The Brooklyn-based Vincentian American Adventist Association reports its latest mission trip home was a huge success.
“Being on the ground, and seeing the smiles on the people’s faces, as we ministered to them, was very heartwarming,” Beverly Regisford-Henry, the group’s president, told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview.
“The joy that I experienced serving humanity is difficult to explain,” added Regisford-Henry, stating that, as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, the group embarked on the mission trip from Oct. 25 to Nov. 2.
“The Vincentian American Adventist Association is engaged in such ventures, firstly because of Jesus’ exhortation to be our brothers’ keeper, and, secondly, because of our love for our homeland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” she continued.
“I express sincere appreciation to all the members of the VAAA for their hard work and dedication,” Regisford-Henry said. “The VAAA is committed to continue to assist our fellow citizens in every way possible.”
She said the group is already in the process of packing barrels of food and clothing to send home for the holidays.
The trip kicked off on Oct. 25, with a national convention at the Arnos Vale Playing Field in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Regisford-Henry said the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Mission of Seventh-day Adventist, with members of several congregations throughout the nation, joined with VAAA “in a great day of spiritual revival.”
The sermon was delivered by Pastor Rudolph Peters, a Vincentian Seventh-day Adventist pastor residing in California.
The next day, Regisford-Henry said the VAAA joined with the National Adventist Health Professionals Association in hosting a health fair at the Greggs Primary School. The medical team included a dentist, an ophthalmologist, a pediatrician, and a general practitioner and internist.
In Greggs, Regisford-Henry said 105 residents received medical assessments, including blood pressure checks and glucose and cholesterol testing.
HIV counseling and testing and health education on various topics were also provided, she said.
Immediately after the health fair, Regisford-Henry said an anti-violence march started at the new Greggs Primary School and concluded with a rally at the old school.
She said members of various pathfinder clubs in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as other uniformed departments of the church, marched to the music of the Layou Seventh-day Pathfinder Drum Core.
Speakers at the rally included President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Mission of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Dermoth Baptist; Pastor Peters; Regisford-Henry; and the first ever VAAA President and former Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Louis Straker.
On Oct. 28, the mission visited the Owia community, where VAAA members and volunteers painted the houses of two families.
Regisford-Henry said several other families received home makeovers, disclosing that they were provided with beds, curtains, bed linens, other household items, and eating and cooking utensils.
That same afternoon, food and clothing were distributed to members of the community-at-large, Regisford-Henry said.
Additionally, she said health professionals conducted blood pressure checks and glucose screening, and counseled and educated area residents about lifestyle changes for improved health.
“We were able to fulfill the request for wheel chairs and walkers for members of the community, who needed assistance with mobility,” said Regisford-Henry, adding that, later that evening, Pastor Peters also conducted an open air religious service.
Two days later, the team visited the Leeward Seventh-day Adventist Primary School at Buccament that was “badly affected” by last year’s freak Christmas storm.
Regisford-Henry said the school had lost all of its books, computers, copy machine, and other teaching supplies during the unusual storm.
She said several boxes of books were donated to the school and every student received a backpack with school supplies and snacks.
The group’s president said a three-night religious revival service, at the Choppins Seventh-day Adventist Church was also part of the mission, with Pastor Peters as the featured speaker.
The Associaton celebrated its 25th anniversary from Oct. 18 to Nov. 2, under the theme,“This Far by Faith.”
The celebration began with the group’s annual convocation at the Boys and Girls High School on Fulton Street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.
The sermon was delivered by Vincentian Pastor Elroy O’Garro, who resides in Connecticut.