CMI ministers in the Caribbean
A special CMI outreach to a special influential group
I recently returned from a ministry tour of Dominica (not the Dominican Republic!), a small, impoverished Caribbean island in the eastern Windward Island chain. A historical backwater, with no beaches to speak of, it has failed to attract many tourists. With almost no flat ground, it has also failed to attract much industry. However, they do have a medical school (Ross University), two major towns, and about 70,000 residents. Dominica has a predominantly Christian population, most of whom are descendants of African slaves. Not including the diverse collection of medical students, there are scattered people of European descent on the island and a few hundred Carib natives in isolated villages on the eastern shore. Few people have much money. In fact, they have learned that if they did not have something (like air conditioning or an automobile) to simply do without it. Surprisingly, the people were very up-to-date on world events and nearly all of them have Internet access through the local phone system. At least, this is what the kids at one youth group said, after snickering good naturedly at ‘Dr. Carter’ for not knowing this.
We were asked to come to Dominica by the Ross Christian Fellowship (RCF), who organized three island-wide radio appearances for me with a variety of talks. The events began with an open-invitation talk on the medical school campus on biblical genetics. Most of the attendees belonged to RCF, though there was one Sikh and several other non-Christians present. This was followed by additional talks on genetics, Darwin’s legacy, dinosaurs, and creation evangelism. There was a tremendous outpouring of support for the messages, with several people volunteering the names and addresses of churches in the United States who they thought would like to hear the material for themselves.
We received many comments like, “Wow! I had no idea the case for creation was so strong,” and, “It’s funny that they never taught me anything like this in college.” There were, however, (and we were grateful that they came) several who were not initially persuaded by the evidence. One young doctor-to-be asked a series of questions about mutations and whether or not they support long-term evolution. Sadly, he seemed not to want to understand the answer and ended up asking the same question in several different ways, even though the answer was always the same: a high mutation rate means all human genetic diversity can be accounted for in a very short amount of time. Our hearts go out to such people, who, trained in the best evidences for evolution, cannot see the forest for the trees when presented with a clear answer that is contrary to the reigning hypothesis of evolution.
Interspersed with this busy schedule at the med school were several talks at local churches. These open-air churches were full of life, and the people were very appreciative that someone came all the way from the States to share the creation message with their congregation. They had questions about basic Bible issues like, “Where did Cain get his wife” and “Where did black people [races] come from?” Afterward, we got a range of comments. Perhaps the most inspiring was, “Oh, how lovely are the people of God [referring to the strange white guy that just spoke at their all-black church]!”
To see a culture with a strong Christian heritage was a delight. At the same time, to see a culture poised on the edge of the spiritual abyss into which most of the Western world has fallen was sad. Evolution was everywhere—in the schools, in the media, and, sadly, in many of the churches. And every worldly pleasure is easily accessible to them. Drug use and prostitution are luring some people away and they can find anything else with just a few clicks on the Internet. As the anonymous person in the last paragraph indicated, God’s people are beautiful, no matter where they are in the world, no matter what color they come in, and no matter how rich or poor they may be. But, without a solid grounding on basic biblical tenets, the trend is for people like this to fall away. What is to keep them from following Europe and America down the slippery slope of unbelief? Pray for these beautiful, brave, and noble people, that they would remain true to the word and that the Spirit would work mightily in their lives.