40-day thanksgiving service cancelled

Due to a conflict of interest, the Chairman for a Better Bahamas, Pastor Jeremiah Duncombe postponed the 40-days of fasting and prayer's thanksgiving service which was supposed to climax at Zion Baptist Church, East and Shirley Streets, yesterday.


In an interview yesterday, Pastor Duncombe did not specifically mentioned the reason for the postponement of the service but hinted that the passing of Hurricane Michelle through The Bahamas has had some affect to the closing service. However, he said that the hurricane was just one of the complications but not the major reason and that the committee has reschedule the service for thanksgiving day, but no firm decision has been made.

"The date has not been fixed yet, but we are working with a date," Pastor Duncombe said, "but it has been postponed because of some conflicts."

The prayer and fasting programme which officially began on Oct. 1 and concluded yesterday was supposed to end with a thanksgiving service in celebration for God's grace on the Bahamas.

In an interview with one of the participants in the 40-day programme Laura Benson, she noted that the programme came at an appropriate time for the Bahamas because of Hurricane Michelle. She said that The Bahamas was blessed by God when the storm passed over because no life was lost.

"It has been a tremendous experience for me," said Benson. "I feel that this was a very special time in the life of The Bahamas and God has been very good to us."

On Sept. 30, the Committee held a national service at Rawson Square to commence the programme which catered to a large number persons who convened at the square.

Persons were given forms pledging their support to the 40-days of fasting and praying which required them to sign the time and days they would use for their commitment. Persons were required to fast and pray at least one day a week whether by abstaining from certain foods totally or partially, as well as denying oneself certain desirable pleasures.

He explained the reason for choosing 40 as the number of days for fasting because 40-days seem to be God's magical number in the bible.

Twenty-two days into the 40-days of prayer and fasting for God's healing and blessing on the Bahamas, Pastor Duncombe noted that all was well with the programme.

Over all he said that the 40-day programme has been successful since its commencement and at present the committee is looking to work with Prison Fellowship Bahamas in creating an institution for children of prison inmates called "Dream Academy Bahamas."

He explained that the children of prison inmates "normally do not do well in schools" and that for this reason it puts them at risk socially resulting in anti-social activities, which may lead to gangs and eventually may lead to prison.

"This institution we have targeted will be established and will be up and running by the new school year 2002 and we hope that it will certainly aid many, many, youngsters," Duncombe said.

He also said that the institution would be reaching out to the families of prison inmates through parenting seminars which would be teaching them skills which would help them to be more marketable in terms of job opportunities.

At present he said that the committee is seeking a proper location for the institution.

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