By Ashley Roberts, GRENADA
I was born at St. Paul’s, Grenada, in the Caribbean. My father, Rupert, a carpenter, and Inez, my mother, had a family of 12 children—six boys and six girls. I am the sixth child. My brothers, sisters and I grew up in a rural area.
Religion was important in our home; we were ardent Anglicans who attended church faithfully.
As a child I was extraordinarily fearful of the dark. In moving about our home, I sometimes thought my heart would fall out for fear. However, I would not let anyone know of my great fear.
One night I looked out through the window and noticed a very strange form that appeared as a miniature person digging in our yard. I screamed uncontrollably with fear and ran for my bed. My mother came to comfort me, but for weeks I harbored greater fear because of that experience.
On another occasion I heard a voice outside the house calling me. After hearing it twice, I opened the door and went outside. At first it appeared as though I had seen a car about 30 metres away from the door, but as I walked on, the car vanished. Like a bolt of lightning, I rushed back into the house trembling all over.
Again, my mother came to comfort me, assuring me that I should not be fearful. She urged me to remain in the house at nights and not to respond to strange voices. But I continued to live in fear at nights. Sometimes I thought I would die from fear of the darkness.
As a child I attended elementary school and then St. George’s Anglican Senior School. After securing a scholarship in 1959, I took my secondary education at the Grenada Boys Secondary School.
I became a teacher of an elementary school. Afterwards, having completed the Teacher’s Certificate in Education approved by the University of the West Indies, I taught Caribbean History and English at a secondary school.
A student invited me to a Crusade at St. Paul’s Pentecostal Church. The guest speaker preached a message of heaven for those who loved Jesus and hell for those who hated Him. This statement meant that someone who did not love the Lord Jesus Christ would burn forever in a lake of fire.
For some reason, I was not afraid of what the preacher said. He continued preaching from the Word, telling us what an eternity of separation from God would mean. Then he asked for people to give their lives over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and to indicate their decisions.
I raised my hand to signify my decision and went forward to where he stood and confessed my sins. I said a prayer to God, “Lord, forgive me for all my sins and wrongdoings. Please, Jesus, enter my heart and save me.” I felt that Jesus had accepted me and I was freed from my sin and the fear that tormented me.
I decided to attend a special Bible study class for new believers. I wanted to continue learning more about the love, mercy and power of our Lord Jesus Christ.
On July 4th, 1976, I was baptized in water. From that time I have been serving Jesus. He encourages me to tell others of His love, His death and resurrection and the blood He shed for our sins. “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mk. 16:15). He also says in His Word that all who call upon His name will be forgiven and will live forever with Him in Heaven. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16).
In 1978 I felt led to attend the West Indies School of Theology in Trinidad. From graduation in 1981 until now I have been a pastor.
The Lord brought into my life a beautiful young lady, Carmen Josep, whom I married in 1982. Carmen and I are co-operating partners in the ministry. The Lord blessed our union with two very fine children: a talented young man, Alvin, now 18, and an ambitious daughter, Avril, 14. The children have both accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and devote their talents to Him.
I labor in the Lord’s work in Grenada as overseer of Prayer and Praise Revival Ministries. My aim is to win many souls for God’s kingdom. I know God is able to fulfill this desire according to His promises. I have taken as my life’s guide the following Scripture: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6).
To anyone who is affected by fear, I would like to encourage you that Jesus Christ is the answer. On receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, all fear vanished from my life. God can do the same for anyone who calls upon Him in faith. The Word of God declares: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The man who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 Jn. 4:18). God promises, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psa. 50:15).
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