Guyana’s President Lauds Adventists
Guyana’s national leader has commended the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South American nation for its community focus.
“I wanted to personally say ‘Thank you’ to the Adventist Church for the tremendous work it has done in keeping faith alive in Guyana, and for assisting with the complex social task we have set for ourselves as a country,” Bharrat Jagdeo said.
His comments came during a keynote address at a May 25, 2011, Guyana Conference business session, during which church administration recognized last year’s recipient of the United Nations Champion of the Earth award for his contributions to the nation. Jagdeo was among several awardees honored for volunteering their time and expertise to uplift the people of Guyana.
LEADER HONORED: The Hon. Bharrat Jagdeo, president of Guyana, accepts an award from the Seventh-day Advent-ist Church in the country for uplifting the people of Guyana. During his remarks
at a Guyana Conference business session May 25, Jagdeo commended the church’s community impact.Preaching to the converted once a week won’t transform the community, Jagdeo reminded session delegates.
“Jesus’ life was characterized not just by prayer, but by service,” he said. “So we need not just to pray in beautiful edifices, but go into the communities where the people are.”
Jagdeo recognized the church’s role in national development, calling on Adventists to “strengthen the character of every Guyanese, both those who fear God and those who don’t.” The hallmarks of development and progress—such as better access to health care, education, and better-paying jobs—are, alone, inadequate to satisfy human need, he said.
A Hindu, Jagdeo made numerous references to Scripture during his remarks. “The Bible has all the lessons we need, whether we are Christian or non-Christian,” he said.
Jagdeo also encouraged the Advent ist Church to intensify its role as a support system for people struggling with social and economic challenges. During such situations, “The church has to be there . . . to lend a helping hand,” he said.
Using the speech as an opportunity to promote better race relations among Guyana’s citizens, Jagdeo cited the biblical principle of “love your neighbor as yourself,” established by Jesus in the New Testament. “If we follow this principle in our homes, in our society, here in Guyana, or in the world, then . . . the relationships among people will be significantly better,” he said.
—reported by Barbara Savory, Inter-America Division/ANN staff