View Full Version : with love from Dominica
I'm in Dominica, which is in the West Indies, sandwiched between two French possessions. I'm a teacher in a prep school that is part of an offshore medical university. But that is a cover-up for the real reason why I'm here. I discovered after moving here that God wanted my attention, thus an isolated place away from my community. Now, He is encouraging me to return to a childhood commitment and serve Him. That means ministry.
Now, after teaching for 25 years, I'm experiencing a paradigm shift. It's all good. I mean, the vision God has for our community (GLBT) is awesome. I believe He is raising up many all over the world. (Look at this website as one example.) Sometimes it looks fairly bleak out there, but I also see this as a time when God is moving amongst our people. (We're his people too.)
Where to begin? The massive pain that has been inflicted on us for years has had its negative effects. I've a heart for our youth, many of whom are living too much of their lives without the security of a home or the full understanding of a loving God. There is so much more, and I certainly have experienced it all myself: fears, addictions, dysfunctional relationships. Do I even start on the genocide that is encouraged by the religious leaders fanning the flames of hatred? I can honestly say, however, that God does work things together for good, and I'm believing this for more than just myself.
Anyway, it seems like I'm preaching, but if so, it's probably the classic case of 'preaching to the choir.'
So, I'm trusting God to put me in the right place and that in 6 months! Meanwhile, I'm enjoying life in this tropical "wilderness." It's a beautiful country, not openly gay-friendly and very hard on Dominicans who even appear to be 'different.' I've often thought I moved from Gay Heaven (Santa Fe) to gay hell. Then, again, I read about other places in the world and realize it seems to be all relative.
I do not take my life for granted, and I certainly recognize the blessing of God on my life. I encourage you to pray for the moving of God in the communities where you live. Imagine the Gay community rising above the din to lead the nations for God! If we don't hope for a positive change, who will?
02-21-2006, 12:22 PM
Hi Cris, great to have you here as part of the forums. I absolutely agree with you, that we have to keep the hope alive that we can make the changes that are needed, for ourselves and all the rest of us! We can be shaken, and caught off guard, but we cannot be moved, especially with God on our side. It is amazing to me at times how so many persons can have a love and awe for the same God, for Jesus Christ, but that those same persons can perceive what God wants for us and how he loves us in so many different ways. The only way that I can imagine God in my life is as a loving, powerful force, that guides me every day, and helps me to feel not so alone, and loved and appreciated for who I am. I try to live a good life and I know God sees all that. Anyway, welcome and enjoy the dialogue, I have learned a lot and gotten a lot of support along the way. PEACE, :love: :pray: Vanessa
02-21-2006, 12:31 PM
Hello Cris. Welcome!
Santa Fe - I visited there for a few days once, and totally loved it! I wanted to stay!! I have no familiarity whatsoever with the area you are in now. Tell us more when you have the time.
02-23-2006, 12:29 AM
I sit here tonight wondering just exactly what is God doing? I agree that now is the time for us to be counted. I've lived so long in the background, doing what I could silently. I've been so relieved to find others out there like myself, those who know God and love God and who also know who they are.
Where will this all lead? I don't know, I just know I must follow.
I'm the pastor of a UMC church in a rural area. I believe I'm here for a reason.
God bless you Cris,
On the journey together,
02-23-2006, 12:32 AM
Welcome, Vern. I hope you will feel at home here.
Arkansas? I spent a short time there (a summer) and didn't find myself feeling psychologically comfortable. Felt like I was too queer for Arkansas, if that makes any sense.
Glad to have you!
02-23-2006, 12:42 AM
Frankly, I'm feeling a bit vulnerable. I've been in NWA for over 10 years, I've pastored for about half of that time. You know, it is much easier to hide....but it gets a bit lonely. My life is a bit complicated (who's isn't?). I've just come to a point where I must communicate, I have to come to some sort of resolution. Anyway, I'll be "listening", and thanks for the welcome. Vern
02-23-2006, 10:37 PM
Understandable! Glad you found us. Listen all ya want, and you can always jump in when/if you want to.
