LOVE ON THE MISSION-FIELD. Watch this 1 minute Clip!
In My Chambers: Before we go into the exciting details about how you met your husband can you tell us how you came to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
Kenisha: I grew up knowing about Christ; went to church always; but it was just that- no friendship! I knew about Jesus but I didn’t know HIM personally. It was not until I was 24 that I realized that Jesus truly desired to have a close friendship with me. After a five year relationship ended badly (being young I thought that he was the man I would eventually marry), I was in search for answers. At this time of searching, I was invited to an Alpha course (Christianity 101) that was held at my church and on December 6th, 2000 I started my LOVE relationship with my LORD. A relationship that I have no plans of ever walking away from. He became the LOVE of my life.
In My Chambers: Hallelujah!! Tell me, what were the deciding factors that brought you to making such a life-transforming decision?
Kenisha: I had done the world thing and still always felt empty – so unfulfilled. I knew something was missing. Even though I always went to church I never gave God my all. And it was then GOD asked me to give HIM my all. “Don’t try being a Christian start being my friend,” HE said. Every time I tried to plan my life it just didn’t work out the way I planned. It was disappointment after disappointment – especially when it came to relationships – I was putting my TRUST in the wrong places / persons!
In My Chambers: How was single life before and after Christ?
Before Christ: Broken dreams, broken promises, unmet expectation! I would always sell my self short – wanting desperately to be treated like a queen but had no idea who I was. Expecting relationships to fill the void I was experiencing.
After Christ: Well in the beginning I tried really hard to enjoy being single but I kept looking for a relationship. I was programmed to believe that I was lacking something if I was not in a relationship. I served at church but I was always wondering who was my husband. The process of me enjoying being single was a little slow and painful. Attempted a couple relationship with no success.
In My Chambers: Wow, thank you for your transparency Kenisha! Did you change the way you went about dating after accepting Christ? If so, how?
Kenisha: Yes…but NOT the way God wanted. I said to myself I did not have successful relationships before because the men were not Christian. So I thought if I started dating Christian men I would have better success. NOT TRUE. My entire mind set about how I saw myself and men had to be changed (can I be honest this process still continues even though I am married).
In My Chambers: In my book Single, Ready & Waiting I dedicated an entire chapter to describing “9 Types of Men/Women You Should Think Twice About Courting” Did you have an idea of the type of man you wanted to marry?
Kenisha: I think it was back in 2002 I was attending a bible study at a friend’s home (you know Jason Mac Donald)…and another friend asked the young women in the group if they had to choose a husband from the Bible who would it be? Well, most of us(maybe all) said JESUS! He called us out and said that was not true – Jesus was always serving, not at home much etc…
This conversation caused me to think even more about my answer and I left with that question on my MIND and in my HEART. Who in the BIBLE would I want to marry?. I started to question God and really search out the BIBLE for my husband. I first thought David and quickly said NO!!! After a few months, God opened my spirit to Joseph (old Testament: THE DREAMER). I did an extensive study on him. I then wrote down all the qualities I liked about Joseph. I typed out a list of his characteristic and the scripture references and study it over and over. I read about Joseph so much. I believe this was the season I stopped focusing on myself and started focusing on serving JESUS. I just couldn’t get enough of JESUS.
In My Chambers: I love that!! Searching the scriptures to find the qualities that you like! SRW this information is VERY HELPFUL especially if you’re in the process of creating a MATE LIST.
In My Chambers: So now that you couldn’t get enough of Jesus:) How did you manage to keep yourself busy in your single season?.
Kenisha: It was during this wonderful season God led me to serve young people in a community in Scarborough (Bible study for young people/mentorship etc…). At this program I met Ishani (Ramalingam at that time). My time was occupied with serving others (at church, the outreach community). And I loved IT!!!!! I wanted to be at every Bible study at Rhema, every prayer meetings on Thursday, etc… Most of my free time was spent serving the LORD – and it was fun. I was finally getting to know who I AM – who God created me to be – the discovery was fun and shocking – discovering myself meant discovering Jesus,.
