Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:20 KJV)
If God spares my life to see 12:01am on July, 4th 2012, I would have safely crossed the 25 year mark in my life and started a new chapter at 26. As I type, I am quite nostalgic as I reminisce on my 25 years of life. Truly it has been 25 years of success, struggles, mistakes, bad decisions and triumphs.
I never focus on struggles, mistakes and bad decisions though. I take their lessons and move on. Why wander in the darkness when you can bask in the sunlight? So, first and foremost, I must give God thanks for His help, guidance, strength, blessings and touch of wisdom He has bestowed on me throughout this first part of my life. To Him Be All The Glory and Praise and Dominion.
I was told that I started attending The Dr. William Connor Primary School at 3 years old and I can confirm that I graduated Valedictorian from The Verchilds High School at 15. From primary right up to secondary school, I was nearly always triumphant in National Competitions that I entered on behalf of my school. I wasn't a sportsman at all. I always preferred essay competitions, poetry competitions, debates, elocution contests and quizzes. Unlike typical students, I was always winning monetary prizes and trophies and being recognized in news articles during my primary and high school years. Having prayed and trusted in GOD, I always kept my HOPES HIGH that I'll be a winner and I usually placed. I was a work-a-holic and ambitious lad then and I still am today.
I actually won my very 1st Bank Account at The St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank when I wrote an imaginative poem titled - National Bank - I Do My Business There. I recited it at Independence Square for one of their big anniversaries. I don't remember which one. I was in Grade 4 or 5 I think. At their prize giving ceremony that same afternoon, they handed me my first Bank Book with EC$200 / US$74.90 and I was one of their first recipients when they launched a STUDENT STORE BENEFIT CARD (Imagine having your own cash in Primary School to do what you want with it). It wasn't me - it was a God-Setup!
God has consistently and constantly provided and worked with me and for me during my 25 years on earth indeed. He has helped and has continued to favour me. Talking about favour, I remember it just like yesterday. I was the youngest debater ever to represent a High School in the Federation of St. Kitts-Nevis in my day as a 2nd Former and I was lead speaker. My colleague was a 5th former. I remember them putting a little stool beneath me so that I would be able to comfortably look over the podium and present.
Among the many debates that I proudly won for my school, one of them still stands out till today. We came up against the Basseterre High School and the lead speaker was a GIANT to me. BHS had their cheering crowd. They were enough to intimidate and scare me. Without exaggerating, their lead speaker was probably two or three times my size as a little 2nd Former or Grade 8 boy. She scared me! Honestly! When the results came back though, my colleague and I had toppled Goliath and her Junior soldier with a landslide victory. I felt good! Forgive me as I write, but I'm just enjoying the last few hours of being 25.
God has always been there fighting my battles indeed!
I can never forget accepting Jesus at 10 years old at Vacation Bible School and going back to school September morning excited to tell my friends. I didn't get the response I expected though. Some laughed and said, "boy half you life gone down the drain. The Christian life boring you know." And they went on to explain. I honestly wondered if I had made the right choice, but I think at 25 years, having been studying God's word, preaching the Gospel at many churches and then walking out of a victimizing situation to found Dare 2 Be Different International - http://www.d2bdifferent/ which is impacting the WORLD, I think accepting Jesus at 10 wasn't a bad decision at all. Do You?
As I type, I just looked to the left on my bookshelf and saw my High School Award Files and browsed through them a bit. Every Award that I see there was ALL GOD PLANNED. You see, I went from 1A1 to 2A1 to 3A1 to 4A1 then was demoted to 5A2. I never let the demotion keep me from working hard. I never let it demotivate me. I always use trials and mistakes as stepping stones.
Hard Work, Faith in God and a spirit of determination always yields success. When the results came back, I was the first person in the history of St. Kitts-Nevis to be selected Valedictorian from an A2 class (according to Education Feedback I received.) I NEVER GAVE UP - SO TOO YOUNG PEOPLE, EVEN WHEN TEACHERS SPITE YOU, VICTIMIZE YOU, HATE YOU AND TRY TO KEEP YOU BACK OR DON'T CHECK UP ON YOUR HOME / PERSONAL SITUATION, but just toss you aside as they did me in 5A2, STILL DON'T GIVE UP!
I was hurting from living in a home being wrecked by adultery. How could I function? Teachers knew it because it was public knowledge across SKN because of the reputable positions my parents held in society. Teachers and School counsellors NEVER ASKED and NEVER checked up on why my CONSTANT CHAIN OF SUCCESS suddenly went SOUTH. No Friend - They Didn't Ask. I guess they didn't care.
