Inter-American Division staffand
More than 250 Pathfinders and Adventurers chanted “Sex is great, but it can wait” and “Abstinence is the key to prevent HIV” during a Seventh-day Adventist-organized march on the British Virgin Islands that drew support from other religious denominations and praise from government authorities.
The children joined adult church members in wearing red shirts and carrying posters and banners during the march aimed at raising awareness about the key role that abstinence plays in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in their communities.
The march in Road Town, the capital of the British overseas territory located in the Caribbean Sea, ended with a rally where church organizers and community leaders affirmed the significance of abstinence in a society affected by HIV/AIDS.
Leriano Webster, assistant pastor of two local Adventist churches, challenged the marchers to focus on putting God first in their lives.
Noelene Levons, a senior public health official, commended the Seventh-day Adventist Church as the “only faith-based organization in the British Virgin Islands that has been diligent and consistent in promoting health and well-being, not just health but holistic health.”
Henderson Tittle, a motivational speaker from the New Life Baptist Church in Road Town whose best friend has HIV, underscored the importance of abstinence by holding up a empty bowl that he had carried with freshly baked cookies during the march.
“My cookie bowl is empty. No one abstained from my cookies,” Tittle said. “Sex is like a cookie. You got to know how much you can eat because it can hurt you.”
Tittle said that knowing how much to eat meant knowing that it was best to wait until marriage to engage in sexual activity.
“Sex is like a loaded gun, and if you don’t know how to use it, you’re going to hurt yourself. You must have a license to use it,” he said, referring to sex.
Jacob Adolphus, a local Adventist youth coordinator, declared the march a success and said plans were in the works to organize a larger one with a more participating government officials in 2016. He said the church has also contacted the authorities to hold a march on child abuse.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has seven congregations and one grade school and high school on the island of Tortola, the largest and most populated of the British Virgin Islands with about 24,000 people. Road Town has 9,400 residents.