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Becoming a global leader may be Johanna Kleijn's aspirations for when she grows up but for now, her role as headgirl of the Lyford Cay International School is good enough for her. The 17-year-old overachiever who is passionate about languages and being helpful to others, says her latest endeavor as co-head of her student body has truly been a challenge, but one she is glad she took on.
Q. What challenges have you faced as headgirl and how are you tackling them?
A. I think the biggest challenge for me is balancing my responsibilities as headgirl and handling my twelfth-grade academic program. It's quite rigorous. There is lots of scheduling and taking time out for both. I try to be there for the other students but I also have to let my ambitions be important too. So really the biggest challenge is time management.
Q. When you found out that you would be headgirl what did you expect your role would entail?
A. On a personal level, I expected I would be a role model for other students. I would also be expected to connect with others and ensure they feel comfortable talking to me about issues that affect them. I also knew I would have to ensure everything is running smoothly, such as there being no uniform violations, and the campus environment is clean. It has lived up to that and so far being headgirl has been good.
Q. What is an important lesson you have learnt while being headgirl?
A. I have learnt that you can't expect everyone to agree with you. So it is important to look at everyone's opinions and put yourself in someone else's shoes. I think it's something you have to do if you are really trying to understand what is going on completely and you can create a good solution.
Q. What qualities do you think made you stand out enough to your peers and teachers to be elected as headgirl?
A. I think my well-roundedness and ability to relate to others assisted me in being elected. Academically I do well and I also think I am a good role model. I am also close to my teachers and I work well with the others since it's very important. I also speak well in other languages like Dutch, English, French and German. So I think it's about being well-versed in many areas that made me a good overall choice.
Q. Seeing as you speak four languages compared to the one or two most students are pushed to study, what value do you place on knowing so many tongues?
A. I think it is very useful to know as many languages as you can. Many of the students at my school are from other countries and we embrace their diversity. Our curriculum also helps us to focus on the global market and making ourselves ready to face what is out there. I think it would do students a great deal of good to be more open-minded and the more culturally diverse they are, the more marketable they will be. With the way the economy is going it would be great to have an advantage in some way. So I would suggest students learn to speak more languages and visit other places because it expands you as an individual in more ways than one.
Friday 10th September 2010 8:00 AM
Native Dishes: Chicken Souse, Sheep Tongue Souse, Stew Conch, Boil Fish & Stew Fish American Dishes: Omelets, Egg Platters, Pancake Platters, Sandwiches, Breakfast Burritos & New York Strip with Eggs Free Wi-Fi
In past columns, we have examined the ideal in several areas of politics, including the ideal leader, the ideal nation, the ideal electorate and the ideal media. Today we would like to Consider This...what is the ideal we should be striving for in a political campaign?
Firstly, we want to look at what a campaign should not be. It should not simply be an excuse for a concert, although concerts have their place and are integral to our campaigns, figuring prominently into our political culture. However, the ideal campaign is not only about concerts, nor are they occasions for public drunkenness or other rowdy, anti-social and uncouth behavior. Campaigns should not be looked upon, as we have heard several candidates from different parties suggest to their followers, as a time to enrich ourselves financially while still voting our consciences, or in Bahamian nomenclature, "take the money but vote for the party of your choice." In other words, the ideal political campaign should not be about bribery. An ideal campaign is not all about how many flags we can fly on our vehicles, pins we can display, stickers we can affix to our car bumpers and T-shirts we can wear.
The ideal campaign is neither noisy nor unruly. It is not about shaking the hands of those who come to you for your vote without delving deeply into their minds, motives, morals and messages.
No, the ideal campaign should be a time when you, the voter, earnestly and deliberately decide what it is you want to see your government accomplish for you, as a Bahamian, for your community in particular and for the nation as a whole. The ideal campaign is an occasion when you set the priorities of what you want to hear from the candidates who are all competing to be the stewards of your future for five uninterrupted years.
When we talk about setting priorities, we don't mean just being satisfied with hearing, for example, that candidates will "deal with crime". In an ideal campaign, candidates must come with the specifics of their plans for dealing with what it is that you feel is important for your well-being and that of your family and the country.
In an ideal campaign, the voters' time would not be wasted hearing a list of the candidate's old successes or the old failures of their opponents. In an ideal campaign, the discussion would be focused on what successes the candidate is planning for the voters' future.
