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Protecting Black Life Goes to Trinidad and Tobago

Arnold Culbreath   |   June 13, 2012

Recently, I had the privilege of traveling to Trinidad and Tobago, to serve as one of the speakers at the first regional Stabilizing the Family Caribbean Conference, co-sponsored by The World Congress of Families and the Elpis Center. Held at the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, I participated at the invitation of my dear friend Rebekah Ali-Gouveia. She’s not only a passionate pro-life attorney, but is also the Founder and Director of The Elpis Center, a Pregnancy and Family Resource Center in the Freeport section of Trinidad and Tobago.

Although the killing of innocent pre-born babies is still illegal in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, unfortunately it still occurs. Caribbean champions for life, like Rebekah, are working very hard to maintain a culture of life amidst the abortion industry’s persistent push to persuade this Caribbean country into embracing a culture of death.

Thankfully, many of our Trinidadian and Tobagonian sisters and brothers realize that if they embrace the abortion industry’s deadly agenda, many of the surrounding Caribbean islands will likely follow their lead.

During my conference session, I spoke on the topic of Protecting Black Life — Did You Know? As is frequently the case in the US, these Caribbean conferees were unaware that abortion remains the leading cause of death among African Americans. They were shocked to discover this devastating dilemma. Like most who hear this tragic truth, they wanted to know what they could do about it, so we eagerly equipped them with practical ways to address this issue. Not only did I help them to understand where we are in the African American community regarding life and how we got here, but I also reminded them that they don’t have to end up where we are. I encouraged them to continue to choose life as a nation and urged them to be ever-mindful that it doesn’t happen by remaining on the sidelines. They have to become involved and stay involved if a culture of life is to remain the norm in Trinidad and Tobago.

I also had the privilege of being one of the co-panelists in the Friday evening youth forum. It was exhilarating to look into the beautiful brown faces and speak into the destiny-filled lives of over 200 Caribbean youth and young adults. I informed them that they don’t have to become part of the negative statistics. They can choose to keep themselves sexually pure until marriage. I encouraged them to intentionally walk in relationships of accountability with their parents, youth leaders and with one another. It was priceless to see their hunger for our affirmation and excitement to receive and wear our brightly colored black, green, red and yellow Protecting Black Life wristbands.

During our visit, I had the opportunity to attend a reception for the conference speakers, hosted by the government office of the Ministry of The People and Social Development. We seized the opportunity to help the leadership and staff understand the urgency of the hour in which they stand. It is our hope that they will maintain their life-affirming position and neither cave under the coercion, nor compromise for the sake of cash offered by the abortion industry.

It was a tremendous honor to meet Pastor Anthony Oliver (a board member of the Elpis Center) and Mrs. Sharon Oliver, and to be granted the privilege of preaching and playing my saxophone at the Westside Community Church. What a blessing to speak to such a diverse and passionate congregation. Pastor Anthony has expressed an interest in coordinating an opportunity for me to educate, motivate and activate pastors and leaders in Trinidad and Tobago via Skype, with the possibility of returning there in the future.

Please join me in praying for Rebekah and the Elpis Center, as well as Pastor and Mrs. Oliver and the Westside Community Church as they solidly stand for life in the Caribbean. Your continued prayers and financial support of our ongoing efforts to educate, equip and strengthen those across our nation and throughout the nations is greatly appreciated.

Protecting Black Life is an outreach project of Life Issues Institute.

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