When you think of the Bahamas, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Beautiful beaches? Crystal blue water? Relaxation?
While most view the Bahamas as a place for fun vacation getaways, did you know that Converge has been planting churches here for more than 31 years? Some of their primary established churches are Heavenly View Ministries, Best Life Faith Center, World of Life Ministry International, and many more. Most of these churches were affiliated with Converge before the 2019 hurricane, with one additional church added during the hurricane and the hope to affiliate another six congregations soon.
After the island of Grand Bahama was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2019, many houses, hotels, businesses, and churches are still in need of repair. The Covid-19 pandemic further weakened the island due to a tremendous drop in tourism, which is the primary driver of their economy. Many Converge Churches, along with non-Converge churches, helped through the very dark days of the hurricane. They provided a hurricane relief fund that supplied food, shelter, medical help, and rebuilt houses and churches. The pandemic has slowed their work because of lockdown and restricted travel. Things are slowly starting to open again and one of the churches, Word of Life Ministry International, just made enough repairs to open up live services in their building. They still have much to rebuild, but they are open for in-person services and are reaching new people each week.
On Converge’s recent trip to the Bahamas, Gary Rohrmayer, Bryan Moak, Danny Parmelee, Ernie Cabrera, and Raoul Armbrister held a training conference to help support and encourage the local pastors. This was held at Raoul’s training center at Karazim Ministries International in Freeport, Grand Bahamas. The training center was full and the pastors were eager to learn and grow. We were able to preach at five of these churches during their Sunday services and had over ten churches represented at the training.
Currently, Converge has nine affiliated churches in the Bahamas with the hope to affiliate six more. Converge leaders are now planning a vision trip with key pastors who are interested in their churches helping with the ongoing work in the Bahamas. One of the goals of this vision trip is to set up mission trips with these churches that will involve partnering with the established churches in the Bahamas. They will rebuild church buildings, hold VBS for children, offer training for pastors and their leaders, evangelize among the communities, and more. These trips will be customized to match the time, talent, and treasure of the short term missionaries with the need and opportunities available so that these trips are mutually beneficial for all involved.
Please pray for each of the churches who have been severely impacted due to the hurricane and still haven’t been able to rebuild completely. Please also pray for the partner churches who have the resources to help them rebuild and impact their communities. The possibilities of expansion in the Bahamas are good. Converge has the opportunity to affiliate a number of churches there and help them grow and plant churches on different islands in the greater Caribbean area and beyond.