In the ideal campaign, candidates will be clear about establishing milestones and yardsticks for their performance if they are successful. Candidates who are serious about serving the people whom they seek to represent would not be reluctant to set criteria by which they can be judged as to whether they are successful during their term in office. Candidates who are sincere about representing people would have no fear whatsoever about being judged and critiqued on their performances, knowing that constructive criticism can only make them better as they go about their job, which is, first and foremost, building a secure and successful Bahamas.
Campaigning with ideas
It is not difficult to determine whether candidates are serious about discussing the issues that are important to voters. There is a positive correlation between the quantity of mud-slinging in which candidates engage and the level of frustration and desperation that they experience on the stump. If a candidate is confident that his message is resonating with the electorate, then the focus would be placed on a discussion of that message and the issues it addresses, as well as the candidate's vision for the future. If, on the other hand, the candidate is desperate, the amount of mud that is slung and the depths to which a candidate sinks to make his point will dominate his campaign, clearly demonstrating his lack of understanding of the issues that we all regard as important. Accordingly, voters should take note of which candidates take the high road on the campaign trail, addressing the issues substantively, and those who sink to the depths of vitriolic invectives, or mud-slinging, in order to make their points to seek your support.
Political campaigns in The Bahamas present many opportunities for gossip and innuendo to abound. The rumor mill is rampant during the silly season. And often the more salacious the scandal, the more some people seem to revel in unfounded or unsubstantiated twaddle. In an ideal campaign, candidates would spend far too much time talking about what matters that they would simply have no time left to indulge in rumor-mongering. In campaigns, as in life, the idle hands, or, in this case, the idle candidates' tongues, are truly playgrounds for the devil.
Increasingly, in the ideal campaign, political debates should figure more prominently. This not only includes debates by the parties' leaders but also by constituency candidates. True, party leaders must be prepared to debate each other on the issues that will affect us all, and if they are not prepared to debate the issues they do not deserve to be seriously considered by the electorate.
Additionally, voters must be able to evaluate individual candidates in their own right because it should be a team of leaders who will govern us, not just the party leader. In future elections, the cult of personality which has punctuated previous polls and the prodigious primacy of the party leader must diminish and the importance of the team will increase. What better method is there to evaluate the team than to be able to assess them on the issues that they will be able to address in public debates?
In the ideal campaign, the candidates will no longer be selected because of connections, lineage and past precedent. In the ideal political campaign, candidates will be selected by the political parties because they possess strength of character and commitment to service. These attributes will be the primary considerations in their selection as standard-bearers. These qualities will be a welcome departure from many of the past and some of the current candidates, and should greatly improve the quality of representation, ridding us of the despicable behavior all too often observed in Parliament.
The ideal campaign will feature a majority of enlightened, intelligent, knowledgeable, and ethical political candidates who will inspire the Bahamian people toward greater dedication, helping to mold the society in more fulfilling and positive directions.
In the ideal campaign, if we take democracy seriously, without the die-hard allegiance to partisanship that perpetuates a polarized polity, we will come to fully appreciate that the ultimate responsibility for the welfare of our society does not rest entirely with the candidates who offer for office. Ultimately the ideal campaign will truly confirm that our future really rests with us.
oPhilip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis & Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to email@example.com.
A lifetime of love seems barely enough for Reverend Earle Manford Francis, 90, and his wife Marjorie Eloise "Sweet Potato" Francis nee Taylor (84). The couple who met decades ago when they were teenagers will officially have been married for 65 years on June 29. Although time and history has passed, the couple is still holding on strong to their love. They say that sometimes they feel like it was merely yesterday that they began their journey of love together.
"Sweet Potato" as Rev. Francis loves to refer to his wife vividly remembers meeting her husband in Salem Baptist Church on Parliament Street. At that time she says that was the place to meet other young people that your parents approved of and who were "into the right things". She described meeting a nice-looking young man who was active in the church and that she liked that about him right away.
"He had his eye on a number of other young ladies in the church but I guess I must have stood out more since I was the one he chose," said Sweet Potato.
Theirs was a courting that bordered on six years and eventually led to their marriage in 1947. It was a journey they were delighted that they took. They believed their extended courtship made them more passionate about each other, and simultaneously brought them closer. He said it also helped them remain more clear-headed when they entered their marriage.
Rev. Francis said when they got married - he was 26, his Sweet Potato was 19 - that they were ready. They had a home to move into and he had a job already lined up to take care of his future family.
