Communication Department, ATCU
During the recent year-end meetings of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), the executive committee of the union voted to adopt Hope Channel TV, the official channel of the Seventh-day Adventist world church, as ATCU’s official channel.
Consequently, as of January 1, 2015, the Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN) will be replaced by Hope TV on channel 53 in the basic package offered by the Cable Bahamas Network. According to Pastor Andrew Burrows, communication director for ATCU, this shift will allow more members and viewers to access Hope TV’s wide variety of programs on wholistic Christian living as it focuses on faith, health, relationships, and community.
Pastor Burrows also stated that with this change, viewers will now access the programs of 3ABN, the 24-hour Christian television and radio network, on channel 653 instead of channel 53 on the Cable Bahamas Network.
Communication Department, ATCU
It was an idea that emerged out of one of the Sabbath afternoon rap sessions that a group of young people usually had with their local church pastor. The discussion revolved around the use of cell phones in church and at school, and how to be smarter than the smart phones.
Alicia Dormeus, one of the regular nine participants, decided to include others in the talkback sessions by messengering on the popular social messenger platform "Whatsapp." Taking counsel from their pastor, Fritzgerald Francois, who advised them to include as many of their classmates and friends as possible, the group reached out to other young people of the social media generation. Eventually, a youth ministry club called “Let’s Get Smarter” was started.
Today, the young people of the Salem Seventh-day Adventist Church in Marsh Harbor, Abaco, The Bahamas use this youth ministry club to witness to approximately 75 members between the ages of 14 and 17 years.
Now utilizing other social media such as facebook, the young people discuss with their pastor a number of issues such as sexuality, identity formation, spiritual growth, and the beliefs of the church. Dormeus has a vision for the ministry.
"It is going so rapidly; we want to extend it to the entire Bahamas and the world. Why not?” she asks.
Because of the influence of this unique ministry, three young persons were baptized recently and are now members of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
Communication Department, ATCU
Recently, the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) of Seventh-day Adventists held its fourth quadrennial session at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nassau, Bahamas. During this constituency meeting, delegates elected the administrators, departmental directors, and committee members who would administer the work of the Adventist church in the South Bahamas for the next four years. To facilitate efficiency of operation and successful corporate goal attainment, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) hosted a one-day orientation for the members of the newly formed executive committee of SBC on Sunday, November 16, 2014, at the union headquarters in Nassau. Bahamas.
According to Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of ATCU, the Adventist church recognizes the importance of training and developing its leaders.
“This orientation for the committee members of the South Bahamas Conference,” said Pastor Kerr, “highlights ATCU’s commitment to empowering its leaders for effective, Spirit-led service.”
The one-day orientation covered sessions entitled "Knowing Your Church and System of Governance" and "Best Financial Practices for the Seventh-day Adventist Church."
Pastor Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU, and Pastor Peter Kerr addressed the principles of church organization and governance while Elder Roderick Sands, treasurer of ATCU, presented information on the committee’s fiduciary responsibility.
The executive committee of the SBC is comprised of some 28 members which includes the three reelected administrators, Pastors Paul Scavella, president; Peter Joseph, executive secretary; and Melvin Lewis, treasurer; departmental directors; church pastors; and lay members.
Pastor Larry Green, youth director of SBC, remarked after participating in the session, "I am more equipped and have clear insight into my function on the committee."
Women’s ministries director, Mrs. Jacqueline Gibson, explained why the training was important to her.
"The sessions allowed me to understand my role as a new director and strengthens my resolve to propel the women’s ministries department of our local churches to a higher level of service to God."
Communication Department, ATCU
The Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) concluded its year-end meetings on Thursday, November 6, 2014, at the Breezes hotel in Nassau, Bahamas. The annual meetings brought together committee members from the four fields of ATCU to receive reports and vote plans for the work of the Adventist church in the Atlantic Caribbean region.
As a spring board for the union-wide health focus projected for 2015, Dr. Joseph Evans, a well-known Bahamian neurologist and lay member in the South Bahamas Conference, during his devotional message on Thursday morning, spoke about the link between preaching and living the health message and fulfilling the mission of the Adventist church: proclaiming the three angels’ messages.
“Seventh-day Adventist health professionals must be encouraged to recognize that our health message should accompany the three angels’ messages,” said Dr. Evans. He further stated that for the pastors, health training should parallel their theological training.
Shirline Henriques, health ministries director for ATCU, in promoting the health thrust for next year, declared that some aspect of the health message needs to be addressed every week in the Adventist churches of ATCU.
Mrs. Henriques then shared with the committee the community-based program “I Want to Live Healthy” that will be implemented in 2015. The plan involves the training of members so that they will be able to effectively engage and empower the community to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles. The plan calls for the distribution of health surveys and commitment forms to the homes in the various communities.
“After eight weeks, the residents ought to form some healthy habits and see some improvement in their health,” Mrs. Henriques said.
In addition, Sabbath April 18, 2015, is being designated as World Impact Day, with a mass distribution of the missionary book of the year. Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary and publishing director for ATCU, explained that on this day, each member will be encouraged to invite a friend to church and present a copy of the missionary book of the year, Health and Wellness, to him or her.
The executive committee also voted to adopt 2015 as the Year of Pastor. Pastor Leonard Johnson, president and ministerial secretary of ACTU, shared several objectives for this emphasis: 1) to focus on the continued training of all pastors in the union; 2) to equip each minister with the Logos Bible software; and 3) for the more experienced pastors to assist in mentoring the younger pastors and interns.
However, according to Pastor Johnson, the focus will not be on the pastor alone.
“The entire family, including the spouse and children, is important. Hence, the Day of the Pastor, which is scheduled for October 24, 2015, will be celebrated as the Day of the Pastoral Family,” Pastor Johnson said.
During the two-day meetings, committee members viewed a number of reports from the four fields of ATCU, Northern Caribbean University, and the different departments and ministries. In addition, the calendar of events for 2015, which highlights the major initiatives and special days for the union, was finalized and accepted.
Communication Department, ATCU
On Sunday evening, November 2, 2014, delegates and guests convened at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist church in Nassau, The Bahamas for the opening service of the 4th quadrennial session of the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) of Seventh-day Adventists.
Bringing remarks during the service were the Honorable Dr. Hubert Minnis, leader of the official opposition in the House of Assembly in The Bahamas, and the Right Honorable Perry G. Christie, prime minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Both leaders acknowledged the work of the Adventist church, particularly in the areas of education, Pathfinders, and health.
Prime Minister Christie commended the church for the vital role it has played in the development of The Bahamas and challenged the Seventh-day Adventist church in the Bahamas to develop a health and wellness center, opining that the church has a very effective healthy living program.
“You have an extraordinary history of commitment to best health practice. In this report (referring to the SBC president’s report presented to the church delegates), it speaks to the success of wellness programs that you have, but it also says we must move to create in the Bahamas a wellness center.”
Prime Minister Christie further went on to say that “when you find a body like yours, that has an international reputation for its commitment to wellness and healthy lifestyle and you are prepared, and you do it in this country, then the government of the Bahamas will find a way to help you succeed at doing that.”
Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union, informed the delegation of upcoming plans to launch a health initiative entitled “I Want to Live Healthy,” throughout the union territory in 2015 and reaffirmed the church’s commitment to continuously pray for the leaders of the country.
“When we visit with leaders of our country, it is not just to solicit help from them or to deal with issues, but, as spiritual leaders, it is to take time to pray for them,” Pastor Johnson said.
Pastor Leon Wellington, vice-president of the Inter-American Division, delivered the charge on the opening night of the session.
At the conclusion of the three-day conclave, Pastors Paul Scavella, Peter Joseph, and Melvin Lewis were re-elected to serve for the next four years as president, executive secretary, and treasurer, respectively. Also elected were departmental directors and conference executive committee members.
The South Bahamas Conference is the largest of the four fields within the Atlantic Caribbean Union territory, having a membership of approximately twenty-one thousand. It covers the territory of the central and southern islands in the Bahamas, including New Providence on which is situated the nation’s capital.
The schedule for the 4th Quadrennial Session of the South Bahamas Conference is below:
Sunday, November 2, 2014 from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. - Registration of delegates
Sunday, November 2, 2014 from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. - Opening of conference session
Monday, November 3, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Conference in session
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Conference in session.
The installation service for the officers and directors of the South Bahamas Conference for the 4th Quadrennium will be held at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sabbath, November 8, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. –
Pastor Kenny Deveaux, Crusade Coordinator, SBC
How quickly time flies when one is having fun doing the mission of the church. Phase 2 of Mission to the City began on September 6, 2014, at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Center, opposite the Government High School. Four weeks have quickly passed and the Nassau Experience has come to an end.
Phase 1 was the flow of love demonstrated throughout our communities by the various projects conducted by the Seventh-day Adventist churches throughout New Providence. These projects included soup kitchens, whole wheat bread distribution, clean up campaigns, and distribution of clothing and food supplies.
During Phase 2 hundreds of persons attended the meetings each night and were guaranteed a blessing. Many unrelentingly explained how impacting the Nassau Experience has been on their lives. Participants continue to bask in the wonderful glow of Christ and are strengthened in their relationship with Him. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God has rescued 223 precious souls from the grips of the enemy through baptism.
Through the powerful preaching of international evangelist, Pastor Peter Joseph, coupled with the inspirational singing of a 200-voice choir, backed up by a melodious band, the nightly program was reported to be “off the chain.”
The ministry at the altar was truly divine as each night attendees were invited to the altar and prayed for by the evangelist. Persons are still talking about the refreshing experience of praying together as they reflect on the joy found in ministering and being ministered to at the altar.
Now Phase 3 of the Mission to the City begins as the 223 souls are transitioned to the various churches throughout the island. This is an important aspect of Mission to the City. We are depending on God to “renew in us a clean heart” as we welcome these dear ones. Continue to pray for the new believers that they will now impact the communities around them and bring honour to God thus changing this Bahama land we love.
Under the theme, “Empowering Youth…Securing Our Future,” national youth month began with the national youth leaders certification course, where many youth leaders from across the country sought to become certified youth leaders. During the month of October, there are many activities that engage the services of the youth of our country and one such activity is the national youth march.
The youth groups of the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) were led by Pastor Andrew E. Burrows, youth director for the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), pastors Paul Scavella and C. Melvin Lewis, president and treasurer or SBC, pastor Kent Price, youth director of SBC and other associate youth director of the conference.
Accounting for a wide age spread, the adventurers, pathfinders, masterguides, Adventist youth leaders, and members in their church’s colors, joined in as usual and in an organized fashion paraded through the streets of New Providence. Other groups represented included primary, junior and senior high schools, churches, other uniformed youth groups, and youth groups from all of the political parties. This magnificent representation conveyed the profound message to the nation and the world that youth can still make a positive difference.
