Prime Minister: Reach Out to the Less Fortunate

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Many??people packed the grounds at Ilaro Court??for Carols by Candlelight yesterday afternoon.?? The concert, put on by the Rotary Club of Barbados, ??was under the patronage of the Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and raises much need funds for chartity each year.?? (C.Lashley/BGIS)????

During this Yuletide season, Barbadians are being encouraged to reach out to the less fortunate in society.

This message has come from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, as he welcomed thousands of persons to the annual Carols by Candlelight charity show. It was staged by the Rotary Club of Barbados and held at Ilaro Court last night.

He said: "…So, at this Christmas time, you would do much to promote His ministry on earth, [Jesus Christ]?? if you reach out to those less fortunate than yourselves. Those whose lives are trapped in despair and poverty and all those other maladies, which tend to stand in the way of human advancement. Reach out to them and let them see the light of Christ shining in your life, so that they may be drawn closer to Him and so that more meaning will be injected into their lives."

Reflecting on the event’s theme of light in the midst of darkness, Mr. Stuart reminded those in attendance that this was as a result of the birth of Jesus Christ some 2,000 years ago. "We are all in the spirit of Christmas and we are all sensitive to the fact that a great event happened in the history of mankind that is the birth of Jesus Christ… He came to a very dark and hopeless world and His coming symbolised the bringing of hope and the candles which you have in your hands tonight which are burning so resplendently are a symbol of that hope which He brought, because He has likewise been described as the light of the world…."

Consequently, Mr. Stuart told persons to be vessels of light by their actions, in much the same way as Jesus did, so that others would "be drawn closer to Him".

On a more sombre note, the Prime Minister pointed out that although Jesus came to bring peace on earth, paradoxically, there was much upheaval in His homeland, dislocation, war, bloodshed, hopelessness, and "much pain". However, he said, that in this part of the world, individuals and families were able to come together in the thousands without fear of being harmed, "or in any way dislocated by the threat of guns or the threat of bombs or anything of the kind".

Recalling the popular hymn that states, "Count our blessings and name them one by one and it would surprise us what the Lord has done" for Barbados, Mr Stuart encouraged persons to keep this island "the special place that it is not only for us, but for those who travel from other parts of the world to savour our hospitality and our charm and to fellowship here with us". ??

The Prime Minister contended that Barbadians had "a lot to be thankful for" and persons needed to recognise that fact.

Last night’s show featured performances by the Providence Children’s Choir, Our Lady of the Rosary Choir, the Mosaic Steel Orchestra, the Mustard Seed Kids, Alison Hinds, the Myriad Singers, Kareen and Trinity Clarke, Dereck Fields and Adrian Clarke, among others.

Proceeds from the event will go to a number of causes including the physically and mentally challenged and the poor. The monies will also assist persons affected by disasters and refurbish wards at the St. Philip district hospital and the Geriatric hospital.

cathy.lashley@barbados.gov.bb

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