June 20, 2022

Fraternal Gathering in Barbados

By Bro. Ian Macfarlane, Link for Barbados

The ecclesia in Barbados held their annual Fraternal Gathering on April 15 -18, 2022.

Overseas visitors this year included Bro. Larry and Sis. Karon Deakin from Venice, Florida, as well as the CBMC link couple Bro. Ian and Sis. Judy Macfarlane from Hamilton, Canada.

After a year of enduring Covid restrictions, the Fraternal provided a wonderful opportunity for everyone to fellowship together at the ecclesial Hall.

The study weekend consisted of six classes, including the exhortation, centred around the theme of Absalom: The Stealer of Hearts. In addition, a special lecture was advertised for the Sunday afternoon, entitled What will Cause Russia to Invade the Middle East. This lecture was advertised in the Barbados Sunday Sunnewspaper and resulted in two visitors attending.

One of the visitors who attended was a doctor of divinity who has two Churches on the Island as well as owning and operating a Bible store.

The other visitor originally lived in Scarborough, Canada, before moving back and settling in Barbados. She enjoyed the lecture on Sunday, and even attended the next day for the final class on the Absalom series.

After each class, a lively session of questions and answers took place, with brothers and sisters participating.

All the classes were broadcast on the web thanks to the work of Bro. Jonathan Ramlochan, who operated the technical equipment. CBMC was able to assist in providing the necessary components so that the ecclesia is now capability to broadcast remotely. This allows for those unable to attend, for talks to be broadcast on line.

Following the Memorial Service on Sunday, an ecclesial lunch was held for all members at the Hall. It was a delightful meal but even more special was the fellowship and conversation that took place.

The Barbados ecclesia is blessed to have a number of very good Bible students who love the word and are excited by it. The current membership of the Bank Hall ecclesia is 25 members, and their recording brother is Anthony Hunte.

Within the last 6 months, a young sister, Hannah Stanford, was baptized and this has added some much-needed youth to the ecclesia.

Barbados as a country has recently chosen to leave the British Commonwealth and become a Republic. Their economy is still heavily reliant on the tourism industry, and the pandemic has been extremely difficult for the Island from an economic perspective. As Covid entry restrictions begin to ease up, this is expected to help the local economy.

During our stay, on top of the wonderful fellowship we enjoyed with the ecclesia at the Hall, we had the opportunity to visit with many members at their homes or enjoyed fellowship with them at our apartment, this included: Bro. Narine and Sis. Amina Ramlochan and their son Jonathan, Bro. Oral Sanford and his daughter Sis. Hannah, the Hunte family (including being able to be spectators at Sierra Hunte’s track meet.) We also visited one of the senior members of the ecclesia with incredible Bible knowledge, Sis. Murl Marshall. Sis. Murl is a treat to visit and loves to talk about the Word.  We also spent time with Sis. Daphne DeBeauville, a gardener extraordinaire, who loves a visit, as she too is enthused by the Word. Sis. Daphne is driven to the Meeting by her lovely daughter, Deserie, and this is quite helpful.

Overall, it was a spiritually uplifting week for us all, as we gathered around God’s Word. If you are planning to visit Barbados, please let Bro. Anthony or myself know, as visitors are welcome and discussion around the Word of God is always appreciated.

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