Other activities during national youth month will include, a holy youth jam, youth parliament, youth awards and medal pinning ceremony, and youth band encounter. All churches are encouraged to allow the youth to be featured during the month of October. The Pathfinders will host a speech contest on Sabbath October 18, at 6 p.m. at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The church for a long time has been empowering its youth and thus we are able to secure our future and make a difference in a society where everything bad seems to be noted and the good that our youth do go unnoticed.
In a press release to inform the nation of national youth month, Dr. Daniel Johnson, minister of youth for the Bahamas, stated that “during the month of October there will be a showcase of many positive youth role models and outstanding leaders within our country while encouraging unattached, marginalized, and at-risk youth to become involved in meaningful program and projects in their communities.”
The Seventh-day Adventist church will continue to partner with the ministry of youth to ensure that no youth is left behind and all are encouraged to do their best. As pathfinders, we will continue to do the work of the Lord and take this message to all the world.
Wilfred T. Adderley, Sr., Personal Ministries Director, SBC
When Moses asked the Lord to show him His glory, it was after God had agreed for His presence to be with His chosen nation- Israel, throughout their journey to the promise land. Then the Lord described Himself, saying: “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” Exodus 33:15 -19.
According to Wikipedia dictionary, ‘compassion’ is the emotion one feels in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help…it is rational and is based on sound judgment. However, sympathy is a feeling or reaction of expressed sorrow to distress, or a need of another person.
God calls us to emulate His character of compassion with the desire to help anyone who needs our help. Throughout the Bible we can read story after story where compassion was asked for or noticed by God.
Moses says it clearly in Deut. 10:18, “He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothes.”
Let us consider three Biblical models of the church in ministry.
- The early Christian church model in Acts 2:44 and 45 showed that they had all things in common because they sold some of their possessions and then shared with those who were in need. Thus, Ingathering is a ministry of compassion to all who are in need even church members.
- The Corinthian model in 1 Corinthians 16:2 – 8 indicates that the Corinthian church was called upon to give donations and gifts to help people in Jerusalem who were suffering a famine, which was a natural disaster. Therefore, Ingathering is a ministry of compassion that is needed in the aftermath of a hurricane or any such calamity that calls for immediate help to the Nation.
- The End-Time Church model was described by Jesus Himself in Matthew 25:31 – 41, as a church that was actively involved in seven ministries of compassion: (i) feeding the hungry; (ii) clothing the naked; (iii) giving shelter to the homeless; (iv) visiting the sick; (v) visiting those in prison; (vi) providing water to drink; and (vii) extending the invitation for eternal-life to all who desire it. To fulfill Christ’s mission on the earth, until He comes is the main point of this kingdom parable.
As we launch ingathering on October 25th, the goal of every member is to contribute to Ingathering by first putting aside a special offering for the poor in the church-in the Samaritan’s Purse; then to invite friends and neighbors, to give voluntary donations to assist the less fortunate of our communities. I wish to commend those churches that reached their goals in the 2013 campaign and to encourage all our members to manifest a spirit of compassion in ministry.
Tribune Freeport Reporter
THE Grand Bahama Academy was closed for some 250 students after a fire yesterday morning damaged some of the classrooms, the kitchen and the cafeteria.
Police said the cause of the fire is unknown, but some suspect it might have been a case of arson. An official said there was also a break-in and theft at the school.
Haydn Hanna, the school’s business manager, told The Tribune that “it was a miracle” the entire school did not burn down. He said the fire started in the kitchen, where there was extensive damage.
Mr Hanna reported that cases of drinks were stolen from a storage room.
“The door to the cafeteria was kicked in and the place was broken into and 30 cases of drinks were stolen from the storage room, where we kept a large shipment of items worth over $4,000, and the culprits lit the fire in there. It is a miracle the whole school did not burn down,” he said.
Police received the fire report around 7:30am. Inspector Terecita Pinder reported that when firemen arrived at the scene they saw fire and smoke damage to several rooms.
She said the damage was estimated at about $80,000.
“The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and police are actively investigating this matter,” she said.
Mr Hanna said the school’s cook was the first at the scene and notified officials.
“The kitchen was completely destroyed, but there was only minor damage to three classrooms,” Mr Hanna said.
“It seems that the fire had burned through a water pipe running overhead into the cafeteria and the water in the pipe came gushing down and extinguished the fire,” he said.
“We had no school today (Tuesday) because of the fire, but we hope to get the repairs to those classrooms and to the exterior done as soon as possible, and so we have suspended school for the rest of the week,” he said.
The school, which is located in the Grasmere Subdivision, will remain closed for a week until repairs are completed to the three classrooms, which were damaged by smoke.
He said that repairs to the kitchen are not expected to be completed when school reopens on Monday.
When Grand Bahama Academy opened its doors to the new school year on September 1, 2014, it began with a new principal at its helm. Mrs. Ruth Rolle, a veteran educator with over 40 years experience, will provide leadership to the more than 250 students and 25 staff members of the 31-year old institution. Grand Bahama Academy, located in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, is one of the four schools within the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU). It is owned and operated by the North Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Recently, Mrs. Rolle along with other educators from ATCU attended the second teachers’ congress sponsored by the education department of the Inter-American Division (IAD). The four-day event, which was held in Riviera Maya, Mexico, brought together over one thousand participants which included university presidents, union and local field presidents, education directors, principals, and selected teachers from across the IAD.
During the meetings, Libna Stevens, associate communication director of IAD, interviewed Mrs. Rolle. In the interview, Mrs. Rolle affirmed her commitment for teaching and her philosophy of education.
Below is an excerpt of the interview as recorded by Libna Stevens of IAD:
For Ruth Rolle of Grand Bahama, Bahamas, teaching has been a passion for more than 40 years. She’s taught first grade at Grand Bahama Academy, a K-12 grade Adventist school, for decades and just recently was appointed as the principal of the school.
Out of all her years as a teacher, she taught three years for the Bahamas government, and has always had the mission and vision of Adventist education clear in her mind.
“Teaching is such an awesome responsibility because we are training kids and preparing them for eternity,” said Rolle.
Rolle saw the school being built some 30 years ago and smiles as she recalls the hundreds of children whom she taught. The school, she said, has some 250 students and two-thirds are non-Seventh-day Adventists. She has seen many children come through the school who have questions about God, and knows how important her role as a minister of the gospel is in the classroom. Rolle sees the challenge of retaking the vision of Adventist education for teachers who have been educating in the Adventist school system and the new teachers who join and may not realize how crucial understanding that vision and mission of Adventist education is.
Communication Department, ATCU
“Public evangelism has been a stable part of the evangelistic process in the Seventh-day Adventist church from its inception…In the twenty- first century God still uses it mightily around the world—from large stadium evangelistic meetings to small church meetings.” These are the sentiments of Russell Burrill, retired director of the North American Division Institute of Evangelism, expressed in the preface of his book Reaping the Harvest.
As a testament to Burrill’s statements, indeed God is working through the members of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) as they remain committed to the union’s mission to proclaim the gospel to the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. For throughout the union’s territory, numerous campaigns are being held – from large citywide tent meetings to local church crusades.
Both the South and North Bahamas Conferences are presently engaged in major citywide big tent evangelistic meetings. The Mission to the City, Nassau Experience is being conducted just opposite the Government High School in New Providence. Evangelist for the meetings, Peter Joseph, who also serves as executive secretary of the South Bahamas Conference (SBC), is proclaiming the gospel under two large tents erected specifically for this occasion. He explains that launching an evangelistic offensive on the city of Nassau at this time is a necessity.
“The mounting woes of city life now come face to face with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and people are experiencing joy, peace, grace, love and hope.”
Evangelist Claudius Morgan, guest evangelist from the East Caribbean Conference, is presently conducting the Good News Gospel crusade under the big tent in the Garden Villas community in the heart of Freeport, Grand Bahama, the Bahamas. On Sabbath afternoon, September 13, members from the North Bahamas Conference along with the evangelist distributed scores of baskets filled with much needed grocery items to the residents in the community.
“This is holistic evangelism, meeting the needs of the people as well as sharing the good news of the gospel,” commented Morgan.
During September, the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM) engaged in three local church crusades. Pastor Jose Torres of the North Dominican Conference preached at the Hope in Jesus crusade that was held at the Filadelfia Spanish Church in Providenciales. The crusade, which concluded on Sabbath September 13, saw three precious souls accepting Christ and being baptized. Pastor Anastacia Bansie, pastor for the local church, commented on the impact to the church members.
“The meetings were power-packed. We really appreciated the way the evangelist taught the messages each night,” she said.
Local church crusades are also being conducted at the Antioch church on the island of Grand Turk and the Five Cays church in Providenciales. What is unique about the crusade being conducted by Five Cays SDA church is that it is being held at the New Jerusalem Baptist church in Kew Town as a result of the request and generosity of its pastor, Serdinand Toussaint. Elder Osais Joseph, who was chosen as ATCU’s lay evangelist for the year in 2012, is the evangelist for the meetings.
The Cayman Islands Conference is preparing to launch the Message of Hope Gospel Crusade on November 8. The crusade will be held at the George Town Seventh-day Adventist church. Elder Erika Puni, stewardship director for the Adventist world church, will be the speaker.
Adventist Teachers Called to Be Ministers
The second Teachers’ Congress sponsored by the Education Department of the Inter-American Division took place from September 10 – 13, 2014, in Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Over six hundred university presidents, union and local field presidents, education directors, principals, and selected teachers from the English, Spanish and French-speaking regions of the Division were in attendance.
“The Teacher As A Minister of the Gospel” was the theme chosen for the congress, and every worship and workshop session spoke to the relevancy of this theme. Special guest speakers included Dr. George Knight, retired SDA educator, administrator, and writer, who challenged the educators to look at Adventist education in light of the apocalyptic vision outlined in Revelation 14. He reminded everyone that as educators, we must give hope to our students through our apocalyptic mission. An amazing lover of Adventist history, Knight paralleled the historic growth of Adventist missions to the growth of Adventist schools. He reiterated that the purpose of Adventist education is three-fold:
- To prepare students for this life;
- To introduce students to Christ;
- To inspire the coming generation with an understanding of prophecy, giving them hope for an eternal future.
Another well-known presenter was Dr. Lowell Cooper. Cooper, a general vice-president of the General Conference also serves as chairman for the boards at Loma Linda University Adventist Health Science Center and Adventist Health International. Dr. Cooper challenged his listeners to think seriously about the church’s responsibility to its educational system when he stated that the church needs to see the institution as an extension of the church and that our schools are not just employment agencies. His inspiring sermon on Sabbath further challenged the educators to look at their work as a calling from God. He said “God doesn’t call people to positions or careers until he calls them to Himself. When you sense your calling from God, He puts you on pathways you will not understand.”
