Family Pain - When Relationships Are All We Have

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I cherish the love of the father as depicted in the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:11-32). The sermons I’ve heard about it leave a permanent impression of a welcoming love that never gave up—either for the son who had gone or the one who stayed home. Over the years this parable has impressed me as I keep discovering aspects relating to the father, the prodigal, and the elder son. 

A skillful preacher put the story of the prodigal son in context with the parables of the lost coin and the lost sheep. He mentioned that the coin was lost and it didn’t know it was lost, nor could it find its way home. The sheep was lost, felt it was lost, but couldn’t get home until the shepherd found it. The son was lost, he knew it, and he knew the way home.

A couple encounters enriched my understanding of the parable from a human perspective. These encounters reminded me how valuable and elemental we are to one another. It helped me grasp what I’ve learned about the characters in the parable through the lens of relationships.

The Pull of Relationships
I met a true prodigal. He was 17 years old. When I was introduced to his foster mother, she told me, “He’s burned all his bridges except one: the one he has with us, his foster parents.”

She explained that no school would take him, except a charter school; and he had skipped so many classes that even the charter school was no longer an option. In her words: “He doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do.” She said it with tears in her eyes, in a tone of frustration rather than condemnation.

His parents had asked if I would be willing to meet him. They hoped he would be more willing to open up to a stranger than with his family.

When I met him, he smiled and shook my hand. His girlfriend sat at his side, holding his hand. He wasn’t shy, he expressed no embarrassment. His smile communicated a desire for freedom to spend time with his girlfriend and his friends.

I saw no sadness or remorse, no desire to return home with a prepared speech to confess his sins. No yearning for his foster father’s welcome or a party to celebrate his return. For a long time, the words of his foster mother resonated in my mind: “He’s truly a prodigal.”

The Pain of Relationships
Let me tell you about a father I know. Through divorce, the foster father had lost, as he said, “all that makes a man” (his wife, children, and grandchildren). When I asked how he was coping with the loss of his family, he pulled out his cellphone and showed me their pictures.

Our   deepest  meaning   comes   from       our   relationships:   with  God, family, coworkers,  classmates, neighbors.

Tears flowed down his face. He kept saying, “I miss them; I love them so much.” Then he shared with me sad details of his difficult and bitter divorce. He explained how painful it was for him to think he would likely not see his family again. His emotions had a strange mix of pain, regret, and perhaps repentance. “Wrong choices took the best out of me. Now I’ve lost everything,” he said.

The Restoration of Relationships
Those two interactions left a basic yet profound reminder. Our deepest meaning comes from our relationships: with God, family, coworkers, classmates, neighbors. The clear contrast between the father and the prodigal goes back to the saying of John Donne: “No man is an island.”

For the 17-year-old, his friends and girlfriend gave his life meaning. Nothing gave me the slightest indication that he even considered a change in himself, in his conduct, or in anything that would cause him to lose what he gained through those friendships, as negative as their influence was.

For the grieving father, the family that meant everything to him was gone. When he realized how much he loved them it was too late. His pain was raw, his grief was tangible, his sadness unbelievable.

We’ve heard great, insightful sermons and reflections about the parable and its characters: the faithful love of God as Father, the wandering heart of the prodigal, and the uneasy response of the older son.

At different times our reality could reflect the experience of each of those characters. We may walk away and get lost in our own far land. Like the 17-year-old, we may feel that we can go without God and live without regrets. We may have been wounded by events and their consequences, like the father, and feel nothing but grief. We may even say with the elder son: “Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you” (Luke 15:29),* harboring an unwillingness to celebrate the return of those who were lost.

To all these characters and situations the Father’s promise is the same: “Everything I have is yours” (Luke 15:31).

--Article adapted from the Adventist Review feature article July 28, 2020 Edition

Adjusted Store Hours
The Adventist Book Center is now open: Monday- Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Friday 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists continues its Bible Class on Sunday August 2, 2020 from the book of Revelation with Pastor Lynden Williams. The session will begin at 6:30p.m. to 8:00p.m. For further information please contact Pastor Lynden Williams via email at

-- Pastor Lynden Williams, Bible Studies & Spirit of Prophecy Coordinator

Due to the potential threat of hurricane Isaias to our local satellite for Adventist Television 658 our programming will be suspended this week on our Cable channel 658. However, all local programming can be viewed from our Conference website, YouTube channel or Facebook page, please feel free to watch at your convenience. This will include:
Adventist News Update (will also be on WORD SBC 88.3FM on Friday July 31st at 12:25p.m. and 6:00p.m).
Lessons from the Word with Curtis Bryan
Adventist Spotlight – Sermon from Pastor Paul Scavella
Storytime with Franco Moncur
Little Kimmie’s Corner
Children’s Sabbath School Lesson with Kenisha Simms

Along with our other inspirational programming. The broadcast from HOPE channel will be available on ATV658. We thank you for your support of our Adventist Media department. Please be safe and take all necessary precautions in the event of hurricane Isaias.

