Atlantic Caribbean Union

ACUM Holds Annual Women’s Ministries Retreat

By Preatta Gibbs

The atmosphere was one of excitement and keen anticipation as women from the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission (ACUM) converged at The Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, Grand Bahama, August 14-16, 2012, for their second annual retreat under the theme, ‘That I Might Live for Him.’
Attending the event organized by the ACUM Women’s Ministries Department were approximately 200 women from the four fields including the North Bahamas Conference, South Bahamas Conference, Cayman Islands Conference, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission. Participating in the retreat were also friends from the Freeport community.

Setting the pace for the entire weekend was the Friday night official opening and vesper service. The expectations of all attendees were met as the praise team from the North Bahamas Conference led the way in worship through music. Words of commendation and special greetings were brought by Pastor Leonard Johnson, president of ACUM, and Pastor E. Bryan Tinker, president of the North Bahamas Conference. Also bringing greetings was Senator Tanisha Tynes, who spoke in behalf of Honourable Melanie Griffin, Minister of Social Services. She welcomed the delegation to Grand Bahama and delighted the audience by referring to some of the pioneers of the Adventist church.

Though concise, the meditational thought was spiritually captivating as Dr. Gina Brown, guest speaker from North America, reminded the women that to live for Christ first begins with the commitment of fellowshipping in His sufferings. In leading the congregation to a mountain top experience at the Sabbath divine hour service, she admonished the attendees to live in the power of Christ’s resurrection. Every heart was inspired as Dr. Brown directed women to the word and reminded them that they were to take authority of the situations in their lives by allowing the Holy Spirit to transform their lives at home, at work, at church, and in their communities.

Each session was saturated with prayer, which without doubt led to the success of this event. On Sabbath and Sunday at 6:30 a.m., women of God, eager and yearning for the power of God to fall in its fullness, gathered for a time of corporate prayer. The prayer room was indeed a gravitational force for all who ventured near.

Sabbath afternoon provided a grand opportunity for the attendees to be updated as the women’s ministries directors presented inspiring reports of the activities taking place within their respective areas. Women were further empowered to live for Christ through participation in various seminars on Women’s Rights, Budget Planning, and Possessing Divine Beauty.

Fun and laughter were much a part of the retreat, and on Saturday evening, the Freeport community joined with the ladies as they let down their hair for the enjoyment of a cultural production reflecting the retreat’s theme. This production was written and directed by Mrs. Carleta Carolina and role-played by the young adults of the North Bahamas Conference.

The delights of the weekend retreat were soon brought to an end. The closing session was a time of sharing testimonies and encouraging each other to live for Christ.
Women’s ministries director of ACUM and the organizer of the event, Mrs. Denise Johnson, in her closing charge, encouraged the women in their walk with God as she elaborated on four essentials, namely; spending time communing with God, spending time in the word, worship and fellowship, and witnessing for Christ.

There was a mixture of tears and joy as the women of ACUM said their farewells and departed for their various destinations. Now inspired and rejuvenated, the women of ACUM are committed to living for Christ and look forward to next year’s retreat to be hosted by the SBC.

According to teenager Kristen Saunders, "The retreat was very relaxing, and Dr. Brown was dynamic and down to earth.” Another retreater, Beatrice from the Turks & Caicos Islands who was happy for the opportunity to attend the retreat said that she was "filled up, learnt a lot, and my only desire is to live for Christ.”

Special commendations go out to Mrs. Arlene Sands, women’s ministries director of the North Bahamas Conference, and her dedicated team of workers for spearheading the ground work.