In My Chambers: Then you met your husband. Can you tell us how this happened?
Kenisha: WOW!!! How did I met my “JOSEPH?” I tell you God plans are so much better than ours. While serving with Ishani in Scarborough she visited the Dominican Republic (BARAHONA) to work with Pastor Paulino (she had a vision while on vacation in the Dominican a year before, about serving a community of impoverish children with JESUS -she then looked up orphanages in the Dominican and she saw a link about Pastor Paulino in BARAHONA (a remote part of Dominican). Making this short…the next year she invited myself and another friend Sharma to help her on a trip to the Dominican. One month before my first trip to the Dominican God spoke to me clearly through a poem about serving in the Dominican. When I got there – I knew this was MY HOME. Merquisedec (Mecky) my husband is the son of the late Pastor Paulino (our host while in the Dominican and the founder of the project we went to work with).
In My Chambers: When you met Mecky did you have a strong sense that he was going to be your husband?
Kenisha: He said he knew the minute he saw me that I was his wife. For me it was not that sudden. My first trip to the Dominican was August 21, 2003 and then my second trip was December of the same year. It was during this trip that Mecky visited the Project site (working with the children in La Montanita) that day it was as if everyone else was always in the background, It was as if a switch was turned on, I started to notice HIM! I mean really notice him – I turned around at one moment and looked at Mecky and heard God clearly say that he is your husband! It scared me so much.
Here I was truly enjoying being single – finally content with being single, having fun serving – not thinking about my needs/wants. But wanting to do what God wanted me to do. I thought this was a distraction from the devil so I dismissed it. However, Mecky started to really let his feelings be known and the feeling was mutual but I was pushing them down (trying). So we started to seek God about us. We prayed, we fasted, and prayed and fasted some more. It was difficult for us because his father was not in support of our relationship ( I did not fit the Christian role he was seeking for his son) and my family thought that Mecky was only interested in getting his Visa.
In My Chambers: LOL..truth be told this has been the case for some so I can understand your families concern. But, thank God this was not the case for you!. How did you build a close friendship with the language and distance barriers?
Kenisha: It was difficult yet quite easy – we did not speak the same language but managed to still communicate – we lived in different countries and only saw each other twice a year. But, it was RIGHT!!! Mecky was my JOSEPH!!!!! God revealed that he was my JOSEPH through various confirmation.
In My Chambers: How was he different than any other man you dated in the past?
Kenisha: MECKY honoured me like I was never honoured before. If the sun was shining too much on me he would literally shelter me from the sun with his hand. He was always finding ways to show me how special he thought I was. He always called me REINA (which means queen) and that is exactly how he treated me. I told my cousin Belinda and friends that when Mecky spoke to me I felt like it was God himself talking to me (I don’t mean super spiritual talk – he had so much adoration for me). He saw me at my destiny…(does that make sense) I am still not there but when he looks at me he sees the greatness I am destined to become but, he sees it NOW!!!!
In My Chambers: I totally understand and think this is exactly how we ought to see each other through the eye’s of God. That’s beautiful. Tell me how did Mecky pop the question? And was your wedding day all that you had dreamed it would be?
Kenisha: Good question? There was never a formal proposal. On one of my mission trip to the Dominican we both decided that we wanted to get married that day. So I got my passport and was waiting on him to go to the city hall. He came out and I said that his mom said that we should wait. I was a little sad but we both agreed it was best. I never dreamt of a fancy big wedding – I always told my grandmother that I would elope one day. Eventually we married and our wedding was nothing traditional: my mom and sister came to the Dominican with me – we went to city hall in regular clothes and signed the papers around 3 pm March 14, 2005. Then I put on a very simple wedding dress we took pictures at the beach and then we went to La Montanita and took pictures with the children at the school site – that was my dream come true!!!!! It was a perfect day!! Then we returned to his parents home, had cake, prayed, sang and danced with a few of his friends!!
