Earlier in 2010 there was a Conference for reconciliation in Eastern Europe that I was invited to attend and teach on flags in worship. Everyone received an “exchange” gift at the end, and mine was a little china pot with a lid marked Trinidad and Tobago. This was funny as I was so far away from that Caribbean Island. I had a passing thought – was I supposed to go there? I immediately let the thought go. One of our sons had spent a summer in Trinidad as part of his university course, for shipbuilder. Since he had been there, I decided he would be the recipient of the little pot. When I gave it to him, I had another moment of questioning if maybe I was supposed to go there. We had several months planned for ministering in Mozambique, a desire to spend some time in England with our new grandbaby, as well as the concern about funding and time; I dismissed the thought yet again. Oh dear, I should know better. Why do things of the world, sensible and practical enter in to obligate us to not walk in God’s kingdom will?
A point came when I returned to my “right mind”, stopped being“sensible”, and realized I needed to go to Trinidad & Tobago in December 2010. Yet, in the natural, it seemed crazy. I would be returning to the US in October with a one week turn around to Cuba, then a three week turnaround to Ecuador finishing in the beginning of December! Ah ha, now I will by faith go on to Trinidad and Tobago to see what the Lord has in store. With one scripture given to me in Mozambique, and then two more, I was encouraged to proceed. I contacted a Pastor friend in Aruba to see if she had a connection. She had a lovely reply, yes; she suggested I make contact with her closer to the date of the trip. However as the date approached, I could not reach her or the senior Pastor that she had planned to introduce me to. Oh well.
I flew into Trinidad with a booking at a small airport hotel. On my entry form I had put “Pastor”. An official asked me if I am seeing a Pastor there? I responded that I don’t know anyone, and I’m given the name of a certain Pastor at “Faith Assembly” – pleasantly surprised at God’s swift answer, I quickly wrote it down on the stub of my airline ticket! The next day I venture to the gas station to get local currency in order to pay for transport and I buy a delicious chocolate/peanut drink. Ifind and get in a taxi with several others! They proceeded to help me to get to a mini bus which goes to the junction where the Church is. The Pastor is away on a mission trip in South America. An older gentleman escorted me to see the church sanctuary. Flags of the nations hang all around the walls. There is a huge map of the world and a smaller one with missionaries, several marked are the Pastor’s own family. He puts on the lights so I can see. Also, there are two hanging banners: The Lion of Judah and the Lord of Lords.
When I leave the sanctuary, the kind man is sitting in his chair, talking to a woman. They tell me their people are doing a Christian Concert at the Mall right then, and will do it again in the afternoon at another venue. He says if I want, I could return later to meet them. I do return later, and the gentleman from before is there - He says the Pastor’s wife is there and he has told her about me. I am invited to travel with her to the outreach site. It is raining, really raining. We sit awhile in the car, waiting for the rain to stop and it does not. We are surrounded by blocks of apartment buildings outside a Mall. We join a whole lot of members of the church on the platform. The platform has a covered roof, but the semicircles of benches are out in the deluge. The electrical equipment is put away and the concert gets going anyway for all those we crowded onto the platform – they couldn’t sit out in the rain. There was a puppet show, a choir, solos, the larger group was too large for the small space, so I didn’t get to see them dance, but I was able to present the Salvation Dance Drama. It has the children really laughing at the beginning – they were nearly wrapped up in the black cloth with me, we were so squeezed up. Kindly, one of the Pastors said it was anointed, and one young girl very seriously talked to me about Christian dance. The concert ended with a “Steel” band, called Pan. This was followed by the giving out of several large brown paper bags of groceries and Christmas gifts to all the children. For this, we had to clear the platform and go and stand on the benches with all our umbrellas. Fortunately, the rain had eased. I had a lovely time, people were very friendly and I chatted with several. They told me the Pastor’s family has eight grown children, and many are serving the Lord in different capacities in the church. Some have just returned from overseas missions, very talented.
Sunday, I attended the main of three services at Faith Assembly at 7:30am! It was great and I was given permission to minister with the flags. I praise God that it blessed some people, who came afterwards to tell me how the Lord had touched them. Worship was with several singers , a good sized band,and they had a “Freedom song” from their 17th Anniversary plus several songs I recognized. One of the sons preached a good message, another led the Praise Team, another was the MC. They had intense prayers, a live web cast, and we all partook in Communion. I was debating whether to stay for the next service, when a song caught me and I stayed! After, we went back to the Pastor’s home, where many members of the family live. I met a little girl baby whose early words consist in shouting “Bravo”. We “waited” for lunch, and it appeared! Some of you will laugh that I was breaking a fast with curry!! Wonder what God was doing.
Before the journey, I was praying over the map of Trinidad and Tobago and there was an area I felt I needed to go to. After church, with two others, we set off to drive round that area. It turned out it included a very poor area which had recently had an outreach and is where the church already serves the community. One of the intercessors in the car was so excited to have company to do all this. She said it was an answer to prayer. We even went to see her home where she wanted some one else to invite her neighbor to come to the church and the neighbor said she will come.
I returned to the hotel to collect my bags and change to a cheaper one down in the main city of Port of Spain. It was fine, but was a tiny room, just a little more room than the bed, but if I opened the shower curtain it was less claustrophic! Hey! A hot shower is great.
I put on my music and praised the Lord. The next day I walked to get the share taxi to central Port of Spain. I walked and walked, pleased that the sun was shining. I prayed all around parliment, schools, an old and new library, and banks. I bought a Trinidad and Tobago flag and some beautiful material; one of red, one of gold with silver threads running through it to make worship flags. I ate my snack in a park. It was very amusing sitting at a stone table with three ladies and a passing salesman.
The archectecture is varied, but photos are difficult to take because of all the electric wires. I wandered further and further until I saw a great shiny building. I thought it might be a stadium. It turned out to be a Cultural Center – all steel curves and glass. It was most splendid. As I circled back, I also saw the red parliment houses. It was now almost dark, and I searched for a taxi back along the main road, but all are full. When it became full dark, a woman approached to ask me where I need to be and to escort me back into town to the place that the taxis start. People were so friendly and helpful. My taxi driver even went off the route with all the other passengers to see me safely to my Guest house front door.
The next day, I returned to the church and enjoyed all the coming and going of the people. I got to admire a little girl about the same age as my new granddaughter in England. With Pastor Roma and another intercessor we drove up a very windy road into the mountains. The view is stunning; it had been raining and steam clouds hang gently above the trees. We go to a small historical place that was a slave plantation that grew coffee and cocoa beans. Later, we cut open a cocoa pod and ate the flesh from around the bean. It was delicious, sweet, and surprisingly had no flavor of chocolate. We prayed for a small church extension of the main church, and saw a few other tiny churches perched amoung the rocks or trees. We prayed for various other issues the area was facing.
I met the senior Pastor who had returned from his overseas missions trip. I was honored when he and his driver kindly took me to the airport at four in the morning to return to the US. The Lord shows me some things about the places I go to, and others I will wait on. It is amazing how he orchestrates divine opportunities through chance conversations with passing people. Who knows what the Lord is doing and how he is ministering his love among us. I read about Paul encouraging the believers, and I know we stand together as the body of Christ throughout the world. The Lord sends a stranger into an area to pray in agreement for strongholds to be broken; for His light and life to shine through. They may not remember “who” , but they will know that God has not forgotten them. God deeply cares about the people in Trinidad and the work he has called his people to do to live the Good News in such a diverse culture.