Two Visits to St. Lucia
Visit 1: October 29 – December 7, 2022, Bro. Mike LeDuke
I was met at Hewanorra International Airport by our long-time contact and driver, Keith Philipp, on the afternoon of October 29th and arrived at the Mission House about 5:00 p.m. Keith and visiting missionaries always have stimulating Bible discussions during the 90-minute ride from the airport to the Mission House.
The Mission House serves as the Ecclesia’s meeting place as well as the residence for itinerant missionaries. When no missionaries are present, sister Dawn coordinates the Memorial Meeting at the Mission House via ZOOM with the Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Ecclesia using her laptop and a large screen monitor (the Mission House has good internet capability). We also conduct Bible Classes there, usually on Tuesday mornings as travel is difficult in the evenings and is becoming less safe after dark. I also had set times for “drop-in” visits during the week.
Bible reading and discussions were conducted during the week with 7 responsive contacts with 8 or more sessions per week. One of our long-term contacts is studying for baptism and we hope to have some good news in that regard before long.
The weather was very poor with consistent rain, heat, and humidity which was unusually bad for the time of year. Our 6 members are to be commended for often contending with terrible weather and unreliable transportation to attend on Sunday mornings. The weather did not permit an Ecclesial outing on this trip. I hope to arrange something on my next visit, God willing, when conditions are more suitable.
While in St. Lucia, I investigated the possibility of spending some time in St. Vincent looking up contacts (over 120 of them from thisisyourbible.com) and perhaps conducting a public lecture or two. However, the cost was prohibitive. There is no direct transportation to St. Vincent from St. Lucia. One must fly via either Barbados or Trinidad. I will continue to monitor the interest in our contacts there and try to arrange more cost-effective transportation.
I returned home on December 7, but I still keep in touch with our members and contacts via WhatsApp and ZOOM. God willing, I will return at the end of February for another 5 week “tour of duty.” Bro. Mike LeDuke
Visit 2: January 13 – February 5, 2023, Bro. Martin & Sis. Lois Webster
January 15 was our first Sunday at the Mission House. Attendance at the Breaking of Bread meeting was a bit disappointing but between our contacts and those members who could attend we had a very good time of fellowship with lunch and “a cappella” singing (there was a power outage and the keyboard is electric) after the formal portion of the meeting. Subsequent Sunday morning services were much better attended.
During our three week stay, besides the breaking of bread meetings, we conducted Bible Classes with interested friends and continued a daily (with some exceptions) series of readings started by Mike with our elderly landlady and two of her caregivers. We read from brother Bob Lloyd’s “Minute Meditations” and discuss its contents.
On Tuesdays at 11a.m. a ZOOM pre-baptismal class is held with our contact, Julian Jackson. Brother Benji and sister Lauretta also attend while brother Mike delivers a discussion with questions on the Devil and demon possession and the “pre-existence of Christ”. The sessions go into lunch time, so we served sandwiches and cold drinks and discussed the classes informally. Mike makes these presentations quite inter-active, and Julian responds really well. His understanding of the first principles is good and it might be well said that “he is not far from the Kingdom of God”.
We have had two visits from a Jehovah Witness ‘elder’ and a couple of companions. He had first contacted Mike by phone, but they had never met. The first meeting was not very satisfying as the Jehovah’s Witness, a man named Prochorus Martelly, terminated the session abruptly claiming a prior appointment. However, he did return the following week and we spent a productive time with him and two companions discussing the Kingdom of God and the role of Israel in prophecy. Brother Mike will follow up with Prochorus when he returns, God willing, at the end of February.
We have had regular visits from our members with whom we did the readings, shared a meal and discussed any issues they might have. We were also able have several meetings with a brother who is currently out of fellowship with a view to potentially bringing him back.
Sunday 5th Feb. was the day for our departure. We had impressed on the members to come by 10.45 so that we could have a relaxed breaking of bread and visit over lunch before our driver, Keith Phillip, arrived at 1:00 p.m. They all obliged and were all in attendance, as well as Julian. We had some singing with the early arrivals, then a full meeting with Martin exhorting on the abrupt departure of the Hebrews from Egypt and the institution of the Passover.
We are thankful for a safe journey back to Canada, Martin and Lois Webster
Written by Bro. Mike LeDuke, Link Brother to St. Lucia