Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox. File photo/Sureash Cholai
SOCIAL Development and Family Services Minister Donna Cox has said there is a need for people to return to the values of cherishing life and putting God at the centre of their lives and their families.
She was speaking on Sunday afternoon at the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies (PAWI) Rally 2022, at the Revival Time Assembly in San Fernando.
The minister urged people to do their part to help, empower and transform lives in a meaningful way that will lead to healing and restoration of families.
She also called for greater collaboration between faith-based organisations and her ministry to assist people and families in need.
PAWI, a local non-profit organisation, hosts a Pentecost rally annually to bring together members and leaders of the full gospel fraternity throughout Trinidad and Tobago. This year, the theme was Re-Building Together: Experience the Reconnect, which called on people to work together towards common goals.
A release from the ministry said Cox told the gathering, “As a nation, we continue to navigate through perilous times worsened by the challenges brought on by the pandemic.
“These challenges have seen a massive burden being placed on families, whether psychologically, socioeconomically (or) spiritually. Hence, it is critical that as the nation recovers from these challenges, that emphasis be placed on providing families with the support needed to navigate these unprecedented times.”
She reminded the audience, “Scripture speaks to the importance of restoration of relationships, where in Colossians 3:12-14, we are encouraged to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
She said her ministry will continue to pursue initiatives to support faith-based organisations (FBOs) through capacity-building, partnerships and other collaborative mechanisms.
The minister told the gathering there has been an increase in family violence, resulting in deaths.
“This upsurge of violence being perpetrated by family members against each other is quite alarming. This vicious cycle of abuse needs to be broken, and it can only start with us,” Cox said.
She encouraged PAWI members and other FBOs to partner with the ministry in an effort to support families in their most critical time of need.
Also at the rally were Rev Lloyd E Hart, host and senior pastor at Revival Time Assembly; Bishop Dr Anthony Roberts; Rev Jenny-Lyn Warner; Rev Ricardo Joseph; Rev Winston Mansingh; and Rev Arlene Duke Stroud.