Also in attendance was Dr. Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, the Director of Education at the General Conference of S.D.A. Dr. Beardsley-Hardy addressed the topic “SDA Education as an Evangelistic Strategy”. In her remarks, she stated that the Bible should be the center of all curricula and that the core features of Adventist education should be:
1.Redemptive in its purpose
2.Balanced, and a holistic development
3.Restoring the image of God in students
- Developing in students the ability to think and do
- Preparing students for service in this life
The list of presenters at this historical congress showcased some of the best names in the church’s organizational and educational system: Dr. Ella Simmons, General Vice-President of the General Conference; Dr. Myrna Colon, Vice President for Academic Affairs of the Antillean Adventist University in Puerto Rico; Dr. Myrna Costa, Vice-President of the Inter-American Division; Dr. Mike Lekic, Associate Education Director of the General Conference; Susana Schulz, Assistant Editor of Dialogue University magazine at the General Conference; Dr. Luis Schulz, Associate Director of Education at the General Conference; Dr. John Wesley Taylor, Associate Director of Education at the General Conference; Dr. Dan Tucker, Marketing Consultant; and Dr. Filiberto Verduzco, Treasurer of the Inter-American Division.
Interspersed through the daily activities were inspiring devotionals and heavenly music. The catchy and rhythmic theme song, written especially for the congress, reminded us daily of the special mission of Adventist teachers in our schools. Everyone left this conclave with a renewed sense of purpose to fulfill the mission for which Adventist schools were established. Organizing and coordinating this five-year event were Dr. Gamaliel Florez, Director of Education for the Inter-American Division, and Dr. Faye Patterson, Associate Director of Education for the Inter-American Division. We look forward with anticipation to the next Teachers’ Congress!
By: Lynn C. Smith, Education Director, TCIM
Religious background, past experiences, or family upbringing may cause the word altar to mean different things to different people. One of the definitions that can be found on Google is: a table or flat-topped block used as the focus for a religious ritual. For many this is the image that comes to mind when an altar is spoken of.
On September 6, 2014, all 26 Adventist congregations in New Providence came together to start a four-week evangelistic campaign called Mission to The Cities NP14 with Pastor Peter Joseph as the evangelist. One of the primary focuses of the campaign is prayer and Evangelist Joseph has constructed a deliberate strategy that he dubbed, "Ministry at The Altar".
At the end of each message, he invites specific groups to come before the altar to pray. The music stops playing and all that can be seen and heard are groups of individuals pouring their hearts out to God. Many individuals have left the tent meeting with the comfort of knowing that their requests have been answered.
The question that one may ask though is, what can prayer do for me? Ellen White in the book Steps to Christ on page 95 says that "...prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven's storehouse...." This short phrase has three main components prayer, a key and a hand.
The phrase "prayer is the key" has almost become a cliché among Christians who many times fail to use this very vital instrument that God has provided. Prayer has become an inconvenience for our busy lives where even before stepping out of bed our minds are preoccupied with cares and concerns. We are planning the day ahead without even consulting the Lifegiver.
What we often fail to realize is that it is this same God who was merciful enough to allow us to become conscious after a night's sleep is the One whom we have no time for. He awaits an early morning conversation with us but we fail to even tell Him good morning. I would certainly feel extremely rejected and unloved if my wife passed me by all day without saying a word to me; but this is how we have been treating our Creator for days, weeks or even months.
Seeing that prayer is speaking with God, if we fail to pray, then we can safely say that we are not speaking with God. If someone says that they are "not speaking to you" they are implying that they hardly have a relationship with you. Is that how we want to be with God? He certainly wants us to speak with Him, to present to Him our praise, gratitude, concerns, joys, and disappointments.
Many times our communion with God is all about requests and we seem not to have anything to give thanks for. Philippians 4:6 says, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." There is no need to look far to have something to thank God for. I even find that our children have learnt how to pray by saying please at the beginning of each sentence. Lord please protect my family. Please give us health, and the list goes on and on.
How would we feel if our friend or child came everyday and make requests without ever saying thanks? That is why the verse says "by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving". In our prayer we must always praise. Praise Him for being merciful, for without His mercies things would be far worse than they are now. God really does not need our praise but our praise brings us to a higher spiritual relationship with Him.
One great aspect of prayer is that no place can be considered inappropriate for prayer. At any time and anywhere were can silently give God thanks, intercede on someone's behalf, or pray that we have a safe landing on the plane. Everywhere is conducive to prayer.
We should be looking more towards heavenly things in all that we do and that is why the phrase from the book, Steps to Christ says that "prayer is the key to heaven's storehouse". If what we are praying for is not something that Heaven would be pleased with then we should not expect our prayer to be answered. God wants us to be marching towards Heaven. If what we are praying for will set us back in our heavenly march then out of love He will not grant it to us. Heaven's storehouse does not open to release unholy gifts.
Parents need to also learn this trait of our Heavenly Father. There are some times when love will make a parent say no. Children often do not see the logic behind a rejected request and may even understand it to be unkind or unloving, but parents have grown neurologically and oftentimes spiritually to be able to see what may lie ahead. God considers our prayer and looks at us with compassion and love and if what we pray for is not granted, never should we be disappointed in Him. We should praise Him even more.
Hand of Faith
The final part of this phrase from Ellen White is "the hand of faith". Faith is an indispensable part of prayer. Without faith in God our prayer would have no significance or power. In the process of prayer we need the Holy Spirit to help us to have faith. We must intentionally ask the Holy Spirit to fill us while we pray. For our hand of faith to open Heaven's storehouse with the key called prayer, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit.
This is the miracle that science will never be able to explain. Hebrews 11:1 says that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". How therefore can the miracles experienced during prayer be explained? I don't think anyone can, but somehow the Holy Spirit can help us to understand. At a recent revival meeting for the Mission to the Cities NP14, Evangelist Peter Joseph explained that one of the greatest miracles is when a sinner is converted into a saint. This happens by faith and every night at the campaign in the Queen Elizabeth Sports Center in Nassau, brothers and sisters in Christ come together at the altar and experience true ministry, Ministry at The Altar. -Mr. John Garcia, IT/Media Coordinator; Atlantic Caribbean Union
Communication Department, TCIM
Under the theme “Prospering in Health as our Souls Prosper,” the Atlantic Caribbean Union’s (ATCU’s) Health Expo weekend got off to an exciting start on Friday night, August 29 at the Blue Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. This was a very historic occasion, not only for the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM), but also for the health ministries department of ATCU because this was the first time that a union program of this nature was being held in this field.
In his remarks at the opening of the expo, Hopeton Bansie, secretary/treasurer of the TCIM, noted the significance of the event.
“We feel very privileged to have this opportunity to host such an event given the fact that the TCIM is the smallest field in the union in terms of membership size.”
Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of ATCU, expressed the union’s pleasure at having this health emphasis in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The featured presenter for the weekend was Mrs. Belkis Archbold, the health ministries director of the Inter-American Division (IAD). In her opening address on Friday evening, she underscored that the health message is a wholistic approach, explaining that it is not just about abstaining from eating meat, but that it is a healthy lifestyle that involves all aspects of our lives. She further emphasized that “when church members understand the real meaning of the health message, then the church will be ready to serve the community.”
In her main presentation on Sabbath morning, Mrs. Archbold stirred the hearts of the congregation to consider that the health message is also the right arm of the gospel. She shared an unforgettable formula: R + R + H = 4P (HLS) which stands for: Revival and Reformation in Health = 4 Pillars applied to a Healthy Lifestyle. The four pillars are (1) Prayer (2) Prevention (3) Practice and (4) Proclaim.
A part of the program involved video presentations from the four fields within ATCU. The reports featured the many activities going on in these fields and showed how people’s lives have been positively impacted due to lifestyle changes and the outreach in the communities.
The historic weekend climaxed on Sunday with workshops and how-to presentations by the health directors of the fields. Scores of materials were distributed including the new Eight (8) Habits for a Healthy Lifestyle. Hands-on instruction and massage practicums were also given. In fact, one of the local television media, PTV (People’s Television Ltd) came by to interview and tape part of the workshop for their news broadcast.
An attendee summed up the activities by saying, “the information about lifestyle and how to live happier, healthier and longer was great. And the chair sitting, hands-on massage techniques for relieving stress were easy to learn and can be applied to one’s family, among church members, and even at work.”
Pastor Michael Smith, president of TCIM, expressed gratitude to Mrs. Shirlene Henriques, health ministries director for ATCU, and her team of health professionals for organizing a much needed expo.
“It was quite timely and very beneficial for the churches and territory here in Turks and Caicos. Our members and health leaders feel more connected with our sister fields and appreciate the exchange of ideas. Members are more empowered and equipped to also share the information throughout their communities.”
Organizing the events for the weekend was Sis. Nora Tyndall, Health Ministries Director of TCIM and her team of health directors the churches in Providenciales. Special guests who travelled to the island for this special weekend were the Health Ministries Director of the Inter-American Division, Sis. Belkis Archbold, Dr. Idamae Hanna, Health Ministries Director of the South Bahamas Conference, Pastor Caple Thompson, Health Ministries Director of the Cayman Islands Conference, and Sis. GayMarie Smith, Health Ministries Director of the Filadelphia Church in the Cayman Islands. Also accompanying Dr. Idamae Hanna from Nassau was Dr. Tony Frankson who is a member of the Adventist Health Professionals Association (AHPA).
ATCU Communication Department
As the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SBC) rallied its members on Sabbath, August 30 for the upcoming evangelistic campaign dubbed NP14, Pastor Leonardo Rahming, a local pastor of SBC, confessed before all those gathered at the Hillview church that when he first heard about the campaign he was “not interested.”
Looking the evangelist for the crusade Pastor Peter Joseph straight in the eyes, he repeated, “I was not interested.” Pastor Rahming then went on to explain that through prayer and reflection, he realized that the campaign is not about Leonardo Rahming, but about lifting up the name of Jesus.
Pastor Rahming assured Pastor Joseph that he is in full support of the campaign and that he will not only pray for a successful campaign, but will also put all his efforts into the task ahead.
As Pastor Rahming ended, he invited all of his pastoral colleagues to join him in surrounding and laying hands on Pastor Joseph. Members of the prayer team for NP14 were then invited to surround and lay hands on the pastors as pastor Rahming prayed for the evangelist.
Later on in the rally, Pastor Joseph expressed appreciation to Pastor Rahming for his testimony and prayer and said that it made him feel strengthened for the upcoming campaign NP14. Pastor Joseph presented a PowerPoint presentation called Ministry at The Altar where he explained to members how important their support is in the performance of one of the greatest miracles, which is Jesus’ blood turning a sinner into a saint.
The campaign will run for four weeks starting with a gospel concert on Friday, September 5, and the meetings begin on Saturday, the 6th at 7:15 P.M. and will be held nightly except for Mondays and Thursdays.
Letter from the Secretariat
South Bahamas Conference
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Since our last quadrennial session in November 2010, the Lord has guided the South Bahamas Conference and its leadership to diligently pursue its mission and vision in the context of its core values and the Three Angels’ Message. I believe that we agree with the prophet to the remnant church, when she points out, "We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way The Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history."
Happily we remember the emergence of South Bahamas Conference during the recent historic formation of the Atlantic Caribbean Union in 2010. No doubt, as a Conference, we have seen the hand of God guiding this field from step to step in these very uncertain times.
