Grenada

The Meenister’s Log

(The New Jewel Movement (NJM) under the leadership of  Maurice Bishop was the main opposition party in Grenada during the 1970s. In 1979, the party decided to overthrow the government of Eric Gairy which had ruled the country since independence in 1974. The NJM launched an armed takeover of the radio station, army barracks and various other key locations in Grenada while Gairy was on a trip outside the country. 
Bishop announced the formation of the PRG over radio. The constitution was suspended and the NJM announced new laws. The PRG organized a cabinet to run the country with Bishop as Prime Minister. All political organizations except for the NJM were banned.
The PRG established close relations with the government of Cuba and with Cuban assistance began construction of a large international airport. The PRG also began a systematic plan to build up a large army on the island.)
Grenada was invaded by the Americans on October 1983 and the Communist regime brought down.
I was twice asked to be locum there (there being no Presbyterian minister on the Island at that particular time) just a couple of years before the U.S invasion, and while Maurice Bishop’s regime was still in control.
On the first visit there, one Sunday evening, a service was held in the Anglican Church in St.George’s, the capital of Grenada, and to which, as the Presbyterian Minister, I was invited.
This service lasted more than two hours – but the time went by so quickly.  It was a Thanksgiving Service for three of the congregation who had just been released from jail – imprisoned for their anti-government views.
On hindsight, I’m surprised that they had been given their liberty, and that they were allowed to talk about their feelings in the crowded Church.
But talk they did, most sincerely and movingly about how, even though in prison, their faith liberated them from any bitterness or fear.
It is one of the most moving testimonies I have ever hear or ever will – true faith, forgiveness and hope in the liberating power of the Gospel message

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Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic

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