A Righteous Man

May 1st, 2010
by Alfonso Ebanks

[private] v8-5-Our IslandsHis father was one of the first persons to heed the call of the fledgling Seventh Day Adventist religion in this area. From way back in 1892 his father, Richard Wood, labored in the service of the almighty or at least in the service of Elder Frank Hutchins the original SDA missionary to Latin America. When he was born it was decided that he should be called Peter and his father would proudly boast that this boy would grow up in the ways of the Lord. His father was firm in his efforts to further his purposeful intent to enter into the congregation of heaven. In his formative years Peter did not demonstrate an aptitude or desire to become a religious person of any import. The seriousness and straight forwardness of his father could not be seen in his comportment. To a greater extent his behavior mimicked his mother’s side of the family, they were a more carefree and witty people. He played tricks on his siblings and even on the adults of the family.

Eventually Cousin Peter came around to the purpose desired by his father for him. He became an ordained minister in the SDA Religion. He was not a regular preacher he knew that education was the key to the future and he worked for the furthering of educational opportunities of not only the Bonacco children but also for children on the mainland. He was instrumental in the purchasing of the properties and was part of the founding of the SDA School in Peña Blanca. It seems that where ever he went he founded a school. His last efforts were in Nicaragua where he built and presided over one of the best schools in that country. The school was later appropriated by the Nicaraguan government. While living in Nicaragua he became a victim of the infamous regime of Daniel Ortega. As was their style they fed themselves by robbing the working people of anything they had and in some cases of everything they had. During his first encounter with the Sandinistas, Peter refused to help them help themselves to his livestock and his refusal earned him a battering with the butts of the rifles carried by those ruffians. When he was found he was still unconscious and still bleeding but he was still breathing and he survived. It was not too long after that that the same groups of blackguards made their way back to his little farm and began pillaging his food stuff and this time they were trying put a snare around the neck of his favorite heifer but Peter placed himself between them and the little heifer and refused to give her up. He was again beaten and this time he was shot and dumped into a ditch. Those ruffians expected him to die in that ditch but Peter survived that one also. On the third time the same group came around he stood between them and his goods and refused to budge, when one of the new guys lifted his rifle as if to shoot him, the headman said to him: Just let’s take what he gives us because this man is fearless, he is made of iron and shooting him will do no good, we’ve already done that. Cousin Peter thanked him and gave him some fowls and said to him: Jesus Christ is my shield and with Him on my side I fear nothing. The Sandinista never bothered him gain. Cousin Peter returned to Bonacco a few years back and took up residence on the old homestead and ministered in the Mangrove Bight SDA church. He had come back to where he had been introduced to Christ and now he was ready to take that journey that we all must take but Peter was prepared to meet his maker. On a sunny day like so many others in this part of the world he decided to make a trip to Back Country which was the sight of the first SDA industrial school in Latin America. parts of the construction are still there. This school was built back in late eighteen hundreds by men like his father. He saddled the mule and being unable to find a proper pair of stirrups he fashioned a pair from a piece of rope and slung it across the mule’s back in front of the saddle and was off. He did not stay too long in the little valley and his companion said that he looked distracted and tired so they returned to Poke Alice, the old family farm. He sent the boy on to Lil Flat telling him that he would pick some rose apples and be along shortly. His brother became concerned when he did not arrive at the appointed time and a few hours later decided to go in search of Peter. His brother began to worry when the searchers found the mule grazing by the little river that ran its course at the foot hills of Lil’ Flat. The searchers were on foot so the uphill trek took some time. They were about half way up when they spotted something that could be the body of a person in the grass off to the side of the road. It was Peter and he was dead. The body was stiff from rigor mortis and this meant that Peter had been dead for at least four hours. Around his right foot was the piece of rope he had used for a stirrup. It will never be clear what really happed to Peter but it is assumed that he fainted or had a heart attack and fell from the saddle. He was then dragged for a fair distance by the mule before the rope was pulled completely around the saddle. What caused him to fall from the mule will always be a mystery but there is one thing that we can be certain of and that is, if there’s a place set aside for righteous men, Peter Wood has earned himself a seat in the front row. [/private]

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