The words of the Psalmist are appropriate, "What shall I render to The Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of The Lord. I will pay my vows unto The Lord now in the presence of all the people" (Psalm 116:12-14).
As you are aware, local fields must be ready for conference session every four years. Hence, in light of this constitutional reality, the Atlantic Caribbean Union has set the date, November 2-4, 2014 for South Bahamas Conference Session. In accordance with this decision, the executive committee took the following action to engage in local conference session on November 2-4, 2014.
76-13 VOTED: CONFERENCE SESSION DATE
To accept November 2-4, 2014 as the local conference session date for the South Bahamas Conference
In the near future, letters will be sent to the churches to inform each church of its quota of delegates and the expected date for the names of delegates to be turned in to the secretariat.
Thank you for your cooperation in this regard.
Pastor Peter Joseph
Executive Secretary, South Bahamas Conference
The school year, 2013 - 2014 brought some victorious moments for Bahamas Academy. Among them were the results for the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) and the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) external examinations. We celebrate our students’ performance in both examinations.
The BJC results reflect the following top achievers: Ashton Alcime with 2A’s, 4B’s, and 1C. Noel Mark with 2A’s, 3B’s, and 2C’s; Joel Kemp with 4A’s, and 3C’s; and Breann Rahming with 5A’s.
In the BGCSE category are Raven Hanna with 3A’s, 4B’s, and 1C; Catrea Conyers with 2A’s, 4B’s, and 1C; and Jevon Thomas with 2A’s, 2B’s and 3C’s.
Many of our students leave Bahamas Academy with passes in eight or more BGCSE’s having had the opportunity to sit them in Grades 11 and 12.
Special thanks to our dedicated teachers and parents for the discipline they have instilled in our students. The results were achieved from the long and arduous efforts of the home, school, and church.
With the theme, “Reaching New Heights with Christ,” we stand on the threshold of a new school year. Our prayer is that all church members will partner with us in supporting the mission of training head, hands, and heart. There will be new hurdles to cross, but we are confident in the Master Teacher who is able to take us through each challenge and transform them into awesome opportunities for powerful witness.
We thank you for your contributions over the years and request your continued partnership. Pray constantly for the success of our school, because together we can achieve more.
As our school reaches new heights with Christ in 2014-2015, you must be a part of the exciting journey.
Teoria Murray, 2nd-year medical student at UWI
“Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve”- this phrase, the motto of Oakwood University, played over and over in my head the summer after my graduation. As the words tumbled in my mind, I examined them to see how they had played out during my four-year stay.
I entered Oakwood in 2008, young and eager, uncertain of where this path would take me. When my parents left me at orientation, I tried to convince myself that I would be okay. I prayed that I would make friends, adjust to my newfound independence and increased workload, and have some fun along the way. I could never have predicted the journey God would take me through.
Being an Adventist institution, God’s presence was invited into each class with prayer and the spiritual aspect was considered in all things. Once a week, the whole school would gather in the campus church to worship and testify. My major was Biochemistry, and I was excited to see God as the author of science. The professors spoke from the heart, pushed us to excel, and presented lots of opportunities for us to learn from the students who came before us. Students were motivated to take part in research and represented the school and the Lord well at national and international levels. Above all this, we were encouraged to serve others. There were many ministries - choirs, drama groups, and the orchestra among them.
Early in my Oakwood experience, I joined the mission group NAPS - the National Association for the Prevention of Starvation. This was where my Christian experience came to life. I learnt to give Bible studies to children, then to their families. We travelled around the United States doing colporteur work, raising money for overseas missions, and ministering to young people at schools, detention centres, and churches. I was given the opportunity to go on mission trips to rural villages in Mozambique and Guyana. At the end of it all, I felt called to take a year off from school as a full-time missionary and God blessed my efforts. Beyond a substantial education in the sciences, I gained lifelong friends, a heart of compassion for others, and an understanding of my duty to the world as a Christian.
The next year ushered in new circumstances - a much esteemed public university. The University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica was a whole new world for me. The campus boasted a student population of more than 15,000 (more than 6 times that of Oakwood), and it wasn’t long before I encountered the melting pot of world views and beliefs. There were scholarly Christians of all denominations, Muslims, Rastafarians, Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, and everything in between. The medical faculty was a mixture of those who scoffed at religion and those who believed, but found it irrelevant to science.
I looked hard for wholesome activities in the midst of frequent parties raging outside my window. My beliefs were challenged and scrutinized, and for a while I struggled with a feeling of isolation. Thankfully, God showed me how to use the uniqueness of the Adventist faith as a ministry. I committed to study my beliefs more carefully and to share them with others as the opportunity arose. On Sabbaths, I answered questions my peers had about my “weekly holiday.” They wanted to know why I didn’t drink alcohol when we celebrated and why I didn’t eat certain things. Every question was an open door for witnessing. I showed kindness to overworked faculty members. I learned to befriend people very different from me and to see life from their perspective. UWI has a firm foundation of humanitarian work, so my friends and I took part in several outreach efforts. Day by day, the school I saw as a mountain of opposition became a stepping stone to a closer walk with God.
To all the students who will be attending Adventist colleges or universities this year, take advantage of the amazing opportunities you will have to understand your faith for yourself, to share the gospel, and to make friends who will support you in your Christian journey. These schools were planted by God Himself to advance His work by preparing young men and women to represent Him as professionals.
To those who will be attending public or private non-Adventist colleges or universities, do not be intimidated by conflict or disheartened by resistance to your faith. Instead, cling to God and you will discover unlimited spiritual power to meet every challenge in His strength. God has promised that He “is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). He has also directed us, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). See how much worth God places on us and what a high standard we are to reach!
I believe God has called me to be a medical missionary. Whatever passion He has placed in your heart to pursue as a career, know that it is not your ultimate purpose, but a means to an end. The purpose of your whole educational journey is to prepare you for Christ’s second coming and to win souls for His kingdom. “Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiselled into stone, but carved into human lives...” (2 Corinthians 3:3, Message Bible).
Communication Department, ATCU
The four fields of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will be busy spreading the good news of salvation during August to November 2014. This four-month evangelistic focus, which includes the Mission to the Cities initiative, will include youth, lay, and local church crusades.
"Mission to the Cities,” an outreach program of the Adventist world church, involves each administrative level of the Adventist church organizing to preach the gospel to a major city located within the geographical territory of the respective level.
Consequently, in 2012, evangelists from around the Adventist world church convened in New York City to share Christ with millions. In 2013, division-wide campaigns were conducted. Therefore, in the Inter- American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD), Mexico City was chosen as the city for this important evangelistic thrust. This year, each union will target a major city in its geographical region for evangelism. Within ATCU, the city chosen for its Mission to the Cities endeavor is Nassau.
Below are some of the other evangelistic initiatives in which the fields of the Atlantic Caribbean Union will be engaged.
Cayman Islands Conference
The Message of Hope Campaign begins on Sunday evening, November 9, 2014, at the George Town Seventh-day Adventist Church in Grand Cayman.
According to Dr. Erika Puni, stewardship ministries director for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and speaker for the series, the focus is twofold: firstly, to invite persons who are being studied with to make a decision to follow Jesus through baptism and become disciples of Christ, and secondly, to provide an opportunity for church members to nurture and build their faith in the Christ.
North Bahamas Conference
The youth ministries department of the North Bahamas Conference (NBC) will commence youth camp meeting under the theme "Restoration, Identity Restored!" Pastor Rohan Simpson from the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is the guest speaker for this evangelistic series which begins on August 10.
Following this youth campaign, Evangelist Claudius Morgan of the Caribbean Union Conference will proclaim the gospel to the residents in Freeport, Grand Bahama at the Good News Gospel Explosion.
In preparation for the upcoming crusade, Pastor Samuel Telemaque, associate personal ministries and Sabbath School director of the IAD, will be in Grand Bahama from August 20-23, 2014, to conduct training for all Bible workers, head elders, prayer intercessors, personal ministries leaders, and Sabbath School superintendents.
South Bahamas Conference
The major evangelistic initiative for the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) for September is themed "Mission to the City: The Nassau Experience.”
According to the coordinators, NP-14, as it is referred to, “is an effort to share Jesus' love and the hope of His soon return through a holistic approach using various events including an evangelistic campaign. The campaign will be held in the city of Nassau which is the largest city in the union territory.
International evangelist, Pastor Peter Joseph, who also serves as the executive secretary for SBC, and the dynamic team members along with a 200-voice choir will deliver powerful services to impact the lives of everyone in attendance. The meetings will commence on Saturday evening, September 6, 2014, and will be held at the "big tent" located at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Center.
Turks and Caicos Islands Mission
The Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM) will engage in evangelistic outreach in most of the districts across the mission. These include the following youth and church crusades:
1) The "Jesus Loves Apps" youth evangelistic series with guest speaker Pastor Geovanni Franklyn from the Northeast Jamaica Conference is currently under way at the Blue Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in Providenciales.
2) The Filidelfia Church crusade is scheduled for September 5-20, 2014, with a guest evangelist, Pastor Luis Torres, from the Dominican Republic.
3) The Ebenezer Church crusade in Grand Turk will be held during September 6-27, 2014, with a guest evangelist, Pastor Jude Bien Aime Joseph, from Haiti.
4) The Antioch Church crusade in Grand Turk will be conducted during October 5-25, 2014, with local lay evangelist Elder Patrick Gilroy Jarrett.
5) The Ephesus Church crusade in Providenciales will take place during October 2014 with Pastor Wilson Isnord.
6) The Five Cays Church crusade in Providenciales during October 2014 will feature local lay evangelist Elder Osias Joseph.
7) The Blue Hills Church crusade in Providenciales that will be held during October 2014 will involve the laity of the church.
8) The Maranatha Church crusade in South Caicos during November 2014 will feature Pastor Roy Lindsay.
Pastor Andrew Burrows, personal ministries director of ATCU, is inviting all the members, pastors, and workers across the union to unite in prayer and personal effort so that the union can be fully engaged in proclaiming Christ to the cities of the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Owing to the recent attainment of incorporation for both the South Bahamas and the North Bahamas conferences, I thought to make a few observations. Firstly, I offer commendation to a special committee formed in October, 2011, comprising of Leonard Johnson, chair; Roderick Sands, Paul Scavella, Melvin Lewis, Errol Tinker, Henry Moncur, secretary; Adelma Roach, Isaac Collie and Michael Dean. Particularly, I express profound gratitude to Brother Collie for his persistent and dedicated efforts to obtain the initial incorporation document Given the task of acquiring some form of incorporation as to make it convenient and practical for the day-to-day operation on behalf of the local conferences, without having to rely on the Union for such, the committee sought to incorporate each field. This decision resulted from a shift by the world church to pursue individual incorporation instead of the previous practice of one per country. The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Bahamas was incorporated 1948, and even with a restructuring of the church in 2003, giving birth to the North Bahamas Mission, it operated under one incorporation, the incorporation of the Bahamas Conference. Later, in 2010, with a further restructuring of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Bahamas, to include a Union, for the first 8 months of its operation, it functioned by the same incorporation. Following the practice of the past of one incorporation per country, as in the case of the Adventist Church in Jamaica, in the middle of 2011, through an act of parliament, the Union became the incorporated body of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Bahamas. Nevertheless, it was felt that for convenience, each of the local conferences should have some form of incorporation. Thus, by 2012, an incorporation document was presented by The North Bahamas Conference, and by early 2014, the South Bahamas Conference presented their final document.
