A spiritual battle- Ackeem Rhoomes fights to walk the straight and narrow path
LENNON HIGH School's fourth form student Ackeem Rhoomes is today thanking God that he made the decision to turn his life over to Him. Growing up, he said he has been surrounded by negative elements, and it would have been very easy to follow in that trend, but he always knew he wanted something different.
Even when he is bullied and turns the other cheek, he has to deal with jeers from some of his peers telling him that "he is a girl". It's even worse when he goes out of his way to be kind to someone.
Rhoomes remembers being told by some people in his community that he would not amount to anything good, but he said his actions and kindness had them changing their tunes and telling him "he should be different" from the rest of influences around him.
He said he felt hopeful when his mother went to church one Sunday and decided to give her life to the Lord.
"She came home and said she was going to be baptised, but my grandfather, who is a Rastafarian, wasn't with it. He told her he worshipped Selassie and she couldn't be in his house and worship 'white eye' Jesus," he related.
Rhoomes said his mother eventually went back to her old ways, but that experience had him doing some introspection.
"It was then I heard a voice as clear as crystal saying: 'You are supposed to make the change, are you ready'?"
"I remember giving a positive response and the voice telling me to start going to church more often and then I should get baptised," he said.
Rhoomes said he obeyed and was eventually baptised six months ago.
fighting to keep focus
Six months into the journey and he is now fighting to keep focus and remain true to his promise. According to him, in the first month of his baptism, he felt like he had taken up a burden he could not manage.
"But I prayed, worshipped, and sought the Lord. The more I sought Him, the more I enjoyed being a Christian," he said.
His grandfather and others in his family are even now encouraging him on the choice he has made - and that, for Rhoomes, is a miracle.
The teen is now having a spiritual battle which he is yet to conquer.
"Before I got saved, I was doing very good in my schoolwork, especially math. Now, my work is not so good anymore. It's like my brain shut off," he said.
Rhoomes said he has been praying a lot about it and he got the revelation that he is getting "a fight from all angles and the devil can't get to me except in school".
He said he is still struggling, but has no intention of giving up. It's not easy though, as he admits that he also has to contend with some of his classmates teasing him about abstaining from sex.
"They keep asking me why did God make it if He doesn't want you to do it. I tell them when the time is right, and then it's more teasing," he said.
A member of the Grace Chapel Assembly in Summerfield, Clarendon, Rhoomes is a member of the youth choir.