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Set free to campaign for Jesus

Published:Saturday | April 30, 2016 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell Livingston
Seprina Simpson
Seprina Simpson saving souls for Christ.

CHATEAU, Clarendon:

The first thing you notice when 42-year-old mother of two Seprina Simpson approaches you is her serene demeanour, then that big smile that lights up her face as she greets you.

She makes no secret of the fact that her inner radiance is all due to God who totally transformed her life though she spent years running away from this commitment which she said is totally satisfying now.

It took letting go of an unproductive relationship and going to prison twice, for her eyes to be opened to the fact that the mark of God was on her life.

Simpson, who is now attending Bethel Bible College, training to be pastor, and is a member of the Palmer's Cross New Testament Church of God opened up her life for Family and Religion.

Simpson migrated to England in 2001 and eventually gave her life to the Lord but ended up backsliding to be with the man she loved.

She ended up living in a common-law relationship, but the hand of God was still on her life. She got visions about surrendering and even preaching, but somehow always ended up pleading for more time.

Stuck in the relationship that was not leading to the ultimate commitment, she eventually returned to Jamaica.

In 2003, after even more resistance to surrendering her life, she was held at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston trying to smuggle drugs out of the country.

She was sentenced to 20 months at Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre and there the vision came back for her to surrender.

"I still resisted, saying ah soon come," she shared, wondering now how she could have been so stubborn.

After being released, Simpson took a chance and went to Puerto Rico, still, like Jonah, determined to run from surrendering to God. She was held with fraudulent documents and ended up being imprisoned for a year there.

"I was in the process of working out an asylum there and just like that, everything fell apart," she said.

While there, she had another vision where she was being asked to make an important choice: "Choose whom you will serve this day". It was then she made the promise that when she got out of prison and went back to Jamaica, she would give her life to the Lord and get baptised.

Simpson returned to Jamaica and failed to keep the pledge she made, but in November 2006, she was involved in a motor vehicle crash and almost broke her neck.

"That was the final warning for me, I knew I could not turn my back on the Lord any longer," she said.

Just like Paul on the road to Damascus, Simpson realised she was fighting a futile battle.

In January 2007, she started the year on the right footing in a committed relationship with God.

"It was not easy, though. I had a lot of challenges, the main one being my soul was still tied to the man I was involved with in England," she shared.

Simpson said it took endless hours of fasting and prayer to finally cut those ties.

"That is why it is important not to put anyone before God, because I was so in love with him, I didn't want to let go to hold onto Christ," she said.

It was not an easy road being true to the call as she said she faced a lot of hungry days, no job, but throughout all that, she managed to go back to school and now she is a certified practical nurse.

"I have two sons ages 16 and 22. I am so happy the younger one is baptised and living for Christ and I tell both of them not to envy anyone and to wait until their change comes," she said, adding that she also warned them never to take the path she did.

Born and still living in Chateau, Clarendon, the Garvey Maceo High School past student said she has found her true passion and that is saving souls for Christ and helping the poor.

"It pays to wait and trust God. No matter what, don't seek an illegal way out of your situation. Tell God to stir up the gifts in you. Tell God to give you ideas that you can use to get ahead," is her parting shot.