“…when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” – Isaiah 43:2-3
Shawn and I have been married for 22 years and have three wonderful children, Christina, Denzel and Alex. We have also been leading the teen ministry of the Bridgetown Church of Christ in Barbados since 2012. Five years ago, God took away every material possession we had but mercifully chose to preserve our lives. Since then, it has truly been a journey of faith.
On Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at about 4:00 am our family was awakened by the screams and shouts of Shawn telling us to get out. Why? The house was on fire! This was just two days before we were due to go to the United States Embassy in Barbados to get our visas, as we were planning a trip to Atlanta, Georgia for Swamp Camp later that month. Amidst the despair and confusion, Shawn stood all of us in the middle of the road that morning and said that we were still going to Georgia. The children thought he was crazy and as much as I was struggling to come to terms with what was happening to our family, through the tears, I knew we had to trust God.
That night our family attended our midweek service at church. Our brothers and sisters were astonished to see us there, but in our minds, there was nowhere else to be. God had taken the house and our belongings, but we were still grateful to be alive and there was nothing else to do but to praise him.
Over the last five years, we have received more than we have lost. We have our new home, we were still able to lead a group of 40 (including teens, preteens and chaperones) to Georgia for Swamp Camp in 2014; we hosted our annual teen camp in the neighboring island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2018; our daughter has made it to her final year at university, and we have touched many hearts and lives with our personal testimony of God’s mercy and faithfulness. Even after the fire, the journey has not been smooth. We have faced unemployment, health issues, marital setbacks and many other challenges associated with this life. But the one thing that remains constant is that God is faithful. Every day we have life we give him thanks and praise, glory and honor, because he has shown us the true meaning of faith and that he truly does meet our needs when we seek him first and all his righteousness. We have seen the scriptures come alive in our lives and so we continue to live with audacious faith.
Watch below for a video cataloging our journey from the day of fire to when we got our new home: