Friday, May 15, 2009

Pray for the Cayman Islands

"Free and democratic elections" is a phrase typically volleyed about when some country is under military occupation or a "regime change" is in order. Significant numbers of countries around the world do not know either free or democratic political processes. And many others who attempt it seem only to vent violent opposition.

The Cayman Islands has known free and democratic elections for most of its history. By God's grace, it's a stable democracy with the great privilege of voting. Next Wednesday, the country holds its next round of elections. Election Day is a public holiday in the Cayman Islands, making it all the more possible for people to enjoy this remarkable God-given privilege. Not all the residents of Cayman are eligible to vote, but all should pray for the country and her leaders.

I don't know all the political players and issues at stake. Turns out, I'm as ignorant of politics in the Cayman Islands as I was in the United States! But there are a couple things that occupy my prayer beyond the scriptural command to pray for those in authority over us (1 Tim. 2:1-2).

First, the country has for some time been working to modernize its constitution. That's been a fascinating process to observe. In Cayman, unlike many other Western democracies, churches and pastors have a prominent role in such discussions. So the Cayman Ministers' Association has given tremendous input to this important, life-shaping process. Please pray for the continued discussions and referendum/vote on the modernized constitution. Among the important issues addressed is the definition of marriage as consisting of one man and one woman. The battles over marriage have made their way in some measure to these Caribbean shores, and the pressures mount as not only much of Europe but now a growing number of States abandon traditional definitions and protections. Pray for the Lord's word and will to reign in these decisions.

Second, about half the country's residents are expatriates. Someone said that there are over 100 nationalities in Cayman. This is a tremendously diverse place, and has been since it's founding, really. As wonderful as this diversity is, it brings its challenges in terms of the maintenance of cultural identity, immigration balance, equity and justice, and community cohesion. What could be a tremendous opportunity for the gospel, making Cayman an excellent export station for the kingdom, could become a culture war of sorts. Please pray for the unity of the country in this election and for the blessing of all its people--native and expat.

What a marvelous privilege to live in a society where the future of the society resides in the hands of those ordinary people standing in small polling booths. Praise the Lord for the grace of freedom.

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