Released 24 April 2012
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Greetings in the name of Jesus! I trust this Newsletter finds you well and you are enjoying Christ's gracious presence daily. 2012 has just begun and we are almost half-way through it. God has been so good to us and we give Him thanks. I am constantly aware that it is only by grace. It is a reminder as we echo Paul's words as he says ‘we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear son...' (Ephesians 1:6 NLT): It is ‘Only by grace.'
Now let me bring you up- to- date on the activities within the Territory during the first four months of 2012.
LIEUTENANT COLONELS LESLIE INSTALLED AS CARIBBEAN CHIEF SECRETRAY AND TERRITORIAL SECRETARY FOR WOMEN'S MINISTRIES
On Sunday, 4 February 2012, the Bramwelll Booth Memorial Hall, Kingston Jamaica, was packed to its capacity with Salvationists and friends from around the Island and visiting friends from overseas, who came to witness the installation of Lieut. Colonel Victor Leslie as Chief Secretary, and Lieut. Colonel Rose-Marie Leslie as Territorial Secretary for Women's Ministries. The Leslies are already adjusting in their new appointments and are of great support to Mrs. Castor and me. I know you will welcome them warmly when they visit your Commands.
A new word has been coined in the Salvation Army's vocabulary, and at the Territorial Headquarters we have been using it frequently these days. On January 4 and 8 we bade farewell to Lt. Colonels Edwin and Sumita Masih. They left us for India Central territory where they are appointed as Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women's Ministries. It was sad to say good bye to them.
On March 7, we welcomed Majors Bruce and Cheryl Carpenter from Australia Eastern territory. Major Bruce is appointed as Territorial Development Director and Major Cheryl as Resident Nurse at the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Welcome friends! We are happy that you are here.
Envoys Bob and Vicky Poff were farewell on March 18 and 19. We thank the Poffs for their commitment and dedication during their term of service in the Caribbean Territory and wish them well in their future endeavors.
SURINAME REGION HELD THEIR FIRST HOLINESS CONVENTION (February 15 - 19, 2012)
We congratulate the Regional Leaders of Suriname, Major Jean Miller and Captain Joan Cantave, on the planning and organizing of the Region's first ever Holiness Convention. Mrs. Castor and I were privileged and honored to be a part of this historic event. Commissioners Hans and Marja van Vliet, the Territorial Leaders of the Netherlands and Czech Republic were their special Guests. The Holy Spirit moved in an unusual way to bless the hearts of His people. Thank God for all those who made fresh commitments to Him.
EASTERN JAMAICA DIVISION ADVISORY BOARD INDUCTED NEW CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR
On February 7, a new team of leaders for the Advisory Board were inducted by the Territorial Commander, Colonel Onal Castor. This included the Chairman, Mr. Gavin Goffe and Vice- Chair, Mrs. Ann-Marie Asher. It is our hope that with this new leadership, the board will continue to assist the Divisional Leadership to accomplish the mission of the Army.
NEW DIVISIONAL LEADERS INSTALLED - HAITI AND GUYANA
On 8 January, Majors Vilo and Yvrose Exantus were installed as Divisional Leaders in Haiti and on 15 January Majors Emmerson & Carolinda Cumberbatch were installed as the Divisional Leaders in Guyana. These were both moving services of dedication and commitment. Both installation services were conducted by the Territorial Leaders, Colonels Onal & Edmane Castor.
GROUND-BREAKING CEREMONY OF THE PORT- AU-PRINCE NEW COMPLEX
Friends and members of The Salvation Army gathered on March 25, 2012 to break ground for the construction of the new complex in the Delmas 2 neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince. International Salvation Army leaders from IHQ, Canada, Norway and SAWSO were joined by the Caribbean Territorial Leaders, Local Government and partner representatives to celebrate both the historic and the future of The Salvation Army Haiti and specifically in Port-au-Prince. The new complex will include a church Hall; to seat 3,000 people; new kindergarten, primary and secondary school buildings for College Verena, a new Polyclinic building and a social services building. We pray that God will continue to bless the work being done in Haiti.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW CARIBBEAN TRAINING COLLEGE IS UNDERWAY
The Staff and Cadets of the Training College, along with members of various Corps across Jamaica, well-wishers and Government Officials, were all present for this historic occasion, the Ground- Breaking Ceremony of the New Training College at 57 Mannings Hill Road, Kingston Jamaica. Under the leadership of Territorial Leaders, Colonels Onal & Edmane Castor, we were pleased to have in our presence, the Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, who boasted of knowing the Salvation Army and their contributions to the Jamaican society for many years. He applauded the efforts of both the sponsors and the Jamaican Government for approving the work at hand. It is our prayer that God will continue to bless the building of the new Training College and that this new facility will help to prepare His Disciples to carry out His work in the years to come.
