Tonya King seeking to fulfil God’s purpose
Tonya King was not born in Jamaica, but throughout her life, she got to enjoy the beauty of the island through her parents who hail from Clarendon.
She recalled looking forward to the yearly trek to vacation in Jamaica where she got to bond with relatives and neighbours she came in contact with.
When her father Azariah died in 2007, King said it shook her to the core, and during the grieving process, she remembered asking God what she could do to deal with the pain she was feeling.
"Then the vision of children came to my thoughts. I saw the bouncy castles, lunch sandwiches, school bags with supplies, and to top it off, a tract in the bag to share the gospel of God's love for all," said King on the catalyst that started her outreach.
King said when she flew to Jamaica in 2011, she had CAN$30 and $1,000 dollars in her name to carry out the mission. She was acting on faith and that paid off, as when she told her uncle about it, he worked with her to make her dream a reality.
Fast-track to 2018 and its six missions under her belt with the outreach impacting more than 1,000 children, with them being treated and receiving backpacks and school supplies. Her outreach has taken her to Pennants, Spanish Town, Free Town and Rosewell.
King said this year will be her last outreach in Jamaica unless she is led to continue, otherwise, she feels the time has come to focus on the land of her birth, Canada, where her outreach is concerned.
"The Lord pushes me to be me. The real me is caring and kind and hates to see people who have greatness in them living like nobody, when God created us to be somebody," she said on what drives her to do what she does.
Her relationship with Jamaica, she said, does not come without its heartbreaking moments. The lack of empathy from fellow Jamaicans abroad whom she said "put Jamaicans in a box" is her main pet peeve.
"Dem lazy and don't want to work," they said. "Sometimes this is true, but most times it is not. I would love to see more churches showing the love of God. We have the light of Christ in us and we need to let it shine. The world is hurting and very dark, and the world needs to experience God's love for true believers," she said.
But for all the bad moments, King said the rewards far outnumber them, seeing the smiles on the faces of shut-ins when she gifts them with clothes and food items.
One experience that still stands out in her mind is visiting the May Pen Infirmary in 2012 and praying for a patient there.
"I felt like who am I to pray for this sick man? I'm just a little woman. A day later, I got the call that the man was healed and out of his bed moving around, talking etc., after I prayed for him," she said.
King, who is also a singer, songwriter, dancer, and single mother, said she is passionate about living outside of the box of limitations and helping others to break out of limited mindsets to become who they are destined to be.
"My ultimate dream is to fulfil my purpose before I die, while causing positive change in my community, as well as surrounding communities. I know I am here for a purpose to bring light to a dark world, and I must fulfil my purpose as I seek to honour God first," she said.