Hairstylist's mission to become a minister
Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Imagine spending all your formative years moving around in several unsettling conditions and jobs, taking up motherly duties to siblings at a tender age, forgetting about enjoyment and just focusing on ways and means of surviving. Sounds difficult, right?
Angella Wallace endured this reality until she heeded the call and settled in the Lord.
"My childhood was hard! My mother was a single parent and, as the eldest child, I had to assume the motherly role. I really didn't get time for extra-curricular activities, and I didn't experience childhood the way I thought I would. But it prepared me," said Wallace.
Her aspiration was to become a counsellor, and her encounters with her siblings gave her the experience she needed. But that dream seem far-fetched as she sought to find ways to earn an income.
"I've always liked helping people with their troubles. It gave me a sense of satisfaction, but I knew at the time I couldn't pursue any studies. I needed to start making money, so I did several jobs to offset the cost of living," said Wallace.
As time progressed, Wallace had a child of her own, and with her responsibilities piling up, she decided to be realistic and do what she thought needed to be done.
"I went to cosmetology school and did a course. I have a love for it (cosmetology), but I have an even greater love for counselling, and that shows because I meet so many people while at the salon, and even if they don't come for the services, they come just to have a talk. And I just feel that everything I went through in life happened for a reason."
Wallace grew up in the Christian faith, with her father's relatives passing down the doctrines. But as God-fearing as she was, she drifted from the church and her main focus was not to attend church.
"I didn't live vicariously, because I wasn't promiscuous, and I wasn't a partygoer, but I was still not in the church and the word as I knew I should be."
It wasn't until after Wallace's daughter took sick and her family came under a "spiritual attack" that she felt the Lord's call on her life needed to be answered.
"I fasted and prayed frequently and I secured a renewed relationship with God after my daughter got terribly ill and my life felt as though it was hanging in the balance. I believe that sometimes some things happen and we question it, not knowing that it will take us to higher heights. And that's exactly what happened to me."
Wallace made a firm step in faith when she got baptised, a move she has never looked back from and one which has changed her life.
"People saw the changes in my daughter, the miraculous work of God, and started coming to me for help. They wanted me to pray for them and I did. I joined a prayer band, and I remember six months we prayed intensely and God worked for us."
She continued: "My ministry got intense when I met a pastor. My Christian walk was strengthened and my ministry evolved."
Wallace, who had no idea things would take such a turn, has seen her ministry extending to the airwaves with a radio programme she co-hosts, and to several churches in central parishes on the island.
"I believe ministry is slowly taking over my life, it is my calling and I'm yielding to it. My hope is to one day study theology with a minor in counselling."
She lives by the verse: "He that is in me is far greater than he that is in the world".
"This verse, I analyse and take it part by part each day to encourage and empower me when I'm discouraged. I see no other way but God's way."