December 17, 2009 – Kingston, Jamaica…[Kimone Thompson/Nigel Coke/WIU/IAD]
Whether you speak Chinese, Russian, German, French, Spanish, English, or any of the more than 66 languages of the traveling Bible, the Good Book is awash with best practices for all situations.
That was the core message on Dec. 13, at the National Arena where the 16.68lb, 18″ x 12″ Bible that is at the center of the Follow the Bible initiative made the final of three stops in Jamaica. The process is intended to foster a deeper interest in reading and studying and sharing the Bible particularly since, according to information from the world church, recent surveys indicate that fewer than 50 percent of the church membership engages in daily study.
“The Bible outlines best practices,” said Pastor Derek Bignall, president of the church in the West Indies, as he addressed thousand of people – including church and civic leaders – happy to have had a glimpse of the specially prepared Bible, which will end a two-year journey around the world at the General Conference Session in Atlanta, Georgia in June 2010.
“If you do business, there is a way to do best business, Pastor Bignall continued. “Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over. That's how you must do business; no hanky panky dealings. And if you're lazy, the Bible gives you a way to learn to do better: go to the ants. If you are parents, the Bible has given best practice to teach the children. The best thing to teach the children is to give them a Bible and you must teach them everyday, when you walk by the way, when you sit in your house, when you lie down, when you rise up.”
“We need to bring the Bible back to the top of the agenda,” he said. “The TV has got too much and the Internet has got too much. We must put back the Bible where it belongs – in the minds of men.”
Bignall said he wasn't discrediting the importance and use of technology because it is also a source of education but said it needs to be regulated and administered with care.
In his address, Bignall was critical of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and called on the Ministry of Education to do more in the way of promoting Creationism.
“Until these things get back in our schools, we no longer have a say in the nation,” the head of the church said.
President of the East Jamaica Conference Pastor Adrian Cotterell also addressed the gathering on Sunday.
Also present at the National Arena was speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon. Delroy Chuck who represented the Prime Minister at the historical event.
He accepted a copy of the Bible from the church leaders and said it would be placed at a convenient location in Parliament where “everyone visiting can take time out to read it as they see fit”.
The traveling Bible arrived in Jamaica – the 112th country in its worldwide tour – from Costa Rica on Friday, Dec. 11. It was handed over to Pastor Bignall by Pastor Guenther Garcia, Secretary of the church in South Central America at the Donald Sangster International airport. Its sojourn took it to Montego Bay, Mandeville and Kingston where motorcades and bands comprising Pathfinders and Master Guides signaled its arrival in each town.
In Montego Bay, the program was conducted under the theme: ‘The Bible – Our Torch of Truth'. It included “walking, talking” replicas of the Bible and costumed Biblical characters. More than 250 Bibles and 4,000 pieces of Christian Literature were distributed to motorists and pedestrians during the motorcade and at Sam Sharpe Square where a civic ceremony was held. Pastor Charles Brevitt, president of the Adventist Church in Western Jamaica admonished parents to buy Bibles for their children and study with them. This he said will help to restore families and create a healthy society.
On Saturday, the traveling Bible went to Mandeville in central Jamaica where the theme was ‘The Bible – the Book of Hope'. The morning's program included drama presentations depicting the 12 tribes of Israel as well as the Apostles, and readings from the huge book in Greek and Hebrew. Pastor Glen Samuels, secretary of the church in the West Indies Union delivered the main address in which he re-enforced to the congregation that the Bible is the Book of Hope. A civic ceremony was held later in the afternoon at the Mandeville Park where over 200 Bibles were given to non-Adventists. Pastor Everett Brown, President of the Adventist church in Central Jamaica delivered the main address.
Sunday's program, under the theme, ‘The Bible – The Book to Live and Die For', featured singing, choral speaking and drama presentations of the work of Christian martyrs and pioneers such as Paul, Martin Luther and the Millerites of the Great Disappointment of 1844 fame. President of the Church in eastern Jamaica, Pastor Adrian Cotterell challenged the gathering to keep the Word and spirit of God inside their heart.
The Traveling Bible will continue its journey throughout Inter-America by making its way to Martinique in the coming days.
To view a photo gallery of the traveling Bible in the West Indies, visit http://flickr.com/photos/interamerica