Rosemarie Siewnarine, a participant, writes on possibly the first-ever virtual Life in the Spirit seminar in the Caribbean
Led by Fr Raymond Francis and Trinitarian Presence Missionaries, a Life in the Spirit seminar was held virtually via the Zoom platform from Sunday, October 25 to Sunday, December 13, 2020, at 5 p.m. There were some 150 participants from the USA, England, Canada, Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, and other parts of the Caribbean.
It was a journey for some eight weeks that renewed, touched, healed, filled, exposed, and opened the Life in the Spirit to God’s chosen.
God selected some of the best and anointed people to lead the participants in talks, group sessions and prayer. The weekly group session led participants to identify from the talks each theme and to reflect, share, discuss and journey with the Spirit as things unfolded.
Session one (October 25) commenced with the invitation to find new life in the Spirit and Sister Deborah de Rosia shared on the theme God’s Love (Matt 6:25–36) pointing all not to worry but to trust in God’s love.
Fr Trevor Nathasingh led session two (November 1) on Salvation. In his discourse, he encouraged participants to live their lives in the Spirit and not to embrace the darkness of our society. Jesus brings the message of Good News and we must live this Good News.
The third session (November 8) was led by People of Praise’s Winston Garcia on the theme New Life in Christ. This new life in Christ changes everything about you, your activities, dress, speech, and everything you do, he said. Garcia’s message was passionate and inspirational.
Session four (November 15) was done by Lenora Britto-Joseph on Receiving God’s Gifts. She shared her experiences of God’s graces throughout her life.
Session five by Thora Mootoo was held on Tuesday, November 17. It focused on Repentance and the Occult. This session exposed participants to practices that contribute to exposure to occult and how to seek repentance from God to receive this new life.
Session six (November 22) was truly welcoming as Glenda Augustus, Sherron Remy, Viana Moreau and Fr Raymond Francis led the group into Inner Healing and Reconciliation.
It was truly an outpouring of the Spirit as many felt the touch of Christ’s healing power. After this session participants were encouraged to seek confession in preparation for the baptism of the Spirit.
Session seven (November 29), welcomed the Baptism of the Spirit. Fr Francis, Sister Deborah de Rosia and Janet Chinnia led this session, and it was like the first Pentecost again. On the virtual screens the faces of participants were seen waiting in anticipation with salt, holy water, and lit candles. Chinnia reminded participants of freeing themselves to allow the Spirit to take control as ‘Sister Debbie’ prepared participants for the moment.
We were invited to light candles to remind us that we are light; to bless each other and our spaces with holy water, to taste the salt to know the flavour of our life in the Spirit and to God.
Praises, songs, tears, gifts of tongues, healing, joy, happiness, peace, freedom, wisdom, depth of God’s love and the Holy Spirit were poured out on the people of God. Spiritus est Deus…the Spirit of God came.
Session eight (December 6) dealt with Growth. Fr Mikkel Trestrail in his discourse provided the support needed after the reception of the Spirit. He referenced Matthew 17:1–8, the story of the Transfiguration and pointed participants to find mentors on the journey as we need to develop the gifts we received.
The final session, nine
(December 13), on Transformation was done by Fr Dwight Merrick. He pointed participants to the direction of the working of the Spirit in preparation for God’s call utilising the gifts received.
He mentioned Archbishop Jason Gordon’s answering the call against his struggle of dyslexia, and how the Spirit found a way to bring his call to the priesthood and eventually as an Archbishop.
Fr Merrick also spoke of how he was introverted, and it was only through the Spirit did he get the courage to read out loud and respond to God’s call. “In our weakness, God’s strength is made perfect in us.”
He reminded participants to follow where God leads, give up what we must, face the trials and temptations, and respond to God.
Many testified after about God’s graces and what they encountered in their life. God provided jobs, opportunities, direction on their journey, gifts and so much more.
Fr Francis thanked all involved in making this first virtual seminar a success: Matthew Howell and his family who provided the music ministry; all presenters, group leaders, the St Joseph prayer group, and Eternal Light Community prayer group intercessors.
What an experience! Our God laid His hands upon all in this seminar reminding participants that the God of Isaac, Abraham, Moses, and Elijah is the same God via technology who reached the heart of His people. Thank you, God, for choosing us!