The couple were married on a Sunday morning at 6 a.m. at the church where they met.
"Everything about my wife was perfect -- her love, demeanor, concern for me ... everything. I still love her and it still feels like we first met."
At the time Rev. Francis worked as a waiter at City Club, in downtown Nassau. It was almost 15 years into their marriage that he says he got the call from the Lord to enter pastoral ministry. He was commissioned by his pastor, Reverend Enoch Beckford Sr. to take over Salem Baptist Grove Mission on Baillou Hill Road. A year later in 1965, he changed the name to First Baptist Church.
His Sweet Potato was there to support and encourage him in his journey as a minister, joining him in studies in seminary school at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky from 1977 to 1979. She knew piano before but learnt the organ officially while there as well. Besides being a typist and working as a payroll officer by profession at the British Colonial Hotel to support her husband in his religious endeavors, she became even more active in the church by joining numerous groups. She played the organ at services for over 60 years.
Sweet Potato said it was a pleasure to be of service to God and to her husband. And said she has always done what she could to do her part and serve to the best of her abilities. She said she has not regretted loving and standing by her husband. Her marriage is one she said has been filled with understanding, respect, appreciation and devotion.
"This is not to say we did not have our arguments, but we did know how to resolve them before we went to bed. We treat each other well and just genuinely love each other more than we disagree," she says.
This is still a key factor in the marriage today which has been blessed with 13 children - six boys and seven girls, 11 of whom are still alive - Percival Earle "Vola" Francis, Florence Louise Taylor, Dr. Emmanuel Leslie Francis, Dr. Walstone Elisha Francis, Reverend Wilkinson Larry Francis, Charlotte Catherine Humes, Barbara Jemima Darville, Joan Marjorie Knowles, Mary Evangeline Francis, Reverend Joseph Earle Francis and Reverend Dianna Francis. Margaret Alicia Francis Dames and Keith Charles Edward Francis predeceased their parents.
Reverend Francis believes the fact that he and his wife never even thought about divorce kept their marriage strong. "We had our storms and disagreements but we made it through it all without throwing in the towel." He said they never let the sun go down on their wrath when problems arose.
"Every marriage has problems because some rain must fall -- but we never let it get to the stage where we feel nothing is irreconcilable. We ensured we maintained our good relationship and fellowship. We always tried to be understanding and most of all we have plenty of love."
Although they were young the Francises say they took marriage seriously and took into consideration everything being married meant.
Sweet Potato said she was always careful about what she said or how she reacted to situations in their marriage that she disliked. She said she took to heart the Bible verses that speak of the power of the tongue being able to produce good and evil. And that no matter how upset she was or how she would've wanted to respond she always thought it over and used her words carefully.
"I used my words to bless rather than curse. We are not perfect. I was always cautious. I made a commitment when I took my vows and I meant it," she said. "I ensured I didn't get angry because I was determined my marriage would work. When we argued or were in trouble I also ensured I prayed so we could overcome everything. We were big on praying because it really does change things. God's word is the lamp to our feet and light to our pathway. This is another secret to our long marriage."
She advises young people marrying today to ensure that their partner is a Christian and serious about God. She said this does not necessarily mean he or she goes to church religiously, but that they are serious about God's work and letting Him shine in their lives. Sweet Potato said they can't go wrong if they at least have this. She also said it is important to be able to be themselves around the person and that they should feel good showing their love. While she is her husband's Sweet Potato, she lovingly refers to him as her "Watermelon" - which for her is a gesture of love as well as a playful jab at his growing tummy that reminds her of the juicy fruit.
Rev. Francis said ensuring they keep the love alive by sharing what they love with each other and never starting or finishing the day without saying that they love each other is also important. He said showing love by being affectionate and considerate is another genuine way to strengthen a marriage.
"For the last 15 years my wife and I have been renewing our marriage because it's a romantic and sentimental thing to do. We appreciate our marriage and show it by renewing it. We want to strengthen it by doing this. It is a wonderful thing that we do and it shows that we truly love one another."
They may be up in age, but Rev. Francis still expects his marriage to get sweeter and sweeter and that the love and joy he has shared with his Sweet Potato will only increase. He feels that problems in marriage are guaranteed to come, but he and his wife have been facing them for so long that nothing can come that will diminish what they have.
The couple's last child, Rev. Diana Francis, 40, said her parents' marriage is an inspiration to her and that she dreams of having that type of relationship one day.
