Boasting a senior class of 17 graduates, the British Virgin Islands Seventh-day Adventist School held its graduation exercises July 27-29, 2018. Although the last of the eight schools within the North Caribbean Conference to hold it graduation exercise, it certainly was not the least in pomp and grandeur.
Guest speaker Pastor Roger Stephens, President of the St Lucia Mission of SDA,drew from the Bible story of Joseph during the consecration service on Friday night. Pastor Stephens skillfully expounded to the graduates that like Joseph, God will allow them to experience the pit, Potiphar’s house, and prison; and if they are faithful, they will finally experience prime minister-ship. “The price tag that men place on you is not your value,” noted Pastor Stephens. “Although Joseph was sold as a slave, he had a royal mentality. He knew that he belonged to the King of the Universe.” Stephens continued, “Because Joseph trusted God, he was elevated to be Prime Minister of Egypt. “Graduates, God can do unimaginably great things for each of you if you trust him.”
On Sabbath in the presence of a packed audience, Pastor Stephens underscored to graduates the importance of being rooted in Christ, having a sound character, and being courageous and committed. Using the story of Esther and his own life experiences, Stephens encouraged the graduates to be committed to God regardless of the circumstances. “When circumstances challenge you, persevere. Do not follow the crowd, lead the pack. You are different and God expects you to be different. Like Esther, have the courage to stand for what you believe even in the face of a death threat. You may feel alone but you are never alone. The whole hosts of heaven stands with you.”
Mr. Jahdel Jules, a registered nurse and a doctoral candidate, was the feature speaker for the commencement exercises. His charismatic presentation imparted deep truths to the graduates from the graduates’ theme “Striving Through Our Rugged Moments.” Jules reminded graduates that there are different types of storms in life. “There are storms of loss, storms caused by failure, storms caused by good and brave behavior, and storms of mystery,” Jules said. He also noted that very often God does not give us exactly what we ask for but gives us what we would have asked for if we knew everything. “So put your trust in God, keep walking, weep if you must, think big positive thoughts and pray always. You are more than conquerors!” he urged.
The common thread through each congratulatory message was the fact that these resilient graduates had been able to surmount challenges and excel despite the two category five hurricanes last September. Education Director, Mrs. Gerene Joseph, encouraged the graduated to be civic-minded saying, “Graduates, your territory needs you. As the rebuilding process continues, you are expected to play your faithful part. Crises often provide opportunities. This may well be your opportunity to shine. So think of creative ways in which can contribute and make a profound mark on this BVI territory as it attempts to bounce back from disaster.” Mrs Joseph further noted that this class boasts three published authors, valedictorian Pearly-Grace Oyetunji, salutatorian Daveon Tapper, and Marlina D’Aguair. The graduates contributed to the book, NCC Champions Write. “Congratulations! Continue to write and leave your mark on the literary landscape of the world,” urged Mrs Joseph.
President of the North Caribbean Conference, Pastor Desmond James, encouraged the graduates to use their skills and holistic transformation to the best of their abilities. “As you graduate, find your purpose and hang on to your dreams! Take control of your destiny! The road may seem straight and long or even a dead end. However, never stop to turn around but learn to turn your ends into bends! Never look at what you have lost but what you have remaining.”