July 2, 2024

Visit to Barbados

By Bro. Ian Macfarlane

We have had the pleasure to visit Barbados since 2019. During this time, we have been able to learn from and get to know the lovely brother and sisters that live on this beautiful Island.

During our most recent visit in February 2024, we attended the Bank Hall ecclesia which is located on one of the main streets in St Michael’s, Bridgetown.  While there we had the privilege to witness the baptism of our new sister Chiara Hunte. She is the daughter of Brother Anthony and Sister Dawn Hunte and sister to Brother Stefan Hunte. (Brother Stefan currently resides in Manitoba, Canada where he is completing his studies and hopes to be able to work.)  The baptism took place in the warm ocean waters not far from where the cruise ships dock. It was a blessing to see Sister Chiara’s mother Sister Dawn, Chiara’s grandmother, Sister Judy Rose as well as her great grandmother Sister Ianthe Bennett all witness this baptism!

On this particular trip we were joined by Brother Larry and Sister Karon Deakin of the Sarasota, FL ecclesia as well as by Brother Dan and Sister Wonda Sargent of the Kamloops, BC ecclesia. It was Brother Dan and Sister Wonda’s first visit to Barbados and they have written about their experience. (see below).

To coincide with the annual Barbados School holiday week, we advertised (using flyers in the local community adjacent to the Hall) that we would be holding a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for children ages 3-11 years old. A special lecture was also advertised entitled “What is Truth?” and this lecture would take place on the Saturday immediately following VBS.  In addition to the flyers, the lecture was promoted through the use of over 1500 emails, sent to the contact list generated by the CBMC supported “This is your Bible.com” site. (Thanks Bro Mike LeDuke!). We had 5 students attend VBS and 1 visitor come to the special lecture. Although we would have loved more, we were thankful for the Gospel’s call and for the great support of the Brothers and Sisters at the Bank hall ecclesia.

While in Barbados we were able to enjoy fellowship with so many of the brothers and sisters. We enjoyed a special visit for lunch at one home, an ice cream visit at the local Chefette with another brother and sister, a picnic lunch and Bible readings with others as well as a special ecclesial lunch with all the members of Bank Hall on our last Sunday together.  We were also able to enjoy several exhortations and mid-week Bible classes given by Bro Clive Walton from the UK. We very much appreciated the fellowship of Bro Clive and his wife Sis Joanne. Bro Clive and Sis Joanne know the brothers and sisters in Barbados very well as they have been visiting the Island for over 17 years.

We would encourage brothers and sisters who may be visiting or even vacationing Barbados to attend the Bank Hall ecclesia where they will find a very friendly and warm welcome.  We pray for our Heavenly Father’s continued blessings on the brothers and sisters of Barbados.

First Impressions – Bro. Dan & Sis. Wonda Sargent

We’ve spent many years reading CBMC email reports and those published in various magazines, thinking perhaps someday this is something we could try, to be of some small service in the mission field.  We heard, in late summer of 2023, that Bro Ian and Sis Judy Macfarlane make occasional trips to the island of Barbados to help the ecclesia there. When they were in Kamloops for our fall fraternal, we let it be known that we’d be willing to accompany them on their next trip to see if this was really an area of the vineyard where we could be helpful. Our dream opportunity came in December – would we like to join them? A swift affirmative reply was sent and we thanked our Heavenly Father for this wonderful invitation.

We’re sure Bro Ian will provide a full report of the work that was done during those marvellous two weeks – the preparation and execution of a two day vacation bible school to increase the size of the ecclesial Sunday school, visiting and sharing fellowship with the brothers and sisters, exhortations, bible classes and lectures given – but let’s just say, this was not ‘work’! This opportunity to get to know them and to share in providing opportunities for their youth to come to know the Lord was such a wonderful blessing for us; the bonds of fellowship with all involved went beyond our expectations.

 It was a privilege to accompany Bro Ian and Sis Judy & Bro Larry and Sis Karon Deakin, and we truly became a team; that we laughingly and lovingly referred to as ‘senior truth corps’. We enjoyed very much the quiet times of study and meditation, the many conversations, the excursions to experience the sites and culture of the island, and the satisfaction of work accomplished.

 May our gracious and loving Father continue to bless the efforts of the brothers and sisters in the Bank Hall Road Barbados ecclesia, and of those who labor to assist them and if opportunity presents itself prior to our Lord’s eminent return, it is our prayer that we may return to share sweet fellowship with them again.

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