The Haitian Youth Conference 2013 was held from Feb. 17-24 nightly at the Friendship Mission Baptist Church L’Amitie in the Peas community under the theme: “Better Decisions Today for a Brighter Future Tomorrow.”
Although the conference’s focus was on helping Haitian youth, numerous leaders and stakeholders and other youth in the community were invited to attend the conference. With the growth of the Marsh Harbour area over the years, a number of challenges have also arisen within the Haitian community from poor decisions made by its youth.
Committed to bringing about a positive change among these young people, Pastor Lucien Cledillon, Whitney Bain and Evangelist Beauvoir Menas have joined forces. Cledillon is the leader of Feed My Sheep Church, and scout leader of the 50th Bahamas Scout Group of Abaco; Evangelist Beauvoir Menas is the coordinator of Delegue (VIHAMO), which means “Vision for Haiti and the World”; and Whitney Bain is CEO of Innerspring Youth Program, and a member of the Community Policing Urban Renewal Team.
On the final night of service on Feb. 24, several of the youth sang selections and all in attendance sang congregational hymns together. Meanwhile, the lineup of speakers included Margaret Smith from the Christian Counselling Centre; Canishka Alexander from “The Abaconian” newspaper; and Bishop Anthony Campbell, district overseer and senior pastor of the Dundas Town Church of God, as the guest speaker.
In her remarks, Smith noted that we all have problems and need help from our brothers and sisters, and said that she is here to help people who have problems.
“A counselor is someone who allows themself to be a healer,” Smith said.
Speaking on the parent-child relationship, Smith told the worshippers that parents and children each have their own set of responsibilities. Parents, she said, have the responsibility of bringing up, caring for and protecting their children whereas children must be obedient to their parents.
Minister Ronal came forward to greet the church for himself. He thanked Pastor Lucien for allowing God to use him to help the children, and Evangelist Beauvoir for the advancement of the youth. He also commended Pastor Edzer Meme for supporting the men in their endeavor with the youth.
Alexander spoke on the importance of involving youths in decision making, and explored opportunities for them to become more involved in various youth organizations at their schools and in the community.
During his address, Bishop Anthony Campbell gave two Scriptural references: 1 Timothy 4:12 and Psalm 1:1-3. He warned the youth to be careful where they walk, stand and sit while encouraging them to associate themselves with people who have been and are going somewhere in life.
Photo 1 (from l to r): Pastor Edzer Meme of Friendship Mission Baptist Church L’Amitie; Bishop Anthony Campbell of Dundas Town Church of God; Pastor Lucien Cledillon of Feed My Sheep Church; Margaret Smith of the Christian Counselling Centre; and Pastor Ronald.