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Time to forgive and heal as a community

Show of solidarity: Around 300 people gathered at City Hall for the “die-in.” Names of the 30 victims of violence were read out; each name was followed by a minute’s silence as peace doves were released

Here is a reflection on the December 18 “die in” outside City Hall. Organised by Mt Zion AME Church, with the help of other churches, it put a spotlight on the problem of gun and gang violence. This letter was written by Gina Spence Productions in Christ Champions Programme:

Thank You Pastor Jahkeemo Smith and the Mount Zion Church family!

I applaud the efforts of anyone who is bold enough to take a public stand, to keep the community awareness of the lives of the 30 young black Bermudian men who have been shot and murdered at the forefront, and to let those who may be contemplating taking another life know that it’s not right nor is it acceptable, the horrific after effects are unconscionable!

No one has the right to take another person’s life.

I thank those on the front line and in the trenches who continue to go into the lion’s den, many times putting their own lives at risk, every day reaching out to save those caught up in the dangerous world of drugs gang and anti social behaviour. They truly are our heroes.

Children left without fathers, funeral costs, court cases, the psychological, emotional and deep-rooted pain of murder has destroyed many families and innocent children on both sides, the victims and those families and children of the perpetrators.

We ALL have been impacted or affected in some way shape or form.

My prayer is that we will learn to forgive and to heal as a community and stop the senseless shooting!

If you would like to do something you can join me (Gina Spence Productions in Christ) in helping the almost 40 children between the ages of four and 16 left behind from gun violence.

We support them through providing counselling, healthy food items, school clothes and educational scholarships.

We believe prevention is better than cure. We also believe that their lives matter and they deserve a chance to be fed clothed and educated!

You can contact me on 704-0224 or spencegina@yahoo.com

You can find out more about our “Champions” programme at our website www.gspic.org

I have lost a son-in-law and nephew to gun violence both in their 20s and I have worked with the families over the past 11 years and know and understand their struggle pain and despair.

You will never understand until it happens to you or your family!

I have also worked for over 35 years with our prison population and have spent many hours with our young men and women involved in the gang culture!

There is NO one answer, cure, person or group that has the answer, however I do believe that talk is cheap, it’s a lot easier to talk about a problem than to get involved and actually do something about it.

I choose to do something and applaud anyone who chooses to do the same.

As Bob Marley said “ He who knows it feels it”!

The Bible says ...

For much is given much is required.

If you do this to the least of them you have done it unto me.

Faith without works is dead.

Martin Luther King also said in one of his most powerful speeches “Evil flourishes when good men stand by and do nothing!

I refuse to stand by and do nothing!

The question remains what is it that you choose to do?

A few thoughts to ponder..... Gina Spence written on behalf of the hundreds of victims and their families, friends co- workers and communities..... Bermuda wake up!