Adversity Results in Remarkable Display of Love

A few weeks ago, I penned a story regarding kindness. A week later I received a poignant story from a local church elder of an act of remarkable kindness to a stranger. Since then I became aware of another touching and moving display of love and kindness. The occasion was Sunday, February 26 at the site of what was the home of Elvardo, Erika and Daniel Perpall on Godet Drive off Carmichael Road.

On Friday, December 16, 2011 Elvardo received a call informing him that his house was on fire. Upon reaching home, he discovered that he had lost his house, its contents and a prized truck of his parked at the site. Essentially, he and his family were left with just the “clothes on their backs,” but they had an abiding faith in their God. As such, they took courage from the many visits, prayers and initial acts of kindness shown by their local Seventh-day Adventist church community. However, the greatest display of kindness and love would come on Sunday, February 26, 2012.
Recognizing the need to assist the Perpall family in rebuilding their home, which fortunately was insured, their local pastor, Peter Joseph who is also Executive Secretary of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Elder Winston Ash, senior local elder of the Grant’s Town Church and Elvardo himself requested the help of fellow members, youth colleagues and others from sister congregations within the conference. Elvardo did not anticipate that so many would respond. He, along with his pastor and elder would be in for a big but pleasant surprise, for approximately 60 to 80 persons reported to assist in one way or another.

These included males and females; seniors and juniors; church and conference officers, and a former member of parliament for the Pinedale Constituency, Mr. Peter Galanis, now a member of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Also, Elder Melvin Lewis, leader of the Ebenezer SDA Church, and Conference Treasurer, and numerous members came as Elvardo had assisted them with the construction of their church building. Yes, elders, deacons and members in general came. So moving was the scene that the local neighborhood was literally blocked with vehicles of all sorts owing to this remarkable turn out of volunteers. Visibly moved, Elvardo remarked, “In the midst of everything I am moved by the unity of brethren. I never imagined that I would find so much love and confidence toward me and my family.”

As a close friend of the Perpalls, I also rendered assistance, though briefly and remarked that God works in interesting ways. Sometimes He uses adversities and apparent setbacks to unite His people and to allow opportunities for assistance and kindness. And Sunday, February 26 was nothing short of a miracle of love. Because of many caring persons, what was just a cleared foundation on that Sunday morning was transformed into a building at belt course on Sunday afternoon.

I am convinced that with more demonstrations of this same kind of love, the church can minimize suffering, pain and poverty. Essentially, “We need to be our brothers’ keepers.” Elvardo, a local contractor who has helped so many across the Bahamas, especially his church and more recently the new Bahamas Academy on Marshall Road, is now reaping the benefits of what the Bible records as casting bread on the waters and seeing it come back. To God be glory and praise!