THE Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) is calling on members of that religion and non-members alike to join them on Sunday for a Gospel Explosion themed “Christ Our Only Hope” in a bid to rid the nation of some of its major societal ills through Christ.
The call came during a press conference on Tuesday morning hosted by Ministerial Secretary of the St. Lucia Mission of Seventh Day Adventists, Pastor Alfred Joseph, and Executive Secretary, Pastor Roger Stephen.
The event takes place at the Bois d’Orange tent every night except Thursdays from 7:15 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and runs to April 22.
Stephen said the church had noticed much hopelessness in St. Lucia over the past few years, often resulting in suicides and killings.
He said: “There is a sense of desperation, depression and all kinds of issues in the land and we believe, according to Proverbs Chapter 14 Verse 34: Righteousness exalts a nation, and sin is a reproach to any people. And for this reason, the message that will be preached every night will be geared to ensure that we bring hope to people, to the youth. We know that there is a high rate of unemployment in St. Lucia, we know that there is a problem where so many single mothers are out of jobs, and the situations are real: the sufferings are real, the pain is real. So we will be seeking to ensure that we point people to Jesus, letting them know that in spite of how difficult life may be, in spite how difficult St. Lucia is, how bad things seem to be, that people can turn to Christ and find hope in Him. Christ can change their lives.”
Addressing the reasons behind the rise in crime, perpetrated mainly by young people, Stephen said: “One of the biggest things that we’re seeing in St. Lucia is the breakdown in the home. We have a situation on hand right now where we don’t find many parents who are ensuring that their children get proper nurture and upbringing. So the children are growing up in many areas on their own and are exposed to a life of violence and crime. So they grow up with this as if it’s the norm. We’re seeing a number of crimes and the perpetrators are not committed to the Lord. Although I cannot judge the heart, but one thing that is true is that if one is in Christ, if one is seeking to live a godly life, this person will never turn a gun or knife or cutlass on his brother or sister because the very message of Christ is a message of love — love for God and love for your fellow men. So I believe that if there was a lot more prayer and commitment to God, we would live in a society where love would be the number one factor and crime would immediately disappear.”
Stephen said that in some areas, gangs act as substitute families and quick fixes for young people constantly seeking love and belonging. The gangs offer that, he said, so what they cannot get at home, they get from the gang, which has disastrous results.
He said it was shameful to see the youth go in the direction they are headed, especially since the church provides a myriad of activities and lifelong skills that could help young people live honest and righteous lives.
Apart from crime, a number of other topics will be presented and discussed at the crusade, including the youth and marriage.
Pastor Joseph said the event will target all communities in Castries and the north of the island with hopes of spreading the church’s message of development through Christ. He said part of the church is guided by Biblical principles and that the gospel as we see and understand it in the Bible offers a way of life to people in the communities to bring them closer to the Lord.
“It’s our way of contributing to the development of our society in which we live,” Joseph said. “So come March 26 at the tent, we are inviting all members of the community to come out. There is not a cost attached to it. We hope the service we offer will make our community a better place.”
The event, he said, has been well planned and he believes it will be executed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit as it brings transformation in the lives of families.