In geographical terms the Caribbean area includes the Caribbean Sea and all of the islands located to the southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, east of Central America and Mexico, and to the north of South America. Some of its counted cay’s, islands, islets and inhabited reefs front the handful of countries that border the region. Trinidad and Tobago is a Caribbean two-island nation near the coast of South America.
Trinidad has the cultural energy and is environmentally rich too, as any naturalist will tell you. Tobago meanwhile is legendary for its peace and calm and its affection for the old-time ways. Surpassing the beauty of Trinidad and Tobago is the warmth and hospitality of its people. Guyana is often referred to as the bridge between South America and the Caribbean, bordering Brazil to its south, Venezuela to its west, Suriname to its east, the Atlantic Ocean on the north. A member of the Caribbean Community of nations, its history and heritage are shared with the former British West Indies and English its language.
The Caribbean journey this past March began with a visit to Christian Radio 98.1FM which is the most widely listened to radio station in all of Trinidad and Tobago. As guests of Margaret Elcock, Michelle Smith and I were given the opportunity to not only share with Trinidad and Tobago about the various ministry events planned for Trinidad and Tobago but also to emphasize the important role of The Church in ministering to those with unwanted same-gender attraction. At the close of the program, the web site address for His Way Out Ministries was shared and since the program, emails from individuals, families and churches have not ceased. Undeniable and overwhelming evidence to the need of many to connect, dialog and receive ministry with regard to same-gender attraction.
Another wonderful ministry opportunity came our way once again through Christian Radio 98.1. As guests on Looking For Solutions, a call-in program hosted by Brian Carter, the hour-long program provided Michelle and I opportunity to share testimony and also to emphasize that God remains the architect of our righteousness and He not only gives us His design and plan for human sexuality but also the ability to carry it out as well.
During the program, all lines for texting and calling in became completely overwhelmed. Those able to get through to the program expressed their need and desire for ministry regarding their issue of same-gender attraction. Brian Carter stated, “We haven’t seen this volume of call-in response in years.”
Media opportunities continued coming our way with our taping two hour-long television programs on ACTS TV. Each program focused on educating and equipping The Church to become more effective in ministering to those struggling with same-gender attraction.
Immediately following the taping of the TV shows, we jumped back in the car and headed back to Port of Spain because we received an invitation to share with bible students at the Laventille Open Bible Church. What a privilege to share with 45 students in training for full-time ministry.
On Friday evening, March 8th, an unprecedented event took place at the University of the West Indies. With a minimum of 900 in attendance, a two-hour debate addressed the legal, medical, psychological and personal aspects of homosexual practice while centering the entire debate around the question, “Would legalizing homosexuality help to build a better society in Trinidad and Tobago?”
While those in attendance included a delegation from the gay community, voicing their opinion from time to time, the evening produced a wealth of information that continues to be widely regarded as helpful and appreciated throughout all of Trinidad and Tobago. Frankly, “the buzz” around Port of Spain with regard to the event continues even now.
Saturday, March 9th, brought two opportunities to educate and train persons on the complexities of same-gender attraction in a workshop-style format. At the Nazarene Training College, 100 people attended a three-hour training with many requesting additional training and the Pastor extending an invitation to return. At Trinity Reform Evangelical Church, information simply could not be given swiftly enough to those in attendance. Participants in the seminar could not express enough thanks for the opportunity to discuss and ask questions about homosexuality. Personally, there were times I was overcome by the extension of the participant’s expression of appreciation.
Next, two Sunday morning church services in Port of Spain included sharing at Woodbrook Pentecostal Church where Michelle shared her incredible testimony of change and I was asked to speak on “The Role of the Church.” One word, “Wow!” The response from the congregation was so dramatic and powerful, I remained in a state of awe for quite some time in terms of what the Holy Spirit accomplished. Immediately following the service at Woodbrook Pentecostal Church, we hopped back into the car, drove to another region of Port of Spain to minister at the St. Augustine Evangelical Church. Janet Howe, a member of Michelle’s ministry team, ministered in song and blessed our socks off! Once again, Michelle shared her dynamic testimony and I had the privilege of sharing a message titled “A Christian Response to Homosexuality.” After the service, Michelle and I simply could not hand out material fast enough.
