MY SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
Poseda M. Langley-Perkins
I am the second to last child in a family of four brothers and eleven girls, fifteen (15) children. Though did not grow up with the older siblings and watched the others left home getting married, jobs in the city immigrating and such. By the time I started high school it was just four of us living at home with our parents.
I was brought up in the Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP) from a Christian family. I was involved in church activities, Sunday school, Gleaners Band from a tender age. It was the natural thing to do coming from a Christian home; all my siblings were saved and involved in the church in the district where I grew up in a precious country church called Marlie Hill in South Manchester Jamaica.
Remembering my formative years at home as a child it was morning worship every Sunday before breakfast, my father would ring a bell to wake us up at a certain time for morning worship. My mother was the main moderator and the odd times she would ask one of the older children to lead. We would sing beautiful songs and testify, and pray; it was there that family issues would be addressed and we would all pray the closing prayer. We all had to wait until my mother finished praying for my dad and every single child and their individual issues then we would sing the benediction then we would prepare breakfast and get ready for Sunday school in church.
I deliberately speak of my formative years because I believe this was what kept me as I left home and had to find my own place in the wider society without the close and protected family environment. The famous scripture that come to mind is; “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” Prov. 22:6. This is proven correct in my family as all my siblings are Christians to-date my eldest brother is a Pastor and five of us are licensed ministers and the others key leaders in their respective local churches.
I was twelve-thirteen years old when I publicly accepted Jesus Christ at the Marlie Hill Church of God of Prophecy, Manchester Jamaica and was given the right hand of fellowship after fulfilling the teachings in the Candidate’s class. I was involved in church and very active competing all over the island in the youth department. I can still recall to-date that faithful night it was a Youth Crusade that I went to the altar and consciously gave my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. It was about fourteen (14) young people who started out on the Christian journey we got baptized sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost and were “on fire for the Lord.”
In my Journey I could not have reached this far without the Mentors, Leaders, Godly family and friends who encouraged me, prayed for me and cheered me along.
I could not have made it thus far without them. As I penned my journey I am conscious that some are gone on before me to their reward. I remember and experience mixed emotions but I know they are in the Grandstand cheering me along as the scripture states in Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”.
Currently my employment is within a relatively specialized area within one of the Midland’s largest National Health Service Trusts. Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospitals (SWBH) I possess over two decades of experience working directly and indirectly within the area of Human Resources.
I hold a certificate of Business Studies from the Jamaica School of Business and have undertaken an Accredited Certificate Level course in Peer Counselling and Pastoral Counselling.
I also hold a Diploma in Human Resource Development and I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource and Business Management at the University of Wolverhampton.
I served as Youth Life Team Leader and Youth Leader at a very young age in my local church in Manchester Jamaica. I left home after finishing high school in Manchester to the city of Kingston where I attended and became a member of the Maxfield Avenue COGOP.
I served in the church whilst at Maxfield Avenue as a Gleaner’s Band Leader, Sunday School Teacher, Youth Life Team Leader, Youth Leader and the Counselling Co-ordinator where I would co-ordinate and facilitate Community Groups coming together eg. the women of the men in the Community and the Police looking at topical issues like conflict resolution, suicide among men and neglected children in the community.
I attended and completed the Center for Biblical Leadership Course (CBL) at our school set up at the National Headquarters in Jamaica. I completed the required standard requirements for the certificate then did some extra courses which includes Spiritual Formation 2 and Being the Body of Christ course. After which I was appointed as Youth Life Team Leader and encouraged to build a small group, first ministering to them then setting them forth into Evangelism and Outreach, this period in my life was the epoch that propelled me into Leadership and Ministry. It was a very impacting period in my life as through the power of the Holy Spirit and our stance on taking the scriptures literally, we went into Prison Ministry where until to-date the COGOP in Jamaica Ministers in the Prisons as Superintendents and Chaplaincy. Our church was given a week into a prison of choice to minister during Prison Ministry Week. I have seen hundreds of the incarcerated transformed, saved, baptised in water and in the Holy Spirit, freed from prison physically and spiritually. We ministered in the Hospitals, in the Parks in communities- on the streets and in the homes. I have seen the captives being set free, transformation in Communities the magnitude of such involving and gaining the attention of the Government. The impact has never left me since. I was afterwards appointed as Youth Leader where I served for approximately Eight years before I was appointed as the Local Church Counsellor. Our local church Youth Department received a National Award for impacting Communities.
It was in that period that God blessed me personally, I was then Personal Officer to the Director of Human Resources at the Ministry of Local Government, Youth and Community Development. I was sent for training as a Peer Counsellor which was used as intervention before the Disciplinary Policy was used at work. I studied then for my Diploma in Human Resources Management and was promoted to an Assistant Human Resources Manager. I caught the attention of Cleveland in that period, where we got married 1999. In that period, we were called into Ministry.
We immigrated to the United Kingdom. I joined him in after six months in 2003. God’s purpose was very much on our lives.
We worshiped at the Aberdeen COGOP after one year we got settled I got a job in the National Health Services, Cleve was teaching, we bought our house through God’s Divine favour and calling on our lives, we continued ministering. I was appointed to serve as Evangelism, Outreach and Missions alongside Cleveland where we initiate and co-ordinate training of Teams for Prison Ministry, Street Pastors and Community Outreach and a special Missions initiative with WEC International to the unreached in Macedonia.
I was then approached and set forth as a Minister and served in the Aberdeen Street.
Jonathan our son came in 2006 as a sign that God remembers us after seven years of marriage. I had prayed and asked God to give us a child and Jonathan coming to us is a sign that God is a faithful God. Jonathan is a blessing and has enriched our lives immeasurably and I am eternally grateful to God.
He is saved, took the Eunuch baptism at age eight and is a blessing. I love him and thank God for him.
We were then sent to the George Street COGOP where I served as Assistant Pastor with Cleveland. We pastored the congregation then we merged with the Small Heath COGOP where I am still serving the people of God.
To-date I serve on the Pastoral Team and have oversight for the Stewardship Division and some of the Family ministries.
I represent the West Midlands, (Region four) on the National Prayer Team.
As my journey continues, I am persuaded that God is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day. I am deliberate, intentional and purposeful in my prayer so that God’s purpose will be lived out in my life in its fullness. My scripture is taken from Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”.