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All articles in category Caribbean

Missionary Spotlight – Cuba’ beautiful and mysterious
August 2009
Cuba

Missionary Spotlight – Cuba’ beautiful and mysterious

Cuba’ beautiful and mysterious   The United States’ closest island neighbour is Cuba, that mysterious and enchanting country which Christopher Columbus first set foot on when he discovered the Americas. Columbus is the boast of Cuba for having declared: Estaes la tierra más hermosa que los ojos humanos han visto [‘This is the most beautiful land that human eyes have seen’]. From a spiritual perspective, however, Cuba is even more beautiful and mysterious.      ‘The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is...

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Missionary Spotlight – The Reformed Faith in St Lucia
June 2009
Saint Lucia

Missionary Spotlight – The Reformed Faith in St Lucia

The Reformed Faith in St Lucia   St Lucia today is dominated by the Catholic Church, but Baptist work started during the mid-1940s with missionaries from Baptist Mid-Missions of North Carolina, USA. Several churches were established, including First Baptist Church in the main city Castries, Grace Baptist Church in the community of Bexon, and Patience Church in the village of Anse-la-Raye.   By the time the missionaries departed, seven churches had been established in the northern part of the island, a Bible school had been built in the neighbouring islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines, and a number of young men trained at that...

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Missionary Spotlight – St Lucia – a tropical gem
June 2009
Saint Lucia

Missionary Spotlight – St Lucia – a tropical gem

St Lucia – a tropical gem   St Lucia is the sort of island that travellers to the Caribbean dream about – a small, lush tropical gem still relatively unknown. One of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, it is located midway down the Eastern Caribbean chain between Martinique and St Vincent, and north west of Barbados.   St Lucia has an area of 238 square miles and is only 27 miles long and 14 miles wide. Its population is estimated at 163,000.      Simply beautiful, it has dramatic twin coastal peaks, the Pitons, which soar 2,000 feet above sea level, sheltering magnificent rain...

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Counting heads in Jamaica
November 2006
Jamaica

Counting heads in Jamaica

The Christian church in Jamaica has strong colonial roots. The Spanish colonisers of the sixteenth century were followed by Roman Catholic priests; their English successors by Anglican clergymen. During the eighteenth century, Moravians, Baptists and Methodists became established; ministering mainly to the slave population. The population census of 2001 collected data on denominational affiliation in Jamaica (including Catholics and Christian cults). It shows that 1,952,774 persons, or 75% of the population, saw themselves as belonging to a ‘Christian’ group (see table 1). Although there was no single predominant denomination — the Seventh Day Adventist had the largest affiliation (10.8%) — over 25% of the population...

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November 2006
Jamaica

Jamaica’s religions

Jamaica has a number of mainly home-grown religions — some are syncretistic between Christianity and animism. The most important cult is Pocomania. Its meetings are frenzied — with prayers, dances and rhythmic drumming. Adherents go into a trance, aided by rum and ganja (marijuana/cannabis). The most African of the cults is Kumina. It is strongest in the St Thomas parish. Based on the worship of ancestor spirit-deities, it seeks to appease the wandering spirits of dead people. Goats are sacrificed and vigorous drum beating is important. The sect uses a ritual Bantu language from the Congo, where it originated.Rastafarianism evolved as an expression of poor...

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November 2006
Jamaica

Jamaica fact file

Location: The third largest island in the Caribbean Sea, lying south of Cuba. Area: 4244 square miles.Environment: Jamaica is mountainous (Blue Mountain Peak, 2256m) and prone to earthquakes and hurricanes. It has a tropical climate.Population: 2.8 million. Another 1.3 million have emigrated to North America and UK.Infant mortality rate: 16/1000 live births. Life expectancy: 73 years.Ethnic groups: Afro-Caribbean 94%; Asian/Afro-Asian 5%; Euro-American 1%. Many are descended from slaves brought in during the 17th-19th centuries. Languages: English (Official), Creole. Literacy: 85%.Capital: Kingston (900,000). Urbanisation: 50%.Economy: The economy is dependent on services, which account for 60% of GDP. Jamaica derives foreign exchange from tourism and the export...