"What I love about my parents is that they have such a strong relationship. They have been together so long but they are still two distinct individuals. They don't lose their individuality like many people do in a marriage. They are still two people who love being themselves and sharing their lives with one another. Although they are different they compromise with one another by giving way for the better good. They've not been perfect as I've seen them argue on points, but I also see them still resolve it and get over what they disagreed on. They really love one another. They are concerned about one another. They compliment one another and are a real team. Where she is strong, he is weak and vice versa. They really push one another."
Through their example she has learnt the importance of friendship in marriage, understanding each other's roles, mutually supporting each other, being respectful, being a team and alway leaning on the Lord in the good and bad times.
She said she would be fortunate to have her parents' kind of love one day and is grateful for the example to make reference to in her future relationships. Because of them she said she will not be able to settle or just accept anything less than the best due to the ideal environment her parents' marriage created for her and her siblings.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. -- St. Matthew 6:33.
Our lesson text today is a very familiar verse of scripture that can be quoted by many. While being able to roll it off the tongue, how many have taken it to be the benchmark of success? How many have used it as the basic tenet of faith in training up their children in the way they should go? As a matter of fact, how many really believe this to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
The violent happenings in our land, especially among the youth is a loud call of national distress. No amount of foreign investment can offset the tragic loss of male life. When the quality of life is diminished among young men, the hope of the future is bleak.
Barely do I get written responses from my weekly messages, but does that mean I should not continue with the witness and the message? Indeed not! If the message is despised and the messenger rejected, then the consequences of not receiving will allow sorrow to roll like billowing seas.
Thinking of the consequences of judgment and punishment at the last day, of losing heaven and going to hell: nor even of the sorrow and loss we may perhaps bring in some future time upon others by our past misdoing, is not sufficient. That kind of observation will not bring the kingdom to us or to others. Here is the cure.
We must return to our Father at once and tell Him of our sorrow and ask for His gracious face to look upon us again, and for His help and guidance to put the wrong right, and to let us be His faithful servants again and the children of His love. And this He will certainly allow. For when we call Him our Father we mean that which is true. He really is our Father and what He desires is just for us to come back to Him. He will not keep us waiting for His forgiveness, but is already ready to welcome us.
But why is it that we find or make it difficult to trust Him so simply. Our Lord Jesus came and lived and taught and died for us just that we might know Him and trust Him when our hearts fail. Come to me He said. Come with me and I will bring you to our Father, your Father and mine. That is why we end our prayers with "Through Jesus Christ our Lord" or "For Jesus Christ's sake" -- He is our mediator.
Can we find the kingdom of God via Google, or through treasure hunts, a voyage around the world, archeological discovery, even by having national primaries and elections? Indeed not. The Bible says that the Kingdom of God is within you or among you.
Trying to play upon words whether it is within or among, matters little. What matters is that the kingdom is already here in our midst only to be recognized within our hearts, in the quiet loving thoughts which no disturbance outside can destroy. Sometimes our minds within us are themselves disturbed, as mine was a few days ago. It is at this time we can best find the kingdom -- by looking at others, at God's mercies operating around us. At the good examples others afford us. At the unexpected undiscovered kindnesses shown us by others, or even by the richness of a Sunday morning church service.
Our business is not to take the measure of our own progress. We are sent here to stick to the precept and to do right, not to plan our course and other peoples but to do good. A good conscience is a conscience open toward God, not an easily satisfied conscience. A broken contrite heart is the sacrifice. Those who are most conscious of wrong within, who confess most frequently to failure, are asking the most honest search for the kingdom -- the kingdom in which we build and are built by God's righteousness not our own.
Today, make a sincere effort to seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness. The treasure of such a divine search would be all that your heart should desire.
oE-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box 19725 SS, Nassau, Bahamas, with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's Blessings!
The Local Designer Profile question and answer series is designed to
give you an intimate glimpse into the background and artistic process of
young movers and shakers in the local fashion industry in The Bahamas.
local designer David Rolle, the talent behind the line House of
Raphelita is making waves in the local fashion industry. The
twenty-something designer recently snagged The Culture and Fashion Award
at the Islands of the World Fashion Showcase (IWFS) held locally in May
and kept tongues wagging as the designer of choice, dressing the First
Lady Mrs. Bernadette Christie at the official Opening...