What Does Incorporation Mean?
For certain, it does not mean that the three entities in the Bahamas are separate or independent of each other. A look at the constitution of both local conferences would clearly show an umbilical connection. Under Article III captioned Relationships, it states that the conference is a part of the Union, which in turn is a part of the Division (which is the General Conference in a given region of the world). Furthermore, in the Bylaws under Article VI –Officers, it calls for working together of the leadership of the local field with the leadership of the Union. As a result of incorporation of the two local fields in the Bahamas, each will be responsible for its own assets. This arrangement should make the operation of the local conference more efficient. Accordingly, the main purpose of incorporation is not recognition or independence, but to hold assets and to do business more efficiently and conveniently. With two local fields and a union in one small country, like the Bahamas, it is extremely important that there be unity and cooperation. After all, these entities constitute one church and thus, we speak of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Bahamas as opposed to different entities. As such, in relating to the government, NGOs and civic organizations, the Union leadership represents and speaks on behalf of the Adventist Church in the Bahamas. To have each entity approaching the government for crown land or other matters may give a picture of a splintered church thus confusing government, or giving one entity an unfair advantage over another. Even in the way that we introduce and recognize the leadership of the conference versus the leadership of the union is important. Efforts should be made to show a clear connection always bearing in mind that we are one Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Bahamas.
The Way Forward
The purpose of each level of the church is clearly defined in the mission statement of each entity which, “is to facilitate the proclamation of the everlasting gospel in the context of the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6 -12 to all peoples...” What a significant privilege exists for us in the Bahamas? With a population of 350,000 people and less than 25,000 baptized members, it is obvious that we have to do much work. In fact, the Division Leadership has recommended that a vote be taken at the upcoming South Bahamas Conference session in November, in the event the field decides to restructure, it would not be necessary to call for a constituency meeting resulting in significant cost to the field. With the consciousness of the second coming in mind, we need to be about our Father’s business. Let’s always remember our purpose for existence. Let’s preach and teach as never before. Let’s live for God at home, on the job, in class and abroad as never before. Maranatha! The Lord is coming!
Leonard A. Johnson, president , Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists
Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, Ft. Lauderdale SDA Church/Communications Department, ATCU
“Positive Anger” was the title of Dr. Leonard Johnson’s powerful sermon presented on Sabbath, July 5, 2014, to the worshipers at the Fort Lauderdale Seventh-day Adventist Church who were celebrating “Women’s Day.”
“Don’t panic, don’t target the wrong person, and keep focused,” advised Dr. Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission (ATCU), as he shared how best to deal with conflicts and manage anger positively. Accompanying him was his wife, Denise Johnson, ATCU women’s ministries director.
Later on in the afternoon, Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, senior pastor of the Ft. Lauderdale SDA Church, led out in a special seminar entitled “Facing the Giant of Anger Management.”
Photo by: James Cooke
Communication Department, CIC/ATCU
The Cayman Islands are a group of three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman, which are situated in the western Caribbean Sea. The Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is one of four fields of the Atlantic Caribbean Union. While the majority of the membership resides and worship in Grand Cayman, there is also an established Seventh-day Adventist church in Cayman Brac.
However, history took place in Little Cayman when Evangelist David Campbell conducted the Message of Hope Gospel Seminar in the Village Square Plaza. The meetings were held from May 23 to June 15, 2014 and were the first of its kind for the island. On Sunday, June 1, the first baptism performed by an Adventist evangelist in Little Cayman took place. At the conclusion of the gospel seminar, a total of 3 precious souls were baptized.
Presently, the three baptized members from Little Cayman along with 5 members from the nearby Creek SDA Church in Cayman Brac comprise a fledgling group of Adventist believers in Little Cayman. They are joined each week by 15-20 frequent visitors for worship.
According to http://www.caymanislands.ky, the population of Little Cayman is just under 170 persons. Pastor Vaughn Henry, the district pastor for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, explained that because many of the persons work in the hospitality industry, the meetings began at 9:00 p.m. each day to accommodate the persons who left work at 8:45 p.m. Pastor Henry praised God that each night there was an average of 13-15 visitors.
Shirlene Henriques, ATCU
The Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU) will host a union-wide health exposition from August 28-31, 2014 at the Blue Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. The theme for the occasion is Prospering in Health as our Souls Propsers. Mrs. Belkis Archbold, health ministries director, for the Inter-American Division (IAD) will be the main presenter. Other presenters include
Dr. Idamae Hanna, of the South Bahamas Conference (SBC), Marie Smith of the Cayman Islands Conference (CIC), and Nora Tyndall, of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission TCIM).
For more information and registration please contact your local conference/mission office or your health ministry director
With joy and a sense of gratitude to God, members of the executive committee of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) and guests gathered at the Breezes Hotel, Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas for the union’s mid-year meetings and continued education in leadership and professional development from Sunday, June 1 to Thursday, June 5, 2014.
The daily devotional segments set the tone for the business sessions as the committee members sang, prayed, read God’s Word, and heard His Word proclaimed. As noted by Pastor Peter Kerr, ATCU executive secretary, the meetings provided committee members with an opportunity to pray, plan, and further prepare for the continued proclamation of the gospel in the Atlantic Caribbean region.
2015 - the Year of the Pastor
It was no coincidence that the theme for the meetings was “Pastors According to My Heart.” Pastor Leonard Johnson, ATCU president and meeting chairman, stated that the meeting’s theme was chosen as a result of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD) declaring 2015 as the Year of the Pastor, an initiative that was adopted by the ATCU committee members.
New Personal Ministries Director Voted
Additionally, Pastor Andrew Burrows was voted to serve as personal ministries director of the union effective immediately. Pastor Burrows, the communication, stewardship, and youth director for ATCU, was formerly the associate personal ministries director. He replaces Pastor Al Powell who, earlier this year, accepted a call to serve as president of the Columbain Islands Mission.
The evangelistic report highlighted the work of the pastors and laity of all the fields within the union for the first five months of the year. Committee members and guests gave praise and thanks to God for the more than 400 souls that were baptised in the union during this time.
Each of the field leaders then presented plans for continued evangelism for the remainder of the year. It was reported that all the fields in the union will be conducting a major evangelsitic thrust in the four main cities of ATCU: Nassau in the South Bahamas Conference; George Town in the Cayman Islands Conference; Freeport in the North Bahamas Conference; and Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission.
Leadership Training and Professional Development
At the conclusion of the committee meetings on Tuesday, June 3, the mid-year activities transitioned into the two-day annual leadership and professional development seminars. The main presenters were Pastor Orville Parchment, special assistant to the president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and Pastor Gamaliel Flórez, education director of the IAD. Some of the topics discussed were “Ingredients of Spiritual Leadership;” “Leadership in Time of Rejection and Failure;” and “Key Elements in Effective Seventh-day Adventist Administration.”
A Time to Celebrate
Committee members also attended the much anticipated fourth annual union symposium which was held on Wednesday evening, June 4 at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nassau. During this time, the wider membership got the opportunity to view the praise reports from the four fields of the union and NCU.
Elder Roderick Sands, treasurer of ATCU, shared with the membership that all four of the fields within the union showed a positive growth in tithe when compared to the same time last year.
Dr. Parchment presented an inspirational charge to encourage and challenge the leadership and membership as they prepare for the second half of 2014.
The young people of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM) will long remember the weekend of May 23 to May 25, 2014. It was during this time that the youth department held its 3rd ABC (Ask Believe Claim) Prayer Conference and also an historic Pathfinder, Adventurer, Master Guide Investiture Service. In addition, during the same weekend, the TCIM hosted the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) Bible Boom finals.
Pastor Andrew Burrows, youth director of ATCU was the guest speaker for the entire weekend. During the Sabbath morning service at the Blue Hills Seventh-day Church, Pastor Burrows challenged the youth of TCIM to be committed to the development of their personal relationship with Christ. Using the story of Eutychus as found in Acts chapter 20, he reminded the youth of the dangers of sitting on the wall of non-commitment. He then made a passionate appeal for individuals to commit to Christ and six individuals took the bold step and were baptized.
On Sabbath afternoon, the young people and members assembled at Maranantha Academy to view the annual Bible Boom finals. The participants were Alexandria Scott from the South Bahamas Conference, Shyander Escaman from the North Bahamas Conference (NBC), Shyain Newell from the Cayman Islands Conference, and Samuel Nemours from TCIM. At the end of the competition Samuel Nemours and Shyander Escaman were tied with a score of 400. However, Shyander emerged the winner as she answered the questions in less time.
On Sunday morning more than 60 young people participated in a prayer walk and relay in the Five Cays Community. During this time they prayed for and with the individuals on the street and in their homes. They also prayed with business owners and employees and the local police in the community.
The weekend ended on Sunday evening with an historic investiture service in which 28 Adventurers, 15 Pathfinders, and 8 Master Guides were invested.
A Modern-day Abraham Communication Department, ATCU
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place, which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8.)
This is the story of Bernard and Andréa Linden, husband and wife, parents, and lay members of the South Bahamas Conference. Andréa is a nurse by profession, and Bernard is a construction professional by trade. But, besides having professional careers, they consider themselves local missionaries and are passionate about building up the kingdom of God in the many islands of The Bahamas, the place they call home.
In the early years of their marriage, this God-fearing couple, with two young children, felt the call of God on their lives to leave the busy and crowded capital city of Nassau on the island of New Providence to work and live in the less populated islands of The Bahamas. For more than 22 years, their extraordinary journey of faith would take them to five of these islands, known as family islands, where they shared the gospel, built and renovated churches, and positively impacted the communities.
It began in 1992, when Andrea made a decision to trust God as she accompanied her husband to the island of San Salvador. Without receiving a transfer or submitting a request for unpaid leave from the Bahamas government with whom she was employed, she essentially left her job to follow the call of God. She recalled that her family had to depend totally on Him to supply all of their needs.
The work on San Salvador was difficult and rough at times, but it was a rewarding experience. Under the power of the Holy Spirit and through their efforts, the church expanded. They convinced other missionary couples from Nassau to join them.
Over time, they would live and work in Cat Island, South Andros, Acklins, Crooked Islands, and a few others with Bernard using his construction skills to assist in erecting new church buildings and renovating old ones. He would also use his God-given talents to preach and assist in the leadership of the church.