INTEGRATED MISSION IN ACTION AT THE SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND IN JAMAICA
Evangelism and soldier making has been a highlight at the School for the Blind this quarter. Sanjay Reid and Jade Morgan are two of four new members to the Recruits class from the Salvation Army School for the Blind. Jade had gone to the Altar in response to messages on numerous occasions, but did not fully make a commitment to follow Christ. He tells of how he began to feel an absence of a connection with God and so decided to give his heart to Him. Having attended the School for the Blind for over a decade, Jade felt comfortable being a member of the Salvation Army and decided to be a part of its work.
Sanjay states that he was from a multi-sibling family with him being the eldest. He thought that his birth position gave him an obligation to be a role model to his siblings and so he believed that becoming a Christian would be the ideal way to set an example for his brothers and sisters. Sanjay also felt a pull towards Christ in the form of a desire to experience what he heard other Christians talking about. He relates how his Grandmother spoke to the goodness of God and his desire to experience this was raised. The defining moment came when he spoke with Jason Arellano, Salvationist and School Nurse, who asked him about surrendering his heart to the Lord. He consented and subsequently became a member of the Recruits class.
We are pleased that the gospel is available to all and that these young people have not only accepted Jesus but have decided to become soldiers of The Salvation Army.
The School for the Blind was also privileged to host four overseas teams in the quarter. Two ministry teams came from our friends and partners; Peach Tree Presbyterian Church from Atlanta. These teams engaged in social outreach to our Students, as well as made tangible contributions to the institution. We were also visited by the Blind Mission Team from St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, also from the United States. The team interacted with the children and also made appreciated refurbishing contributions to our kitchen and laundry departments. Mr. Joe Lynch, Mission Co-coordinator of the Salvation Army USA Southern Territory, and two members of the Adventures in Mission also visited the school. They scouted the premises to ascertain if it is suitable as a location for a Teens Summer Camp. They were pleased with the facilities.
NEW CHILDREN HOME OPENED AND DEDICATED IN SAINT VINCENT
The Territorial Leaders accompanied by the Divisional Leader Major, Sinous Theodore, visited Saint Vincent and the Grenadines April 4 - 9, 2012, for the Easter Weekend activities. They were welcomed on Thursday, April 6 in a public meeting held at the Kingstown Hall they conducted Good Friday and Easter Sunday services at Kingstown and Calder corps.
They paid courtesy call to the Governor General of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, His Excellency Sir Frederick Nathaniel Ballantyne who spoke highly of the work of the Army in Saint Vincent, and commended the current Officers for their hard work.
The highlight of their visit was the dedication of the McArthur House for Children which was attended by Government officials, Advisory Board members, Church leaders, Salvationists and friends. The Children home was funded, built and furnished by the Canadian work mission team. The home has a capacity to receive up to sixteen (16) Children.
On Sunday morning during the Holiness meeting at the Kingstown Central Corps, eight (8) Senior Soldiers and four (4) Junior Soldiers were enrolled. Monday 9 April, the Women's Conference was held and approximately ninety (90) women; from the Home league and other Churches; were in attendance: The theme ‘Women of God Arise'.
Well done Majors Pierre and Persha Antoine! We are proud of you both.
FORTY-THREE (43) SOLDIERS AND SEVENTEEN (17) LOCAL OFFICERS COMMISSIONED IN GUYANA
After departing from Saint Vincent, Colonel Edmane Castor and I visited the Guyana Division (April 10 - 16, 2012) to conduct their combined Officers' Retreat with the Trinidad & Tobago Division and their Holiness Convention. The Army in Guyana is alive and well. Majors Cumberbatch are great leaders who are inspiring and empowering their Officers and Soldiers. It is said that first impressions are always lasting. If first impressions are lasting, then a great and mighty revival is coming to Guyana. On Sunday April 15 during the Holiness Convention, we enrolled twenty-four (24) Senior Soldiers, nineteen (19) Junior Soldiers and commissioned twelve (12) Senior Local and five (5) YP Local Officers. During our visit we also paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Guyana the Honourable Samuel Hinds who promised the continued financial support of his government to the work of the Army among the less fortunate of Guyana. Thank you Majors Emmerson & Carolinda Cumberbatch.
Quite of number of you have received your Farewell and Marching Orders for the upcoming field change. I want to assure you that you are in our prayers. I know that this is a difficult period for you, but be assured that God will be with you during this time of transition
Colonel Edmane Castor, the Chief Secretary, Lt. Colonel Victor Leslie, the Territorial Secretary for Women's Ministries, Lt. Colonel Rose- Marie Leslie, the Cabinet members and all the members of this wonderful Caribbean THQ family, join me in wishing you all God's blessings. We are confident that God will continue to use you all for His purposes, and that your ministry, will continue to bear much fruit for His Kingdom.
God be with you!
Yours in Christ's service,
Colonel Onal Castor