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Peter replied,"Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off -- for all whom the Lord our God will call."
- Acts 2:38-39
Our mother is the one who normally connects us to Jesus, the building blocks for life. She sees to it that we are brought before the Lord's altar and baptized into the holy Christian church. She teaches us the first prayer that we utter to God.
This coming Sunday is Mother's Day. I am saying a special prayer for the mothers of our nation that they keep connecting their children to Jesus.
In the text, the apostle Peter encourages the people listening to him to repent and be baptized. He reminds them that the promise of God is for them and for their children.
Even though we live in a perverse world where people spurn God's word and harden their hearts towards God, there is still hope. This hope lies in godly mothers and grandmothers who act as a guiding light in the lives of their children and grandchildren.
I had a Russian friend when I was in seminary. During his infancy, most of the people in Russia, including his parents, were atheists. Notwithstanding this, his grandmother, who feared God, had him baptized in a secret ceremony.
Today this young man who holds a doctorate degree in physics and previously worked for the Russian government building bombs, works as a pastor in the army of God. Thanks to his grandmother who trusted God and prepared him in his infancy.
In our country we still have such mothers and grandmothers. For them, I thank God. They help to build our country and give it a sound foundation. That foundation is built on Christian principles.
I am thankful for my mother who turns 87 on Sunday, Mother's Day. Over the years, she has been like a lighthouse to my siblings and me, guiding us to the throne of God. Yes, she has been our angel, guiding us and putting us on the right path whenever we stumbled.
My mother gave birth to, and raised nine children and raised an additional two she adopted. She loves us all, yet she never encourages nor did she ever encourage us in any wrong. I love my mother. I thank God for her.
As I look around my congregation, I see many mothers and grandmothers whose love and care extend far beyond their children and grandchildren. They fear God and because they do, they help to guide our young people in the way of the Lord.
They make the words of our Lord a part of their living: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)
For this, I am encouraged and see hope for the future of our country.
My mother was the one who taught us God's word. She created the spark in us and kept us close to the Lord. Like my mother did for my siblings and me, I pray that our younger mothers would spark a connection to Jesus in their children.
Mothers and grandmothers, I beseech you, continue to be God's angels in the lives of the children around you. Over the years you have made it your responsibility to ensure that these children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and neighbors get connected with Jesus. Your gift to these children give us good and productive citizen. Happy Mother's Day! Amen.
o Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone: 323-4107; E-mail: email@example.com, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.
NASSAU, Bahamas -- The prospect of receiving an award for being academically exceptional was never at the forefront of Ricara Skippings' mind as she matriculated through her Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting) programme at The College of The Bahamas. She says she was simply following the sage advice of her mother.
On Wednesday, May 28th, when scores of high achievers of The College's 2014 Commencement Class were honoured during a special awards ceremony, Ricara was leading the pack. She completed her programme with distinction, earning the School of Business' top awards as well as The College's two primary honours.
"I really did not expect this because I actually was working to make my term grades and get a sense of self accomplishment and do my best in every course. I never thought about awards. That was never at the forefront of my mind," she said.
"My mum would always say, you are not competing with the person sitting next to you in the classroom, you are competing against the person sitting in China, Germany, Africa, New Zealand. This is a global environment and if all you think you have to focus on is the person sitting in front of you, then you have big problems."
Ricara humbly accepted the School of Business Award, donated by Fidelity Bank and Trust, and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce Award for Academic Excellence. Many other graduands were honoured in various schools - from Mathematics, Physics and Technology to English, Education and Communication and Creative Arts - for being high achievers.
Success is not gained by cramming for an examination -- it is a long process that takes time, dedication and most importantly interest, according to Queen's College senior Rebecca Henderson who walked away with the most prestigious awards that a high school student can earn. She had the best overall performance in the nation in the 2014 Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations with 10 "A" grades and one "B" grade. She also had the best result of all students in the Independent Schools and the best results of all students on New Providence.