Wishing you all the best. Peace to you.
Well, it's 3 a.m., and I can't sleep. So, I thought I'd just check my emails. Been going non-stop with work stuff since I first posted, and boy!girl! was I blessed to see all these posts since I introduced myself. Zerbie, RevVW and Vanessa, thanks! This is just what I needed!
Vanessa, as you see God, so He is! Not just a philosophy. He promises us so much as HIS CHILDREN! I'm glad you have been supported.
To Zerbie: Yes, Santa Fe is cool. I loved living there, but what I miss is my closest and dearest friends. Nevertheless, I'm here now, in Dominica. It's a small island (only 70K people) sandwiched between the two main French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles or West Indies. It's very green and quite lush...we get a lot of rain, but it isn't like it's always cloudy. Sun, rain, sun, rain...and we're coming into a dry season. It's also strongly religious (70% Catholic) and people generally have very fixed ideas about things, such as gays, but it isn't always as hostile as it seems. We just had a "gay" cruise ship dock the other day. Gets front-page news and flack from religious quarters. The gov't was pushed to make a policy, and some of the leaders said it is absurd to make a policy towards gay tourists, who may be on any cruise ship, as if there can be a policy singling out any particular group of people. With some it's all about the mighty dollar, but I guess it starts somewhere. Maybe more people will figure out we're not 3-headed monsters after all! What is sad is those few who've been 'brave' enough in some way to come out to me. Whew! Talk about scared! Majority of LGBT do the safe thing and marry for appearance's sake. Of course that isn't unheard of anywhere, is it?
RevVW: I always feel sad to read about someone else's loneliness. I'm not sure if it helps you to read this, but I believe God uses those lonely times to draw us closer to Him. I also had a long "silence" period in my life but I went through a time of change when I no longer could keep quiet. There is a right timing for each of us. Can you be out to anyone there who can be trusted to just be a friend? Arkansas is kind of like Dominica where it is beautiful country, people are friendly, but rigid ideology and everybody knowing everybody's business can be oppressive. On the flip side, I praise God that you are a minister. I really and truly believe, and this 'revelation' becomes stronger to me as time goes on, AND as I grow closer in my understanding relationship with God, that we are special. When I say "we" I mean GL folks. It's like God has created us specially for Him, unique and purposed, and the enemy tries to thwart this with lies that make us seem the opposite. Can anyone relate to that?
Okay, maybe 3 in the morning is a good time for me to write (Heaven Forbid!) or perhaps I'm rambling. I just hope you all are blessed and that you can see for yourselves and claim God's promises of who we are...children, heirs, blood-bought, loved, called, chosen, alive...
02-24-2006, 08:38 AM
Cris: I think that your writing at 3 AM sounds pretty profound and inspired. Thanks for your encouraging words. I never thought of us being especially created by God for our uniqueness, but I love the sound of that. I mean, I know we are all created in his image, but unique unto ourselves, but I have always thought that God loves me for who I am, but then again, he created me to be who I am, so that makes total sense. Believe it or not, I never really thought of it from the "creation" perspective, in that he created me to have a gay orientation. I guess I just always thought about the fact that he would love me as a person. But, I love the idea that part of my created uniqueness, is thanks to Him! My partner and our daughter belong to a UMC church here in a small town in PA. We never directly came out to our pastor, but we have made no attempts to hide the fact that we are a complete family unit. And, our pastor (female) has embraced us so warmly, and the other members of the church family, ranging in age from 3 to 80 or more, have been a blessing. We are all grateful to have found this congregation, or have it find us, because we were quite disillusioned with the Catholic church, which we were both raised in. Soulforce has been a literal Godsend for me, to have some deep dialogue and to speak with others about how we fit in, and how to be peaceful without and within. Welcome again, and look for us all on the Main forums as well. Peace, Vanessa:love:
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