In just about two weeks, Caribbean delegates from Haiti in the north to Guyana and Suriname in the south and various countries in between, will arrive in Barbados to attend Apostolic Encampment 2016: Reimagine the Region.
This historic event will take place at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre from September 29 to October 3, where Caribbean brothers and sisters will meet with one intent: to see the region transformed.
Imagine a region where we see each other as belonging to one Caribbean and we are welcomed at our airports as if we were family coming to visit and not treated as strangers coming to steal. Imagine a region where our businesses work together to export goods and services to the world rather than consuming everything that the world sends to us.
Imagine a region where there is untapped wealth in the seas and the land and that wealth remains in the region to improve the standard of living for our people. Imagine a region where we operate with one voice on the world stage so that the world has to listen to us. Imagine a region where there is justice for all, independent of who you know and what you own.
Imagine too a region where we share with each other so that none of our brothers and sisters are living in abject poverty while others are living in untold wealth. Imagine a region where none of our countries is near the top of the Corruption Index and near the bottom of the Human Development Index.
So Encampment 2016 starts with imagination, but is anticipated to end with execution, something that is sadly lacking in many of our nations, including Barbados. Together we will pray, worship and seek God for solutions to the problems of the region.
The event is being hosted by Kingdom First International Church, headed by Apostle Fitzroy Wilson. The night sessions will feature speakers and those bringing greetings from various countries, including Suriname, Haiti, Guyana, Dominica, St Kitts and, of course, Barbados.
Dr Hugh Osgood, of Charis Communications in the UK and founder of Churches in Communities International, will teach daily workshop sessions on Leadership. As we all know, from looking around the region and the world, there seems to be a dearth of good leaders. We desperately need more leaders with vision, integrity and humility, who will work together to transform the region, without personal or national agendas.
Day sessions on worship will be conducted by David Rowe, who has been a worship leader for many years and is the author of a number of books on worship including his latest one, On Earth as it is in Heaven: The Ministry of the Psalmist. The other sessions to be conducted during the day are on business.
After all, “Money answers all things” and business is key to the successful functioning of all economies. I am pleased to join with Ian Blanchard, CEO of CILC Action Coach, to conduct the business workshops. Ian is a citizen of the Caribbean and an experienced leader with over 25 years of international experience. He holds an HND in Telecommunications, a MBA from Brunel University, is a Certified Business & Executive Coach and a DiSC Certified Facilitator.
So I am looking forward to this Encampment on several levels, especially with regard to business networking. I have seen firsthand what can be achieved when we connect across the region. I am forever talking about the relationships that have been forged between the InfoDev WINC Facilitators who are conducting Acceleration Programmes in most of the CARICOM countries.
Last week, I wrote about the FundRiseHer crowdfunding campaign which was birthed by Valrie Grant, the Commonwealth Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, who is a Jamaican married to a Guyanese and A. Cecile Watson, a Bajan living in Jamaica. It is being supported by Caribbean women, like myself, who want to see Val succeed on the world stage and who want to help women entrepreneurs to access funding.
I believe that Encampment will forge more relationships of this nature and will further see business people from various countries in the region sharing knowledge, forming strategic alliances and collaborating to access finance and markets denied to single entities or even single nations.
I invite you to come to the night sessions to encourage your spirits, but make the time to come to the day sessions. You will receive practical teachings to show you how to worship, be a better leader and conduct your business more successfully in the season that we are in.
Go to http://apostolicencampment.eventbrite.com/ to register.
(Donna Every is an author, international speaker and trainer. She is also the Barbados Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, the Barbados Facilitator for the InfoDev WINC Acceleration Program and the Barbados Affiliate for the FundRiseHer Campaign. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Website www.donnaevery.com