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Jehovah’s Witnesses Increase!  Conventions Keep Congregants Active and Safe

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#TurkandCaicos, April 1, 2022 -, well-known in the community of Grand Turk for knocking on doors to share a Bible message, has no plans to halt her volunteer ministry.  However, her service abruptly changed in the spring of 2020 when Jehovah’s Witnesses suspended their in-person public ministry, meetings, and large conventions.

For congregants like Betty Malcolm, the virtual pivot has meant trading her book-bag for a Smartphone and iPad; and her walking shoes for slippers. Her tools have changed, but her message is the same. She and her daughter, together with upwards of 50 volunteers, share scriptures regularly and conduct free Bible courses via telephone and Zoom each week.

“The work we’re doing now on the phone, allows me to reach persons I couldn’t reach before; and at times that I couldn’t have before.  My neighbours are more relaxed and responsive,” she explains.

“Staying active in our ministry while remaining safe has had a powerful preserving effect on our congregants and communities,” says Robert Hendriks, Branchwide spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “The wise decision not to prematurely resume in-person activities has united us and protected lives while comforting many people in great need. The results speak for themselves.”

Last year, the international organization reported all-time peaks in the number of persons participating in their volunteer preaching work, increased attendance in Zoom meetings, and more than 171,000 new believers baptized. In the past two years, more than 400,000 have been baptized worldwide.

Twenty-year-old Malachi Malcolm got baptized in a private setting in February 2021.  He states his reason: “During the lockdowns, I had more time to visit JW.ORG, read the Bible and reflect.”

Some whose ministry or congregation meeting attendance has slowed because of age and poor health, say they feel reenergized with the convenience of virtual meetings and a home-based ministry.

Like many octogenarians, Peter St. Fleur, 87, deals with diminished energy and other health issues; yet he and his 81-year-old wife, Merci, are now more active in the ministry via the online platform. The St. Fleurs use Zoom to worship         twice   weekly             with     the Providenciales congregation and join online ministry groups five times a week to comfort neighbors and family through WhatsApp calls and messages.

“What could have been quite a disadvantage, has proven to be an advantage,” St Fleur says. “My wife’s

illness makes it difficult for her to walk.  Now she can participate in her cherished ministry right from home.  We’re happy working together.”

Mavis Jones uses family chats to reach relatives with the Bible’s message of comfort. Many other Jehovah’s Witnesses have strengthened their relationships with relatives through virtual Bible discussions. Regarding the advantages of being on the online platform for these two years of spiritual activity, Mavis acknowledges: “To me, it is my lifeline.”

“JW.ORG has given me somewhere to find good advice; somewhere to learn to be a better person, a better mother, a better daughter, and to live the way God wants me to. It teaches me so much,” says Marvalyn Smith, a resident of Providenciales.

 

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TCI Police Confirm Passenger Death after Emergency Landing at PLS

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#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – On Wednesday (February 28) evening, TCI Police report that they were summoned to the Providenciales International Airport for an emergency landing around 6:12pm.

A female passenger who fell ill during a flight while on route to Charlotte, North Carolina from the Dominican Republic was taken from that plane and transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center where sadly, she died.

The 41-year-old woman had been escorted to the hospital by police units; we are told that CPR was performed on the passenger.

Police in that statement on Wednesday informed, s a post mortem will determine the cause of death.

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Police hear major concerns from GT residents

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – Given the opportunity to liaison with the top brass of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, residents came prepared with the concerns that have been plaguing them for years, from detective work to 911 issues.

”Y’all didn’t say anything new, we keep hearing the same thing and we keep getting the same result,” was the complaint from the very first resident who spoke; but her biggest concern was the force’s detective work.

The resident said she was not averse to sharing information with the police, far from it.

“Someone sent me a video where a young man was sitting on a bed putting two bullets in a gun— and he called two names, he said one bullet for one of these people.”

After sending the video to the police the woman says, incredulously, the police asked her to find the room where the young man was so they could go and collect the gun. Her frustration was:  “It seems like the police put more of the burden on the community to provide them with information instead of going out there.”

In response to the concern, Dean Holden, Superintendent of Crime expressed that the police had had success recently, and over time because of community intelligence and would do better at working to communicate that success so residents were assured that they were making a difference.

A concern raised by another resident was the disconnect between 911 operators and Grand Turk residents.

“Once you call 911 operators they don’t know addresses in Grand Turk. I called the 911 operator, this was right by the police station, she didn’t even know where I was,” explained a resident sharing details of a car accident weeks prior.

The complaint has been an enduring one. Magnetic Media has received similar complaints regarding other serious incidents like fires and murders.

Oswald Skippings, Former Chief Minister demanded a more proactive approach to crime fighting with which Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor agreed. He didn’t just put the blame on the police, drawing the Governor and parents into the limelight outlining that they too had a part to play in the prevention of crime.

“There is a need for the government to reach down to unemployed residents, especially the youth and it’s easy because we have a small native population. We need to go under the trees, by the bars wherever these people associate and reach out to them.”

On the panel listening to the concerns were Micheal Woodbine, Superintendent of Prison; Dean Holden, Superintendent of Crime and SPPU; Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner; Chris Eyre, Acting Commissioner; and Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor.

The meeting was called after the public slaying of a young man in Grand Turk on February 8, 2024.

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Not Enough Police in Grand Turk; Residents are vocal in Anti-Crime Town Hall Meeting 

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – Residents of Grand Turk, while appreciative of the recent police Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting on February 21, say they’re concerned about the number of officers being deployed to the nation’s Capital.

One resident who spoke to the police officers during the event brought statistics.

”I want to speak to what I see happening in Grand Turk. In the ongoing capacity carrying study. It has been noted that the population in Grand Turk is around 72 to 7300 – that works out to about 927 persons per square mile.”

The resident maintained that 927 persons per square mile on an island like Grand Turk was in the police’s favor and much could be done for crime fighting using both humans and technology. Citing the millions of visitors that visit the island’s shores each year, residents lamented that there was no police enforcement to go along with that.

”There’s very little to mitigate the industry that’s keeping this island afloat,” the resident continued, demanding more attention for the capital.

”We live here, we see the change, probably the parliamentarians don’t see it but we see it and we expect that as citizens to have more than three police officers working the night shift.”

Other residents were in agreement, expressing frustration at the blind eye that they say is often turned to the capital.

“Why did it have to get to this point, that there had to be a shooting basically at the high school in order for people to [realize] that 20 or 15 or 28 officers just doesn’t cut it,” said one longtime resident

He complained that nine years ago, having moved to Grand Turk there were over 40 officers but with the increase in killings in Providenciales officers were stripped from Grand Turk. Now residents say they want them back.

Earlier, during the meeting police had promised that the increased presence in Grand Turk would not be temporary and they were exploring ways to increase the Force complement.

Hosting the meeting were executives of the Royal TCI Police including new Acting Commissioner Christopher Eyre; Dean Holden, Superintendent and Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner.  Attending were Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Otis Morris, Minister of Home Affairs and the Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the  Hon. Otis Morris.

The meeting was held at H.J. Robinson High school.

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