January 26, 2018
Open Windows Carry the Gospel in St. Vincent
From the Superintendent's DESK
Bob and Cheryl Downey continue in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, visiting the saints among our churches there. This week they have had opportunity to participate in three services and sent the following report:
On Monday evening, we visited our church at Greggs, located in the largest parish on the island, Charlotte Parish. The terrain is quite rugged, with very little flat land, and the hour’s drive included maneuvering some steep and narrow roads. The pastor in Greggs is Warrican James. We first met him ten years ago when he was remodeling the church building. Today, the congregation has a nice facility in which to worship.
The service began with some familiar choruses including “Yes, Lord, Yes,” “Hallelujah Anyhow,” and “Good News! The Chariot’s Comin’.” During the testimony portion of the service, our driver, Junior Clarke, gave a shout for Jesus, thanking Him for twenty-two years of deliverance from a life of sin. Before the sermon, the congregation sang “Whiter than Snow.” The text for the sermon was from Mark 10:27, “…with God all things are possible.” Using several examples from Scripture, the congregation was encouraged to give their all to Jesus and look to Him to answer prayer for anything they go through. After the service, everyone joined hands in a circle, and we had a sweet time of prayer.
The service on Tuesday evening was held at Dorsetshire Hill, located in St. George Parish a short distance from Kingstown. The church is situated on the side of a very steep hill, and the pastor, John King, oversaw the construction of the building several years ago.
Once again, the service began with the congregation enthusiastically singing several songs, including “Holy Ground” and “How Great Thou Art.” Elizabeth Medford, from the Paul Over church, testified that God has been faithful in every situation, including when her daughter passed away suddenly in her sleep. Cecelia King, the wife of the District Superintendent, Christopher King, told of being saved in an old wooden building in Paul Over many years ago. She said that through many times of sickness and trials, she has learned to trust Jesus to bring her through. Before the sermon, Laurel Harry beautifully sang “How Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” The sermon was based on Luke 22:39-44, and brought out what Jesus’ willingness to go to the Cross means to us: love, mercy, grace, salvation, and faith. A wonderful prayer meeting followed the service.
On Wednesday evening, we visited our church in Questelles, located in St. Andrew Parish. The congregation has a new church building since we visited there last, and while they have been using the new sanctuary for the past two years, there is still some work outside to be completed. The pastor, Lloyd McBurnette, gave a warm welcome to open the service, and after the congregational singing and victorious testimonies, a mixed group sang “Let Me Lose Myself and Find It Lord in Thee.” The sermon was taken from 2 Kings 5:9-10, and brought out that receiving from God requires doing it His way. The congregation was encouraged to be obedient to God’s Word, and to consecrate their hearts fully to Him, believing that He will meet every need.
While attending the services in St. Vincent, the Downeys noted that, “in spite of the warm climate, none of the churches on the island have air conditioning.” The result is an unexpected blessing: “The windows and doors are left open during the services, and through the enthusiastic singing and preaching of God’s Word, the Gospel is being spread throughout the neighborhoods.”