THERE WAS excitement in Grand Bahama when in a jocular remark -- which translated meant that the PLP's election promises will happen "when chickens grow teeth!" - Prime Minister Ingraham remarked: "Down in West End Mr Sammons is coming back and so is Jack Tar!"
The tongue-in-cheek remark was made in answer to all the promises that the PLP were making about what they would do if they won the 2012 election. What Mr Ingraham was in fact telling the large crowd at the opening of the Russell Town, Eight Mile Rock constituency office on Saturday was that if they believe the PLP's promises then they will also believe that Mr Sammons -- the one-time saviour of West End -- and his J ...
February has been designated head and neck cancer awareness/prevention month and included under this broad heading are cancers of the lip, mouth (oral cavity), nose (nasal cavity), paranasal sinuses, brain, pharynx (the cavity behind the nose and mouth that connects to the oesophagus) and larynx (voice box). This group of cancers are strongly associated with certain environmental and lifestyle risk factors, including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, over exposure to the sun's ultra-violet rays, as well as certain strains of viruses, specifically the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The awareness color for cancer of the head and neck is grey.
What is head and neck cancer?
The vast majority, 90 percent, of head and neck cancers are Squamous Cell Carcinomas. They begin primarily in the epithelium, the mucous lining of our mouth, nose and throat. Head and neck cancers are frequently very aggressive and often a second primary tumor develops.
Who is at risk for these cancers?
In general, these types of cancers occur most often in men at a rate of 66 to 95 percent. Factors which can significantly impact this incidence ratio include the location of the specific cancer, and the increasing numbers of female smokers. For example, the male to female ratio for oral and pharyngeal cancers is currently three to one. However, in patients with Plummer-Vinson Syndrome (a disease that occurs mainly in people with chronic iron deficiency anaemia), which causes difficulty in swallowing, due to small, thin growths of tissue that partially block the upper oesophagus (food tube), the position is reversed, with 80 percent of the cancers occurring in women.
The incidence also increases with age. Most patients are between 50 and 70 years. There are more women and fewer smokers in younger patients. Also, people with HPV-associated head and neck cancer tend to be younger -- in their 30s and 40s -- when first diagnosed.
In the United States (US), the incidence of laryngeal cancer is significantly higher in African Americans relative to white, Asian and Hispanic populations. Also in African Americans, this type of cancer is associated with lower survival for similar tumor stage. For example, the overall survival rate is 56 percent in whites versus 34 percent in African Americans. It is estimated that each year, over 1,700 new cases of HPV-associated head and neck cancers are diagnosed in women, and some 5,700 are diagnosed in men.
In 2011 alone in the US, approximately 39,400 men and women (27,710 men and 11,690 women) were diagnosed with cancer of their oral cavity and pharynx, and some 7,900 died as a result. Further, an estimated 12,740 men and women (10,160 men and 2,580 women) were diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and approximately 3,560 died. Additionally, most patients with head and neck cancer have metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis. That is, their cancer had already spread to other parts of their body.
The risk factors associated with head and neck cancers
There are a wide range of factors that can put an individual at greater risk for head and neck cancer. Lifestyle risk factors such as tobacco chewing and smoking (cigar and cigarette); irresponsible alcohol consumption; over exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays; as well as dietary factors, such as a poor diet and/or the high consumption of processed and red meats are also associated with increased rates of head and neck cancers. Environmental risk factors include exposure to asbestos, textile fibers as well as prolonged exposure to wood dust and paint fumes. Cigarette smokers have a lifetime increased risk for head and neck cancers that is increased five to 25 fold over the general population.
Additionally, the presence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or acid reflux disease, has also been found to be a major contributing factor. In such cases, stomach acid flows up into the oesophagus and damages its lining, thus making the affected individuals susceptible to throat cancer.
Signs and symptoms of head and neck cancers
There are many factors that would cause an individual to seek professional help, and they can all be caused by something other than cancer. However the watchwords of the Cancer Society of The Bahamas (CSOB) are "early detection," so please check with your doctor or health clinic, early, if you are experiencing any of the following: Swelling in your neck that may or may not be accompanied with pain; Bleeding from your mouth; Persistent sinus congestion; Persistent bad breath -- even with good oral health care; Sore tongue; Painless ulcers or sores in your mouth that do not heal; Dark, red or white patches in your mouth that will not go away; Persistent earache; Unusual bleeding or numbness in your mouth; Lump or swelling in your lip, mouth or gums; Enlarged lymph glands (swelling) in your neck; Slurring of speech (if the cancer is affecting the tongue); Hoarse voice which persists for more than six weeks; Sore throat which persists for more than six weeks; Difficulty swallowing food, and change in diet or unusual weight loss.
