Cayman Adventists Unites Against Abuse with “End It Now” Rallies

People with End IT Now Banners

Demonstrating unwavering solidarity and commitment, the Women Ministries Department of the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists orchestrated three “End It Now” rallies held in George Town, Bodden Town and Cayman Brac on August 26, 2023. With a resolute aim to address the pressing issue of abuse and foster healing within the community, these gatherings stood as beacons of hope and empowerment.

The EndItNow initiative, which extends to more than 200 countries and territories, was launched in October 2009. It was launched as a partnership between the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) – a prominent humanitarian organization – and the Department of Women’s Ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. These two entities are representatives of the Adventist Church.

The George Town “END IT NOW Rally” held at the Annex saw a congregation of individuals from all walks of life united to raise awareness about abuse and offer support to survivors. There was a march from the FLOW parking lot on Eastern Avenue to kick things off and concluded at the George Town Primary Annex. The Scout Association of the Cayman Islands provided delightful fanfare with their uniforms and drum core.

At the Annex, the event commenced with a heartfelt opening prayer led by Pastor Andrew Campbell, Vice President and Youth Director of the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Sashoy Duncan, Health Ministries Director of the Conference, warmly welcomed attendees.

Corry Chambers, Women Ministries Director of the Conference, set the tone with her opening remarks, followed by Pastor Dr Ivor Harry, the Conference President, who emphasized the gravity of addressing abuse. The event gained a human perspective through “A Survivor’s Story,” shared by Ingrid Miller, shedding light on the challenges faced by survivors and the importance of trusting in God and only acting when he prompts you to.

A prayer segment led by Sophia Hamilton of the Kings Seventh-day Adventist Church focused on both victims and perpetrators of abuse, highlighting the need for compassion and transformation.
Representatives from the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS), Carol Robinson and Annakay Miller, underlined vital information on how we can detect and prevent abuse among children. Orlando Broomfield’s “Spiritual Nugget,” along with various musical items, contributed to the attendees’ spiritual enrichment.

Simultaneously, the Bodden Town “End It Now” rally, held at the Gazebo at Coewood Beach, echoed the same unwavering commitment to addressing abuse. Opal Maragh of Northside Seventh-day Adventist Church welcomed attendees, setting a welcoming tone. Pastor Carlon Nyack, Executive Secretary of the Conference, emphasized the significance of raising awareness about abuse and thanked the church membership for their prayers and support as his family faced his father’s death.

Ms. Mariesha Spencer, Outreach Coordinator Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, bridged the event’s focus with practical outreach, highlighting the importance of tackling abuse and its consequences.
Elodie Jackson’s “A Victim’s Story” shared a personal perspective, adding real experiences of how violence can ruin a family. Elodie also shared that gospel music helped her heal after her young son was killed in a violent act.

A prayer session led by Pastor Caple Thompson underscored healing, transformation, and empathy for victims and perpetrators.

Insights from Mrs Kernita Bailey and Kai Matthews-Mowatt, Social Workers from the DCFS, added a practical dimension, showcasing the importance of professional support and speaking up, even if there is just a hint that there is abuse. They enacted through the eyes of an abused child – a true story. They also shared tips with parents about detecting and reporting abuse.

Evangelist Roshe Riley’s “Spiritual Nugget” enriched the event’s spiritual component. While Corry Chambers, Women’s Ministries Director, conveyed a vote of thanks, fostering unity against abuse.

In Cayman Brac, Bouvia Ferguson, a social worker from the Department of Children and Family Services, addressed a vital issue concerning relationships. She highlighted the importance of recognizing warning signs when encountering a new partner to ascertain the potential for abusive behaviour. By sharing her insights, Ferguson empowered individuals to make informed decisions and cultivate healthy relationships within the community.

In conclusion, the “End It Now” rallies provided platforms for survivors, advocates, and community members to unite against abuse, share stories, offer prayers, and initiate collaborative efforts for healing. The events effectively combined spiritual and practical dimensions, emphasizing empathy, understanding, and the urgency to end abuse.

The Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering an abuse-free community and supporting survivors on their path to recovery.

Written by: Devarro Whittaker, Associate Television Producer.

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