Rebecca, who sat the 11 subjects as an 11th grade student was graded at A in chemistry, physics, biology, music, geography, religious studies, English language, English literature, math and Spanish. Her lone B grade was recorded in combined science.
"All my hard work throughout the years -- not just this year -- everything paid off, and it shows that you can reap the benefits of hard work and accomplish something," said Rebecca, who was honored last week at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology's Annual National Awards Ceremony.
"You don't have to think something's not for you, and that you can't achieve it, and that it's for the other people in the grade or in the country, or that there are always other people better than you. It shows that something can actually be done," said the youngest child of Mark and Nicola Henderson.
The 4.42 grade point average (GPA) Principal's List student said her results did not come easy and that they were results she worked for, not just in preparation for the exams, but throughout the year.
"I always make sure I work," she said. "I don't slack off during the year and when exam times come I suddenly just work, work, work. No, all through the year I work. Throughout the year I go over things and when exams came I didn't stress myself overly or have a complete breakdown," she said.
Rebecca, who has attended QC for 13 years, since her early days in ELC said her study habits involve lots of note taking. Rebecca has a folder with notes jotted down from everything she does. In the final analysis she said she doesn't even really have to look into her books, but rather to the copious notes she has made.
Snagging the top honors for this QC student comes on the heels of the success of other former QC students. In 2012, Shannon Butler earned the same distinctions as Rebecca. Shannon went on to be named the Bahamas All Merit Scholar, a scholarship that is awarded to the single most outstanding applicant coming out of high school annually. He is presently a medical student at St. Andrews University in Scotland. In 2010, Miguel Cartwright was also named the most outstanding student in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. He is in his final year at McGill University, Montreal Canada.
For Rebecca, obtaining a good education is everything. It means a "future".
"I want to be a doctor. I want my life to mean something. I want to do something which not only I like, but which also helps other people. I don't just want to be another human on this planet doing something that doesn't really matter. I want to have a purpose."
To that end, Rebecca is making application to the United World College (UWC), which makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. UWC schools, colleges and programs deliver a challenging and transformational educational experience to a diverse cross section of students, inspiring them to create a more peaceful and sustainable future. And UWC believes that to achieve peace and a sustainable future, the values it promotes are crucial -- international and intercultural understanding; celebration of difference; personal responsibility and integrity; compassion and service; respect for the environment; a sense of idealism; personal challenge and action and personal example.
If accepted into the program, she will not be the first person our of the Henderson household to be accepted. Two of her four siblings have also gone the UWC route post secondary school. One was posted to Italy, and another to Swaziland.
While applicants have no say as to where UWC sends them, if Rebecca had a choice, she would choose to be sent to Italy. "It's the center of everything, and I would love to be able to travel. And it would be so easy to travel from Italy," she said.
Rebecca who describes herself as a "Comet to the bone," having spent 13 years at the institution, which she started during her ELC years, has a family with history on the Q.C. campus. Her father attended Q.C. Her mother teaches at the school. And all of her siblings also matriculated at the school.
The top student isn't all about the books though, Rebecca also plays clarinet and tenor saxophone, and is in the QC Band as well as The Bahamas National Youth Orchestra. She is pursuing her Governor General Youth Award (GGYA) Gold Award, is in the Debate Club and plays soccer.
Her advice to her peers is to just do their best.
"You can't do better than your best, so just do your best, try your hardest and don't give up at all," she said.
LJM Maritime Academy physics and mathematics lecturer Dr. Alvin Hepburn reminded cadets and staff at the LJM Maritime Academy to be thankful for all the opportunities they have been given at their recent day of thanksgiving.
Dr. Hepburn urged cadets to be thankful for their lives as they are, and to not worry about the things they do not have, the things they wanted and wished they had, but to instead learn to appreciate that there is great value and goodness in what they do indeed have, no matter the circumstances or conditions.
The academy presented food items to the Great Commission Ministries International that provides hot meals and clothing to the poor.
