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Introducing our newest Partner in Mission - Rev Nigel Lindsay

From the latest edition of Connected - the CWM magazine from the Partners In Mission Unit.

Nigel is from the Congregational Federation (CF) and now serves with the Presbyterian Church in Grenada (PCG) through a joint CWM and Caribbean and North America Council for Mission (CANACOM) partnership as Pastor and Chaplain.

Greetings to you all from sunny, hot and hilly Grenada!

I have been in this country for about 6 weeks and have come at a time when the Covid-19 virus is on the rise in Grenada. In early September, we were not permitted to leave our home and so services were held by Zoom, which is fine for those who can connect, but some don’t have a device or internet.

I have been ordained since October 2009 as a Congregational Minister in the UK and have worked as a Social worker and Primary Mental Health Worker, sometimes working in schools. It was time for me to move on from my two Churches in East Ham London and as I have done some work in other countries. I felt God encouraging me to apply to CWM. The Presbyterian Church of Grenada was in need of someone to support the one Presbyterian minister and the role was to be Pastor to Samaritans Church and be Chaplain to the primary and secondary school, all in the north of the Island.

What a match, God had it all planned and I am excited about working with the schools and the Churches! I am keen to learn and hope that some of the experience I bring will be useful.

Whilst working in Nigeria and Kenya I have tried to work alongside local people so they felt more empowered and for me to do myself out of a job. Finding the right people to take on those roles can be a challenge as I have discovered in UK Churches. But it does lead to development and sustainability.

I come with lots of ideas, but I need to listen and spend some time trying to understand the culture, relationships and desire of the people I am here to serve. At this time it is difficult to meet with people, but I have started to meet with young and old. The house is a bit isolated in the Secondary school grounds and as schools are closed for an extra 2 weeks at least. I have been using the time to get out and walk.

The Samaritan Presbyterian Church in GrenadaThe Church is a 55 minute walk for me up and down many hills and winding roads. I have met and had conversations with people on the way and then explored local streets in the Samaritan area. People in the town are getting to know me and as they see me more understand I am not a tourist passing through. I have been provided with a car and I am getting used to the hills and the bends. Grenada is a very beautiful country and the people are friendly and welcoming. It is a great privilege to be here!

Travelling in Covid-19 times is confusing and anxiety provoking. The rules are changing all the time and some changes do not keep up with the systems. Getting the PCR test before travel, (checking it is the right one when different terms are used) and being aware it has to be within 72 hours, but the test may take 48 hours to come through.

I transited through Barbados and had to fill in forms online, but could not do them until a few days before and then after trying many times did not succeed had to do it at the airport. There was also the Grenadian government safe travel form which I also could not fill in too far in advance and I think I made 5 attempts! It would not allow you to see all the questions until you had completed a page and I had to keep finding different information. As I slowly got near the end it said I had to quarantine for up to 14 days, I had expected this but had been told I could do it at the house but now I had to have a hotel booked for 7 days. As I had a house to go to my host expected I could go there but as someone new to the country that was not allowed. I ended up at the quarantine hotel for just 3 nights and then I was free to be out and about.

Whilst travelling you are never quiet sure what to expect at the airports and some of the processes do not seem to fit. Some are very efficient and work well.

I look forward to working on the Partners in Mission programme and find out about others in different areas. It would be great to meet up with you all in person or on Zoom sometime soon!

- Rev. Nigel Lindsay

My view from the college