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Toriann Ellis walks with God

Published:Thursday | April 7, 2016 | 1:33 PM
PHOTO BY SHANIQUE SAMUELS Toriann Ellis, baptised at age 12.

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

Getting baptised at the tender age of 12 years old, is not the ideal or traditional method of transitioning into the teen years for many young people in Jamaica.

However, Toriann Ellis was brave enough to chart the course as she dared to be different and took that bold step in the right direction. "I decided to get baptised because I didn't want to live the life of a sinner anymore and I wanted to make a change," Ellis told Family and Religion, noting that she completely understood what she was doing at the time. "I was going to church and I was conscious of what was happening and I knew what getting baptised meant," said Ellis.

She said she also felt compelled to move in that direction because she saw the older people getting baptised and thought it must be the right thing to do based on what she was being taught in church.

A member of the Good News Release Centre Church of God in Halse Hall, Clarendon where she is a part of the choir, the 15-year-old said it sometimes gets challenging being a Christian in the teen years because of peer pressure and other 'negative influences' such as the lewd music, less than appropriate fashion and other 'worldly' influences that will have an impact on a young Christian teenager.

"Coping with the negative forces that present themselves daily has a lot to do with your mindset and what you truly believe in. So if you truly believe in God and have your heart set on Him, you will manage to stay the course. Based on what we learn in church, when certain situations present themselves, we are taught to pray and ask God for deliverance and you will get it if you are sincere when you pray."

Ellis attends Bible studies regularly and that has proven to help refocus and reset her frame of mind on the most important thing, which is being steadfast and staying rooted in the faith and focused on God. She conceded that sometimes she gets frustrated and feels like she is missing out on what's happening in the world.

"But as young people, when we gather for youth fellowship we play games and put on movie nights and engage in interesting discussions on youth oriented topics to keep us active in church," she said.