Amazingly, even though Andréa initially left her job as a nurse to engage in missionary work, God impressed upon the Bahamas government to rehire her and grant her two scholarships (one for each year she was off) to pursue Midwifery and Community Health Nursing. Referencing Philippians 4:19, Andrea admits that God used the government to supply their needs so that they could do His work.
Their test of faith and at the same time a confirmation of God’s answer to prayer came when on their last missionary journey to the island of Acklins, Andrea became sick unto death. It was this experience that took her to Uchee Pines, Seal, Alabama where God miraculously healed her through the use of natural herbs and green vegetables. However, the story took another twist when on the day prior to her returning home she was involved in a traffic accident in Alabama. She sustained a fractured pelvic; broken ribs and shoulder; a mandible laceration of the spleen; and lost consciousness for eight days. Again, God miraculously healed her and gave her a new lease on life and a renewed passion.
Today, after 27 years of marriage and over 22 years on the mission field, the Lindens have returned to Nassau. Andrea is the coordinator for the Chronic, Non- Communicable Diseases Program (CNCD) for the Department of Public Health in The Bahamas. She believes that God strategically placed her in this position. Bernard travels occasionally to Acklins to assist with the work there. Their two children are now young adults who are also passionate about sharing the gospel in their own unique way.
Because of Bernard and Andrea’s experience, it is their desire to establish a health retreat center on one of the islands in the Bahamas. Just like God called them many years ago, they believe that when God is ready, He will call them for another exciting journey on the mission field. And they will always be ready. Will you?
The Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will be hosting its annual mid-year symposium on Wednesday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church, in the South Bahamas Conference. The symposium is a time when the entire union membership will be given the opportunity to view the reports from the four fields of the union and Northern Caribbean University, the educational institution owned jointly by ATCU and the Jamaica Union.
This will be a joint meeting for all churches on the island of New Providence. The speaker for the event will be Pastor Orville Parchment, assistant to the Adventist world church president. The symposium will also be broadcast live via the internet.
Communication Department, ATCU
Now that the four territories within the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) have completed their Bible Boom finals, the stage is set for the Atlantic Caribbean Union’s 4th annual Waylon Johnson’s Bible Boom finals. The much anticipated event will be held on Sabbath afternoon, May 24 at the Maranatha Academy auditorium in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.
The four young people representing their respective fields are Shanyder Escaman from the North Bahamas Conference, Shyian Newell from the Cayman Islands Conference, Alexandria Scott of the South Bahamas Conference, and Samuel Nemours from the Turk and Caicos Islands Mission, the host field.
The winner of this year’s Bible Boom finals will represent ATCU at the Inter-American Division’s (IAD) Caleb Award to be held in Guatemala City on Sabbath afternoon, August 2 during the IAD’s youth congress. The study material for this year’s Bible Boom covers the books of the Minor Prophets, Hosea to Micah.
Communication department, ATCU
The mid-year committee meetings and symposium for the Atlantic Caribbean Union is scheduled for June 1-4. The meetings, which will be held in Nassau, Bahamas, will bring together the entire executive committee of the union for three days of prayer, planning, and reporting. A feature of the mid- year meetings is the annual symposium, where the wider union membership will be given the opportunity to view the reports from the four fields of the union along with the Northern Caribbean University. The symposium will be held on Wednesday evening June 4, at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Bahamas Conference. The symposium will be broadcast live via the internet.
On Sabbath, 26th April, 2014 the Youth Department of the North Bahamas Conference held the Waylon Johnson’s Bible Boom Competition for the conference level. The event was accompanied with beautiful and uplifting gospel music by the group Adoration, from the Eight Mile Rock Church, along with special guest artists, Patrick and Anna Marie Amerthil.
In attendance was the Youth Director for the Atlantic Caribbean Union, Pastor Andrew Burrows, who brought greetings and delivered a timely vespers message entitled, “Keep Your Eyes on Jesus.”
After the third and final round of the Bible Boom Competition, it was announced that Shelton Saintel from the Bethesda Seventh-day Adventist Church took second place, and Shanyder Escaman from the Eight Mile Rock Seventh-day Adventist Church was pronounced the winner for 2014.
Shanyder will go on to represent the North Bahamas Conference at the Atlantic Caribbean Union’s finals to be held in the Turks and Caicos Islands on Sabbath afternoon, May 24, 2014.
Pastor Desmond Brown, Youth Director for the North Bahamas Conference congratulated all of the candidates that participated in the Bible Boom and encouraged the young people to continue to study God’s Word and be drawn closer into a more meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.
|One Million Reasons|
by Nelda Rose Dracket, Cayman Islands Conference
Ministers and their spouses of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) as well as field and union administrators and their spouses gathered at the Sheraton Hotel, Miami, Florida for an historic ministerial retreat during April 18 – 21 2014. This was the first of its kind since the formation of the union in November 2010.
Those who are constantly ministering need also to be ministered to. Jesus and His disciples saw the need of coming apart to recharge their spiritual batteries. Jesus said to them, “let us go on the other side and rest a while”… This was the objective of this retreat.
Also attending this momentous occasion from the wider organization were our devotional speakers Pastor Derek Morris, associate ministerial secretary of the General Conference and Pastor James F. Daniel, general field secretary at the Inter-American Division; seminar presenters Pastor Derek Morris; Dr. Willie and Elaine Oliver, directors of the Department of Family Ministries for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; ministerial secretary of the Inter-American Division, Pastor Hector Sanchez; Dr. Abner and Leticia De Los Santos, vice president and shepherdess director at the Inter-American Division respectively; Pastor Martin Weber, Seventh-day Adventist product manager at Logos Bible Software; Pastor Barrington Brennen, certified marriage and family therapist; and Paul H. Douglas, director of the General Conference Auditing Services.
The theme “Called to Serve” captured the sentiments of both speakers and listeners. The keynote speaker on Friday evening was Pastor Hector Sanchez who addressed the topic of ministers being empowered by the Holy Spirit for service.
Pastor Derek Morris brought this theme to life on Sabbath morning using John 14:13, 14: “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
“Those who are called to serve in the name of Jesus are standing under the authority of Jesus, and if surrendered to His will, miracles will happen,” Pastor Morris said.
During this highly charged weekend, we were all reminded that those who are called to serve must become servants.
On Sabbath evening, in a banquet setting, many of the pastors were honored for dedication to their call to service for the period of 2010 - 2013. Awards fell under the categories of: Outstanding Pastors, Centurions, Outstanding Conference Evangelists, and Outstanding Union Evangelists. All ministers and their spouses received tokens of appreciation in gratitude for their service.
We were all invigorated and energized through the various seminars, especially those on family life presented by Dr. Willie and Elaine Oliver. Some of the seminars presented were Commitment in the Pastoral Marriage; Called to Ministry; Becoming Intimate Allies; Powerful Biblical Preaching I and II; Nurturing Fun, Friendship, Sensuality and Sexuality in Marriage; The Pastor’s Response to Intimate Partner Abuse; Solving the Solvable Problems; and Forgiveness and Restoration of Intimacy. There were also separate break-out sessions that catered to the needs of the ministers and shepherdesses. All seminars were timely and appropriate to present day needs.
On the final day, the presidents from the four fields thanked Dr. Leonard Johnson, ministerial director of ATCU, his wife, Denise Johnson, ATCU shepherdess coordinator, and the dedicated team of workers at ATCU for the outstanding and well-organized retreat. These were the sentiments of all in attendance.
Communication Department, ATCU
On Monday, April 14, 2014, Paris Williams of the North Bahamas Conference (NBC) returned home to Freeport, Grand Bahama after spending three months in Mexico participating in the One Year in Mission (OYIM) initiative which was organised by the youth ministries department of the Adventist world church.
The comprehensive mission-oriented program realised approximately 40 young persons from Adventist churches throughout Inter-America converging in Mexico for mission training, community service projects, evangelism, and small group ministry. Paris, who represented the Atlantic Caribbean Union, reminisced that the experience really changed her spiritual life.
“I did things that I never thought I would be able to do, such as have an evangelistic campaign for a week, stand in the front of a group of people and tell others about God, do Bible studies, and have worship on trains and in public buses.”
On Sabbath, April 12, at a special service held at the Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Paris along with the other OYIM participants were awarded for their hard work and commitment to youth evangelism by Elder Ted Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Upon her return to Grand Bahama, Paris was warmly greeted and welcomed back by her family and local church leaders of NBC. However, for Paris her work continues.
“My work is not finished as yet. I have to prepare an article for Vision, the Adventist youth magazine, and a sermon. Also, in July we will do a mission project in Guatemala for one week. I will always be a missionary, as our motto says "o sereis misioneros o no sereis nada" which means "you are a missionary or you are nothing.”
In 2015, Paris will assist Pastor Andrew Burrows, youth director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union, in organizing phase three of OYIM which will be conducted at the union level.
Communication Department, ATCU
On Sabbath, April 26, 2014, the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide will be focusing on ministries for those with special needs. According to the personal ministries and Sabbath school department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC), on this day, “every congregation is encouraged to introduce and explore the privilege and responsibility of a loving faith community to show God’s love to those with special needs.”
This observance comes on the heels of the first ever Inter-American Division’s (IAD) Special Needs Summit which was held recently at the IAD’s headquarters in Miami, Florida. It is also anticipated that the Atlantic Caribbean Union will convene its Special Needs Summit during March 12-15, 2015.
For more information on how to make Sabbath, April 26 a meaningful day, you can visit the GC’s web-site at http://www.sabbathschoolpersonalministries.org/article/246/sabbath-school/special-sabbaths-2014/special-needs-ministries-awareness-april-26-2014#.UzwP6f1mj1r
Communication Department, IAD/ ATCU
Watch the Pastoral Evangelism Summit from Mexico City and participate in the classes, which will be offered. Participants will receive continuing education credits as part of the year of Non-formal Education in the Inter-American Division this year.
The event will be held from Monday to Wednesday, April 7-9, 2014, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm each day (Mexico Time) or 9:00 am to 1:30 pm (Miami Time.) The event will be broadcast live at webcast.interamerica.org
Schedule of Meetings
Monday, April 7, 2014
8:00 am – 8:30 am: Devotional, Dr. Hector Sanchez
9:00 am -10:30 am: Natural Church Development, Dr. Tom Evans
10:30 am - 10:45 am: Break
10:45 am –11:45 am: Gaining Decisions among Hispanics, Dr. Melchor Ferrerya
11:45 am -12:30 pm: Involving Your Church in Evangelism, Dr. Balvin Braham
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
8:00 am – 8:30 am: Devotional, Pastor Tomas Torres
9:00 am -10:00 am: Evangelistic Strategies for Urban Areas, Dr. Gerson Santos
10:00 am –10:15 am: Break
10:15 am -11:45 am: Church Planting, Dr. Tom Evans
11:45 am -12:30 pm: Contextualization in Evangelism, Ptr. Samuel Telemaque
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
8:00 am – 8:30 am: Devotional, Dr. Abner De Los Santos
9:00 am -10:30 pm: Use of Technology in Evangelism, Dr. Donnieval Walker
10:30 pm -10:45 Break
10:45 am -11:45 pm: Evangelizing those of Non-Christian Religion, Dr. Richard Elofer
11:45 am -12:30 pm: Questions, Updates and Procedures, Pastor Jorge Garcia
Communication Department IAD/ ATCU
Inter-American Division’s annual Vision One Million program is focused on big city impact across the territory. This year, the satellite program will be broadcast from Mexico City on Sabbath, April 12, 2014, 12:00 noon – 2:00pm (Miami Time) 11:00 am to 1:00 pm (Mexico Time)
Join and participate in this Grand Celebration!