Reduce your risk of developing head and neck cancers
The most effective primary prevention would be to avoid as many of the risk factors. Do not chew or smoke tobacco. If you engage in these activities, you should stop now. Do not drink alcoholic beverages, or limit your intake to two drinks daily for adult men over 18 years old or one drink for adult women. Apply protective sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 with three stars, to the skin before going outdoors. Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet daily that includes lots of leafy green vegetables, fruits, especially citrus fruits, complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, cassava, pumpkin, etc., and fish. Also, drink lots of liquids such as water, coconut water, fruit juice, low fat milk, tea and coffee daily. Additionally, exercise daily, for at least a half hour.
You should also have regular, annual medical examinations, including annual dental examinations. Ensure that you get adequate sleep each night and time for relaxation each day. Limit your intake of foods such as hot dogs (which are high in nitrates); processed meats such as bacon and corn beef (which are high in sodium nitrate); donuts (made with white flour, sugar and hydrogenated oils, then fried at very high temperature); French fries (fried in hydrogenated oil at very high temperature), and chips, crackers and cookies (all made with white flour and sugar). Also limit your daily intake of salt, never adding any to your food at the table.
Should you experience one or more of the signs and/or symptoms outlined above, visit your doctor or health clinic right away
In secondary prevention, when diagnosed early, head and neck cancers can be treated more easily, and the chances for survival and a return to a normal productive life would be greatly increased. The goal of the CSOB is regular screening for prevention, early detection and effective treatment of all cancers.
Waiting for the results of a biopsy and listening to your doctor confirm your "worst nightmare", that you do have cancer must be one of the most devastating experiences for an individual to have. Fortunately, most often these days, this confirmation is quickly followed by the reassuring words: "It's in the early stage and we have a number of options to choose from, all with excellent/very good possible outcomes". Working together with the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, you can help to ensure that there are even more positive outcomes every time a diagnosis of cancer is confirmed.
oFor more information on the work of the CSOB, telephone 323-4441 or 323-4482 or visit the website at www.cancersocietybahamas.com.
The book of Acts is coming alive at Jesus Christ Centered Ministries International's 2012 Holy Spirit and Power Conference, which is in its last night tonight at New Life Christian Center on Prince Charles Drive.
The gospel is being put on demonstration by American pastor Dave Roberson, who pastors The Family Prayer Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He ministers powerfully in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and teaches people the way to have the power of God come alive in their own everyday lives.
Bishop Sheldon Newton, who is hosting the conference along with his wife, Pastor Jennifer Newton said that God is moving in an awesome way and people are being blessed.
"Wonderful miracles are happening, people's arms and legs have grown out, Pastor Roberson has been ministering by the Word of knowledge and 'calling out' certain diseases and people have been coming up and being ministered to and being healed," he said. "In addition, many are being filled with the Holy Spirit [with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues]."
The conference has been supported by ministers from different churches who have attended meetings.
"[On Tuesday] the ministers received an anointing of the Holy Ghost as Pastor Roberson laid hands on and ministered to pastors and ministers.
"The Word of the Lord is also coming forth in tremendous fashion," said Bishop Newton. "The people have been feeding from the table of the Lord."
Going into its final night, Bishop Newton said the conference has exceeded his expectations as people have been able to see first hand the power of God in demonstration.
"To watch people actually be healed in front of your eyes and to see hands and legs grow out right in front of you, it's an awesome sight and I think it has birthed a hunger in people for more of the supernatural power of God."
He said that miracles and healings began in the first service and that people were shouting with excitement as they watched God perform miracles right in front of their faces.
"Our members were actually up by the pulpit looking and watching as they saw things happen and we just glorify God for what He has done. These are things that Jesus is doing through His servant and these are things that are available to every Christian.
"Jesus said that [believers] shall lay hands on the sick and that they shall be healed and what we are seeing is a demonstration of what the Word of God already said believers are supposed to be doing."
Bishop Newton said Pastor Roberson is teaching a lot on the love of God, being filled with the Holy Spirit and the importance of spending time speaking with other tongues.
