A prayer retreat was held November 10-13 at the Smith Bay Apostolic Faith Church on the island of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Attendees came from St. Thomas branch churches in Sint Eustatius, Road Town, and East End Tortola, as well as East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. A prayer retreat was held in 2019, but the pandemic curtailed subsequent gatherings, so everyone was excited for this opportunity to meet once again.
Thursday evening began with uplifting choruses and the theme song for the weekend, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Several attendees shared their personal testimonies, and the special before the sermon was “Fill My Cup.” Sylvina Thomas, from Smith Bay, took her text from Luke 19:1-10, and the theme of her sermon was “Whatever It Takes.” She brought out that Zacchaeus climbed the tree out of curiosity to see Jesus, but before he came down from the tree, he was willing to let go of his pride and do whatever it took to receive salvation. Sister Sylvina encouraged the congregation to let go of whatever is holding them back from praying through to victory.
On Friday, Michael Anthony, the District Superintendent of the Caribbean Work, and Olulana Alofe, the group leader in East Bridgewater, presented teachings on “Communication/Conversation with God” and “Consecration.” These teachings stressed the need to adjust schedules and commitments to make time for communicating with God through prayer and consecration.
That evening, Pearl Smith, pastor in East End Tortola, read Acts 16:25-26 for her text, and spoke on “The Mighty Power of Prayer.” She brought out that the same power that shook the foundations of the prison and loosed the bands of Paul and Silas is still available today. The altar service that followed was filled with an outpouring of prayers and praises, and many came forward to be prayed over for healing.
The teachings on Saturday were “The Experiences of Sanctification and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost,” given by Luz Tearr from Sint Eustatius, and “Leadership,” given by Brother Michael. That evening, there was an activity titled “Sing Out.”
During the Sunday morning service, the eighth anniversary of the new headquarters in Smith Bay was recognized. For his sermon, Brother Michael took his text from Philippians 2:12, and encouraged the congregation to pursue spiritual maturity, being careful to avoid anything that would dishonor the name of Christ.
Those who attended the prayer retreat are thankful for the prayers, teachings, fellowship, and blessings received. The hope and prayer is that this will be an annual event as Jesus tarries.