Some 200 young people gathered at the Grand Pavilion courtyard on Oct. 7 to hear stories of gang life and redemption from a man who says he spent his formative years in some of the most impoverished, disadvantaged and dangerous areas of south Florida.
Willy Ramos described how his life was radically transformed from “a hard-core ghetto leader” to an international evangelist, cartoonist, comedian, and author – even though he professes not to be able to read, according to a press release issued by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The evangelist was invited to the Cayman Islands by the Solid Rock Ministries, an outreach arm of the church, to speak at the event.
A large segment of the audience consisted of invitees from two non-Adventist churches, one in George Town and the other in Bodden Town. Also attending were Clifton Hunter High School students, who had an opportunity to hear Mr. Ramos’s story at the school earlier that day.
At the end of his speech, more then three dozen youth responded to the altar call, during which about 30 made a commitment to be baptized, according to the release.
Mr. Ramos said that the youth who came to the altar disclosed that “they never heard something like this before – they were moved, they were crying,” he said.
Explaining the ethos of Solid Rock Ministries, Pastor Sethres Dixon said there are 40-50 people worshiping in the informal home setting where they meet weekly. In the release, he acknowledged that, like the Friday night Grand Pavilion meeting, “there is nothing conventional” about what they are doing.
“Seeing young people coming forward and giving their life to God is just an amazing experience,” said Mark Scotland, who was involved in organizing the weekend function and has been a supporter of Solid Rock Ministries initiatives in recent years.