Twenty-two days later, and Pastor Jeremiah Duncombe, chairman of the Committee for a Better Bahamas, says "all is well" with the 40-days of prayer and fasting for God's healing and blessing in the Bahamas had commenced.
Following the straw market fire in New Providence and the terrorist attacks in the United States, The Committee had called Bahamians to participate in the 40-day programme, which began in early October and is scheduled to end Nov. 9. The programme requires persons 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.
In an interview yesterday, Pastor Duncombe revealed that the Committee has received a number of calls from various individuals, pastors, and ministers who have pledged their support and their participation in the 40-day programme. The chairman said that the programme has done exceptionally well and has also received commendable support from various individuals. But, he could not reveal how many churches or individuals were involved in the programme at this time.
"From what I have seen and heard I know that there are a number of churches involved," said Pastor Duncombe.
Reverend Terrence Morrison pastor of Zion Baptist Church, East and Shirley Streets which is participating in the programme said, in an interview yesterday, that Zion has devoted its church hall to devotional services to those who are involved. He explained that every day around noon different ministers from various participating churches would come to the church and say a few words of encouragement from the bible to participating persons before they begin to pray. The reverend revealed that he is also an active participant in the programme along with some of his church members.
"It is for all those who believe in what prayer and fasting can do," said Reverend Morrison.
Pastor Duncombe did note that there could be more support for the programme in promoting the significance of it from the media, but said that so far he feels grateful for the level of support that the programme has received.
Since the beginning of the programme, Pastor Duncombe said that there have been several effects that have occurred during this call for 40 days of fasting and praying in the Bahamas. Recently, on a one-week trip to San Salvador, he noted that the Committee had communicated with some of the clergy on the island about the programme and suggested the participation of all churches on the island, regardless of denomination, to take part. As a result, he said that there had been great support for the suggestion and major participation from persons on the island.
"I am elated, I am gratified to observe the level of support and participation," said the chairman.
Additionally, he showed a letter, addressed to the Committee, in which Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham on Oct.9, proclaimed Sept. 30 to Nov. 9 as "40 Days of Prayer and Fasting," for the Bahamas . He noted the significance "and perhaps precedent-setting" for a Prime Minster to declare a religious activity like this.
"It is timely and it is needed," he said.
The chairman noted that at the end of the programme there would be a national thanksgiving service held at Zion East and Shirley.
On Sept. 30, the Committee held a national service at Rawson Square to mark the beginning of the 40-day period, which was attended by a large number of persons.
Persons were given forms to pledge 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. He explained that 40 days were chosen for fasting because 40 seem to be God's magical number in the bible.