THE EDITOR: Presbyterians in the Couva area are quite pleased at the decision by the Presbyterian Church to build its new administrative headquarters in Balmain. This as the church celebrates 150 years of the coming of the Canadian missionaries to the “East Indians of Trinidad” initiated by Rev John Morton.
The Presbyterian Church was previously known as the Canadian Mission Indian Church, likewise the schools. Others from the Presbyterian Church in Canada came and established churches, schools and other institutions across the country.
They were acting on the mandate given by Jesus to go into “all the world” to bring salvation to all people. Trinidad became one of their mission fields. They pointed to the sacrifice on the cross as God’s only redemption plan for mankind to save those who come into repentance from eternity in hell.
Jesus said “the harvest truly is great but the labourers few” (Luke 10:12). That “we should go and bring forth fruit and that our fruit should remain” (John 15:16). And “he that gathereth not with me scattereth” (Luke 11:23).
The more than 100 churches established are the harvest of the Canadian missionaries. But where is our harvest and where is our mission field?
For the period 1868 to 1975 (when they left), they had brought to the cross more than 100,000 souls, redeeming them from paganism, alcoholism and sin.
In 1903, missionary Kenneth Thompson established several churches and schools in the Couva area including Knox Presbyterian, Balmain (Arunodai), Mc Bean and Milton. The grand church bell in Balmain is part of the Thompson legacy.
Balmain became an important centre for evangelism in Trinidad as the church’s residential quarters housed many visiting missionaries. Over the years many gave sacrificially to the physical development of the church yet a few district officials took credit on cornerstones and plaques honouring themselves.
Consideration should now be given to having the church in Balmain named the Kenneth Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church in honour of its founder.
WINSTON RAMDHANI, Couva