Tomorrow I will file the paperwork to extend my visa in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines till 2023.
And like every year, I’ll do it with a huge smile on my face because the process is so incredibly simple.
Sadly it seems as if some Countries have used Covid as an opportunity to limit religious freedom. Of course there is a danger with Covid and need for protocols, but at times it seemed as if individuals could go anywhere but church! This isn’t surprising of course because the world will never view church as something important or necessary.
Seeing other Countries limiting religious freedom, it was refreshing to see Saint Vincent and the Grenadines continue to EMBRACE religious freedom.
- During the pandemic we did shut down evening and mid-week services temporarily for safety, but were only told by the Government services couldn’t be held for two weeks
- At the height of our Covid crisis the Government asked less than twenty individuals be allowed inside the church building with others gathered outside, but we still regularly had a morning service
- All of the Schools in Barrouallie begin with a devotional, gospel song, and prayer
- Renewing a Visa is an expensive process, but at the same time incredibly easy, I can bring back the application with the necessary documents in less than an hour
- We are allowed to enter prisons and publicly share the Gospel
- And people in the community gladly receive tracts, even saving them, and re-reading later!
This religious freedom is a beautiful thing, but it’s also dangerous because we believe it will always be there
Satan likes to use religious freedom to create passiveness or procrastination when it comes to the Lord’s work saying, “oh you have plenty of time!” But the truth is even here in SVG I have seen the door of religious freedom beginning to close.
Not through government control……
But through the hardness of peoples hearts.
When I first arrived in Saint Vincent six-years ago NOBODY refused a tract. I can remember a church member respond when shock when a man refused hers in 2017 because that had never happened before! But slowly that has changed. Thankfully people aren’t violently against the Gospel, but quite a few will refuse one that’s offered, or start an argument about what Scripture teaches.
This lack of openness to the Gospel begins in the hearts of individuals. But over time culture isn’t satisfied with not listening to the Gospel, they have to silence the Gospel.
The Biblical response to this is to use the open door of ministry that religious freedom gives to us daily. Plow and sow the seed of the Gospel into tender hearts because they won’t be that way forever.