‘De­light in the Lord’

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Shanique Samuels Gleaner Writer

“The best thing about this jour­ney is that I have true joy and I don’t live a life of guilt. I can lift my hands with­out feel­ing con­demned be­cause I know I have been cleansed by the blood of Je­sus Christ. My past is my past, and I know that great things are in store for my fu­ture, and know­ing the love of God makes all the dif­fer­ence,” he said.

Man­ning is the prayer and evan­ge­lism co­or­di­na­tor for his lo­cal youth fel­low­ship at the Bethesda Gospel Hall on Han­bury Road in Man­dev­ille. He also en­joys be­ing around young peo­ple and min­is­ters to others through his so­cial me­dia pages with texts and videos.

“I just want to tell other young peo­ple that Je­sus loves them. De­spite their flaws and im­per­fec­tions, they are loved. You can spend all your life try­ing to be ac­cepted by every­one else and still come up short. Peo­ple will al­ways have some­thing to say, but you must know who you are and un­der­stand that God is able to turn your mess into a mes­sage.

“There is a dif­fer­ence be­tween know­ing church and know­ing God. Many have fallen into a trap of just do­ing what seems to be right but not truly hav­ing a per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with God, but when you know God for your­self, ev­ery­thing changes,” he con­cluded. “De­light thy­self also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the de­sires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

THIS IS a Bi­ble verse that Nor­dia Samuels has proven to be true be­cause she has lived it. “As young peo­ple, there are many de­sires that we have, and that is not a bad thing. What we need to un­der­stand, how­ever, is that the door to our de­sires is not per­ma­nently closed. In fact, we have the key. All we have to do is use this key by de­light­ing our­selves in the Lord. God said he would not with­hold any­thing good from us, so all we have to do is de­light our­selves in Him, trust Him and have faith in Him,” she told Fam­ily and Re­li­gion.

Samuels has been a Chris­tian since she was 12 years old so she has grown in the faith.

FEEL­ING THE PAS­SION

“One Sun­day morn­ing, as was cus­tom­ary at my church – the Full Truth Church of God De­liv­er­ance Cen­tre in Top Al­ston, Claren­don – the chil­dren and young adults were called to the al­tar for prayer. On this par­tic­u­lar morn­ing, one of the church moth­ers was asked to speak to us and then pray for us. That morn­ing, she spoke to us at length, and I could feel the pas­sion pour­ing out of her for us to make Je­sus our choice,” Samuels shared as she de­tailed how she be­came a Chris­tian.

Even though she was young, she felt the need to ac­cept Je­sus Christ as her per­sonal Saviour. “That Sun­day morn­ing, 20 of us got saved. I went through coun­selling with my pas­tor, and in June 2003, I got bap­tised,” she shared.

Since then, Samuels said walk­ing the straight and nar­row path has not been easy, and like the typ­i­cal young Chris­tian, she has faced chal­lenges, the great­est of which has been ad­her­ing to the dress code stip­u­lated by the church.

“Leav­ing teach­ers’ col­lege, I thought I was on the route to in­de­pen­dence, but it seemed I took the wrong route be­cause months later, I was still with­out a job. I got down­hearted and even con­tem­plated choos­ing a dif­fer­ent ca­reer path.”

Af­ter wait­ing some more, she de­cided to vol­un­teer her ser­vice at a school. Later on, she re­ceived a call, one she did not ex­pect, but was some­how an­tic­i­pat­ing. “A friend I had not heard from in months told me that a va­cancy was at a school in May Pen. It was the first time I was hear­ing of this school and I had no idea how to find it, but I de­cided I was go­ing to take up the of­fer,” she told to Fam­ily and Re­li­gion.

Samuels said she is now four years into a job that was sup­posed to be tem­po­rary.

The best thing about this jour­ney is know­ing that God has my back and all I need to do is live for Him.

Samuels was a youth evan­ge­list, youth choir di­rec­tor, and the praise and wor­ship team leader at the Full Truth Church of God De­liv­er­ance Cen­tre in Top Al­ston. How­ever, she now wor­ships at the Faith Gen­eral Bap­tist Church on Jack­son Street in May Pen af­ter mi­grat­ing from her home com­mu­nity a few months ago.

“To my un­saved friends, re­mem­ber that you are not promised to­mor­row. You are not even promised the next sec­ond, so ac­cept Je­sus to­day. Your re­mem­brances or eu­logy will not be enough to get you into Heaven, so I am im­plor­ing you to live this life so that you can live again in par­adise,” she con­cluded.

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