Ruth Ann Samuels: All the praise belongs to God
MAY PEN, Clarendon:
Ruth-Ann Samuels was raised in a Christian home and had been attending church from a very young age, with her parents, who are Christian leaders - her father a pastor, and mother a minister. She gave her life to Christ willingly at 11 years old because she was inspired by them and found love and excitement within her church.
As a young Christian, Samuels said she has faced many challenges. "The straight and narrow isn't easy; there is peer pressure, college life, relationships, and simply just trying to remain holy. It is a journey and almost a constant battle between the flesh and its worldly desire against the spirit and God's will for your life," she explained to Family and Religion, adding that temptations come left, right and centre.
"There are times I make mistakes because Christians aren't exempted as the enemy constantly tries to destroy our walk and purpose. I get distracted at times, and when distractions come, we are liable to falter, but the important thing is to rise above the challenge and realise that God is working through the midst of our pain, challenges and sufferings," Samuels said, recalling how she overcame the biggest transition of her life yet.
Move from Kingston
"My family and I moved from Kingston, in 2013, where I grew up, and I switched high schools. I was in a new place and it was scary. I lost friends and left my home church. It was a big shift," she said, conceding that she wasn't in a close relationship with God at the time, but prayed for a change because she felt alone. "He brought some amazing persons in my life who saw great potential in me and helped to spark my ministry," she said as she credited her praying family and good spiritual friends for her constant spiritual growth.
Samuels now worships at the Fellowship Tabernacle in Mandeville, Manchester.
She said her God-given gifts were manifested through prayer and ISCF at her new high school.
"My whole life changed because I realised the plans that God had for me. And he started using me in many awesome ways. That was when God was really made real in my life, I started having direct encounters with Him so even though I went through a rough transition at first, God had greater plans for my life."
"The best thing about this journey is the happiness and freedom you feel living for God. There is just an unspeakable joy and love that you get from Him, so you are always ready and excited to share it with everyone one around you," said Samuels.
She is a praise and worship leader who ministers at different churches and schools from time to time. She is also the president of the University and Colleges Christian Fellowship at the Knox Community College in Spaldings, where she uses the opportunity to lead other young Christians and even unsaved to know Christ through fellowship, concerts and Bible sessions.
"The Bible says in 1 John 2:14, 'I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil ones.' I just want to encourage all young people out there to stay strong, to know who you are and whose you are. For young Christians, it may feel hard to walk this journey, the pleasures of the world seem enticing and there is a constant battle between our flesh and our spirit. But God has given us His grace and power to overcome any obstacle and situation. Most importantly, learn to listen to his voice, talk to Him and build an intimate relationship with Him."