch Sabbath School in The Bahamas.
Elizabeth’s father, William Wilshere Antonio, was the youngest of the four children. He was baptized in 1912 and became a member of the Shirley Street Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nassau, The Bahamas. Wilshire married Olive Fountain in 1915, and they had three children. Elizabeth’s brother, Philip Glen Antonio, will be 97 years old on February 11, 2019, and Elizabeth celebrated her 100th birthday on January 6, 2019. Elizabeth’s other sibling, Tessie Mae, is deceased.
Elizabeth remembers being taken by horse and carriage, along with her grandmother, parents, and siblings, to Sabbath School on Sabbath mornings in the early 1900s. “I never got the privilege of knowing my paternal grandfather, but I did know my paternal grandmother, the matriarch of Adventism in The Bahamas, Mary Griffin-Antonio” explained Elizabeth.
There in the basement of the small church on Shirley Street, Adventist education in the Bahamas continued to grow. At that time, Adventist education only went as far as the 8th grade. Betty vividly remembers marching to the sound of “Pomp and Circumstance.” “The music was played by one of our older members, and her name was Vera Henfield, on an organ that had to be pumped,” said Betty as she used her hands to demonstrate the pumping action that had to be done to the organ.
“Being a Sabbath keeper at that time was extremely difficult as employers required you to work a six-day week,” said Betty. “I therefore became an entrepreneur, making homemade candy and selling them to business places at the time.” Eventually, the Bahamian Government amended the laws to make the business week a five-day one as opposed to a six-day week. Consequently, Betty was then able to seek employment. She worked in the insurance business and as receptionist at the office of the Bahamas Mission of Seventh-day Adventists and the Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists from which she retired in 2008.
Betty still attends church almost every Sabbath with her only son, Ian, at the Johnson Park Seventh-day Adventist Church on Farrington Road in Nassau, The Bahamas.
Celebrating her 100th birthday with her at the Johnson Park Church on Sabbath, January 5, 2019, were the executive secretary of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, Dr. Leonard Johnson; the president of Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Peter Kerr; the executive secretary of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Leonardo Rahming; and the Governor General of The Bahamas, Dame Marguerite Pindling.
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