--Mrs. Lavern Sturrup, Communication Director

Vacation Bible School Xperience
Theme: HEREOS - ‘Making a Big Difference in Small Ways.’
The churches within our Conference have been providing this exciting program for our children during the month of July; and they will continue to make this customized VBS program available ONLINE for our church families and community friends. The CHAM department extends a special thank you to the Leaders along with their teams for a job well done.
Please find below additional information of VBS programs your children can be a part of in the upcoming weeks.

Dates for Church VBS Programs:
August 1st - Hillview Church graduation @ 6:30p.m.
August 3-7 - Grant’s Town Church @ 10:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.
August 9-14 - Berea & Breath of Life Churches

--Mrs. Lavern Sturrup, CHAM Director

Help Slow the Spread of Covid19
Community practices, such as social distancing (also known as physical distancing), wearing face coverings, closures and canceling large gatherings can help slow the spread of this virus.
Here’s how you can help:
1. Follow good hygiene practices.
2. Listen to and follow the directions of the government authorities.
3. Stay home if you can and avoid any non-essential travel. Avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing or taxis, if possible.
4. Wear a cloth face covering to cover your mouth and nose when you are in public.
5. Keep at least 6 feet between you and others if you must be in public.

Also avoid:
1. Close contact with people who do not share your home.
2. Group settings, crowded places and mass gatherings.
3. Order food and other items online for home delivery or curbside pickup (if possible).
4. Connect with loved ones through video calls, phone calls, texts and social media.

If you or someone in your household becomes sick, self-quarantine. Also, call for advice. 502-7382 (24 hours), 376-9350* (8:00a.m. – 8:00p.m.), 376-9397* (8:00p.m. – 8:00a.m.) 1-242-300-2619*

--Excerpt from: The American Red Cross

If you are experiencing stress during this pandemic, please call The Crisis Centre for help at (242)-328-0922 (242)-565-9633.

--Mrs. Nathelyn LaCroix, Health Director

Please note that due to this COVID-19 pandemic, our regular submission format has changed. This week and every week thereafter, we will stay connected thorough our “Sisters for Sisters” words of empowerment and inspiration, coming from women across our Conference. The submission this week is from GEM Talliah Cooper from Rock Sound Eleuthera and a member of the Tarpum Bay Church.

“I lack perception, where God doesn’t lack promise.”
When things don’t look the way we (I) want, we (I) try to “fix” it. As if our (my) “fixing” can supersede God’s promises. We’re (I’m) so caught up with instant gratification, that when it doesn’t look like or feel how we (I) want it to, we (I) begin to panic, and worry, and stress. As if they change things. Our (my) lack of perception NEVER changes what God has promised us. No amount of “fixing” changes His plans for our (my) life. We (I) could “fix” and “plan” all we want but it’ll never change a thing unless God wants it to.

Upcoming Event
“Pandemic Panic births Prayer and Praise”. Stay tuned for more details on this Women’s Ministries event.

Pause and Pray Wednesday
Don’t forget our weekly Pause and Pray appointment on Wednesdays at noon.

Donation Request, Used, But In Good Condition Devotionals
Kindly donate to your local Women’s Ministries Leader for distribution during our community outreach projects this year.
--Mrs. Jacqueline Gibson, Women’s Ministries Director

Bible Connection 2020
Adventurers- Ages 6-9
SBC Final- August 1st
Study- Bible: Job 1-6 & 38-42, Books: The Great Controversy, Chapter 32
Cash Prizes:
David = $300.00
Esther = $200.00
Joseph = $100.00

Pathfinders- Ages 10-15
SBC Final - August 8th
Study-Bible: Job 1-6 & 38-42, Proverbs 1-10, Books-The Great Controversy 31-32, Messages to Young People 111, 119
Cash Prizes:
Jeremiah = $500.00
Samuel = $300.00
Miriam = $150.00

Youth- Ages 16-30
SBC Final- August 15th
Study- Bible: Job 1-42, Books: The Great Controversy 17, 19, 31,32
Cash Prizes:
Ruth = $1000.00
Daniel = $500.00
Josiah = $300.00

--Pastor Jamal Franklyn, Adventist Youth Ministries Director

What You Should Know
Make these provisions and take heed in the event of a storm or hurricane:
1. Pack a battery powered or self-powered radio to follow the news updates.
2. Pay attention to local weather reports on radio, television, or the internet.
3. Have plenty of food and water.
4. Make sure all your tools, supplies, and first aid kit are available for use.
5. Have a secured room available.

First-Aid Kit 
Assemble a first-aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first-aid kit should include:
1. Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
2. Assorted sizes of safety pins
3. Cleansing agent/soap
4.Latex gloves (2 pairs)
5. Sunscreen
6. 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
7. 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
8. Triangular bandages (3)
9. Non-prescription drugs
10. 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
11. 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
12. Scissors
13. Tweezers
14. Needle
15. Moistened towelettes
16. Antiseptic
17. Thermometer
18. Tongue blades (2)
19. Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

--This information was provided by the National Emergency Management and Relief Agency of the Bahamas (NEMA) and the Royal Bahamas Police Force hurricane safety tips. 
For more information on how to further prepare please see:

Please Email Weekly Announcements
By Tuesday at 3:00p.m.

 CALL 341-4021
 August 8, 2020 -  7:50p.m.

Happy Sabbath!