“Follow the Bible” Helps Adventists
Traveling Bible in 66 languages makes impact on island nation
BY KIMONE THOMPSON and NIGEL COKE, West Indies Union Conference, reporting from Kingston, Jamaica
HETHER YOU speak Chinese, Russian, German, French, Spanish, English, or
any of the 66 languages of the traveling Bible, the Good Book is awash with best practices for all situations.
That was the core message on December 13, 2009, at the National Arena, where the 16.68-pound, 18- by 12-inch Bible that is at the center of the Follow the Bible initiative made its final of three stops in Jamaica.
“The Bible outlines best practices,” said Derek Bignall, president of the Adventist Church in the West Indies, as he addressed thousands of people—including church and civic leaders—who were happy to have had a glimpse of the specially prepared Bible that will end a two-year journey around the globe at the General Conference session in Atlanta, Georgia, in June 2010.
“If you do business, there is a way
to do best business,” Bignall continued. “Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over. That’s how you must do business; no hanky-panky dealings. And if you’re lazy, the Bible gives you a way to learn to do better: go to the ants. If you are parents, the Bible has given [the best methods] to teach the children. The best thing to teach the chil-
dren is to give them a Bible and [then] teach them every day: when you walk
by the way, when you sit in your house, when you lie down, when you rise up.”
CROWD OF WITNESSES: Scores of individuals try to get a photograph of the Traveling Bible as it is held opened by Pastor Everett Brown, President of the Adventist Church in Central Jamaica during a civic ceremony held in Mandeville Park on December 12, 2009 [Photo: N. Coke/WIU].
“We need to bring the Bible back to the top of the agenda,” he said. “The TV has got too much, and the Internet has got too much. We must put back the Bible where it belongs—in the minds of men [and women].”
Bignall said he wasn’t discrediting the importance and use of technology, because it is also a source of education. But he said it needs to be regulated and administered with care.
President of the East Jamaica Confer
ence Adrian Cotterell also addressed the gathering. Also present at the National Arena was the speaker of the House of Representatives of Jamaica, the Hon. Delroy Chuck, who represented the prime minister at the historic event.
He accepted a copy of the Bible from the church leaders and said it would be placed at a convenient location in Parliament where “everyone visiting can take time out to read it as they see fit.”
The traveling Bible arrived in Jamaica—the 112th country in its worldwide tour—from Costa Rica on Friday, December 11. It was handed over to Bignall by Guenther Garcia, secretary of the church in South Central America, at the Sir Donald Sangster International Airport.
In Montego Bay the program was conducted under the theme “The Bible—Our Torch of Truth.” It included “walking, talking” replicas of the Bible and costumed biblical characters. More than 250 Bibles and 4,000 pieces of Christian literature were distributed to motorists and pedestrians during the motorcade and at Sam Sharpe Square, where a civic ceremony was held. Charles Brevitt, president of the church in West Jamaica, admonished parents to buy Bibles for their children and study with them. This, he said, will help
to restore families and create a healthy society.
On Saturday the
traveling Bible went to Mandeville in central Jamaica, where
the theme was “The Bible—The Book of Hope.” The morning’s program included drama presentations depicting the 12 tribes of Israel as well as the apostles, and readings from the huge book in Greek and Hebrew. Glen Samuels, secretary of the church in the West Indies, delivered the main address, in which he reinforced to the congregation that the Bible is the book of hope. A civic ceremony was held later in the afternoon at the Mandeville Park, where more than 200 Bibles were given away.