"A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, and must empty ourselves"
It has been a busy and reflective past two weeks and couple of days. It is also my 3rd month here in Jamaica so I am half way through this amazing experience. I pray for new blessings this season of Lent and hope that you all find this update encouraging as part of the Baptist family and God's creation at large. Last week, from Wednesday the 22nd to Sunday the 26th of February, we celebrated the 167th General Baptist Assembly in Montego Bay. It was a week filled with bible studies, workshops, missionary trips to troubled communities, and a general meeting about logistics and all that adult boring stuff. There were also some great services at the end of each night as well as an open air service and concert in Falmouth square, Trelawny. The theme for the Assembly was "Living the Sacrificial Life" which allowed space to reflect on ourselves individually as Christians, but also together as Baptists here in Jamaica and worldwide. The main highlights of the Assembly were the workshops I attended and the mission trip to a troubled community called Norwood. One of the things that I felt led to pray for during the trip was the children and I ask that you join me in continuing to pray for the children of Jamaica because the future belongs to them. Also, this is the third time in the history of the Jamaica Baptist Union that a female has been elected Vice President and first time that a female clergy, Rev. Karen Kirlew, will serve in that office. As a female and advocate for women empowerment and sisterhood, this was an immensely proud moment.
Besides the Assembly, I would like to share with you, my desire for us all to think more deeply about the theme of sacrificial living. In life, we make many sacrifices but how many of them really cost us something. Mother Theresa said, "A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, and must empty ourselves". In light of this, I went on a week fast after the assembly but had to break it midweek as I got the flu. Immediately after getting ill I then went on a hike to the Blue Mountains with some of the ministerial students here this past weekend which was definitely a sacrifice. I was not only under the weather and feeling weak but the weather in the mountains was not great, also once we reached the peak it was freezing cold. The climb was also very steep and rocky and the air made my chest feel tighter than usual but it was an experience I could never forget. It was also not just a normal hike it was another opportunity to reflect on the theme of sacrificial living. It was also a time to reflect on the Creator and his creation and to just appreciate and embrace nature in all its glory. I want to now use this opportunity to challenge you to take a few days out to fast or to be one with nature. Visit a local park, go on a retreat, go camping, camp in your garden, go on a hike, go to the beach or a nature reserve/woodland area. Use that time to not just be outdoors but to think about how you feel in that environment and allow yourself to be open to revelation or epiphany. I hope that this is something that you find worthwhile and transformative. I definitely feel transformed after the last couple of weeks and days leading up to now. Until next time, peace and love.
Please contact Wale Hudson-Roberts to find out more