Young Christian in it for the long haul
Tajha Newman, an 11-year-old, grade-five student at Exchange All-Age School in St Ann, has made a big decision quite early in life.
Last year March, while he was still 10 years old, he took the decision and got baptised at the Boscobel Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Today, 14 months later, Tajha is happy he made the decision.
"It is fine," he told Family and Religion when asked about life as a young Christian.
He explained that he took the decision all by himself to get baptised because that is what God wants. He said that there was no particular incident that caused him to turn to Christ.
After he had made up his mind, he told his mother of his decision.
"She asked me if I really want to baptise, and I told her, yes," Tajha explained.
"Well, it was his decision and I didn't try to stop him," his mother, Natalie Dixon, confirmed. "God lead him in the right way and he choose it, so ...
"I feel good. Is me an' him go church," she added.
While she is yet to be baptised, Dixon said she was proud of her son. She also said she believed it was good for people to get baptised at a young age.
"It is good to get baptised at an early age because, at least, they won't lose their way, and even if they go on the wrong track and anything goes wrong, they will remember there is a God and try to go back on the right track."
Newman said he would encourage other young people to get baptised because "it is the right way".
He gave his mother a shock when he spoke of a major change that baptism had brought about in him.
"I've cut out bad words," he said with a grin.
"Yuh used to curse?" Dixon asked sternly. But it all ended in good humour, with both laughing.
Newman also reads his Bible more often these days. The eldest of three children for his mother, he will sit his Grade Six Achievement Test next year and is hopeful that his relatively new-found faith will serve his needs well.
When asked if he will still be in church five years from now, he said:
"Yes. Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right." (Proverbs 20:11)