Live on: Sabbath, April 12, 2014 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm Miami Time (11:00 am a 1:00 pm Mexico City Time)
Live transmission in English through: —Hope Church Channel —3ABN —webcast.interamerica.org
Live transmission in Spanish through: —Esperanza TV —3ABN Latino —webcast.interamerica.org
Rebroadcast of the Sabbath, April 12 program in French at 6:00pm (Miami Time): —Hope Church Channel
Special Features: • Reports from the Large Cities of the Inter-American Division • Reports from over 6,000 evangelistic campaigns in Mexico • Live Baptism Ceremonies • Adventist World Church President Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson • A Call to Worship Service by the IAD President Pastor Israel Leito • Parade of the Unions • Special Music Performances
Communication Department, ATCU
It was estimated by the youth department of the Adventist world church that more than 8 million young people from around the world participated in the second annual Global Youth Day held on Sabbath, March 15, 2014.
In the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), Adventist young people left the confines and comfort of a Sabbath worship service and took to the streets, communities, towns and shopping districts to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Wearing t-shirts imprinted with the words “Be the Sermon,” Adventist youth preached the sermon that day though various acts of service and ministry. Some of the projects included:
Giving out bread, soup, food items, clothing, and books at churches, homes, hospitals, police stations, and wherever people were found.
Distributing bottles of water, specially labelled with spiritual messages, to residents and visitors in the main town areas.
Visiting with and praying for the elderly and those who were ill at home or in the hospital.
Conducting health screening at various sites.
Hosting short spiritual rallies at community parks.
To conclude the day of service, Adventist youth gathered at various locations throughout the ATCU territory.
In the Cayman Islands, the day’s activities culminated with a huge youth rally at the football field in North Side, Grand Cayman.
On the Island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, there was a float parade that ended at the Graceway IGA Supermarket where the young people participated in a flash mob.
Two mega rallies were held In the North Bahamas Conference. One was held in Abaco where all the churches assembled at Sandy Point to impact that community. On Grand Bahama, the youth of the conference, met at the Government Complex in Freeport and marched to the Freeport Church where a grand concert was held in the parking lot
In Rawson Square, downtown Nassau, the youth department of the South Bahamas Conference hosted a concert, ministering to the residents and visitors through song and drama.
Pastor Andrew Burrows, ATCU youth director, gave brief remarks and offered the prayer on behalf of the youth at the concert in Rawson Square. He stated that while the activities of the second annual global youth day might have ended, the work of youth ministry and the acts of service by our young people continue every day.
Communication Department, ATCU
Keeping an accurate record of the church’s membership is one of the responsibilities of church clerks in Seventh-day Adventist congregations and the executive secretaries at the various organizational levels within the Adventist church.
To assist with this task, the Adventist church in Inter-America recently began utilizing the Adventist Church Management System (ACMS), a new membership management tool which was introduced to the executive secretaries of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) and their administrative assistants on March 13 and 14, 2014.
Pastor Fernando Salazar, ACMS trainer at the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD), explained that ACMS is a system designed for effective church management at all levels of the Seventh-day Adventist church in areas such as membership care, pastoral administration, and statistical reports. He stressed, however, that “the primary focus for ACMS is on the care of members as the church’s most valuable asset.”
He further shared that other benefits of the program are its mobility and accessibility. It’s a tool that local church clerks and executive secretaries can always carry with them on their tablets, smartphones, or notebooks, enabling them to make any inquiries at any time and even process transfers of membership.
The ACMS, which was designed by the South American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, is being made available for the benefit of the Adventist world church. Presently, there are nine union territories within the IAD who are already utilising the system. The ATCU is one of six unions preparing to implement the program within the next six months.
The two-day seminar was hosted by Pastor Peter Kerr, ATCU executive secretary, and Dr. Cheryl Rolle, ATCU associate secretary.
Nestled on the beautiful island of North Caicos in the Turks and Caicos Islands is found the Kew Seventh-day Adventist Church, whose members along with visitors gathered together in revival during February 20-22, 2014, under the theme “The Year of the Lord’s Favor – Blessed to Bless.”
Hearts were lifted heavenward by the soul stirring messages presented by Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU). As a result of the dynamic preaching, coupled with the power of the Holy Spirit, two precious souls were baptized and added to the kingdom of God.
During the same weekend, on the afternoon of Sabbath, February 22, church members and the community expressed gratitude for the leadership provided by three local elders of the Kew Seventh-day Adventist Church. Clothilda Gardiner, Curelena Phillips, and Jean Claude Jean Baptiste were recognized for long and dedicated service to the church and the community.
They were presented with tokens of love and treated to a Sabbath luncheon in their honor. They also received words of encouragement from Pastor Johnson who highlighted the significance of their role to the local congregation and the community.
Also in attendance was Elder Hopeton Bansie, secretary/treasurer of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM), who presented certificates of affirmation to the elders on behalf of the mission. The event coincided with the Inter-American Division’s Elders’ Appreciation Day.
The weekend culminated with the newly baptized members being warmly welcomed into the fellowship by the church’s pastor, Anastacia Ferguson-Bansie; the union president, Pastor Leonard Johnson; and the local leadership of the Kew Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Communication Departments, CIC/ATCU
On Tuesday evening, February 25, 2014, the executive committee of the Cayman Islands Conference (CIC) voted Pastor Reinaldo Dracket as the executive secretary for the conference. He fills the position left vacant when Pastor Al Powell, former executive secretary, accepted a call to serve as the president of the Columbian Islands Mission of Seventh-day Adventists earlier this year.
Pastor Dracket was installed at a consecration service held at the George Town Seventh-day Adventist Church in Grand Cayman on Wednesday evening, February 26, 2014. Representation from the wider organization, administrators, pastors, local church leaders, and scores of members representing the various Adventist congregations of the conference attended to witness this momentous occasion.
Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), presided over the election process and presented the message at the consecration service. Using Daniel 6:1-5 as his key text, he challenged Pastor Dracket and the congregation at large to pattern their lives after Daniel who proved to be a faithful servant of God, both in private and public life.
“His life was exemplary because of his consistent prayer life, faithfulness to duty, and commitment to his God,” Pastor Johnson said.
Pastor Shian O’Connor, president of the CIC, congratulated Pastor Dracket on his election to this very important office. He also thanked him for his twenty-seven years of dedicated service as pastor, departmental director, and administrator in the CIC.
Ministerial secretary of the conference, Dr. Wilton McDonald, escorted Pastor Dracket to the platform where Dr. Johnson read to him the Leadership Pledge and asked for a response. Pastor Dracket responded positively and signed the document, committing to faithfulness to God’s church and to modeling his life after that of Jesus Christ. He addressed the congregation and expressed gratitude for being elected to serve in this capacity for the remainder of the quadrennium. He promised faithfulness to duty and to work in unity with the other administrators.
Dr. McDonald also offered the prayer of consecration on behalf of Pastor Dracket and his family.
Pastor Dracket has been married to Nelda Rose (nee) Carey, a native of the Bahamas, for over 29 years. God has blessed their union with three children: Deandro, Demiko, and Denisha, who are now young-adults; and one grandson, Devonte.
Communication Department, ATCU
"Ideas are worthless if you don’t have methodology," admonished Dr. Martha Gabriel, best selling author, MBA professor, and keynote speaker at the tenth annual Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) forum held in Baltimore, Maryland during February 12 - 16, 2014.
Thirty-one participants from the Inter-American Division (IAD) joined hundreds of other workers in the communication department of the Adventist church from around the world. Among them were John Garcia, media and IT manager for the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) and Pastor Danhaugh Gordon, communication director for the South Bahamas Conference.
During the conference, ideas were shared on how the internet, technology, and even games could be used as evangelistic tools. One such idea was showcased by a group of Adventist pastors who developed a game called Heroes. The game sparks one’s interest in learning more about biblical heroes such as Abraham, David, and Esther as well as getting the player to be acquainted with various Bible truths. It can be downloaded from the App store for mobile devices such as phones, ipads, and tablets.
"This is not just about gaming,” said Pastor Sam Neves, executive member of the Heroes team. "It is an evangelistic tool. I was born to evangelize; therefore, I would not be a part of it if it was just for entrainment."
Pastor Ted Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, was also present at the congress, where he presented the Net Award to Dr. Milton Soldani Alfonzo, a 92-year-old Brazilian businessman who started out from humble beginnings and was later able to sponsor over 7000 students in Brazil and finance the construction of churches, the development of radio and television stations, and the helping of the less fortunate around the world.
The conference concluded with a testimonial by recently freed pastor, Antonio Monteiro. He spoke about his unjust imprisonment in the African country of Togo and the opportunity he had to witness and strengthen his faith as well as the privilege of having the support of the Adventist world church, which eventually led to his release.
The (GAiN) forum is organized by the communication department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which is headed by Williams Costa Jr.
Communication Department, ATCU
During the first quarter of 2014, leaders of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will be leading out in evangelistic meetings throughout the union.
Beginning Friday, February 21, Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, president of ATCU, will conduct an evangelistic campaign at the Kew Seventh-day Adventist Church in North Caicos in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of the ATCU, will begin the Happy Family Evangelistic Series at the High Rock Seventh-day Adventist church in South Andros in the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) on Sunday, February 23. Four weeks later, on March 22, Pastor Andrew Burrows, associate personal ministries director at ATCU, will commence the Revelation of Hope Gospel Campaign at the Johnson Park Seventh-day Adventist Church also in the SBC.
During a crusade planning session held on Wednesday evening, February 12, Pastor Burrows underscored that the union leaders were committed to joining the pastors and members of the various churches in ATCU in front-line evangelism, proclaiming Jesus Christ to the people of the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The year 2014 will also witness major evangelistic campaigns being held in the four cities of the union, namely, Nassau, Freeport, George Town, and Providenciales. These meetings are a part of an initiative of the Adventist world church called Mission to the Cites which involves the gospel being taken to the cities of the world.
Communication Department, ATCU
From July 29 to August 2, 2014, the city of Guatemala will welcome thousands of Adventist young people from across Inter-America for the Embrace Guatemala Inter-American Division (IAD) Youth Congress. In preparation for the historic youth congress, a planning session was held in Guatemala during February 2-6, 2014.
