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Living Room group answers the call

Living Room group answers the call

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by JUDE KNIGHT

If there is any doubt about the power of the media, just ask the DaSouza family of Overland, a small Carib village on the windward end of the island.
On July 30, Searchlight Newspaper and the Nation Newspaper in Barbados in a joint effort published a story, written by Nation News Editor Timothy Slinger, about the DaSouza children who suffered the loss of their mother in a tragic stabbing incident on August 17, 2003. {{more}}
The four children, Natasha, 12, Natesha, 10, Courtney, 6, and Chevonna, 5, watched in horror as mother, Pamela, a Vincentian, was stabbed to death by her common-law husband at their home in St. Michael, Barbados.
If that was not hard enough on those little souls, they were sent packing to St. Vincent, a country they left some years before, and placed in the custody of grandparents Albon and Vectorine DaSouza. Albon, 71, and Vectorine, 70, live in a small two-room wooden house, and have struggled to make ends meet with the additional family members, and this was brought to the attention of the newspapers.
After reading the article and being touched by the tragedy and hardship faced by this family, two couples from cell-based church organization, Living Room Ministries of Barbados, contacted the newspapers and flew to St. Vincent to get first-hand contact with the family.
The two couples, David and Christine Clarke and Philip and Michele Edwards, linked up with Vincentians Oswald and Joanne Veira of General and Maritime Agencies Limited on Sharpes Street, Kingstown, and arranged with Environmentalists and Tour Consultants Clint and Millie Hazell of HazECO Tours to take them on their journey to Overland, last Saturday.
During the trip, the Hazells, a couple who is deeply concerned and advocates the protection of the environment, were quick to show off the picturesque beauty of this fair land which left the Living Room group in awe.
“Living Room Ministries is a cell-based organisation. The concept is similar to the many small cells that make up the human body. Our group is just one of the cells that make up the United States-based parent church, Dove Ministries, The cells basically operate from our living rooms, thus the name Living Room Ministries,” Michele explained.
Once at Overland, the women counselled with the family and gave words of encouragement, while the men discussed the construction of a new, much larger house for the DaSouza family. Out of the discussions, Living Room Ministries pledged to finance the construction of the house, while Oswald Veira will manage the disbursement of the funds. He also said he will provide all the paint needed as soon as construction is finished.
“When this house is finished, we will be back to ask God’s blessing on it! And we will keep in contact with this family as much as possible,” Christine Clarke promised, as she unpacked the suitcases with the many goodies for the kids. “We will be back!”
Not to be outdone, villagers came out in numbers to assist in relocating the old house to make room for the construction of a more comfortable home, as family members kept the fire going on a very large pot outside to feed the many helpers.
And at a time when Caribbean leaders are finding it difficult to agree on anything, it’s commendable that some of its citizens are leading the charge, and showing that they can come together to help build a kinder and gentler society.

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