The LJM Maritime Academy opened its doors in October. The non-profit tertiary institution, offers maritime education and training in nautical science deck/navigation and marine engineering. The $30 million campus is located just north of Arawak Cay, on the soon to be named Maritime Cay, formerly occupied by the now defunct Coral World attraction.
The academy's first cohort of students includes 41 high school graduates from New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros and Eleuthera.
NASSAU, Bahamas -- The most powerful tools for analysis and problem-solving emanate from innovations in technology and scientific discovery, a notion at the centre of a deliberate focus at The College of The Bahamas on the opportunities that Mathematics, Physics and Technology unlock.
The School of Mathematics, Physics and Technology recently used a week of activities to raise the awareness of the utility of these disciplines and how they are the linchpin of a fundamental understanding and development of the modern world. This was much the same theme that Antonio Stubbs, Senior Vice President of Technical Services, Transformation and Planning at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited delivered when he spoke to students and faculty.
As the demand increases for young, technologically shrewd individuals in the job market, COB students were challenged to use their knowledge, creativity and passion now to drive future innovations.
"You can't come here every day, sit in classes, take exams, get A's, graduate and go home and get a job. Put these brains together. Why can't you build the next super app? Why don't you guys put your minds together and develop some applications for the banking industry and the tourism industry?" he questioned.
Mr. Stubbs was the keynote speaker for the opening ceremony for Mathematics, Physics and Technology Week at The College and delivered a high-energy presentation, which captured the attention of the audience that filled the auditorium of the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre. He illustrated how technology has evolved so rapidly, particularly in the telecommunications sector.
A shortage of teachers, the escalating dengue fever outbreak, and the state of some schools affected by Hurricane Irene, are some of the chief concerns that Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson expressed as public schools open across the country today.
Yesterday Wilson said the public school system is short of about 22 teachers, particularly in the areas of mathematics and other speciality subjects.
Director of Education Lionel Sands, has admitted that the department does not have a sufficient compliment of teachers to teach the subjects of maths, physics, chemistry and several other technical areas. Sands said the ministry relies on bringing in teachers from abroad. He added that the ministry offers grants to persons interested in studying the more technical subjects where further assistance is needed.
Meantime, Wilson is also concerned about the dengue fever outbreak.
Thousands of Bahamians have contracted the vector-borne virus over the past two months, and at least one person has died as a result of the virus.
"I want our teachers to be safe. Since we had the dengue fever outbreak I want to urge the minister of health to ensure that all schools have been sprayed for mosquitos to assist with student safety," Wilson said.
The union president also expressed concern about the schools that will have to open late as a result of damage sustained during Hurricane Irene. The Ministry of Education will be relocating students at several schools on Family Islands impacted by Hurricane Irene, in order to ensure they are able to attend classes when the school year begins today. However, students who attend Arthur's Town High School and Orange Creek Primary School on Cat island, will not begin classes until September 12, according to Director of Education Lionel Sands.
Sands told The Nassau Guardian in an interview last week, that students who attend Colonel Hill High School on Crooked Island and Snug Corner Primary School on Acklins, will be relocated due to extensive damage sustained to those facilities last week.
He added that schools on Cat Island were not that badly impacted by Irene. He added that the hurricane interrupted summer repairs, which will be completed next week.
Meantime, Wilson reminded parents and teachers whose school routes are impacted by the massive road works across the island to plan ahead.
"I'm concerned about persons getting to and from school in a timely matter. I'm hoping that teachers, parents and administrators map out the route so they can get to school on time. I also want administrators to be lenient with some teachers and some students who have to travel where work is being done. We have to be aware that it may pose challenges," Wilson said.
BUT is currently in the process on negotiating a new contract with the Ministry of Education. Wilson said so far the process is going smooth. She expects negotiations to conclude by the end of October.
