Milestones and Miracles
From the time I was a child, I heard about the Gospel. Although I was born in the Bahamas, when I was one year old, my mother sent me to live with my grandmother in Jamaica. My grandmother attended the Apostolic Faith Church, and she took me with her. When I was eight years old, my mother had me come to live with her in Kingston, Jamaica. However, we lived near enough to my grandmother for me to go back and be with her on the weekends and some other days of the week. This gave me the opportunity to continue attending church services.
In Kingston, it was just my mother and me living together, and I was alone quite often. I began to develop a fear of death. When the lights were turned off at night, I would turn them on again. I was seeking a refuge from that fear.
God took away my fears and the fear of death, and caused me to understand that He is my Refuge.
At various times our church had a series of special services; we called them a crusade. There was preaching and singing. When I was in my mid-teens, during one of those sermons I decided to give my life to the Lord. My focus was that I wanted Jesus in my heart. As I prayed, He saved me and really made a difference in my life. God took away my fears and the fear of death, and caused me to understand that He is my Refuge.
Even though I had an interest in a young lady at the time I was saved, the Lord helped me understand that relationship was not His will, and it did not continue. The school I attended was all boys, and there was a perception that you must be a homosexual if you were not going after the girls. Often I was taunted because I was not following the same lifestyle as my schoolmates. But in time they realized that I really was changed and was trying to live a Christian life.
Our church was very vibrant, and people were looking to God. About sixteen of us were baptized in water after the crusade in which I was saved. Older and more established Christians were called Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and they encouraged us to live close to God. This was very helpful to me.
We were taught the importance of sanctification, and we fasted and tarried in prayer to receive that experience. Sometimes we had a “tarrying” which was a night spent in prayer. This allowed God to help us be humble and to seek His will in our lives. Our pastor helped us understand the practical application of the Gospel. For example, he told us that when our elders talked to us, we should not be disrespectful or act like we did not want to hear what they were saying. God rewarded my prayers and sanctified me. It was great!
The last day of one crusade is another milestone in my life. When our church building was full, our leaders would ask us to go to our homes and bring more chairs. My aunt asked me to go home and get a chair, but I was not pleased. We young people did not even want to come out of the church, because we wanted to hear everything, see everything, and experience everything.
The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, “Don’t you remember what your pastor said? You shouldn’t rebel when your elders speak to you.” The words hit me like a rock, and I felt so ashamed.
Even though I left the church at my aunt’s instruction, as I climbed the hill toward the house, inside I was quarreling and complaining. Then the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, “Don’t you remember what your pastor said? You shouldn’t rebel when your elders speak to you.” The words hit me like a rock, and I felt so ashamed. I was amazed that the Spirit was so specific!
I hurried up to the house and picked up the chair. It was made out of iron and there were cushions that could be placed on it. As I was heading back down the hill, the words came to me, “You forgot the cushion.” Then I prayed, “Lord, please send one of my family with the cushion for the chair.” When I looked, someone was running down the hill to give me the cushion. Even though God had answered that prayer, my heart was still sorrowful because of my initially bad attitude. All the way down the hill I was telling God that I was sorry for my prior unwillingness. When I reached the church, everyone was worshipping, but my heart was still sorry for having grieved the Lord.
When the service was over and I was praying at the altar, one of our elder sisters came over and said, “Pray for the Holy Ghost.” Inside I thought, Really? Of course she did not know what had just happened and how the Spirit had corrected me. This caused a struggle in me—I did not want to be disobedient or resistant again, and yet I felt so unworthy. However, God used that to help me reach a place where I just forgot about myself and was really concentrating on what He thought of me. As I continued to pray, I felt the Holy Ghost and I began to speak in a language I had never heard before. My heart was light—I felt as if I was flying. Being filled with the Holy Ghost was one of the best experiences of my life.
That experience gave me boldness. Not long after, the Holy Spirit began to wake me in the night and give me sermons. They were like fire in my soul, so I had to get up and write them down. It was puzzling to me why this happened. But then one day our pastor came to me and said, “You are going to bring a message today.” That is when I started to preach the Gospel, and I used those messages.
Back when I was in school, I had been so frustrated that my father had not cared for me when I was young. One day standing in the school yard, I held up my hand toward God and said, “Lord, please don’t let me be like my father! I want to have a wife, and I want my children to be born in wedlock and us to live together as a family.” It was one of the most sincere prayers I ever prayed.
Life went on and before I finished college, I met my father. Since then we have had a wonderful relationship, which is a blessing that I thank the Lord for. I forgot all about my prayer in the school yard, but God did not. In time, I noticed a young lady in our church, and we developed a friendship. Eventually I asked her to marry me, and our wedding was in 1995. Our first child was born in 1998. My wife was studying to be a nurse, and often I was the one caring for the baby. One day our daughter needed me, and she looked at me and said, “Mommy!” and the Spirit reminded me of my prayer years earlier. He helped me understand that our little girl had been so cared for and comforted as a part of our family that she did not differentiate between her mother and me. God let me see that He had fulfilled my school yard request. Later, we had a second daughter and the same thing happened again. It was a major milestone in my life illustrating that God had heard and answered my prayer.
