By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
To truly assist Bahamians in need and rectify the misconception that churches only take but do not give back, members of the Shekinah Family Word Centre recently hosted the organisation’s seventh annual community outreach initiative.
In the form of a block party under the theme “Give Life”, a venue was created in the area of Quakoo Street where patrons enjoyed food and other refreshments, music, games, a clothing and housewares drive, hair cuts and braiding, entertainment, and more; all free of cost.
Over the years, the non-denominational Shekinah Family Word Centre, under the leadership of Bishop Arthur Evans, has dedicated it’s ministry to “rebuilding the walls of the families of our nation, one family at a time.”
In an interview with Tribune Religion, Charles Smith, administrator of the Shekinah Family Word Centre, said the recent event was a demonstration of the ministry’s commitment to making a lasting impact on communities.
“It is an annual outreach into the community as we fulfil our mandate to be fishers of men. This outreach provides a space for persons to take advantage of free items. It is our ministry’s way of giving back to the community as we aim to be the face of love that God requires us to be. The most important thing for those of us who took part in the event is the fulfilment of extending our hand to be a blessing to someone in need. We see their need and we feel their need, therefore, it brought us great joy to be in a position to meet their needs,” said Mr Smith.
He believes it has been evident for quite some time that the Bahamas is in dire need of an injection of faith and hope. And for many years, he added, there has been this idea that the Church’s goal is to take and not give back.
“It was and is our desire to change that. We want to be beacons of light in our community. We are committed to making disciples for Christ through our displays of love and giving. It is not about growing membership but it’s all about being a source of help and strength to those who are in need. In the past six years at the event, we would have catered to nearly 5,000 persons and this year we added nearly 1,000 more persons to that number,” said Mr Smith.
For members of the ministry, it was a joy to to host the initiative event as it provided them an opportunity to be of service to those in need.
“We believe in feeding the whole man, not just by the word of God, but we are able to accomplish this through initiatives such as these. It is not easy. However, we are able to execute these events through the generous partnership of businesses and persons throughout the nation and we are grateful for their support. Despite the downpour of rain throughout the day, persons still came out in large numbers. This is a direct indication that many persons are in dire need of the basic necessities of life and it is our joy to be able to assist, “ said Mr Smith.
The Shekinah Family Word Centre has dubbed 2019 the year of productivity; the year to advance the kingdom’s agenda like never before.
“We will be more intentional about carrying out our assignment in the earth. ‘Give Life’ was only the beginning. We will continue our demonstration of love with a free community breakfast every quarter for those in the Quakoo Street and surrounding areas. Moreover, this year, we celebrate 10 years of ministry and this will be a grand occasion. We are eternally grateful to God for the vision and mandate that He has given unto us; He could’ve chosen another group of persons, but we are humbled that we are His chosen,” said Mr Smith.