Thursday 5th May 2011 8:30 AM
The IBS Build-A-Bridge Challenge is a high school competition for 10 and 11th grade students across the country. The students are organised into school teams of no more than five members and a mentor teacher. Each team receives a kit of 300 popsicle sticks and school glue from which they must construct a bridge of no more than 100 popsicle sticks. The lightest bridge holding the heaviest load will win, so the students use as few sticks as possible. This year we will introduce architecture as a judging criterion. Special Guests, Speakers and Judges: Hon. Charles Maynard, Minister, Youth, Sports & Culture; Hon. Desmond Bannister, Minister of Education; Dr. Carlton Watson Chair, School of Mathematics, Physics and Technology, The College of The Bahamas; Mr. Romauld Ferreira, Attorney, Ferreira & Company and Master of Ceremony; Mr. Andrew Stirling, Architect, Plan-It Bahamas Keynote Speaker: Mr. Robert Whittingham, Architect, Whittingham Design Consultants; Mr. Marcus Laing, Architect, The Design Group Start Time: May 5th at 8:30am End Time: May 5th at 3:00pm Where: College of the Bahamas Performing Arts Centre, Oakesfield For more information, contact Mrs. Vivian Dean Bridge Challenge Co-ordinator at 242-324-5445 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NASSAU, Bahamas -- In a technology driven age, Computer Science has become a fundamental field of study that drives the world, yet in The Bahamas, it remains an unchartered subject in school curriculums. Now, an e-learning specialist who has just returned from leading a seminar of international experts says it's time to wake up and smell the future.
"The study of Computer Science is just as important as Mathematics and English," said John Bain, the Principal of JSB & Associates and Chairman of the e-Learning Committee of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. "The study of computer science is not a luxury, and should not be an elective, but an integral part of education. It is a vital, analytical discipline, and a system of logical thinking that is as relevant to the modern world as physics, chemistry or biology."
Bain, a Chartered Forensic Accountant and one of the first 40 individuals worldwide to become a Certified Specialist in Asset Recovery (CSAR,) employs the use of Computer Science skills daily in his profession. Bain assists attorneys, individuals and companies involved in civil litigation matters that involve disputes over shares, partnerships, debt or other financial issues.
If Bain could change one thing concerning business in The Bahamas it would be to make Computer Science a mandatory subject in the curriculum.
NASSAU, Bahamas -- A corporate entity is collaborating with The Bahamas Society of Engineers (BSE) to help stimulate the participation of more Bahamians in a critical sector in the Bahamian economy. BHM Co. Ltd., formerly Bahamas Hot Mix Co. Ltd., and the BSE have established a scholarship fund at The College of The Bahamas for civil engineering technology students.
The College recently received a donation that will fund a scholarship of $3,000 every two years for a full-time, undergraduate majors pursuing the Associate of Science in Civil Engineering Technology programme. There will also be an opportunity for these scholarship recipients to intern with BHM Co. Ltd.
Ebbe Saidi, Managing Director of BHM Co. Ltd., is convinced that initiating this scholarship fund was necessary in order to encourage more Bahamians to pursue a civil engineering profession.
"Civil engineering is about developing the environment. A lot of that type of industry is on the way in The Bahamas. Firms from all over the world are here and we felt that Bahamians need to enter the industry and take possession of the industry," he said during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to establish The Bahamas Hot Mix, Bahamas Society of Engineers Scholars Programme.
Recipients of this scholarship will be students enrolled in the ASc. programme in the School of Mathematics, Physics and Technology at The College who demonstrates financial need.
Dreams are bigger than the problems that try to disillusion you. This is the belief of 14-year-old Kathie-Lee Petsch, a tenth grade student at N.G.M. Major High School in Long Island. The over-achiever, who was recognized at the Ministry of Education's annual national awards presentation for the best overall performance by a female student in the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) in the public schools, with seven A and two B grades, said hard work and perseverance are the things she lives by when it comes to her education.
Kathie-Lee chalks up her incredible drive to the loving memory of her father, Andreas Petsch, a German electrical engineer who was murdered when she was just 15 months old.
Although she never got to know her dad she feels that her academic achievements make him proud and she hopes to keep doing her best.
