April 2-10, 2005
The team going from the US to Trinidad was organized by Rick Mitchell, who runs Sports & Rec Plus. 11 of us went, the other ten focusing on evangelism in about half a dozen churches we visited. They spent much of the days visiting local homes inviting people to the crusade which was happening in the evening. Rick and others preached. The evangelists were honored by the coming to Christ of over 50 persons, including several young folks, as young as 8 or 9.
My task was to visit churches (some of the same as the evangelists visited) with teaching on how to handle the homosexual issues. I had from two to three hours to present my seminar material, which i normally present on a Friday night and most of Saturday, about eight hours. So there was a lot left out. But we were able to cover many of the essentials. The response was always warm, both from the pastors and the people, which was expected in the Trinidad culture.
One does not always know what a congregation will do with the material given them, but small parishes in a culture like Trinidad are not likely to have much involvement with homosexuality unless they reach out to homosexual strugglers or get involved in public policy issues. Seeds were planted with may grow to tall trees of witness and ministry.
But the primary value of a "first time event" is scouting out the landscape to see what can be done, and making contacts. By the time I had left, we had found two potentially important possibilities. The Gideons will be holding a conference on Trinidad in August, which our contacts there will investigate for the possibility that they may be interested in a seminar on homosexuality.
And secondly, we have contacts with the Trinidad Minister of Health, who is very much on the right side of the homosexuality issue. I had an appointment to see him the Saturday before we left, but he called to say that there was a large fire in Port of Spain, the capital city, burning about a two block area of stores, including a mall. The Minister was the owner of a textile store in the mall which was completely destroyed..
We left Sunday without seeing him, but again, our contacts will pursue the matter. There may open up a possibility of a seminar for his staff and others in the Trinidad government interested in the sexuality issues.
Trinidad is an island heavy with a history of the occult. One could feel that heaviness in the air at times. A very influential woman in voodoo lived at the top of a mountain across the valley from where I was staying. Her house was at the top of a very long set of stairs leading up the mountain.
About 4 am every morning, every place I stayed, one could hear roosters crowing. Not just one or two, but dozens of them, wandering around the neighborhoods, crowing with their not very pleasant voices. The voodoo religion involves the sacrifice of large numbers of roosters and drinking their blood. At the same time the roosters crowed, there would be numbers of dogs howling, from about 4 am into mid morning. It was quite a cacophany -- no doubt hardly heard by those who lived there, but disturbing to visitors. It was the roosters' crowing which had reminded me of the voodoo history of Trinidad.
The history of that area is darkened also by the early Carib Indians, who were cannibals, and very violent. They nearly exterminated other of the local tribes in the warfare. The Spaniards finally put an end to the evil predations of the Carib culture.
Christians have much to do to bring Trinidad more fully under the law and grace of God in Christ. But there are many good things happening there in a culture where dark and light, evil and good, work more openly side by side than in America.
Got this bit from Rick Mitchell while I was traveling across the country moving to Vista, CA, from Alexandria, VA. Rick led the trip to Trinidad. He received the message from Roddie, the pastor where we stayed in Trinidad for a couple of days. The dark side will not be able to stand against the light being shed if they stay faithful:
Haven't heard from you in awhile did you ever find those keys?
Man God is so good, more and more people are coming to church these days, we
will be having another baptism come sunday with thirteen more getting
baptised, we have to get some more chairs soon because we don't have much
seating right now, every Sunday since you guys left we are packed out people
are standing all along the side and back of the sanctuary, and more are just
coming, man we are so excited about what God is doing, continue to pray for
us and we look forward to when you will come again. Be blessed.
Please the possibilities for further ministry in Trinidad in your prayers.
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