From the Superintendent's DESK
Bob Downey, Director of North America Work, and his wife, Cheryl, are on the island of St. Vincent. They arrived in the capital of Kingstown on Friday, January 27, and were met by their driver and his wife, Duncan and Shirley Defreitas. During this trip, the Downeys are scheduled to visit six of the eleven Apostolic Faith churches on the island. They began by visiting the headquarters church in Paul Over this past Sunday, January 29.
The morning service in Paul Over began with a greeting from the pastor, Elizabeth Medford, who is the daughter of the District Superintendent, Christopher King. The song service opened with the congregation enthusiastically singing “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Our churches on the island use a hymn book with 1,200 songs, but no music. Many of the songs were not familiar to the Downeys, but they were inspired with how the people sang them from memory. After the Scripture reading from John 17:17-23, the choir sang “Jesus, Hold My Hand.” The message text was 1 Peter 1:15-16. The topic was “What Is Holiness?” emphasizing that holiness is what separates the redeemed from the world and is a way of life for the victorious Christian. The congregation was encouraged to seek for the experience of sanctification if they have not received it. The service concluded with the song “Have Thine Own Way, Lord,” and the sound of prayer filled the sanctuary as people sought the Lord.
The Sunday evening service was also held in Paul Over, with a number of visitors from the Lowman’s Hill church. The service began with the chorus “Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving,” followed by other choruses. Martin LaBorde, the pastor in Lowman’s Hill, led the middle prayer. The congregation sang several hymns, and then several gave their personal testimonies. Before the sermon, the women’s league sang “I’m Free.” The sermon text was Acts 2:1-4, bringing out the need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Brother Bob shared his testimony of how he received that experience and the difference it made in his life.
On Monday evening, the Downeys traveled to the church at Gorse, which is located near the Atlantic Ocean. Although the distance from Kingstown is only twenty miles, it took them over an hour to get there due to traffic and curving roads. Some attendees came from Paul Over and Greggs to attend the service. Although it was not a regular church night, there was an excellent turnout, and the people seemed thrilled to be there. The group leader in Gorse, Pearl Williams, gave the welcome, and then the congregation sang “As the Deer.” The middle prayer was given by Warrican James, the pastor in Greggs. Sister Pearl led the congregation in singing “We’re Together Again,” and then several enthusiastically shared what God had done for them. After reading Exodus 4:2 and 2 Kings 4:2 for the text, the congregation was encouraged to give what they have to God and let Him use it for His glory. The service closed with Brother Warrican singing “I Must Have the Savior with Me” as the congregation sang along. After the prayer service, Sister Medford took the opportunity to encourage the Gorse congregation and let them know that although Brother King was not physically able to be there, he was holding them in his prayers.
The Downeys are scheduled to continue another week in St. Vincent. We pray for the Lord’s blessing on all the services, activities, and fellowship.