Even though he's not actively in her life, she still believes she is connected to her father and inherited his passion and love for education. In her dad's memory, the student with the best BJC results in Math and Science at North Long Island High School are presented with an award. Petsch has proudly presented the award to a deserving student for the past four years.
To get to where she is academically, Kathie-Lee understands the value of time management and takes advantage of opportunities.
"I did not get where I am overnight," said the honor roll student. "It's about working hard and being consistent. It's about balance and time management. It's about making goals and sticking to them. I am not saying it's not always going to be hard to stay on top, but it's important to do the extra work even when you don't have to, so you don't get overwhelmed."
Her method for studying effectively is to find a quiet corner in any given environment (preferably her home) and tackle her most intense subjects like Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics and English first. Then she relaxes and catches up on subjects that are easier for her like Spanish and Commerce. She has a strict evening schedule that she adheres to after school so that she does not lose her focus or fall behind in her studies.
Kathie-Lee also believes in always challenging herself and not getting comfortable even if she attains a goal. Even though she did well in her BJC's and received A grades in English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Health Science, General Science, Religious Knowledge and Technical Drawing, and a B grade in Art and Design, she said that does not distract her. She's upping the ante as she aims for a perfect 4.0 grade point average. It's currently 3.39.
"I know I am capable of getting a 4.0 grade point average, so I am looking forward to really showing that I can. I am currently still getting used to my new courses and I am sure in no time I will do what I set out to do."
She said she really needs to keep up her grades if she wants to get into a good university and make her dream of becoming a pediatric psychologist a reality.
Determination and persistence is only one of the key ingredients to Kathie-Lee's recipe for success. Her familial support system which she feels is unshakeable is also key. She's an only child, but she lives in a home with five other people, including her mother, Lucinda Petsch and aunts Janetta and Dezerine Cooper, grandmother Rowena Cooper and an eight-year-old cousin Deneshia Johnson. She says their presence gives her the sense of home and support that makes her comfortable and relaxed enough to study her best.
"My mother is especially very supportive of me and is always interested in what I am doing or studying. She ensures she knows exactly what is going on and if I don't know something she helps me. If she can't help, she ensures she gets me the resources so I can learn and do my best."
While she strives to do her best academically, Kathie-Lee says she also knows that there is much more to life and to being a good student than simply cramming her mind with facts and equations. She also values extra-curricular activities and makes time to have fun. She is active in the Governor General Youth Awards Program and has gotten the bronze and silver medals of achievement. She is also part of the Bahamas Youth Network -- a Christian-focused group that focuses on community services. To enhance her Spanish-speaking skills she also joined Club Bajamar and hopes to travel to Cuba during the Easter break to make use of what she's learned. She also ensures she keeps her focus on God in all that she does in being a member of her church's (Church of God the Bight) youth and young adult group, the Family Training Hour. The smart student even takes time out to be a part of the peer tutoring program in her school, which encourages academically-gifted students to assist those who are struggling with their work.
"I think it's very important to be active in things other than my schoolwork. Being in numerous activities forces me to manage my time better," she says. "I also am useful to my community and make myself more well-rounded [because] being in numerous clubs also looks good on my college resume. Besides you do need to relax sometimes, learn new things and just have fun."
Her advice to all students who wish to excel is to always continue to strive for excellence in all they do. She says achieveing perfect A grades is always great, but said it is not right to judge what others can do to what you know you are capable of. If your best grade is a C or a B, then she said you should do your best to achieve those grades. As long as you work as hard as you can, she said knowing that you could not have given anything more -- whatever achievement -- should make you proud.
"I understand that not everyone is the same and what is easy for me is hard for others or the other way around. I always advise others to do what is best for them and work as hard as they can. If you need help get it, but the real key to all of this is doing what you personally can and continuing to challenge yourself. Do not procrastinate when it comes to your work, and it never hurts to ask questions. No one knows everything, so as long as you remember that you will not only do well but you will be the best that you can be."