God is so faithful to direct us when we want to follow Him. While I was still young, my mother would send me to a dental lab after school, and in time, I became an apprentice. When I left school, my full-time training was to become a dental technician. I worked between different labs for a while. Then my uncle, who was like a father to me, said, “Why don’t you open a business for yourself? You have what dentists want.” I had fears about this, but with his encouragement I decided to try. There were many hills and valleys and some hard times. But the business fed us, and we give God thanks! And now I own a dental lab in Kingston.
God helped me understand that He had been taking care of us all that time. He had protected us from sickness in the time when He knew that we didn’t have the first cent to go to a doctor. The car had not broken down. There had been no other major expenses.
One time when work was slow and we had little money, I was complaining about it. At home in our kitchen, I said to God, “Lord, what is this? We need some money.” The Spirit spoke to my heart, “Let me ask you a question. In all the time that you have not had any money, have any of your children been sick? Have you been hungry? Have you had an instance when you had to spend a lot of money?” The answer to all those questions was no, and I started to give thanks. God helped me understand that He had been taking care of us all that time. He had protected us from sickness in the time when He knew that we didn’t have the first cent to go to a doctor. The car had not broken down. There had been no other major expenses. This proved to me that we should be thankful in all situations.
The Lord has been so good. Our responsibility in the Gospel is just to be truthful and remain His followers. I never aspired to be a pastor or an overseer; it was never in my thoughts. The only thing that really mattered to me was going to Heaven and doing my best to help others get there too. My whole aim is to be what God wants me to be. My prayer is that He will help me know what to do and to be humble enough to do what He wants.
As a young child, I lived with my grandmother and was taken to a Roman Catholic church. However, sometimes I spent holidays with my half-sister who was eleven years older than me. She attended the Apostolic Faith Church and so I was introduced to the Gospel.
When I was twelve years old, my grandmother passed away, and I went to live with that sister and her siblings and mother. This meant learning a new lifestyle. However, I was not a rebellious child, so the transition was not particularly difficult. We would all get ready and go to church together.
At first, I did not see my need to be saved, but my sister encouraged me to give my heart to God so I could have life eternal. Through her example and instruction and from the teachings at church, I learned that the Bible says we are all “born in sin and shapen in iniquity” so we must pray for forgiveness even though we have not done anything that seems especially bad.
When God sanctified me, I felt a sacred peace in my spirit. I felt so clean that it was as though I had never sinned before.
During my high school years, I decided to give God my heart and to serve Him, and He saved my soul. Our leaders taught us that after we were saved, we needed to pray to be sanctified, and we prayed and fasted and tarried. The brothers and sisters in the church encouraged us to live a spiritual life. All that helped, and when God sanctified me, I felt a sacred peace in my spirit. I felt so clean that it was as though I had never sinned before. That experience brought more discipline to my life. It caused me to want to be more on God’s side than on the world’s side regarding my actions, my attire, every area of my life.
We were also encouraged to pray for the baptism of the Holy Ghost because that experience gives power for service and a closer connection with God. I received my baptism at a convention in our headquarters church in Jamaica. It was a wonderful experience!
In the workplace, I’ve been told, “When I become a Christian, I want to be like you.” In my heart I say, “Thank You, Jesus. You are working in my life.”
After being filled with the Holy Ghost, there is not the fear of witnessing to others or of being called a Christian. At times when I was walking along the road, someone would say to me, “Are you a Christian?” Sometimes I asked, “Why?” and the person commented on something like my mannerisms. In the workplace, I’ve been told, “When I become a Christian, I want to be like you.” In my heart I say, “Thank You, Jesus. You are working in my life.”
Many times I have seen that God really works for us if we trust Him. After my husband and I were married and had our first daughter, I applied for nursing school and was waiting to be called. A way opened for our daughter to attend a school for small children, and then I received word that my own schooling would begin soon. Before we even needed to ask, God had provided for our daughter’s care while I obtained my education.
I was able to study midwifery and have been working in that field for a number of years. Even though I am trained, I do not do this on my own. Before every delivery, I pray for God to help and give a safe delivery.
After finishing the nursing course and working for a while, I was able to study midwifery and have been working in that field for a number of years. Even though I am trained, I do not do this on my own. Before every delivery, I pray for God to help and give a safe delivery. As I walk through the hospital gate to go to work, I say, “Thank You, Jesus, for journey mercy. Please be with me tonight and help me make the right decisions. Guide my hands, my mouth, my feet.” Thank God, He has always helped me.
Just recently God proved Himself to us again. Our older daughter is ready to go to university. But for a couple of years, I have been working at night and going to school during the day to earn an additional degree. However, our family cannot afford to have both of us in the university at the same time. Someone told me that if I made the proper application, a portion of the educational costs would be refunded to me, but the process could take quite a bit of time. After the paperwork had been completed and submitted, I asked whom I should contact about the payment. The lady there said, “We have not paid any of these for a year.” I said, “Fine, I know it takes a while, but I just want to know whom to speak to when I call.” She asked for my name and number and said she would check the system. After checking she said, “You know, it has been paid.” My refund was given in time to pay for our daughter’s school fees! I was not sure how we would pay for her, but God has provided.
God is so good. These experiences teach me to trust Him more. I never want to have the thought that I can manage by myself, that I earn my pay and pay my bills and take care of myself. No, at all times I want the Lord to direct my paths. In everything that I do, may the Lord be foremost in it.