ROBERT FOSTER DOES IT ALL

Jamaica Gleaner - - FEATURE -

HE HAS been the man­ager for the Vic­to­ria Mu­tual Build­ing So­ci­ety (VMBS) Man­dev­ille branch for quite some time, but more im­por­tant, he has been faith­fully lead­ing the peo­ple of God for the past eight years.

“I didn’t know I would be a pas­tor. I had the con­vic­tion, but af­ter the ex­cite­ment and look­ing at all the things that would be re­quired of me, I started back­ing away be­cause I thought I couldn’t man­age,” Robert Foster stated.

Foster backed away to the point where he ended up in whole dif­fer­ent area.

“I have al­ways been in church. I preached as a teen and that is where I re­alised the real call­ing on my life to be­come a pas­tor. I even started my the­o­log­i­cal stud­ies, but then I di­verted to busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion,” he re­vealed.

From camp vis­its when he found that peo­ple were drawn to his per­son­al­ity, and looked to him for ad­vice, Foster took on the name ‘Pas­tor’, con­tin­u­ing to live an ex­em­plary life, even af­ter putting the­o­log­i­cal stud­ies aside.

“I ended up fin­ish­ing my busi­ness de­gree at the Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy (UTech), and shortly af­ter, re­sum­ing my the­o­log­i­cal stud­ies at the Bethel Bi­ble Col­lege.”

Now a bank man­ager, minister of re­li­gion, hus­band and fa­ther, Foster said it is im­por­tant to sched­ule time and ad­e­quately give each of his roles the at­ten­tion it de­sires.

“Ev­ery day is busy for me. Some morn­ings, I take the kids to school, then come to work. I sched­ule my church of­fice hours in the evenings or on week­ends. Mon­days are strictly for fam­ily and when there are emer­gency sit­u­a­tions, I fit them in as best I can.”

Foster said he can’t see him­self re­nounc­ing any of his roles as he loves them equally.

“For me, do­ing min­istry is see­ing peo­ple ful­fil their po­ten­tial, de­velop and be­ing cham­pi­ons for their lives.”

The man with many hats said one of the great­est chal­lenge he has seen in churches is that of teenage preg­nancy. How­ever, he will con­tinue help­ing as many peo­ple as he can.

“... There are also problems of bro­ken homes, a lack of fam­ily struc­ture and lit­tle to no qual­i­fi­ca­tions for par­tic­u­lar jobs. The so­cial needs are enor­mous, but you try to make an im­pact with the re­sources you have.” Foster said some days can be­come over­whelm­ing, with a con­gre­ga­tion of needs and the de­mands of the fi­nan­cial sec­tor, but he is thank­ful for his sup­port sys­tem.

“That sup­port sys­tem is crit­i­cal. First, it is your re­la­tion­ship with God be­cause it is the bedrock and an­chor for ev­ery­thing you do. I have a very sup­port­ive wife, and I am guided by the phi­los­o­phy that it is not finding the right partner, but be­ing the right partner. I take care of my wife’s needs and she takes care of mine.” He said he is grounded by his re­la­tion­ship with God and the fact that he can achieve all that God wishes for him to achieve. “Wher­ever I see where I can help peo­ple, and help them de­velop on what they al­ready pos­sess, then that is what I will avail my­self to do­ing. In the words of Miles Mun­roe ... I want to make sure I would have de­posited in all the lives that come be­fore me. I want the church to be an or­gan­i­sa­tion that does what it ought to at all times,” he ended.

Ta­mara Bai­ley/Gleaner Writer

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