Pastor Dermoth Baptiste

President, SVG Mission of Seventh-day Adventists

Celebration stands at the core of human existence as we look at the bigger picture in life. Every special event of commemoration provides an opportunity for honest reflection, objective evaluation and thoughtful analysis as we consider the life that we have and the space we occupy on planet earth.

Life in itself is a gift from God to be used holistically to bring honour, praise and glory to the Creator and to be a blessing to humanity. Against this backdrop, as we celebrate the nation’s thirty eighth (38) year of Independence, it is each one’s responsibility to draw back the curtains and personally inquire whether or not we have been fulfilling our purpose as God’s proud heritage and as responsible citizens.

This year we have been challenged again by the scourge of crime and violence which have claimed the lives of several of our young, productive citizens.

One life lost through tragic, violent circumstances is serious cause for concern, much less to the spiralling number that we have recorded to date. Many homes, families and communities have been plunged into sadness and mourning. A seeming grip of fear is in the land and the negative publicity can be harmful to our own investment climate.

At this time of national reflection, it will do well for all sectors of society, Government and Civil to ask: “Couldn’t we have done something more to avert or prevent such human disasters?” “What have we left undone that may have given rise to this new normal?” This is a ‘dark spot’ on our Vincentian landscape for which we must accelerate the national conversation as we seek to stem this rising tide of evil and destruction.

To date, we have been spared from the ravages and destruction caused by the more than active hurricane season. While we are in solidarity with our sister islands that have been severely impacted, we must pour out our hearts of gratitude and thanksgiving to God for His sparing mercies and loving graciousness to us.

Life for many of us could have taken several inescapable twists and turns, whether positively or negatively, but through it all, the Lord has been faithful. Though we are not ‘out of the woods’ as yet, we must hope and pray that we would be spared from such natural calamity.

As we celebrate the 38th anniversary of Independence, we must look at the bigger picture and remind ourselves that hope for our great nation rests upon independent thinking and individual effort.

The revival of discipline, integrity, work, determination, and healthy pride is not only a national matter, but a personal one. Inward change and Godliness are not legislated by Parliament; they are spawned in the heart and cultivated in the home before they are bred in the land. It, therefore, boils down to one person, you and me.

It is never enough to sit down and neglect to do anything, simply because you cannot do some great thing, we must do whatever our hands find to do, with thoroughness, energy and sincerity. We are not Biological accidents! We are here for a purpose.

God has given us His road-map for our life, for which He desires us to reach the highest standard of development. Let us own His plan, follow it as revealed in the Bible and better will be our days.

 On behalf of the SVG Mission of Seventh-day Adventists, I wish the Government and people of this blessed land a reflective and joyous anniversary celebration.

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