Promise Keepers Concludes Bahamas Effort with 'Awakening'

Hundreds of Bahamian men and families gathered in the Bahamas’ Fort Charlotte in Nassau for the closing of a cooperative effort between The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the U.S.-based ministry to men Promise Keepers.

“The Bahamas Awakening,” which opened with a gathering Friday night at Nassau’s historic Clifford Park, concluded a weeklong series of events that began on Nov. 7 to bring social restoration and spiritual transformation to the Islands, and to fortify the spiritual condition of her men.

“There is battle going on for your lives and homes right here, right now,” said Portland, Ore.-based evangelist Mike Silva, who closed the meeting with an impassioned appeal to the men’s Christian commitment.

Pointing to young men brought by their fathers, Silva challenged the dads. “Like Paul, let’s tell our young men, ‘Do what I do. Follow me as I follow Christ,’” Silva said, according to Promise Keepers.

With college graduation rates at 20 percent for men, Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Gladstone Christie felt the need to “understand our men, and to how we can encourage our men to develop their spirituality.”

To help in the effort, Christie extended a formal invitation from the people and the Government of The Bahamas to Promise Keepers in February asking the group to stage a “friendly invasion of our shores,” and help ignite a new appreciation in the people of the Bahamas on the responsibilities of Christian manhood.

“Promise Keepers can positively impact us as we go through the process of grappling with what is a fundamental challenge in the path of our development,” Christie said, according to Promise Keepers.

Since accepting the invitation, the Denver-based ministry has been assisting Christie’s locally-led effort by co-sponsoring Christian evangelism events, works of compassion, women’s and youth ministry, tutoring and job training, and prison outreach.

On Thursday, Nov. 10, PK president and CEO Tom Fortson and VP for Advancement George Fisher visited the prison along with other local ministers for an “inside-the-yard” event. Local rappers Landlord and DJ Counsellor also ministered during the prison event while Walter Hanchell of Great Commission Ministries International emceed.

PK7 worship leaders Stephen Newby and Carl Kelley, meanwhile, visited C.H. Reeves Junior High School to get up close and personal with 300 young men, according to Promise Keepers. Coordinating the affair was the Rev. Dave Burrows of Youth Alive Ministries, who said, “Youth need examples, especially young men.”

On the closing night of the weeklong effort, Anglican Archbishop Drexel Gomez painted a picture of “The Epic Battle for a Man’s Heart.”

“We, too often, are going through the motions, respectable on the outside, but not within,” Promise Keepers reported Archbishop Drexel as saying on Saturday. “We must challenge idolatry as a sin of the heart. Our true character comes from within.

“I’m praying for that here in the Bahamas we would see a band of men whose hearts God has touched, who will work whole-heartedly to extend God’s kingdom,” he added.

Also speaking was Myles Munroe, one of the most well known voices in global Christianity. While addressing his Bahamian countrymen on the topic “Discover Your Unique Design,” Munroe said, “You can’t let your manhood be defined by culture.”

“Proverbs tells us that many are the plans in a man’s heart, but God’s purpose is more important than our own plans,” he added. “That’s where we find true satisfaction.”

Since its inception, Promise Keepers has envisioned a spiritual movement of men following Christ and influencing their families, communities and culture. Promise Keepers’ vision is “Men Transformed Worldwide.” The ministry to men has produced or contributed to major men’s conferences in Costa Rica, France, Germany, Haiti, Mexico, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Switzerland, as well as hundreds of conferences in the United States.

This year marks Promise Keepers’ 15th year of ministry to men. Since its founding in 1990, Promise Keepers has directly reached nearly six million men.

Following their “friendly invasion” of the Bahamas, other events are being planned for the Caribbean region, according to the ministry’s latest report.