“I have found a New Family”- The Story of Angel Brown in Barbados
“Bro Angel Brown is known to be a quite helpful and resourceful individual” says one member of the St Jago congregation “and hearing of his move to another island I knew there would be a missing space for a while at our congregation” she continued to explained. Bro. Angel is known among the general churches of Christ in Jamaica through his involvement with the COCJamaica online news forum and the annual Sports Day planning.
The Brown family migrated to Barbados for work reasons in August 2014. We caught up with him and inquired how things were progressing.
How was the transitioning?
It’s not an easy decision to leave home the place you are quite familiar, and where your immediate family resides for a new place. In some sense I could relate to Abraham going on a journey but knew wherever my family was going God had a plan for us. We had already prayed about it and the asked him to guide our decisions.
My family placed our membership with the Hindsbury Road congregation in September 2014 on my arrival. My wife and son Micah had been in Barbados a few months earlier to set up schooling and accommodation. I traveled a little later with my daughter. The Hindsbury congregation is located just on the Eastern perimeter of the capital city of Bridgetown. It’s a small congregation with an average of forty-two (42) in attendance on Sunday mornings. One of the unique things of the congregation is it’s mix of local residents and immigrants. Barbados seem also be a little hub for Eastern Caribbean (EC) students to study at the Cave Hill Campus. There is also the medical expertise on the island which may not be available at other Caribbean nations which influences from time to time brethren from the EC visiting our worship assemblies.
There are four congregations on the island and the Hindsbury Road congregation where I have been attending has the largest attendance.
How have you been involved in the work at this congregation?
The congregation was very welcoming and I was allowed to lead in Bible Classes and I became a regular roster in the Bible Class and Preaching department. My natural style is to use practical and visual illustrations and so I worked with the congregation to acquire our own projector to facilitate visual aided learning in our Bible Class and Preaching Sessions. The congregation has since expanded it’s role of the projector to basically running the full Sunday morning General Worship order of Service.
I believe whatever talent God has blessed us with we should use them to his glory. Having an I.T background my first initiative was to upgrade the congregation’s website and create a social media presence. Later I shared the idea of reaching out to individuals who may have questions or interest in bible studies online. We launch our Skype account to facilitate this and have had discussions with persons as far as Nigeria. The online reaching out was to work in tandem with the promotion of a face to face Empowerment Series I planned. The objectives of the series was to reach out to the community to find hope and do personal development with a scriptural foundation. It was also to provide exposure of the congregation and have a footprint in social & media presence in Barbados. We launched our series in May 2015 after promoting an online Bible Quiz which allowed participants from across the island to join in. It was at the empowerment series we presented the prizes to our winners.
Recently I implemented the congregation’s weekly newsletter which is now managed by the Youth Group members. I have been focusing my work on Youth Development as I believe the future of the church rest with strong young men and women in the body. My time in Barbados has found me writing a lot more short articles and doing more research for materials to present as I have been push to exercise a more active role in congregation education. It’s been a growing experience spiritually.
What’s been your encouragement while there?
My encouragement comes primarily from the word of God. Its promises and reassurances is what I keep my eyes on and not let the noise of criticisms and distractions of economic woes, injustice, break down in moral living bother me. I know better is to come. My loving wife has been a key resource to keeping me in check and I wish I could do a lot more for her. It can be hard now that you find yourself more involved in the day to day work of a congregation and finding that right balance with family is now of key importance. The Children are my little joy bubbles to give you a laugh now and then.
Since I have been here in Barbados I have leaned upon JSP graduates for their insights some inlude and not limited to are Bros. Elton Terry, Lemuel Medley, Andre Brown. Bro Roy Graneau morning inspirations, J. Perrotte whatsapp quotations and Eddie Fisher’s Facebook posts have helped to keep my mind well nourished with spiritual food.
The indelible impact of my Father Derrick Brown a past JSP Graduate who has molded and shape the birth of my spiritual journey cannot go unoticed and added to the equation I continue to seek advise from my Father in law Trevor Smith (graduate of extension classes) with his invaluable insights.
What about Jamaica do you miss?
Everything! There is just that connection among those who you use to engaged with every Friday evening or Saturday morning or Sunday Worship you miss. Thankfully technology has made things easier so with the likes of Whatsapp, Facebook and Skype it seems as if I am still in Jamaica at times. It was the other day I was telling someone in Jamaica about something they should have been aware. How funny that was. But God be praise, there is no “perfect” congregation wherever you go but where I am, I have found a new family who many will show their deep respect to us and give us the needed encouragement as well.
What’s on the Horizon for you?
Right now I’m taking it one day at time. I’m following up on the charge we promised that 2016 New Year, New Gear. We’ll be having a Evangelism Workshop this weekend and on Good Friday we’ll organizing a Men’s Retreat which will include a Strategic Planning for the congregation looking at strengths and weakness and a review of ministries. I hope this session will bring out positive plans to foster more unity and fellowship and growth of the local body.
I continue to ask for prayers of the work here in Barbados as we seek to build and foster the skills and environment for edification and building up of each other. The work of the Gospel must continue. On the Horizon is Jesus’ return 🙂
Editor’s Note : The congregation in Hindsbury, Barbados where Angel attends is seeking a gospel Minister.