January 30, 2010
This is the day that the Lord has made: we will be glad and rejoice in it.
The Cayman Islands celebrated National Heroes day on Monday, 25 January, 2010. A number of Caymanians were recognized for outstanding service under the theme, “Honouring our Christian Heritage.” I pause to thank the members of the Adventist faith for their contributions to nation building as well as their involvement in the service of the day. Among those honoured were Pastor Wilton G. McDonald, Sister Mary Johnson, Sister Marjorie Mae Bodden and Sister Ethel Barnes. Sister Barnes received the Spirit of Excellence award while Sisters Bodden, Johnson and Pastor McDonald received the certificate and badge of Honour for Christian Leadership. Brother Rudy Myles sang the National Anthem, the Pathfinders participated in the parade and the Cayman Mass Choir conducted by Brother David Bushell was composed of 75% Adventists. Brother Emerson and Sister Angela Piercy played major roles in protocol, music and communications. Sister Camille Johnson provided still photography while Brother Alvin Watkins was on the video camera. We salute and congratulate all who participated and supported this occasion.
We would like to also recognize and appreciate Brother Dennis Brady who was called to the Bar of the Cayman Islands on January 8, 2010. Brother Brady spent 25 years in Law Enforcement as a police officer and then as an Immigration officer before transitioning to the Legal profession as an Attorney. He began his studies at the Cayman Islands Law School in 1991 and was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in the United Kingdom in 2001. Cayman Islands Chief Justice had this to say about Mr. Brady: “no word describes Mr. Brady more profoundly than “integrity.” He added, “I am pleased to have been the first judge to witness your talent for advocacy- a talent which I hope will bring you very often to court.” We salute and congratulate Brother Brady, an active member of the Kings Seventh-day Adventist church on his accomplishments to the honour and glory of God.
On Sunday night, January 24, Cayman Islands Conference welcomed the Officers of West Indies Union and the Field Secretary, Dr. Wendell McMillan, for an exciting and historic two day Audit and Budget visit. This meeting marks the last time that West Indies Union will meet with our Conference and the other overseas fields in an Audit and Budget meeting. The Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission will be officially ratified and recognized at the General Conference’ spring meeting in April 2010. Our new Union will be voted into the sisterhood of Unions at the General Conference session which begins June 23, in Atlanta, Georgia. The full complement of departmental directors will be chosen in November when the Jamaica Union will become a reality also. The Union officers advises the Executive Committee and ensures that a budget is approved for the year that reflects the goals and objectives of the Conference and that prudent fiscal accountability prevailed during the previous year.
Haiti Update. Pastor Leito provided the following information on the situation in Haiti: Insurance of church properties. The union encouraged all entities to have earthquake insurance coverage. However, this catastrophe could bankrupt any insurance company. Because of this, the limit of insurance is one million dollars for all the properties combined. The extent of damage and destruction is of such magnitude, that each building can get only a little more than $10,000 from the 1 million after the deductible. 115 churches have been totally destroyed, 60 others have sustained significant damage, which the union administration believes must be inspected before allowing the members to worship in them. Others have sustained reparable damages. What took decades to build as church infrastructure has been laid to waste in matter of a few seconds.
The university has lost the roof of the Girls dorm and has suffered damage to other buildings. Most of its industry section has been greatly damage, thus causing other means of income for the university to be non-existent.
Membership casualties. Thus far, it has been verified that nearly 600 members have died in the quake. There are around 600 having suffered serious injuries, with many amputations. There are countless others having sustained minor injuries. Around 15,000 Adventist families have lost their homes. Around 27,000 are in refugee centres, mostly on church premises and other places. There are over 50 such places of concentrations of Adventists who are in great need of help. We are happy for the organization of the Haitian Union and its local fields, because by identifying the Adventist members in this manner, it is easier to get help to them. Approximately 16 pastors have lost everything, but we praise the Lord that their lives have been spared.
