MINISTRY PARTNERSHIP IN ANTIGUA
Antigua is a small English-speaking island in the eastern Caribbean. With a population of 80,000 and a land area of 108 square miles, ministry opportunities are never far away. Ken and Nancy Kirkland have served in Antigua for over three years, participating in several ministries. Ken is a member of the missionary staff at the Caribbean Radio Lighthouse, a well-established Christian radio station which reaches much of the eastern Caribbean with the Gospel. Ken and Nancy also minister in many other ways, including local Bible Studies, children's Bible clubs, and relationships with neighborhood families. They also serve in a local church.
In recent years, many Spanish-speaking people have come to Antigua seeking better job opportunities. Although their numbers now approach 12,000, there is no established fundamental church in their own language. A new work is just beginning, under the leadership of a man on temporary secular work assignment to Antigua. As he leaves in the near future, longer-term leadership is desperately needed. Much of the groundwork for this church plant is well under way, but the need for teaching and leadership development is great, indeed.
Because Antigua is mostly English-speaking, it provides many opportunities for short-term team ministry. Very affordable housing is provided by a sister mission board. Teen groups can participate in Vacation Bible School ministries, neighborhood Bible clubs, and local church music, teaching, and preaching opportunities. Teams have successfully led youth rallies and sports ministry programs, including soccer and basketball. Adult teams often help with construction projects - the local churches often need help with building or remodeling projects. Our aging radio station building and facilities constantly need repair. In fact, the need for a new station building is imminent - many teams will be involved in this major construction project.
The Spanish ministry in St. Johns is in its early stages, but excitement is high. This very young church meets at the Grace Baptist Church building in the city, and is the only fundamental work among the 10,000 Hispanic people now living in Antigua. Begun as a Bible study, the church is presently being led by a Hispanic man from the United States, on temporary work assignment as an advisor to the Antiguan government. He does not consider himself a pastor, and will be relocated several months from now. These Spanish believers are praying that the Lord would soon send a pastor to lead this young flock.
EXPANDING OUTREACH INTO THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN
Although BMW has no specific plans to expand into other areas of the Caribbean, we are certainly open to considering new efforts of this kind. There is a need for new churches on other islands, of course. But opportunities also exist for short-term efforts in teaching, canvassing, and construction. These places are conducive to two- or three-week Bible classes. Some churches do exist on the islands, and they can always use help in evangelism, leadership training or construction.
If you are interested in joining the team or having more information, contact Paul Seger, BMW's Interim Area Director for Latin America.