October 9, 2019 | St. Croix, US Virgin Islands | Royston Philbert/IAD News Staff
Following a recent shooting in the Frederiksted community on St. Croix, that left firefighters injured, the Seventh-day Adventist Church nearby mobilized quickly to assist them.
According to the Virgin Islands police department, six individuals, including firefighter Rhydel Robinson, were injured. Robinson was shot in the hand and will have to undergo multiple surgeries and will need extended recovery.
“Although there was no loss of life, the church was happy to contribute to the needs of the fire service,” said Wynfield Ambrose, pastor of the Faith Adventist Church in Frederiksted. “Robinson was severely injured during the incident [and is] suffering, and we were so pleased that our church and members moved into action to assist the people of the community.”
When the news broke, Jacinta Grant, youth leader and clerk of Faith Adventist Church, and Laverne Joseph, another youth leader, motivated the youth and membership to help.
The church had previously visited the fire station and delivered food baskets on different occasions and knew that Robinson was a recipient of that initiative.
“The Adventist Church is well-known for opening its doors to persons in need and for recognizing some unsung heroes in the community, such as police officers, emergency room staff, 911-operators, emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) and firefighters,” said Grant. “We wanted to take it as an initiative from the Adventist Youth department to make a difference.
Church leaders donated funds to help toward Robinson’s medical bills.
Local fire chief Paul Christian and firefighters on duty accepted a $500 gift on behalf of Robinson. “We are delighted at your generosity and we are thankful to the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for their contribution and believe that it will help in taking care of his medical bills,” said Christian.
The firefighter chief said that Robinson is currently undergoing medical treatment in the United States.
According to Pastor Ambrose, the Faith Adventist Church, with a membership of over 900, has been intentional about making a positive difference through initiatives such as adopting the community’s fire station. During the year the church donated fruit baskets and care packages to the firefighters, he said.
“Our donation to the injured firefighter is another way of showing our appreciation to those who care,” said Ambrose. It’s about making a difference in the Frederiksted community. “In the midst of all the violence and insecurity, we want to continue to bring rays of sunshine to our communities.”
On a quarterly basis the church donates food to young mothers, and needy community members, as well as feeding the elderly at nursing homes and breakfast for the homeless in the city twice a month. In addition, the church provides breakfast twice a month for those residing in a half-way house, and recently donated school supplies to needy students in the community.
To learn more about the Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. Croix, visit northcaribbeanconference.org