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Reaching into Jamaica
November 2006
Jamaica

Reaching into Jamaica

From a historical perspective, Jamaica is an island that has been reached with the gospel. We have freedom of religion; the population has access to thousands of churches; and Jamaica claims to be a Christian nation. However, there are still opportunities for missionaries to labour here, especially in the areas of theological education and works of mercy. Reformed theological education in Jamaica is woefully lacking. There is also a noticeable disconnection between what the average Christian professes and how the average Christian lives. There is an urgent need for believers to have a Christian world-view and to present an authentic Christianity that challenges individuals, institutions...

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Evangelicalism in Jamaica
November 2006
Jamaica

Evangelicalism in Jamaica

Roman Catholicism came to Jamaica in 1494 during Christopher Columbus’ second expedition from Spain. In 1655 the Spaniards were driven out of the island by the British, who introduced Anglicanism. Evangelical Christianity arrived in the eighteenth century with the Moravians. They were opposed to slavery, which had been introduced by the Spaniards and continued by the British to support Jamaica’s plantation economy. Slavery was for a long time strongly defended by Jamaican planters and related commercial interests in Britain.The first Baptist to arrive — in the late eighteenth century — was Moses Baker. He had been a slave in the USA but bought his freedom...

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January 2004
Haiti

Missionary Spotlight-Haiti’s forgotten nightmare

Haiti has the dubious distinction of being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. According to a UN report, it is the third hungriest nation, after Afghanistan and Somalia. Three out of five Haitians are illiterate and 2.5 million of its 8 million people are jammed into the capital city of Port-au-Prince – where they live a precarious existence in shacks and hovels, with few jobs, sporadic electricity and little clean water. Independence   However, on 1 January 2004, Haiti will celebrate 200 years of independence from colonial rule. First the Spanish and then the French ruled Haiti. The native Amerindians, who inhabited the island...

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January 2004
Haiti

Missionary Spotlight-Facts

Area: Covering the western third of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, Haiti measures 10,695 square miles.   Environment: The climate varies from tropical to semiarid, where mountains give shelter from the trade winds. Haiti can experience severe tropical storms between June and October. Its terrain is rough and mountainous (Chaine de la Selle 2,680 metres), but there is serious soil erosion and pollution.   Population:About 8.5 million. Life expectancy: 51 years. There is a high prevalence of AIDS/HIV.   Ethnic groups:Afro-Caribbean 90%; Mulatto (Eurafrican) 9.9%; Euro-American 0.1%.   Languages:French and Creole (official languages). Literacy: Under 50%.   Capital:Port-au-Prince.   Natural resources: Some minerals; some hydroelectric...

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January 2004
Haiti

Missionary Spotlight-Preaching in Haiti

Previously a missionary in Ivory Coast, Ken Wimer ministers in Shreveport, Louisiana (www. shreveg race.org). He trains Haitian preachers using Europresse (French EP) study courses; and annually runs a sovereign grace preachers’ conference in Haiti. This is his account of the 2003 visit.   Ten days, three countries, and four languages (English, Spanish, French and Creole)! What a blessing it was to travel and preach the gospel on the Caribbean Island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti! Flying some 900 nautical miles southeast of Florida, you quickly see that Haiti is mountainous and dry, while the Dominican Republic hilly and lush green. My first...

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Visit to Haiti
September 2001
Haiti

Visit to Haiti

The travel ‘advisory’ on Haiti from the US State Department is enough to put fear into any tourist: ‘Haiti continues to experience civil and political unrest. Protests and demonstrations, which can turn violent at any time, occur periodically throughout the country… There are no ‘safe areas’ in Haiti. Crime, already a problem, is growing’. If I were a tourist, I would have chosen another place to visit. However, over the past five years the Lord has opened up opportunities for me to go there and preach the gospel, and this year would be no exception.   As in any situation, you make your plans, and...

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