Tuesday 25th July, 2006


Pastor Clive Dottin

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Pastor Clive Dottin

Moving beyond excellence

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. When he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind...

Luke 4:16-18:Volunteers in the prisons, volunteers in the hospitals, volunteers in hurricane-ravaged territories, volunteers providing free medical screening, volunteers conducting stop-smoking clinics, and the list goes on!

The Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is committed to the gospel of caring and sharing, preaching the everlasting gospel, promoting a philosophy of education that involves the harmonious development of the head, the heart and hand. It has developed a super-quick and meaningful response to disasters and tragedy. Therefore scars are turned into stars.

Stretching from St Thomas and St Croix in the North to Guyana and Suriname in the South, we have 26 territories managing hospitals and clinics, operating primary and secondary schools, while developing a world-class university nestled in the edenic and scenic Maracas Valley.

When you talk about Davis Memorial Hospital in Guyana and the Community Hospital in T&T, you are talking about the unique health message of a movement that is seeking to move beyond excellence.

The mission is clear: to rescue and restore hurting humanity. The Caribbean Union Conference and supporting institutions are engaged in a comprehensive, leadership training programme, which is reflected in the mission statement of the University of the Southern Caribbean, formerly Caribbean Union College. Let us examine some of its objectives:

To develop and maintain a spiritual, academic, social, and physical environment in which competent workers are trained for service to God and humanity.

To provide an instructional programme which leads students to accept God as the source of all truth, and the Bible as an expression of His divine plan of salvation.

To challenge students to enlarge their worldview as they integrate religion, culture, and scholarship.

It is well known that outstanding leaders are individuals with extraordinary vision and a will to achieve that vision. The Caribbean Union Conference is dedicated to the task of empowering leaders to respond to the narcotic sword of Damocles that is attracting and trapping youth in the business of killing and kidnapping. It encourages youth to be proactive, productive and positive.

It has a ministry for youth that involves youth from the age of six to 35.

The Adventurer, Pathfinder and Master Guide clubs teach the youth that unconditional love stimulated by the blood of Jesus Christ and fuelled by the Holy Ghost must be the transformation factors in their lives.

The church in this region gives critical support to institutions and churches which develop innovative programmes such as the Loveuntil Foundation. We affirm this marvelous initiative of the Laventille SDA Church who has built and managed this community project. We thank God for Brian Jones, Rachel Roberts, Selwyn Murphy, Steve Byng and many others who have a spirit of compassion.

The Laventille church has decided that it must move its community involvement to another level. The members have decided that cosmetic measures would not stop the crime and violence and the fear that is generated by the gangs and the drug trade. The leaders wish to make a stunning impact on the youth in the community.

The Caribbean Union Conference continues to affirm this noble venture that has a homework centre, a bakery, a preschool, craft classes, and a massive training programme for those who wish to be members of the Support Group Ministries.

The Youth and Health Ministries are assisting the Loveuntil Foundation in developing the Heart Touch Ministries which consists of four groups:

The Heart to Heart Ministry which ministers to Aids patients and victims of abuse. The national Heart to Heart organisation manages the “Heart Home” in Sangre Grande that has been a sanctuary for abused and abandoned children since 1990.

The Dream Team group which motivates and guides students in primary and secondary schools.

The Effort group which seeks to assist the unemployed and the self-employed.

The Courage Unlimited Please (Cup) group, which seeks to rescue youth who would like to leave dangerous gangs. Cup is in the process of forming support groups for victims of crime and violence.

The Personal Ministries and Adra (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) moved beyond excellence when Hurricane Ivan the terrible struck the Caribbean and devastated Grenada.

Millions of dollars and hundreds of volunteers moved into action. Samuel Telemaque and Theodore Jaria swung into action. Homes were constructed and repaired, there was a “mega-food-distribution-drive,” and a major counselling programme was instituted. Members of every denomination were assisted.

The Caribbean Union Conference has adopted the lifestyle of Jesus and this guides us to move beyond excellence. Projects have evolved into ministries and ministries into institutions.

Think of the Community Hospital that was almost sold, but God had different plans. Think of the diligent, brilliant CEO, Dr Richard Spann, an internationally acclaimed neurosurgeon, transforming this medical facility into a palace of hope, comfort and courage.

Think of the School of Nursing that will begin in the University of the Southern Caribbean in September. This department of nursing is committed to giving nurses a high quality Christ-centred education, seeking at all times to treat patients with dignity, integrity, social justice and cultural sensitivity. Dr Trevor Gardener and his administration must be complimented.

We thank the New Hope Prison Ministry, Richard Barker and Lloyd Cadogan and their team, for fantastic services to humanity behind prison bars and ministering to their relatives, helping them to cope with the clouds of darkness and loneliness.

The Caribbean Union Conference is not perfect, but it is engaged in the quest for perfection. Congratulations to Dr Eugene Daniel and his team of professionals, continuing to move beyond excellence.






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