From the Superintendent's DESK
John and Rodica Musgrave have continued in the Eastern Caribbean, accompanied by Michael Anthony, the District Superintendent, and his wife, Monica. On Friday, September 29, they began visits to our three churches on the island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. This island of thirty-four square miles is divided by French territory on one side and Dutch on the other. On the French-speaking side, we have one church: Sandy Ground. On the Dutch-speaking side, we have two churches: Cole Bay and Bishop’s Hill.
At Sandy Ground, the team met with the pastor, Eugene Hodge, who gave them a tour of the building. Upstairs, he pointed out the roof, which was constructed by Billy Graham’s team after the original was blown off during Hurricane Luis in 1995. Brother Eugene also noted that after Billy’s passing, his son Franklin directed their team to help again in 2017 after Hurricane Irma destroyed much of the church. The Grahams may have felt a burden for this particular church, because the elder had enjoyed sitting outside and listening to the services during vacations there.
In addition to the tour, they enjoyed the fellowship; Brother Eugene shared his testimony. He received salvation in 1963, was called to the ministry after receiving his deeper Christian experiences in 1964, and he became pastor of the Sandy Ground church in 1982. Though he has been pastoring for forty-one years and is nearly eighty, Brother John observed that both his physical energy and enthusiasm for the Gospel remain strong.
On the Dutch side of the island, they visited the Cole Bay church, pastored by Emeric Jerome who has been serving in ministry for nearly thirty years. Again, they enjoyed the fellowship. Then on Sunday, October 1, they attended Sunday school and the morning worship service at Bishop’s Hill. The congregation there meets in a beautiful new building that was dedicated in 2019—two years after Hurricane Irma destroyed the original rented space at Sucker Garden.
They enjoyed the service and brought greetings to the saints on behalf of the Portland headquarters. Rolland Deler, the Haiti District Superintendent, did the interpreting. He was once the Sucker Garden pastor with a vision for a permanent place of worship at Bishop’s Hill. Now he divides his time between Haiti and St. Martin, overseeing the work in both areas. The Scripture reading was taken from Psalm 119:9-16, and the message from verse 11: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” All were encouraged to hide God’s Word in their hearts where it is readily accessible. The service concluded with prayer.
The Musgraves are scheduled to return home today. They have enjoyed God’s presence and fellowship with the saints throughout the trip. We pray for God’s continued guidance and blessing at each location.