Wed | Oct 28, 2020

Akara Goldson: The Lord rescued me – Part I

Published:Sunday | October 18, 2020 | 12:07 AMShanna Monteith - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Akara Goldson speaks of her experience in China during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.
Akara Goldson speaks of her experience in China during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.
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“Fear not, I the Lord am with you’ were the comforting words God said to me on February 2, 2019,” shared Akara Goldson of Islington, St Mary, as she began to recount an experience that took her from her home in Jamaica to a new country and culture.

Having received a full Chinese scholarship to pursue agriculture engineering in China, she packed her bags and left her home country on September 10, 2019.

What began as the perfect opportunity soon transformed into the most terrifying experience of her 24 years of life.

“Life in China before the pandemic was breathtaking. Experiencing a unique culture, visiting interesting sites, meeting new people while exploiting opportunities as they arose. I have been a Christian since I was 12 years old, and so wherever I went, I always put God first in all my endeavours. Hence, though I wasn’t in my home country, I went to church regularly during my tenure there. In December 2019, the coronavirus cases were identified in Wuhan, China, but got more horrifying in January. I was frightened and scared,” so, according to Goldson, she decided to head home since it was her winter holiday.

With an itinerary illustrating that she would have to travel for three days and four flights with stops in Thailand, Russia, and Germany, the young, faithful woman decided it was a risk she was willing to take as God promised to be with her throughout her journey.

‘I am with you My child’

She shared: “The night before my flight, I was worshipping in my room while the Lord spoke to me. I was given the instruction to anoint a bottle of cooking oil I had on my shelf and to wipe it all over my body and my luggage. I was also instructed to read Genesis 28:10-22, which spoke of Jacob’s dream at Bethel. From the moment I exited my room to the point of arriving home, the Spirit of the Lord was with me, speaking to me comforting words such as ‘I am with you My child’, ‘You belong to me’, ‘Nothing by any means will harm you’.”

Goldson admitted that having been inside for over a month, when she finally left her dwelling to head to the airport, everything outside was very different.

“Outside looked quite creepy. Everyone was wearing masks. A lot of people were coughing and sneezing. The environment was chaotic as numerous people flooded the airports. The faces of people looked sick!” she exclaimed, adding that the prayers of her family, church, friends, well-wishers, and the Jamaican community were with her all the way.

Goldson told F amily & Religion that she had made a petition to the Jamaica Government to assist students like herself who wanted to return home – a petition that she said received a very favourable response from many local supporters who sent her comforting words and prayers.

In addition to the encouragement, she shared that her spiritual mentor, Reverend Wendell McKoy, formed a prayer group and interceded all night on her behalf to God for protection and guidance.

Exposed to the Deadly Virus

Goldson shared: “Being in airports and planes, I was greatly exposed to this deadly virus as some of my layovers were long, and the passengers on the planes were sickly as well. I can recall vividly my first flight where an ageing man began coughing the moment he sat beside me until the landing of plane. At that time, we weren’t wearing any masks, but the comforting words of God were my guide. Upon arriving in Germany, my final stop before home, I received a message from a Jamaican colleague, expressing that she hoped that I already went through Russia as they just closed their borders. Oh God! I was elated because it took me almost an hour to receive my border pass in Russia as countries were tightening their border control, especially persons coming from China like myself. Approaching the gate in Germany to board my flight to Jamaica, I observed that a number of persons were standing in a corner, looking confused and upset, but I approached with great confidence. After I gave them my passport, they checked the systems, then reported, ‘I’m sorry ma’am, you can’t board this flight.”

These words, according to Goldson, left her shocked and disoriented.

See Part II in T he Sunday Gleaner next week.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com