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Easter – lives transformed

Easter – lives transformed


As a predominantly Christian community we traditionally reflect on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter time. Normally emotionless individuals fight back tears when viewing movies in which nails are driven into Jesus’ hands and he whispers with a bloody face, bearing the most painful expression, “it is finished.”

During this time, many of us will go through our same routine of hot cross buns on Good Friday morning and a plate of fish and ground provision at lunch time as we relax and watch the Crucifixion movie, reciting the words that by now we know by heart. The embodiment of Easter however, is the message of hope and new life that Jesus offered; the promise of a more abundant life.{{more}}

Even though religious debate will continue about who Jesus was, what He did, and whether he is alive among other questions, there are at least two Vincentian men who believe that there is nothing about which to debate.

One is forty-eight-year old Kilburney resident Basil Williams, who is convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that the message of Easter has given him a new lease on life. Williams, the first of five children grew up seeing his father staggering home drunk as far back as he could remember . While others remember their first lesson in bike riding, swimming or playing a sport, Basil distinctly remembers being nineteen years old and sitting with his dad drinking at a neighborhood watering hole.

In short order, Basil was the ringleader of a group of men who made a one-hour pilgrimage to Carriere every Friday and Saturday to drink. “Those guys used to get stone drunk so many times I had to protect them and make sure we got back alright” he stated.

He also found himself in trouble when he started to romance a young lady from Carriere. This did not go down too well with the guys from that village.

“I got myself a gun just in case” he said referring to the 25mm pistol he carried around during that time.

Williams remembered shamelessly blowing all his money on liming and drinking and not saving. “Liming, drinking and woman was my life.”

Then in 1989, after returning from Mayreau where he worked, he fell sick. He visited three doctors but they were unable to tell him what was going on. He recalled the frightening experience of putting on his shoes without socks and fearing the worse. “I thought I was going mad for sure.”

Around that time he heard the voice of Pastor Errol Daniel over the radio, “he said that there was a young man who needed to know God and I knew he was talking to me.” As he made an effort to go to the Streams of Power Church to see if he could reach Pastor Daniel he heard another distinct voice telling him that he had nine days to live. “I just dropped to my knees in the road and prayed to God for his mercy” recalled Williams.

On Old Year’s day, the dreaded ninth day, Williams made peace with God, accepted Jesus as his Saviour and prepared to die.

Fast forward seventeen years and Basil Williams is not dead but rather a happily married man, visiting the hospital sharing the message of salvation and serving as a deacon at the Glad Tidings Tabernacle Church in Gomea.

Then there is the former marijuana addict, Godfred Richards; who could not go through any meaningful task unless he smoked. “I started to smoke since I was seventeen and smoked any time I got.”

Godfred said that he spent his entire salary on marijuana and preferred the drug much more than women. “Once I had my weed nothing else mattered. I even lost a work for leaving to go and smoke.”

Life as he knew it changed some eleven years ago when he woke up and suddenly found his vision diminished. After going through various tests here he was flown to St Lucia where he underwent a head scan to determine what was wrong.

“The doctors said I had a tube blockage in my head that stopped blood from flowing to my left side” Godfred remembered, recalling that the doctors didn’t expect any improvement, if any, for at least a year. “I couldn’t walk or use my left hand.”

It was after this experience that he had his experience with Jesus. He “accepted Christ” at an altar call, after attending the Open Bible Church at Lodge Village at a friend’s insistence.

“Since that day I never smoked in my life again.” exclaimed the still jubilant young man. He still ecstatically remembers being totally healed in three months.

His miraculous change has propelled him to find a sense of self-confidence and now he witnesses to friends, serves as usher in his church and has also served as a Deacon.

And as if saving him, healing him and giving him a new sense of purpose is not enough, Richards has also been blessed with a wife.

“I went on a missionary trip in 2001, reach the Saturday and met this wonderful lady who is now is my wife.” He is now married to his wife Crystal, the former La Brea, Trinidad resident.

“It is God who has made the difference in my life and I advise anyone, no matter where you are at in your life to serve the Lord, he is the only reason for living”

So as you lick the iced cross off your cross buns, wipe the tears from your eyes brought on by the sadness of the crucifixion movie and enjoy the delicious slice of steamed fish, remember Basil Williams and Godfred Richards. For truly if what the Bible says is true, their lives showcase the power of what Jesus did, in what we now celebrate as Easter. Happy Easter!!