Caribbean Union Conference and Inter-American Division News
Published on: 09-14-2023
Seventh-day Adventist young people in St. Lucia recently met at the town of Soufriere on the southwestern part of the island to plant dozens of palm trees and flowering plants as part of a community impact initiative led by the youth ministries department of the Saint Lucia Mission. More than 100 young people aged 15 to 35 cleaned and dug as part of the annual youth conference held on the island.
“The goal of the effort was to strengthen their relationship with and appreciation for God through service to Him, each other, and the community,” Richard Randolph, Saint Lucia Mission youth ministries director and main organizer of the event, said.
Coined as “Youth on Duty,” the beautification project drew attention from the town of Soufriere and its civic leaders.
Cletus Didier, deputy mayor of the villages of Soufriere and Fond Saint Jacques, was on hand for the clearing, cleaning, and planting of flowers and palm trees at the village of New Development in Soufriere. “The turnout and your participation is a testament to how powerful, meaningful, and impactful you can be as a positive unit,” Didier said to the youth group. “I can assure you that the Soufriere-Fond Saint Jacques Constituency Council will give your project all the attention and care it needs so that your efforts and sweat will not be in vain.”
Young people planted 22 palm trees and 133 flowering plants.
The project was part of this year’s youth conference, which drew more than 300 youth. Themed “Impact Soufriere,” the event was designed to empower the youth to undertake a series of community and beautification projects in the south of Soufriere, Randolph said. “Initiatives like these align with the core objectives of the conference and also emphasize the practical application of their faith through community service and engagement.” The island-wide youth conference had not been held since before the pandemic hit in 2020, so it was special to engage and equip so many young people to be active agents in sharing the gospel and serving others, Randolph added.
Saint Lucia Mission president Roger Stephen commended the youth for the passion and commitment they exhibited in the tree planting and beautification project. “This is simply a demonstration that the church cares for society and presents Jesus in our communities through the practical message of the gospel,” Stephen said.
This was Saint Lucia Mission’s first attempt at organizing and coordinating a beautification effort in its territory, Randolph said.
Trenton Emmanuel, a member of the Fond Saint Jacques Seventh-day Adventist Church and site project manager, donated and provided financing of the plants, flowers, tools, and topsoil needed for completing the project.
“We wanted to take part in reaffirming the vision and commitment of the Adventist Church and their stewardship to the preservation and love of the environment in Saint Lucia,” said Randolph, who is also chaplaincy and public campus ministries director for the Saint Lucia Mission. “As Seventh-day Adventists, an appreciation for the community in which we live is very important. A beautiful city is a happy city, for it produces happy and healthy citizens.”
More than 15,700 Seventh-day Adventists in Saint Lucia worship in 50 congregations. The church oversees three primary schools and one secondary school.