From lesbianism to grace...Woman says God delivers her from homosexuality
When Reverend Michelle Smith reaches out to those who seek her help on subjects which many considers taboo, she knows just exactly what it means to be faced in those situations.
A twice-ordained minister, she started the non-profit organisation The Power of Change Outreach International where counselling is offered on sexual brokenness - be it from molestation, abuse, or perversion.
"We minister in the prisons (female juvenile and adult males). I travel overseas to England, Africa, Guyana, and Trinidad & Tobago (my second home as I have dual citizenship there) to preach the message of the Kingdom of God to change and deliver lives from every manifestation of sin," Smith informed Family and Religion on her ministry.
Smith will be the first to share that her driving passion towards these outreach comes from the dragnet of sin that God saved her from.
A former drug lord and lesbian, Smith was the result of a dysfunctional home. According to her, dysfunctional was the norm in her family.
"What was wrong seemed right and there was very little corrective measures and the only time correction was received when I was sent to my aunt as I became 'out of control'".
At age nine, she was abused by an older girl and it was also her introduction to lesbianism.
"Further to that, I was raped at age 13 by an adult male, and at 19 years, I was raped by my sister's husband at the time. From there on, I became a woman who identified with the "lesbian lifestyle" and began practising unashamedly. Due to the experiences of rape, I no longer wanted to be penetrated, so I began acting like a male or as it is known in the homosexual community a butch. I was the male in all my relationships. I was the aggressor. I brought home the bacon," she shared.
Smith started staying away from school, wasting time with friends, missed out on learning to read - all still wanting the good life.
This led to her thinking up schemes to make money to maintain the lifestyle she wanted.
It was that yearning that soon saw her dealing in drugs and used many ways and persons to work for her in the transportation of the drugs.
"I was well known and well respected. This brought me a lot of friends. I was very giving, so getting friends was not an issue. There was always a need to have people around. I equated love with closeness and sex," she said.
According to Smith, over time, she became hardened ... so much so that she could walk into church, request prayer, and walk right back out without an iota of conviction.
Just like Paul on the road to Damascus, God got Smith's attention. She soon found that there was nothing 'gay' about her lesbianism lifestyle which saw her looking for love in all the wrong places.
"I got tired of living a lie, of going around in a circle. I was caught smuggling drugs to England and had a chance, while in prison, to look at my life. I didn't like where I was and began the process of talking to God and seeing the need for change. God met me where I was, and the transformation began."
While in prison, she asked God to make Himself real to her. Although she always heard about Him, she still wasn't sure He was real.
"My deliverance from demonic entity began not long after I was released from prison and staying with my sister-in-law in England. I was home alone when God began to speak to me and removing the bondage from my mind. The most amazing part for me was when God delivered me from 40 demons."
Reaching out, Smith said just as how God was able to deliver her, He can do the same for those who are stuck in a homosexual lifestyle.
"The first step is to be real with yourself, in other words, take your mask off, do some assessment. Are you happy with where you are at? The truth is, we are looking for love and acceptance. Within the "gay" community, there is a false sense of security. Begin to recognise that the problem is spiritual, as we are spiritual beings," this from the woman who has now mastered the art of reading, but has also published her first novel two years ago From Lesbianism To Grace.
Looking ahead, Smith said her vision is to erect a multi-purpose building to facilitate youths including those coming out of prison in order to provide skills training, counselling, and teaching them the Word of God.