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50 long-standing PAWI disciples recognized

50 long-standing PAWI disciples recognized

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Hundreds gathered at the annual meeting of the local branch of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies (PAWI) to celebrate 50 of the church’s longest standing disciples last Sunday.

On February 12, a stadium at the Arnos Vale Sporting Complex was lined with well-dressed church goers, who had turned out for the first formal meeting of the organization in 2018, held under the theme ‘Repositioning to reach generation next.’ Even more smartly dressed were the 50 awardees, who were being recognized for working alongside the organization for its entire existence, or much of its existence.

Political and church leaders alike delivered speeches celebrating the longevity of PAWI and the sacrifice and service of the 50.

Therefore, putting on their preaching hats, both Opposition Leader Godwin Friday and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves stood before the crowds, quoting the Bible and referencing the scriptures to the faithful.

“Job (referencing the scripture reading for the day) was a revolutionary and PAWI has proved to be a revolutionary Christian organization in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG),” the Prime Minister praised, “They have brought amazing change, and they have brought the amazing change…in an amazing grace.”

“You come to PAWI because of the sustenance of the word of God. If you weren’t interested in that, you would have been sleeping in your bed this morning…having been to Huffles… but you are here,” Gonsalves told the crowd, as one woman shouted ‘Amen’, “because you’re looking for sustenance.”

Delivering more high praise, the Prime Minister declared, “I would say that if it were not for the Pentecostal Assembly of the West Indies, St Vincent and the Grenadines would not be as good a place as it is today.”

In a similar vein of gratitude, but speaking specifically to the 50 long-standing members, the Leader of Opposition intoned, “Over the years you have contributed positively to our country, to our people. Through your Ministry and the teachings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, you have offered hope to many and a positive path for our people to travel.

“The recognition that you receive here, while thoroughly deserved, is but a small token of the gratitude we hold for you and a mere foretaste of the great reward that is open to you at the end of your journey here on earth,” he continued.

For the future, he requested of them, “be our moral compass, help us as a nation to chart a safe course through the stormy seas of life.”

Reverend Nolan Warner, administrative officer of PAWI, also thanked the awardees in the context of their remaining in the face of difficulties. “To the awardees, please appreciate you’ve served well; your sacrifice and sometimes your ability to stand in the face of clear, not being appreciated, sometimes not being understood,” had not gone unnoticed, he said.

Reverend Sonny E Williams, District Presiding Bishop of PAWI, was also recognized, being awarded for being the longest serving bishop for PAWI SVG, with a term of 16 years. He asked those in attendance to rise and give the 50 a standing ovation, saying, “We have been deliberate in modelling this activity so that we can highlight the little people who have made the big thing in PAWI.”

The awardees, who were introduced one by one, walked through the archway specially designed for the occasion to receive their awards. A special luncheon was organized for them to partake of after the ceremony.(KR)