For ten days this past October, a Go2Trinidad team from the Brookville, OH, Grace Brethren Church, poured themselves into ministry to the people of the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Chuck Davis is Grace Brethren North American Missions’ Southeast Career Missionary. He and Ancil Ragoonath, Caribbean church planter and director of Grace Ministries, have been leading short-term ministry teams to Trinidad for years, laying the foundation for a church-planting ministry there.
Roger and Kumarie Dabideen hosted the team in their home. The Dabideens regularly take time off from their government jobs to open their home and serve the Go2Trinidad teams, daily cooking meals for them, doing team laundry, or whatever is needed.
The Brookville men focused on construction projects to help prepare an addition to the Dabideen home. The women traveled into the mountains of Trinidad to lead a weekend retreat for pastors’ wives from Trinidad, Antigua and Guyana. Millie Davis, Chuck’s wife, was the main speaker for the retreat, and the other ladies on the team provided special music, performed drama, organized crafts and shared themselves with the West Indies ladies.
The following week was filled with one opportunity after another to touch the lives of the Trinidad people with God’s love. For months, team members had been organizing, raising funds, and preparing for the various ministries they would have in Trinidad.
Gary and Connie Brooks had raised money to provide several large fans for the children’s cancer clinic in a Trinidad hospital. Through the Brookville GBC’s softball teams Ken Landis raised money to buy cricket equipment to present to several schools in Trinidad.
The team was able to share Christ with children and staff at a Christian orphanage, as well as a Hindu orphanage. Previous Go2Trinidad teams had been so loving that the Hindu staff was very open to the team’s ministry there. The team was also welcomed into government schools, where some teachers were Christians. The Brookville ladies spent a morning visiting the homes of widows, letting them know they were loved, and leaving with them gift bags the team had prepared.
At the end of the week, the Grace Ministries staff prepared a meal and sent out invitations to the people of the community where the first Grace Brethren church will be planted. The Brookville team provided special music and shared their testimonies, and then joined the Grace Ministries staff in serving the meal to the community families.
As Go2Trinidad teams continue to go to the island, a positive reputation is being built for Grace Ministries, which in turn prepares the families of the community to have a natural connection to “Church of the Central Plain,” the Grace Brethren Church that will be launched in June of 2005.
The next Go2Trinidad team will be a team from the Music Department of Grace College, led by Professor Ardis Faber, which will be in Trinidad in early March, 2005. For information about future Go2Trinidad Teams, contact Dr. Charles Davis, GBNAM’s Southeastern Career Missionary, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850-236-9096.