A training seminar for pastors, followed by taping a one-hour TV show at Tobago’s local Christian TV Station, and an evening educational seminar which was open-to-the public, all unfolded in just one day. It is an undeniable fact, Trinidad and Tobago is experiencing a move of the Holy Spirit which is rallying The Church to not only set societal standards but also to avail itself in ministry to those with unwanted same-gender attraction.
A definite trip highlight was the opportunity to minister at Queens Royal College, an all-boys school and Bishop Anstey High School, an all-girls school, with each opportunity focusing on HIV/AIDS education and “Homosexuality and the Reality of Change.” Many inquiries were made by students at the end of the sessions.
In Tobago, a very rewarding day trip included meetings with Pastors in the morning and afternoon and a prerecorded radio program which has already been aired and continues to be aired.
Eventually, our ministry in Trinidad and Tobago came to a conclusion and it was time to move on to Guyana. Ministry in Guyana began with an evening open air meeting at the marketplace in Linden which is Guyana’s second largest city.
It was an incredible time with a considerable crowd that gathered in the main shopping area of Linden, to hear a message about a God that saves and delivers from the snare of same-gender attraction. The following day, a training seminar titled “Homosexuality and the Reality of Change” was held at a local Assembly of God Church in Linden for Christian leadership in and around Linden.
Those in attendance wanted to be educated on the complexities of homosexuality and, “How do I help my son, my daughter, my fellow brother or sister in Christ, my neighbor, or my co-worker that is struggling with same-gender attraction?”
I had the privilege of preaching at the Linden Assembly of God Church. Once again, I focused the message on, “The Role of the Church.” Very often, when homosexuality is mentioned from the pulpit, it’s usually framed as a problem “out there in society.” However, in the service, “Perhaps someone here is wrestling with this sin, as well. Resist it – God will be with you as you do. And so will the Church.” The response was nothing short of remarkable.
If you and I are truly to understand homosexuality, whether we are a Christian or not, we must immediately turn to the Holy Scriptures. I believe that we, the Church, need to take a page out of the pro-gay playbook. It’s ironic, I know, but the gay community is organized, focused on their mission, and most of all passionately committed to making homosexuality acceptable at all costs. Can we, the Church, say the same about our commitment? Are we as committed to winning the gay community for Christ as they are committed to changing your opinion about homosexuality?
Michelle and I had the privilege and honor of ministering at the National Library in Georgetown to the Denominational Leadership of Guyana. Our message and encouragement to all in attendance was that the Church cannot and must not underestimate itself in that it holds the only answer there is to the difficult issue(s) of homosexuality. Ultimately, the Church is the last bastion of hope for the struggling homosexual. Immediately following the event at the National Library, Michelle Smith and I made our way over to a local TV station to film one live show which aired last night throughout Guyana and taped another for future viewing. In Trinidad/Tobago and Guyana, numerous radio and TV programs have been taped with both countries continuing to offer the programs on a daily basis.
Keep an eye on our Media page for new postings of TV programs taped in Guyana. The most recent addition is a two part TV interview program called Close Up. It was moderated by host Mark Watson and featured Pastor Phillip Lee as well as Donna Collier of Operation Restoration and Rev. Michelle Smith of The Power of Change Outreach International.
Of all the challenges that we face as the Church in today’s society, whether in America or in the Caribbean, sexuality is undoubtedly one of the greatest. If as Christ-followers, being fully and unconditionally committed to the entire Word of God, and valuing our call to be the salt and light of society, then we must come to terms with the rapidly changing scene around us and, in particular, the cries of individuals, families and churches seeking help with regard to same-gender attraction and related issues.
1 Corinthians 14:8 states, If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle. God offers new life to all who are willing to receive it. Getting energized to fight homosexuality as just an “issue” may seem worthy, but we shouldn’t let that become more important than praying for the souls of the lost and hurting – and doing something positive to help homosexuals who want out of their captive lifestyles.
The Holy Spirit is mightily on the move in Trinidad/Tobago and Guyana and things are developing at lighting speed for ex-gay ministry. In some respects, given my twenty years of full-time ministry, I haven’t seen anything quite like what is happening. There can be only one explanation – God.
Truly, through the atonement of Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, God has, is, and will be delivering men and women from the snare of homosexuality. Why? Because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8)
I cannot thank you enough for your prayers – the foundation for success!
Together, we continue to make a difference.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
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