After a storm - there is a calm!

As a Bible believing, Christian nation, at least the majority of us will like to confirm to this status, we are expected to give thanks always for all things.

The passing of Tropical Storm Lili over St. Lucia and other Windward islands gives us yet another opportunity to give thanks to our Heavenly Father and to recognise those praying souls in our midst. It is very gratifying to hear God's protection being invoked from the lips of our Prime Minister and God answered.

Whatever degree of disruption we suffered it could be several hundred times greater. The Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has already alluded to millions of dollars in damage, and later we learned of four deaths resulting from the passage of Lili.

In the case of St. Lucia once again our farmers, like those in the other Windward Islands suffered from high winds and evidently a set back in production is expected but our infrastructure has not suffered much.

Let the Prayer Warriors continue to pray for the safety of our nation and that of our neighbours. The electronic media have done a great job in keeping citizens up to date on developments during the period of the storm.

The time has come, however, for the Radio Stations to give traffic update during these times so as to reduce frustration of persons seeking to access roads that become impassable at some point. Vehicular patrols should be undertaken to avoid road blocks due to fallen trees and flooding. It is time we make an effort in this regard.

Our Emergency Network has been terrific and those who have weathered the storm to ensure the comfort and safety of citizens should be congratulated.

Technology has assisted us in predicting the weather with fair accuracy but the weather remains the weather and must only be seen in its true character - it is unpredictable. Those of us who have lived long enough in these parts have heard weather bulletins which advised that a storm or hurricane is heading in one direction and by the next advisory, it is headed for a totally different direction. There are certain things that God will always have the final word.

Let us congratulate ourselves for a job well done and get back to our normal lives once again. Some of us will need physical, spiritual and financial help to get back on our feet but again I am confident that things will work out for those persons as the Government has shown every willingness to respond to problems arising out of the storm.

It now seems that we are no longer headed for a storm of fire power and Desert Storm II would be averted. The UN has been given the green light by President Saddam to send in inspectors to verify Iraq's involvement in the production of biological chemicals of mass destruction.

President Bush seems bent on a military solution to ending the nuclear exploits of President Saddam and to bring about a regime change. There is still a storm in Washington on the matter as it is clear that President Bush's demand for a regime change cannot materialise with the use of UN Inspectors. It has to be by military intervention.

It is time to expand our sphere of prayer so that there will be a calm in the US-Iraq relations. What is interesting is the fact that there is still some key moderates in the debate who favour a soft approach. God always answers prayers even in ways that don't always seem right to men but always it is God's way not ours.

If we are able to get to a place where the storms are resolved and there returns calm, we should be in for a good Winter season 2002/2003.

Tourism is our key industry and there are some industry leaders that we must rally behind and encourage them to go forward. Our own Mr. Craig Bernard, and Mr. Butch Stewart who should be counted as much a St. Lucian as any of us must be congratulated for showing faith in the St. Lucia tourism products while most of the world is reeling from the pains of 9/11 and not willing to commit new investments in the industry. We have to be sincerely grateful to these two gentlemen.

While I seek to recognise these two outstanding Caribbean personalities, I hasten to beg our people to be tolerant with our visionaries and before rushing to respond and tear them apart - try to seek out the virtues of the new ideas they have presented.

It is very difficult for us to see ten years down the road, especially in these days but whether we believe it or not there are a few people who God has given the foresight to see into the next millennium. It was the same yesterday, it's the same today and will be in the future. There has been and will always be persons with a vision.

St. Lucia is ready for the tourist season. Mrs. Berthia Parle is making us proud and keeping her members' spirits high. As the Jamaican will say let us Big Up our local movers and shakers. Let us resist the temptation to bring down but rather let us put our energies in lifting up. In theses days the media is mightier than the sword. Let us use our talent to assist in making St. Lucia a better place inspite of the world's state of affairs.

In conclusion, I pray that God would bless us indeed and he could extend our territory and that His hand will be with us and keep us from evil, that it will not cause us pain. Miracles still happen and for many on a regular basis.

Keep the Faith. God is in charge!

September 28, 2002