Isle of Martinique
Like a green gem resting securely in its tropical setting, Martinique basks in the warm sunlight beneath billowy clouds and wavy palms. What a beautiful sight it was from the airliner, six thousand feet above.
As we approach the capital, Fort-de-France, we see the savanna with its neat rows of towering royal palms and statue of the Empress Josephine. The city nestles among surrounding hills on a flat place by the sea, as if they were going to push it into the water. On the hills can be seen the beautiful homes of the well-to-do, while down toward the city are the little shacks of the common people squeezed together like dirty herds of animals. The narrow streets and sidewalks reveal the old age of the town and its relation to the mother country, France. New modern stores are in contrast with the many ancient ones.
The almost modern city boasts of electricity, bus systems, cinemas, hospitals, and water supply system. For many of the poor people, however, the water supply is composed of a bucket balanced on the head and carried from a neighborhood hydrant. Work is under way to supply water to the homes of most of the people in the city proper.
Recently a new water supply has been provided which brings pure water without the use of pipes or buckets or even water rent. How glad some are to receive this water to quench their thirst! Only some? Yes, not all are glad for this new supply. Already the order has been issued to stop this supply.
Yes, you have guessed it. It is the water of truth coming from the great fountain of the waters of life, God’s Word. Four missionaries sent to the isle of the West Indies by the Watch Tower Society to bring the water of truth have been ordered from the country by the local authorities. No reason is given. Perhaps they feel their water supply is sufficient. So the new supply is ordered closed on the 31st of December, 1950.
The authorities cover over the real motive by saying the government has nothing against this new water supply. But you see, they say, we have a big Catholic fountain here, a little Baptist fountain, a little Adventist fountain, and an Evangelist fountain, and you got here too late, so you cannot stay. But you may come back as tourists for up to three months, but you must not establish a water supply system on the island.
So on January 18, 1951, the four WatchTower missionaries left a small group of disappointed natives on the pier at Fort-de-France and sailed to St. Lucia, B.W.I.