Blessings in the Bahamas
by Kevin Wahl
“You would think that an island has an abundance of fruit, and that the people subsist on what the land provides,” says Shantavia, “but in my homeland of the Bahamas, it is not so. Health is a greater need there than I thought!”
In December 2013, Hartland students Shantavia Gittens and Jermaine Gayle, accompanied by Irisdene Samuel and Maria Rodriguez, traveled to the Bahamas. “We visited four Seventh-day Adventist churches and held health outreach efforts for their communities,” Shantavia recounts.
The team taught hydrotherapy and massage, conducted health expos, and presented a series on overcoming addictions. Church members and people from the community attended their meetings each night. All who came expressed gratitude for what they were taught.
The first night of the series, after the team taught principles and practical lessons on how to do massage, Jermaine delivered the message—an introduction to health. “A pastor from the local [Seventh-day Adventist] conference smiled and told me that I spoke about some health principles that he had never heard! He expressed confidence in the message and invited me to preach at his church on Sabbath.”
The second night, a lady suffering from insomnia and very high blood pressure came and received a hot foot bath. “We checked her blood pressure and told her that we would check it again the next day, which we did,” Jermaine recalls. “Miraculously, she had a wonderful sleep and her blood pressure dropped significantly.”
Thursday, that same week, the team participated in a community health extravaganza held by the local conference. Many people attended, including government representatives. The attendees were blessed as the team demonstrated the eight laws of health in simplicity.
On Sabbath, at the Berea Seventh-day Adventist Church, Jermaine preached on righteousness by faith, emphasizing victorious living in the end-times. “A few of the guests who came to our night meetings were present,” Jermaine exults. “When I made the appeal, two of them came forward requesting prayer. They also signed up for Bible studies.”
In addition to holding health programs, the team distributed books among the tourists and those living in the communities. “The response was shocking—everyone was so receptive,” Jermaine relates. “When we were in the towns, many would even stop their cars and ask us questions before we even approached them.”
Finally, a radio station invited the team to speak about the things they did. Shantavia concludes, “Thank you all who supported us through prayers, donations, and words of encouragement. Because of your efforts to help us, lives will be changed for eternity.”