'Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys'. (Exodus 40:34-38).
In the verses above, the Israelites were given a constant reminder that 'God still leads'. He had brought them from desolation in Egypt and provided a cloud by day to shade them and fire by night to provide warmth and light. Despite their disobedience and shortcomings, God still led them during what seemed to be their darkest hour.
God still leads in our lives today despite our sinful tendencies. He continues to guide, provide and protect. Through a beautiful worship experience at the South St. Catherine Zone Convention, members were reminded that 'God Still Leads'.
Pastor Kevan Barnaby, Youth Ministries Director, defined the day's proceedings with an exceptional devotional address titled, 'Before You Go'. After dissecting Isaiah 6:1-8, in which Isaiah answered God's call, Pastor Barnaby noted that 'We are called to do mission. Before we engage in mission, however, there are things we must do'. He outlined five action steps that we must take before we go: get a fresh revelation of God, realise His holiness, recognise our own sinfulness, renew our perspective and not only give a positive verbal response but also the response of a transformed lifestyle. With much fervour, Pastor Barnaby, on the point of holiness, admonished the members to 'Act holy, dress holy...Heaven is reserved for holy people. There is work for everyone to do. It is not the time to let go'.
In his inspiring address to the brethren, Conference President, the dynamic Pastor Levi Johnson highlighted the Strategic Imperatives for the quadrennium:
- Committed to Christlike Living
- Communication, Education & Development
- Preaching, Teaching, Discipling
- Comprehensive Health Ministries
- Committed to Serving Humanity
On the point of Christlike living, Pastor Johnson emphasised that 'Anything that you see coming between you and Christ, remove it!' He also encouraged the Church to participate in upcoming initiatives by the Central Jamaica Conference, including the Roving Compassionate Ministry and the Adventists on the Move Town Centre Impact.
'Refrain from seeing the Church as only your local churches. If one's sick, everybody's sick. We are a family'. Pastor Johnson encouraged the Church to support other churches in building and programmes. He continued 'Let's carry out surgery in the church', after pointing out that there are many things wrong with us and it is urgent to rectify our situations.
Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Director, Barrington Mclean gave a pulsating ingathering report for the zone. Pastor Mclean signalled to the members that these results were unheard of and 'fasten your seatbelts' while he read the numbers. The most outstanding Church for ingathering 2019 was the Tent City Church, and the most outstanding district was the Tent City District collecting hundreds of percentage points above their goal. Pastor Mclean encouraged the members to support the programme and remain faithful to God and His Church.
Pastor Billy Watson, Conference Treasurer, emphasised that Church finance plays a vital role to advance the mission of the Church. He also encouraged the brethren to be faithful in stewardship.
Camp Verley was the ideal location for this convention where soul-stirring music, soul-searching preaching and an insightful health expo took place. Indeed God still leads in South St. Catherine!