Central churches march against crime

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Churches in Action Foundation members and supporters, during a prayer crusade and caravan, at the Freedom Steet Park, Enterprise on Saturday. – Angelo Marcelle

A group of churches from Central Trinidad banded together on Saturday to offer prayers as a weapon against rising crime in their communities.

Under the banner Churches In Action (CIA) Foundation, the group has been proactive in community events aimed at reducing crime in the Enterprise area over the past year.

During its prayer crusade and caravan at the Esmeralda Grounds, Cunupia on Saturday, CIA Foundation founder Natalie Paul-Harry told Newsday this year’s event is prayer-focused on bring the communities closer in prayer.

Several people gathered at the ground from as early as 9.30 am to kickstart the event with  prayer and worship. As the small group sang, passers-by and drivers slowed down to observe.

Despite the sweltering heat from temperatures reaching as high as 33 degrees by 10 am, the group prayed for TT’s leaders and youths.

In a short interview before start of the procession to various communities in the Central district, Paul-Henry told Sunday Newsday, “We had something similar last year where we came together as churches and we marched to six savannahs within the community. The Lord said unto Abraham that he should walk up and down in the land and he would eventually inherit it. He died before he could inherit it, but his children did, so what we are declaring today is for the young people – the generation to come – is that they would serve the Lord.

“We know Enterprise to have a stigma and we are declaring that this is going to turn around. This is just not for Enterprise, but we are declaring the same for the nation.

“We seeing that crime is rampant, but we are just believing in God for a change. Prayer is really the focus for today’s event, and at each savannah we have a different church taking charge.”

Churches in Action has been in operation for 14 years, with a vision of establishing Enterprise as a model community. Gang violence has left many young men dead in that community over the years.

Paul-Henry felt this can be accomplished only if: “We believe and we keep at it. There would be a complete shift around in the community.”

In October, the foundation will host a health fair and a series of football tournaments.

“A lot of young people will come together for these events. We are bringing Christian role models in football as well as ministers of God to declare the word of God, to impart that there is hope and that there is a way out, and they don’t have to stay in the lifestyle they are living.”

She said the work of her organisation is already bearing fruit,as there are fewer murders in the community this year, compared to the numbers recorded in 2022.

“Between last year we had deaths in the Savannah/Enterprise and thanks be to God, this year has been a good year, and we are believing in God that it will only get better and better along the way.”

The theme of the event was Stewards of the Seed: Nurturing a Mighty Generation.

The caravan was scheduled to stop at  Esmeralda Grounds, Dass Trace Grounds, Postman Drive Grounds, Chrissie Terrace Grounds and Freedom Street bandstand and conclude at Africa Grounds, Enterprise.