In his opening charge to the union youth directors and members of the planning committee, Pastor Benjamin Carballo, youth director for IAD shared the objective of the youth congress.
“We are at the threshold of another Inter-American Division youth congress and those of us who are at the forefront of our new generation of youth must realize that our young people need to feel loved, included, and valued,” said Pastor Carballo. “Furthermore, they need to be trained, challenged, and sent to mission. We cannot supply these needs of our youth, but we can create the environment and work hard as a team so that the Holy Spirit performs a transformation in their lives.”
During the planning meetings, the youth directors toured the Fraternidad Cristiana de Guatemala (Christian Fellowship of Guatemala), the venue for the meetings. The center is the largest mega church facility in Latin America, having the capacity to seat up to 15,000 persons in the main auditorium.
Reports shared during the meetings indicate that more than 5000 young people from outside of Guatemala along with thousands more in Guatemala will impact the city during the five-day event. At least 50 young people and youth leaders from the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) are expected to register for the event.
Pastor Andrew E. Burrows, youth director of ATCU, is encouraging the young people of ATCU to be a part of youth congress 2014.
“Having travelled to Guatemala and seen firsthand the venue, the various sites, the hotels, the people, and the city itself, I believe that this event is a must for as many young people in our union as possible to attend. I want to challenge our youth and youth leaders to take advantage of the opportunity the Adventist church has given,” Pastor Burrows said.
Persons interested in attending may contact their Adventist youth leader for information.
Communication Department, ATCU
“As administrators, we must be involved in protecting the organization’s resources as well as its reputation,” said Paul Douglas, director of the General Conference Auditing Services (GCAS), as he gave one of four presentations during the Atlantic Caribbean Union's first treasury conference. The event was held on February 3 and 4, 2014, at Breezes Hotel in Nassau, the Bahamas. Approximately 30 persons (workers in treasury departments of the schools, conferences and missions; field administrators, and administrators and staff of the union) convened during the two day event to seek out ways to improve transparency and accountability as well as to prevent, rather than just to detect fraud in the churches and other institutions.
In addition, Paul Douglas reminded the church leaders and workers that the present generation of members is much different from those of previous generations. "In the past, members returned tithes and asked no questions. Now in this generation, yes members are still giving but are requiring accountability, and it is the workers’ responsibility to always be transparent and accountable. Administrators are to always protect the church by preventing abuses.” He added that "It is always important to remember that God is our CEO."
The other presenters included Elizabeth Christian, associate treasurer of the Inter-American Division (IAD), Sandra Thomas, assistant treasurer of IAD, and Ivelisse Herrera, deputy treasurer of IAD. Sandra Thomas gave accountants training and a hands-on demonstration on the standard accounting software of the Adventist Church, Sunplus. She also gave administrators tips on accessing reports to assess the financial status of their organization. Other topics covered during the meetings included:
Transparency & Accountability
Employee Benefit Plan
Code of Conduct for SDA Leaders
Fraud - It Happens!
Best Practice for Financial Administration
Kimberley Byran, an accountant with the South Bahamas Conference, observed that the sessions were informative, interactive, and enlightening. "I understand more clearly and I am better able to carry out my responsibility in such a key area in the church,” she remarked. Another participant, Tatiana Bush, an accountant with the Cayman Islands Conference, also shared that the conference was very beneficial. She further stated, "We all look forward to implementing the practical tips gained from the various presentations as we return to our responsibilities at the Conference. We also look forward to the next conference."
Communication Department, ATCU
During January 31 to February 8, 2014, pastoral families in the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will join pastoral families from across the Inter-American Division (IAD) for the Week of Prayer for Pastoral Families.
“Our main focus is to strengthen the unity of the pastor and his family, let them know that we value their ministry and are concerned for their well-being in general,” says Pastor Hector Sanchez, ministerial secretary for the Adventist church in Inter-America and one of the organizers of the event. The Week of Prayer involves pastoral families coming together at corporate venues and in homes to worship God, interact with each other, and strengthen the family relations.
On Friday, January 31 beginning at 7:30 p.m. EST, pastors and their families on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas will come together at the headquarters of the ATCU on Gladstone Road. The conferences and mission outside of New Providence, the Bahamas will designate a venue for their pastors and their families to meet for the opening and the remainder of the event.
In the South Bahamas Conference, Mrs. Patrice Gordon, special events coordinator, has confirmed that pastoral families will be grouped together and assigned to meet at various homes.
The week-long occasion will be streamed from the IAD's headquarters and can be viewed at webcast.interamerica.org each evening at 7:30. The Atlantic Caribbean Union will be featured on Tuesday, February 4 and Wednesday, February 5. The complete schedule for the week can be accessed at http://webcast.interamerica.org/schedule.
Communication Department, ATCU
“It is called the pathway to permanent communication," said Osmond Langa, director of network and telephony at the Inter-American Division (IAD), describing “Connectivity,” the IAD’s communication platform that links the various entities within the division.
Mr. Langa recently visited the headquarters of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas to install the platform which consists of a virtual (video) and a distributed (telecommunication) system that allows permanent communication in the IAD territory.
Once the installation was completed, the official test of the system was performed on Thursday, January 23, 2014, by Mr. Langa and John Garcia, media manager for ATCU. During the test, the administrators and personnel at ATCU were able to connect in real time with two of the unions in the IAD, the Jamaican Union and Caribbean Union, and two fields within ATCU, the Cayman Islands Conference and the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission.
Pastor Andrew Burrows, communication director of ATCU, noted that the system allows for efficient, clear, and instant communication with the division and other unions and helps to keep travel costs down. In addition, the union can host online meetings with the fields within its territory and participate with other unions during division meetings and events.
The goal, according to Langa, is to have all the unions within the IAD as a part of the platform very soon.
Communication Department, ATCU
More than 17 young people from the various unions across the Inter-American Division (IAD) along with 17 local youth from the Metropolitan and Aztec Conferences in Mexico City met in Mexico City on January 16, 2014 to begin phase 2 of the One Year In Mission (OYIM) program.
OYIM, which comes under the umbrella of "Mission to the Cities," involves young people being trained for and participating in community work and evangelism in the major cities of the world. The first phase was held in New York City in 2013. During the first phase, Carlos Sanchez from the country of Mexico was chosen by the IAD to represent the young people of the division in New York.
Having received the experience in New York, Carlos is now the coordinator of OYIM in Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world and the largest in the IAD. During the next three months, the young people of the Inter-American Division will be the hands and feet of Jesus in Mexico.
Representing the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) is Paris Williams of the North Bahamas Conference. Upon her arrival in Mexico City, Paris expressed her gratitude at being selected to represent ATCU.
"I am filled with joy to know that I was given this opportunity to be here in Mexico City, not just to be a disciple but to enhance my spiritual growth by the classes I will be taking and the community projects I will be involved in. I thank God for giving me this experience."
On the first Sabbath, January 18, the young people took part in a spiritual retreat in preparation for the three-month project. The following day, they took a tour to become familiarized with the city of Mexico. For the next 6 weeks the OYIM participants will be in classes learning more about the mission and work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and, afterwards, will be assigned to various churches and communities in the city to engage in community work.
OYIM Phase 2 will conclude with an evangelistic outreach during the first two weeks in April of this year. In addition, one of the assignments for each participant during OYIM phase 2 is to work along with the union's youth director in developing a similar project to implement in his or her respective union territory during OYIM Phase 3.
Communication Department, ATCU
Under the caption "Special Needs: A Ministry Whose Time Has Come," the Inter-American Division (IAD) held its first Special Needs Summit at the IAD headquarters in Miami, Florida during January 13 -16, 2014. The purpose of the Special Needs Ministry is “to bring all members into the work of Christ and to encourage church leaders worldwide to give special attention to individuals with special needs…"
During the summit, personal ministries directors from the various unions and persons involved in special needs ministry received vital information on how to implement or improve special needs ministry in their respective territories.
In addressing the summit participants, Pastor Israel Leito, president of IAD, declared, "Our meeting here is not for us to learn how to assist those who are disabled but to assist us how to live, accepting those who perhaps cannot do the things like we can."
One of the keynote speakers for the event was Senator Floyd Morris, president of the Jamaican senate. During the Wednesday morning devotion, Senator Morris shared with the participants his journey of becoming blind at the age of 20 to presently being the president of the Jamaican senate. Using Philippians 4:6 as his inspiration, he said that "we can do anything in this life irrespective of the challenges or the situation we find ourselves."
The sessions highlighted the seven major special needs grouping: cognitive, hearing, hidden, mobility, psychiatric, speech, and visual disabilities. Participants also were told about some of the words or phrases that should be avoided: handicapped, afflicted or less fortunate, retarded, sick and shut-in, stroke victim etc. Better choice of words or phrase would be disabled, has a special need, congenital disease, in the hospital or at home, or has a stroke.
As this was the first special needs summit for IAD, it is anticipated that all the unions, fields, and churches in the IAD will appoint or assign persons to oversee the development of a special needs ministry in each entity.
Communication Department, ATCU
Last year was proclaimed by the Adventist church in Inter-America as the Year of the Laity, a time that was used to celebrate and recognize the valuable contribution the lay members were making in spreading the good news of salvation in the region.
With the dawn of 2014, the Inter-American Division (IAD) is once again focusing on the laity. Having labelled 2014 the Year of Non-Formal Education, the IAD will spend the year training lay members and equipping them to do even greater service.
Pastor Israle Leito, president of IAD, commenting on the initiative said, “We want our lay leaders to enhance their leadership skills, equip others, not for academic degree, but as a spring board to continue structured certification training in united efforts with every department and ministry of the church for years to come.”
Consequently, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will join 21 other unions in the IAD in embracing this program, providing training courses and resources to its members so that they can better serve the church.
Pastor Reinaldo Dracket, personal ministries and Sabbath School director for the Cayman Islands Conference, a field within ATCU, reports that his department has already begun the non-formal education for Sabbath School teachers and prospective teachers. The intensive training program was started at the Creek Seventh-day Adventist church in Cayman Brac on December 5, 2013. Pastor Dracket emphasized that this training will help the teachers learn, in a systematic manner, how to be competent and skilled at what they do.
As the year continues, training will be replicated for all departments throughout the churches scattered across the union and the division. According to the roadmap, the document that outlines the various events, the year of non-formal education will conclude with various graduation ceremonies throughout the IAD on Sabbath October 25, 2014.
In addition to this major thrust, the Adventist church in the Atlantic Caribbean region will continue to focus on the evangelistic initiatives including Mission to the Cities, an effort designed to reach people in large cities and towns across the IAD territory. In ATCU, the city of Nassau, in New Providence, the Bahamas, has been identified by the union for the Mission to the Cities endeavour. Because Nassau is the largest city in ATCU in terms of population, the union decided to conduct this major evangelistic outreach here during the third quarter of 2014.
Pastor Johnson, president of ATCU, indicated that although the cities in ATCU do not have the millions of persons like those in Central America, there are still thousands in our territory who need to hear the gospel of Christ.