"Pastor Roberson is emphasizing the importance of having a spirit-filled and spirit-led life and a love walk, which allows the power of God to flow through you. If you want to walk in the gifts of the Spirit and real power, you have to learn to love people and really care about people. God has opened up a measure of divine love to [Pastor Roberson] and he is walking in a great measure of that divine love -- that's what's causing the power of God to operate through him."
Tonight's final session begins at 7:30 p.m.
Pastor Roberson is known in Christendom for his powerful teachings on fasting and prayer.
After an undeniable supernatural encounter with God in 1973 Pastor Roberson left his job in an Oregon saw mill to answer God's call to the ministry. Since then, he has preached the gospel with signs following in nations around the world through church meetings, city-wide crusades and pastor seminars. In 1990 Pastor Roberson began pastoring The Family Prayer Center.
Whether home or abroad, Pastor Roberson's ministry has always been marked by a free flow of the spiritual gifts, outstanding creative miracles and physical and emotional healings as he teaches others to hunger after a more deeper and more vital walk with God.
Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Jesus put a child in the midst and said, "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." -- Matthew 18:1,4.
Mostly when I am out of town, it is customary for me to call and find out how everything is going. I was on the phone with my sister, Bertha, when she got a call from my sister-in-law, Sharon, saying that Reuben was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). On asking which Reuben it was, I found out that it was my little seven-year-old nephew, the son of my brother, Pastor Reuben. I was standing, but my faith stabilized me.
That day on Thursday, February 16, I was already in a very reflective mood since it was my late mother's birthday, and precious memories were flowing. Reuben's death happened so suddenly and without notice. It seemed to be the flu, but it took him immediately to the ICU with a grave prognosis. In three short days, little Reuben went to be with the Lord. My sister, Carmella, told me that on his first day in ICU, he removed the mask from his face and said "Psalm 17" and please do read it.
As I look over my nephew's life, I cannot but conclude that angels are not for the long haul, but for the expressed purpose of a mission to be accomplished. He was highly intelligent, technologically savvy, musically endowed with the most crystal clear voice I have ever heard. I attended Marjorie Knowles' music recital at St. Matthew's during the Christmas and he performed "The First Noel" flawlessly. I was extra excited because my first music recital given by Meta Cumberbatch at age eight was held in St. Matthew's schoolroom.
Reuben was meek, gentle and well-spoken. He was as Christian as his faith was strong. His seven-year-old life could have been measured symbolically in the life of one who had fulfilled all the requirements needed for entrance to the pearly city. Now I know that the days of our life are three score years and 10, but it does not necessarily mean that it is out of God's will if one dies before 70, but any part or parcel of the 70 must be lived in the will of God.
It is amazing that the late Whitney Houston was not even buried, yet that the tongues of some of the religious order were criticizing Reverend Marvin Winans about his sermon. "He ain't do this and he shudda do that and he the next." These are the Christian preachers. Yet, on the other hand, high level media personalities were giving the entire service along with the sermon, high marks.
Such was the case in Jesus' day as recorded in our text. Rather than rescuing the perishing, caring for the dying and witnessing to lost men about the salvific gospel of Jesus Christ, they were trying to find out among them, who was numero uno in the kingdom of God. Who among us could preach the best, has the biggest church with the most members? Who is popular in every nook and cranny? Who is wearing the latest and longest suit and the most expensive shoes? Whose robe is the grandest of them all?
Jesus had just come down from the mountain where His Transfiguration took place in the presence of Peter, James and John, and the multitude were waiting for him. A certain man among them begged Jesus to heal his lunatic son, as the many attacks were beginning to take a toll on the health of both he and his wife. Jesus rebuked the demon and the child was restored to good health.
Thereafter the disciples came to Jesus to find out who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And who so shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
For me, through the death of little Reuben, the word of God has become more clear as to how we should live our lives and our daily behavior each to the other. Children are innocent, pure and chaste and never harbor jealousy or sow seeds of ill wind. They are just pure children who though spanked, will still share a smile. They do not support grudges and will speak the truth even though it may be to the detriment of others. While some may wait for the later years to train children, the wise ones know that from the moment a child comes into this world, serious training must begin. By the time a child reaches the age of seven, the life pattern of that child is already defined.
Once a man and twice a child to me has nothing to do with the physical condition of an individual, but all the graces and virtues of what it is to be a child. Our lives must begin as virtue-packed as that of an innocent child, and in our adult years must possess and show all the love, peace and kindness as if we are still children at play in an open playground. Thank you Father for your word, and thank you God for little Reuben of seven - fit for heaven.
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