March 6, 2021 | St. John’s, Antigua | Sherwin AE White
The Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (CARU) found a way to defy the limitations brought about by the COVID -19 pandemic by hosting an unprecedented, systematic, Caribbean-wide, virtual, evangelistic campaign. The campaign was dubbed the GNCARU 2021 Good News Impact and will run for a period of four weeks from February 26 – March 27, 2021. CARU mobilized its 10 fields to organize this major undertaking. The South Leeward Conference was ready and eager to take on the task and conducted a number of activities in preparation for the campaign.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has distinguished itself, in the realm of Christianity, as a denomination that focuses on proclaiming the ‘Three Angels’ Messages’ of Revelation 14. The first message communicates the call to worship the creator because the hour of His “judgement has come”. The second illustrates that spiritual “Babylon” has been defeated. The third message speaks of the consequence of worshipping the “beast and its image”. In embracing the great commission to preach the gospel, in the context if the Three Angels’ Messages, public evangelism has been utilized as the major means of winning souls to Christ in the Seventh-day Adventist Church within the Caribbean. The COVID -19 pandemic, with its social distancing and hygiene protocols, has prevented the Church from utilizing its customary evangelism practices. However, with challenges, comes the opportunity to be creative and to think outside the box.
The pandemic has driven many to the digital space. School is online, work is online and church is online. Public evangelism, of necessity, has to be online too.
Since the pandemic came to the shores of the Caribbean, there have been many localized virtual evangelistic campaigns that have seen hundreds won to Christ. CARU took it a step further, to conduct a regional campaign.
CARU collaborated with its 10 fields, from Guyana and Suriname (in the south) to the Virgin Islands (in the north) to realize this mission of depleting the population of the kingdom of darkness and increasing the population of heaven. The South Leeward Conference conceptualized its contribution to this great evangelistic effort and mobilized its administrators, directors, pastors, Bible workers and every member to be a part of this great work. The Conference engaged its total membership to conduct a countdown of events and activities leading up to and during the campaign.
Some of the countdown events included a day of prayer and fasting, 40 days of prayer, a virtual prayer room (operating during the crusade at specific times of the day), Bible lessons for adults and children, Bible lessons’ graduation ceremonies (where 179 adults and 157 children from across SLC graduated), evangelism summit and Bible worker training (with Dr. Balvin Braham, assistant to the president for evangelism and training in the Inter-American Division and the Victory Prayer Hour (each night before the Good News Impact meeting.
Evangelism is a planned effort with a view to presenting Jesus Christ as the Saviour of this world. Despite the pandemic, the GNCARU campaign managed to do just that through the use of technology and the collaborative efforts of the clergy and the laity in the South Leeward Conference and the other fields in the Caribbean Union.
The first week of the campaign is in progress, and it is reported that thousands are viewing and listening to the meetings. A bountiful harvest of souls is anticipated at the end of the campaign.