Adventist Community Pays Tribute

Adventist Community Pays Tribute to Dr. Myles Munroe
 myles-munroe

The tragic and unexpected passing of Dr. Myles Munroe, one of the nation’s finest and most intellectually astute religious leaders, has dealt a serious blow to our religious community, country and world. Compounding this stunning shock is also the loss of his wife, pastoral colleagues, friends and pilots at the same time. As a church administrator, I can imagine the unsettling impact on the Bahamas Faith Ministries, as most of the nine who perished were associated with that religious body. It is painful to lose one individual, but to lose one’s senior pastor and his spouse, the senior assistant pastor, the youth pastor and family, as well as other members at one time is excruciating. Such a reality tempts us to want to question God. In fact, some have actually done so as we would have read on face-book, in newspapers and heard on television.
 
Where Was God?
It is not unusual to question: “Where was God?” “Why did He allow such an instrumental and influential leader like Myles to pass in such a tragic manner?” Most would agree that Dr. Myles had so much more to offer and contribute to our nation and the world, and therefore the added questions: “Why now?” “Why his wife?” “Why Pastor Pinder?” “Why Pastor Parks and family?” “Why Captain Thurston and others?” “Why?” “Why?” The truth is that we do not always understand the happenings and the timing of them- especially these losses at one time. However, we may know from the very word of God that Dr. Myles employed to teach and encourage so many and that blessed his ministry, that “God is love!” In fact, Jesus declares, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:10-11, NKJV).
 
There Is an Enemy
It is necessary that we be mindful of forces that are at work all around the people of God seeking to thwart and destroy as observed in Ephesians 6:12, “Wrestling against principalities of the world and rulers of darkness.” There are also the laws of nature as well as causes and effects. At times God intervenes in situations, sparing us tragedy, and at times He does not. And this is confusing to some. In spite of it all, we need to maintain our faith in Him and in His word. The example of Job is most fitting: “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him”(Job 13:15). We can rest assured that He cares and loves without measure. That is something that we will understand better by and by.
 
Truths That We Can Claim
However, here are some truths that we can comprehend. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13, the Apostle Paul counsels that we do not grieve as others who have no hope. Observe that the counsel is not that we do not sorrow, but that we do not do so without hope. This sense of hope is predicated on the fact that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us, and He will come again, according to John 14:1-3. At that time, the Apostle Paul notes that “the dead in Christ will rise first,” and “we that are alive in Christ will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air” (1Thessalonians 4:15, 17). Is it any wonder that we are admonished to “Comfort one another with these words?” (1Thessalonians 4:18). So we may know that the dead have not gone on to heaven. They are asleep awaiting the return of Christ. Therefore, the Apostle Paul explains, “if Christ is not risen then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (1 Corinthians 15:14, NKJV).  The resurrection of Christ is our surest and most guaranteed hope. As penned by Bill Gaitor, “Because He lives I can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear is gone and life is worth the living just because He lives.” Take courage Bahamas, for one day death will be defeated; and we will no longer have to weep nor will loved ones have to weep for us.
Pastors Paul Scavella and Errol Tinker, leaders of South and North Bahamas conferences, respectively, join me in conveying condolences to the BFM family. May the God of peace and love comfort you during this difficult period in your Christian experience.

Adventists Pay Tribute to Bishop John Humes
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Daily, we come across people who impact our lives; some do so negatively, others positively. Some of these encounters we forget, while others are etched in our memories forever.  The warm and cordial relationship shared with Bishop John Humes is one such interaction that will long linger in my mind. His tall stature, infectious smile, and engaging voice ensured that you took note of him and will be fondly remembered. He was a genuine, compassionate leader and a family man.
 
The Seventh-day Adventist Church family appreciates his attendance at many of their annual conventions and applauds his deliberate attempts to facilitate inclusiveness, ensuring that the Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership had participating roles to play in services of national importance when he served as president of the Bahamas Christian Council. Additionally, as head of the Church of God community, his willingness in making available the Church of God auditorium for our church conventions, Bahamas Academy graduations, and church concerts serves as an admirable testimony to his kindness and generosity to our church family.
 
As a great leader, God used him to advance the goals of the Church of God denomination in The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Of significance were the construction of the Church of God administrative complex and the renovation of the Church of God auditorium. He was undoubtedly a people’s person and a visionary leader.
 
My last visit to him was on the sad day that his twin brother died. He was so positive and actually ministered to me and my colleague, Pastor Andrew Burrows.  Also lifting our spirits on that final visit with him were the remarkable love and care displayed by his wife, Minister Jennie.
 
As such, I wish to assure Sister Jennie, their children, and the entire Church of God membership of the prayers of the Seventh-day Adventist community in the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. In a personal way, Pastor Paul Scavella and Pastor Errol Tinker, local leaders, join me in conveying sincere condolences.
May God continue to bless and comfort you, always being mindful that the great resurrection day is still future when the dead in Christ will rise first.
 
Leonard Johnson
Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists
(Bahamas, Cayman, Turks and Caicos Islands)
 
 
Leonard Johnson
Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists
(Bahamas, Cayman, Turks and Caicos Islands)