In My Chambers: Love it! What mattered most you both had. A confirmation from God that you were to be husband and wife and your love for each other. How did you decide where you were going to live, the Dominican or Canada?
Kenisha: This was the easy part for me. I never wanted to return to Canada. I knew back then that the Dominican Republic was my home. My very first Missions trip I struggled getting back on the plane – I wanted to stay from then. The difficulty came with my family. As time passed we decided to put through his paper for Canada so at least he would be able to visit my family and travel. February 21st 2006 I quit my job and moved to the Dominican Republic (not to Barahona- Mecky was working in Punta Cana).
Four months after this move we had to move back to Canada because his sponsorship was finalized and he had to enter Canada by a certain date. We both entered Canada June 3rd, 2006 – I was about two months pregnant with our first son Joseph. We lived in Canada for almost 7 years. We always knew we would return to Dominican some day to continue the work with the project – but it was not until August 2012 that our move to the Dominican was expedited with the sudden passing of Mecky’s dad. Six months later our entire apartment was packed and shipped to Barahona to start our new life serving the community of La Montanita and Palmarito.
Today, we are happily married with three wonderful boys and working as missionaries in the Dominican.
In My Chambers: That is beautiful Kenisha! The “re-locating talk” can be a difficult one to have, happy to know that both of your hearts were open. How did you know that God was calling you to the mission field? Was this a desire of yours?
Kenisha: God told me through a poem I wrote July 27th 2003 – He said that all my treasures are stored up in Him and there was a world waiting…crying out to be set free from the fallen one. I had to stop living for me and start a life of servant hood, and this is where we are today. Not always easy but always fruitful – He continues to give us the GRACE we need to accomplish the assignment He has entrusted to us.
In My Chambers: What advice do you have for the single woman in waiting?
Kenisha: Your season of being single is a great time where you can move beyond being just a tool used by GOD to being a friend that He empowers. God has your best interest in mind – remember he created you, He knows you…Get to know Him more intimately without other motives – desire a heart that desires a true friendship with Him. The blessings that follows are a mandatory overflow of His GOODNESS! It is like jumping into a pool for a swim: expect to get wet!
In My Chambers: Finally, how are you changing and effecting lives in Barahona? And how can we help?
Kenisha: Simply stated we are feeding hungry souls with the WORD and LOVE of God, we are feeding hungry children two nutritious meals Monday to Friday and one meal on Saturdays, and we are empowering communities, one child at a time, one young person at a time, one adult at a time… to fulfill their GOD given destiny through discovery of who they are in CHRIST – THE VERY RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD WITH THE RIGHT TO ETERNAL LIFE, RIGHT TO HEALING AND DIVINE HEALTH, RIGHT TO WEALTH, RIGHT TO FREEDOM – THE RIGHT TO AN ABUNDANT LIFE THROUGH THE FREE GIFT OF GRACE!!!!!
How can others help?
1. Pray for us as a family that we will be strengthened and bonded in LOVE together (marriage and family life as missionaries is constantly under attack from the enemy). Our boys names are Joseph, Micaias and Jeremiah – please constantly cover them with the BLOOD of Jesus!
2. Pray that we will continue to put our personal relationship with Christ as our number one priority (in an area with so much need it is easy to get caught up in serving that we can forget the most important part of being called to serve: communing with Jesus more and more each day – deeper intimacy with God).
3. Pray for Barahona: that this city will be won for CHRIST: that every stronghold will be broken! It is our mandate from the LORD to see Barahona TRANSFORMED by the GRACE OF GOD!
4. Partner with us financially, we all have a role: pray and seek God if your role involves financially supporting the work we are doing here.
5. Consider joining us on the field for a short-term missions trip.
In My Chambers: Thank you so much Kenisha for sharing your heart, your love story and your God-given assignment with us. In the book of Proverbs, Chapter 31: 10 it says “who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. I believe that we’ve met this kind of woman today! May God continue to bless you and your family as you change and effect many lives for His glory!
©This has been another In My Chambers Blog Interview!