March 4, 2017

Adventist Churches Connect with Single Mothers in British Virgin Islands

Royston Philbert/Inter-American Division Staff

In the small Caribbean Island of Tortola, four Seventh-day Adventist congregations came together last week to offer free car washes for single mothers in their communities. Church members from the East End, Belle Vue, Purcell and Maranatha Adventist Churches connected with the 25 mothers and their families by contacts in the community and through social media announcements.

Church members were busy washing, cleaning and even preparing meals for what became an all-day event on Feb. 20, 2017.

Adventists in the British Virgin Islands wash cars for free for single mothers in the community, during an initiative led by four churches on the island. [Courtesy of the North Caribbean Conference]

Pastor Howard Simon, district pastor in Tortola, was enthusiastic about the chance the church had to meet many members of the neighborhood. “It was an opportunity to let them know they are cared for by the body of Christ,” said Simon. “Our faith finds its most compelling expression in the everyday words and actions of Christians in their communities. It’s about total membership involvement.”

Jacob Adolphus, one of the organizers of the event, expressed satisfaction in the day’s activity. “I think we should always have that ambition to lead people to Jesus, but unless people see that we care for them, even if they never decide to become Seventh-day Adventists, we will never be the caring church,” said Adolphus. “Today we are demonstrating that we care about the single mothers in our society.”

Several of the single mothers were heartened to know that the church wished to serve them and shared their contact information, expressing an interest in future ministry efforts.

“We are usually among the ones who are left out and I am extremely [glad] that the church is thinking about us,” said Miss Lettsome, a satisfied recipient of the free car wash initiative. “It was an uplifting experience.”

“We are united by a vision to let the world know about Jesus’ love in several ways.”

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Anegada, in the British Virgin Islands, is an active body of believers worshipping in eight congregations. This effort is one way in which members have been embracing theTotal Member Involvement initiative emphasized by the Adventist world church and the “Lord Transform Me” initiative led by the Inter-American Division this quinquennium.

Over the years, the church in the North Caribbean Conference, which comprises the string of islands in the English Caribbean, has endeavored to find contemporary methods for impacting people and the environment, church leaders said. In previous activities, churches in Tortola organized a banquet for widows and widowers in the community, provided free health screenings and lectures on diabetes, visitations of elderly and gift basket distribution by children, among other community impact activities.

Pastor Silton Browne, president for the church in the North Caribbean Conference, praised the work of the members in Tortola. “We are united by a vision to let the world know about Jesus’ love in several ways,” said Browne. “You must be a witness by serving those in need wherever you are, clinging to a close relationship with Jesus and doing as He did while connecting with those who are around you.”

Adventist churches in Tortola are planning water distribution to homes within the community during the upcoming weeks.