NCC Staff/Corliss Smithen
Not only did Pastor Josiah share his testimony, but local young people shared powerful testimony of the work of the Holy Spirit in their own lives. Franchel, a seventeen year old boy, shared a moving testimony about his personal challenges and struggle to overcome thoughts of suicide. He described the integral part that open invitations to Pathfinders, Adventist Youth Society, and Advent Pulse (a local drum core created and led by Adventist young people) had in his spiritual journey that led him to form a relationship with Christ and become a baptized member of the Adventist church. This service- oriented young man loves being actively involved in church activities and continues to grow in Christ daily. Sis Benita, an emergency room nurse, also shared her testimony which was focused on how God gave her the strength to overcome insecurity, low self- esteem, and peer pressure as a young person. She shared that during these struggles, she was “in the church, but not with God” and that “the enemy was trying to bully me into silence”. However, she chose not to give up or give in, and to let God fight her battles for her. She shares that in her experience, “God was cleaning me up, piece by piece. God taught me how to love Him, and forgive those who hurt me”.
At the end of the revival series, 3 persons, two young women and one gentleman, made commitments for God and chose to participate in baptism. Sister Belinda, a St. Croix native, said that she didn’t attend the revival throughout the week, but Friday evening she chose to attend the meetings. She said, “God was speaking to me for a long time, make a stand to overcome, get baptized, and He’ll take it from there.” That night, “Something happened, the message was for me. The speaker said if you make up your mind for baptism then to walk with your clothes in the morning. The Spirit of God was talking to me.” During the Sabbath service, Belinda walked to front of the church and made the commitment for rebaptism and renewed her commitment to walk faithfully with God.
Odaysha, a 15 year old young lady, said that she had been invited to the revival and was able to attend most of the meetings. She shared that she really enjoyed the meetings, and was able to understand the messages shared by the speaker. She says, “I learned a lot”. Leaders of the St. Croix Adventist Youth Council also expressed appreciation for the success of the revival and the impact that it had on their spiritual growth. St. Croix Area Coordinator, Jhon Parsons, remarked that, the revival was a “spiritual experience where individuals can see that obedience to God will bring positive results”. Reflecting on the week’s activities, Assistant Area Coordinator, Vernell McSween, said that she hoped that this experience would “revive and motivate the youth to have a deeper connection with God”. Area Coordinator Parsons, also added that, “youths on a whole need not to wait until they are old to start working for God”. As evidenced by the outcome of this week’s activities, being active in God’s work is something that youth can do now and do well.
Although C. E. Josiah was a visiting speaker, he is no stranger to the NCC. He is the youngest son of Pastor John Josiah, a former President of the NCC, and his pleasant wife, Gloria. His parents indicated that although they had heard their son preach before, they had never attended an entire revival series conducted by him. They shared that they were very touched by how “he was able to reach the youth with his testimony and experiences, (and encourage the youth) to hold onto the Lord”. His parents also reflected on their son’s transformation. His father remarked, “(we feel) very humbled when we think that he has mushroomed from a child inclined to following the Lord, to what He is actually doing now at the age he is”. Reflecting on her son’s time prior to full-time ministry, which focused on marketing in the secular arena. His mother remembers telling him, “It’s time to market Jesus”. His parents are very humbled by their son’s acceptance of the call to ministry and the positive contributions that he is making for the cause of God and in the lives of young people.
Area Coordinator Parsons also stated, that if God permitted him to live to be 100 years old, and in his 99th year he developed Alzheimer’s disease, he would not forget the speaker and the spiritual impression that was made on his life. Although Beryl continues to lose strength and the impact of her wind and rain will soon be forgotten, the impact of the spiritual storm created by Adventist young people, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, will continue to be felt on the island. This new lineage of champions will continue to grow a legacy of faith and ministry on the island of St. Croix.