More than 300 Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) lay persons filled the streets of two neighborhoods on St. Maarten to embrace communities reeling from a sharp increase in crime, illegal drug-use and violence, during a March of Witness on Sabbath, June 24, 2017.
Through its Personal Ministries Department, the SDA Church on St. Maarten encourages members to remain alert to the ills being suffered by society. Members are urged to respond tangibly in the short term, and in the long term by consistently reflecting Christ’s character in their daily lives, as a reminder for the community to seek the transformation that God offers
SDA leaders on St. Maarten and the North Caribbean Conference’s (NCC) Personal Ministries Director, Dr. Henry Peters, organized a lay rally for the weekend of June 23 – 24, 2017. This event allowed members, who are consistently engaged in soul-saving initiatives, an opportunity to inspire their brothers and sisters with testimonies of God’s intervention. Members recommitted themselves to the mission of the Church and everyone celebrated the saving power of God. The Department took the time to acknowledge and express gratitude to these inspiring lay persons.
One of the activities marking the end of the lay rally was a March of Witness. Leaders and members expressed the Church’s loving support for families as they greeted residents in Dutch Quarter and Belvedere, two of the most densely populated communities. “We are here today because we understand that there are lots of hurts and pains because of the crime and violence in our community and in our society. We want the community to know that as a church we are able to assist,” said Dr. Henry Peters.
Marchers distributed magazines with life-impacting messages to help recipients personalize the Lord Transform Me journey of values and seek a relationship with Christ. “Our main challenge is making the Adventist Church known so that citizens can be committed to God and society, looking to model values like honesty and respect,” said Vashni Cuvalay, Coordinator of the SDA mission and work on St. Maarten.
The SDA Church on St. Maarten has been a positive force on the island and the members have been active in extending help to the community in various ways. The Church presently operates a soup kitchen that serves more than 300 meals to the community, weekly. The evangelistic thrust of the Church continues to be active and has already resulted in 185 baptisms and the establishment of a new new group of believers.