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All articles in category Caribbean

November 2012
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Serving Haiti

Serving Haiti With the lowest standard of living in the Western Hemisphere, 80 per cent of Haiti’s 8 million people languish in poverty. Two-thirds of the population are unemployed. Haitians suffer from chronic malnutrition, poor health and untreated medical conditions. Some 120,000 are living with HIV/AIDS.    Haiti was rededicated to voodoo during the bicentennial celebrations of 1991. Plagued by political violence for most of its history, there is a spirit of evil permeating every level of society.     Nearly overcome by despair, many Haitians attempt escape through drugs, suicide or by sailing leaky boats to other lands. The suicide rate of the Haitian Guarani youth...

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Missionary Spotlight God’s Word in Haiti
September 2010
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Missionary Spotlight God’s Word in Haiti

God’s Word in Haiti   After visiting Haiti in November 2009 and February 2001, I returned in June 2010 to see how best to help gospel preachers and the literature outreach of Europresse (French EP) there after the earthquake. I found Port-au-Prince dramatically changed. Everywhere there were collapsed buildings and rubble, much of which probably still contain dead bodies. There were tents erected in every available space, even down the central reservation of one of the main roads.      Most people are living in tents, still too frightened to live inside the remaining buildings. Only 1 per cent of the promised aid has reached Haiti...

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Missionary Spotlight – The Reformed Faith in St Lucia
June 2009
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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