The situation at the hospital is gradually worsening. There are scores of patients sleeping under a sheet in the yard. Some secured a small tent, but most are virtually at the mercy of the elements. This is because the hospital is so full, and also because many prefer to be outside for fear of another quake. On this past Wednesday there was an aftershock of 6.1. The hospital has run out of money, and there is no way to feed the patients. The government of the Dominican Republic has promised to feed the patients at the hospital with at least 400 warm meals per day. The hospital has lost two nurses, and over twenty of its workers have lost everything and are counted among the refugees on the campus of the hospital. There is no money to pay the workers, but they are still working. ADRA has promised to try to find funding to help the workers. Montemerelos has sent two doctors, who are doing an extraordinary work, especially their orthopaedic surgeon. Also, our hospitals in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico have medical teams working at the hospital. On behalf of the church in Haiti, I want to thank you for your support, every little bit helps. Please consider giving the total offering of one Sabbath to the church in Haiti. President Clarke is expressing thanks to the churches for their generous gifts over the past two weekends. Special thanks also to the Creek church for just under $3,000 and the Cayman Academy for $1,100 given to the Haiti relief effort.
Our prayers go out to Sister Gretley Bodden from the Maranatha church who lost her son, Matthew [age 23] in a tragic accident on Friday, January 15. Funeral services will be held on Sabbath, January 31 at 2 p.m. at Agape worship Centre.
Let us pray for the sick among us. They are:
- Brother George Smith – recovering from major surgery [GT]
- Sister Olga Rob-Wright – recuperating from surgery [Savannah]
- Sister Edna Connoly – a friend from Savannah
- Sister Karen Rankin – [Savannah] surgery
- Brother Roy Monroe – Savannah
- Sister Blanca Allen – East End
- Sister Ann Bramwell – West Bay
- Sister Dorlou Ebanks – West Bay
- The people of Haiti
The Conference’s Western Region Crusade with Evangelist Shian O’Connor continues on Friday evening at 7:30 . Sabbath Celebrations begin this weekend. All are invited to join the participating churches Sunday to Wednesday and Friday evenings and on Sabbath morning at 9. We thank God for the persons who have allowed the Holy Spirit to lead them into a personal walk with Christ. There are many persons viewing the simulcast via the internet and we encourage you to invite persons who are overseas to log on at caymanadventist.org. CD’s and DVD’s are available at the Conference office or at the tent during the services. The inmates of Northward prison come together each night to view the presentation done on the previous night. There will be a mass baptism at the tent this SABBATH immediately following the preached word.
The churches that are not involved in this campaign will be conducting their individual church campaigns between January and March.
The Eastern Region Crusade with Evangelist Al Powell will begin on September 12 in the Bodden Town District. The churches involved are Newlands, Savannah, Bodden Town, Northside, and East End
Congratulations to the Kings church who had a baptism last weekend.
The Bodden Town Seventh-day Adventist church presents the GOSPEL LIGHT EVANGELISTIC CAMPAIGN with international speaker ALBERGA FOSTER, commencing on February 14– March 6, 2010 at 7:15 P.M. nightly except Thursday nights and it continues on SABBATH morning under the BIG WHITE TENT in the LOOK OUT GARDENS section OF BODDEN TOWN.
You are reminded that the Day of Pentecost is Sabbath March 13, 2010. Each church is encouraged to have persons ready for baptismal commitment on that Sabbath.
The year 12 students of Cayman Academy will be having a carwash this Sunday, January 31 from 7:30 to 2 pm. Proceeds will help them with graduation expenses. You are invited to come out, get your vehicles washed and support our young people.
Many of you have asked about the arrival of the Big Bible. The new date is February 5 and the promise is that we can keep it for an extended period of time.
I would like to remind you of the Sabbath School Lesson study for this week and how important it is for us to keep informed and kindle the fires of our souls. Patience is the fruit dealt with this week and it is amazing how God uses us to send an on time word to His people. Patience is an attribute of God; it is required by His children and must be developed. No greater demonstration of patience can be found than that shown by God toward humans. But we must understand that even God’s long suffering has its limits. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
May God continue to hold you in the hallow of His powerful hands.