Shan­ice find­ing her way back home

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Gareth Davis Sr fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­

Stony Hill, Port­land: WITH THE be­lief that Ja­maica was spared the on­slaught of hur­ri­cane Matthew by God’s in­ter­ven­tion, Shan­ice Richards, a 23-year-old back-slid­ing Sev­enth-Day Ad­ven­tist is con­tem­plat­ing a re­turn to the fold.

Richards, who was bap­tised at age 12, was in a ju­bi­lant mood when speak­ing to Fam­ily & Re­li­gion while heap­ing praise on Je­sus Christ for spar­ing her and other fam­ily mem­bers from Matthew, which is the most pow­er­ful storm to have en­tered the Caribbean since 2007.

“We were spared only through the mer­cies of Je­sus Christ,” com­mented Richards.

She added, “De­spite be­ing a back­slider for 11 years, I have not for­got­ten how to pray. And prayer saved the day for us as Ja­maica is a pray­ing na­tion that be­lieves in the Almighty God. I have had my mo­ments of re­flec­tion and I yearn to re­turn to my Chris­tian life, how­ever, I am hin­dered by not hav­ing a hus­band. I still at­tend church from time to time, but I am hop­ing to do so full time in short or­der.”

Ac­cord­ing to Richards, her de­ci­sion to get bap­tised 11 years ago was as a re­sult of be­ing pres­sured by fam­ily and church mem­bers as clearly, she was not ready then. She, how­ever, noted that when­ever it hap­pens again, it will be for the right rea­son as her heart is now cen­tred on serv­ing the Lord.

And Richards, who also took time out to blast the doubters for hold­ing to the be­lief that the hur­ri­cane was never a se­ri­ous threat to Ja­maica, cau­tioned them to re­think their po­si­tion as it was only God’s pres­ence and sav­ing grace that en­sures our safety daily.

Con­tin­u­ing, Richards said, “God wakes us up each day and keeps us in our right frame of mind. Let us not be un­grate­ful or take things for granted. The great­est act of God in re­cent days is that of the hur­ri­cane, which made a 90 per cent turn at the last minute to travel east of Ja­maica through to south­ern Haiti, a turn which is un­prece­dented.”

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