BY HENRY R SNAGG
(PRESIDENT, SVG MISSION OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS)
Fellow citizens and residents, it is a blessing for us to enjoy the gift of life and to celebrate God’s goodness and His favor toward us as a people. Many of us would agree that the story of our families, our communities, and our nation would have been radically different from what it is, had it not been for God’s active involvement in every aspect of our lives. The devil, the mastermind behind all of the painful experiences of humankind has been relentless in his efforts to steal, kill, and destroy but our God of love and mercy remains unwavering in His commitment to protect and sustain and give us peace despite the adversities of life.
As a people of this blessed land, we have the privilege to celebrate the 43rd anniversary of our national independence. It is certainly one of the events that should not be taken for granted but rather should be embraced with a sense of pride and deep gratitude. Since we live in the realms of reality, we are fully cognizant that we cannot claim to be among the most affluent of nations of the global community. The key indicators in areas critical to social, economic, and political development may show that we have a long way to go but it does not negate the fact that we have made significant strides since we attained national independence in 1979. So then, let us be grateful and celebrate.
In our celebration, we must remain acutely conscious of some reasonable expectations, not just of the global community but of the God who is the Creator of the universe, the Sustainer of life, and the Redeemer of humankind. As we celebrate our 43rd anniversary of independence, there will be the expectation that our nation will regard life and marriage as sacred gifts from our Creator. It will do our nation good if we teach the young and the older ones the truth about sacred things in our homes, in our schools, and our places of worship. There is no doubt that we will be positioned to experience genuine development and lasting prosperity if our nation relates to sacred things in a way that is in sync with God’s plan and purpose for our nation. During this time of celebration, let us commit to giving the highest regard to the sacred gifts from our God.
The celebration of our 43rd anniversary of independence is a golden opportunity to join in the fight against violence, murder, and abuse in all of its forms. It is a time when each of us can and should resolve to be our “brother’s keeper” and follow the Golden Rule, that is, to treat others in the same way that we would like to be treated by others. It is also a time to strengthen our commitment to the preservation of freedom of speech, freedom of choice, and freedom of conscience. And of course, all of us must be passionate about making a meaningful contribution to the process of nation-building.
On behalf of the community of Seventh-day Adventists in SVG, I say Happy Independence to all our nationals at home and abroad. Let us step into the future keeping in mind this unfailing declaration, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” (Psalm 33:12)