I'm happy TODAY, because I'll take this story around the world to show how slack many headteachers, teachers and school counsellors could be at times. (Treat people good, look out for them and be fair to ALL during your life. You just never know what they may write about you or say about you in the future. I'll be more than happy to do a session with teachers/counsellors anywhere in the world once I'm invited. I believe I can lay my head on a block to be crushed and say that I doubt they let youth come into their professional development sessions/workshops and share on situations where they don't perform or where they lack tremendously.)
God used my results to bring slackness to LIGHT - What was a Valedictorian doing coming from an A2 class? Were those who were suppose to be monitoring what was really going on in the lives of students not doing their jobs? But then again, it was all God planned, because when I travel from school to school and youth group to youth group, I have a special motivational message for students who are not in A1s. I show them, from my EXPERIENCE that they CAN ACHIEVE.
When I got home the night of my Graduation, I looked at my awards, I smiled and thanked God for his miraculous delivery and help. To name some of the awards this A2 Valedictorian received at Speech Day 2002:
* The Dr. Joseph Halliday Academic Excellency Award of $500 for Best Performance at the General Proficiency Level
*The Ken Caines Award of $500 for Best Performance in English A
* The Lucia Richardson Prize for Best Performance in English B
*The Marilyn V. Rogers Excellence Award for Discipline, Leadership and Scholastic Achievement
* The Sir Probyn Innis Award for Best Performance by a male student
* The Sugar City Computer Learning Centre Award for Outstanding Performance in Information Technology
* The Sandra Davoren Award for Outstanding Performance in CXC Typewriting
* The Delilse Walwyn Award for Outstanding Performance in English A
* The V.H.S Special Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Typewriting at CXC General Level
* The Lorna Edwards National Association of Secretaries and Administrative Professionals of St. Kitts and Nevis (St.Kitts Chapter Awards for Excellent Performance in Typewriting
+ dozens of envelopes, letters and cards from family, friends and supporters who came out to see me deliver my Valedictorian speech available on http://www.vhsclassof2002.com/
All of these were monetary donations the 5A2 Valedictorian received. (FRIEND - NEVER GIVE UP!)
I could never pen my entire 25 year life here in one devotional and I could never talk about all of the other awards and thank you letters and cards and emails I've received over the years. I can only highlight and give thanks to GOD for the many blessings, provisions and opportunities that he has given during my 25 years.
You rarely hear of a 13 year old boy starting a business and sticking with it and growing it to a corporation - http://www.kvkenterprises.com/. Some small businesses GIVE UP during hard times, but God has blessed me with a spirit of DETERMINATION to keep dreaming and working until I reach the prize.
I just looked up on my wall and desk. I see the Foundation for National Development (FND) Client of the Year Award. I also see the Liamuiga Youth Legacy Award for scholarship, leadership and service. I looked again and I see the Department of Youth Excellence Award in Entrepreneurship. I'll stop there.
I never want to portray myself as Mr. Perfect or Mr. Know it All. I've made my mistakes. I have my faults and regrets and I'm working on fixing many of them. BUT. . . there is a BUT. . my DREAMS SURPASS THEM ALL. Yours should too.
Youth - ALL - Please do like me. Let your hurts, struggles and pains be among life's lessons. Never Ly down and give up after a mistake or failure. Keep getting back up and going. Never give up!
HOPE IS AHEAD FOR BOTH YOU AND I.
One day, you'll read about me in the FORBES LIST. (God isn't against people getting rich, he's against people getting greedy). One day, you'll head to the theatre in your country to see me acting in a movie I wrote myself. One day, you may probably walk into my medical office and pay my office clerk for treatment and pickup some medicine in my pharmacy.
One day, your child may be one that comes along with me on Dare 2 Be Different's Private Jet for a Camp somewhere in the world. One day, I'll reward you for your kindness, patience and generosity to me, my business and my ministry and will bless your generation simply because of your deed of kindness to me.
That's just how life is. . . .haven't you noticed? Or. . . .
One day, I'll be sitting on the board at one of my institutions or companies or Business Funding Agencies (KVK FINANCIAL) that I dream of having, and I'll have a significant role in deciding on whether to help you or not depending on how you treated me in the past or what you wished for me and my business. (Time has a funny way of turning things around. Look and See)
At 25, I have reached my goal of completing ALL scripts for my 7 books entitled God's Prescription for Positive Living I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII and I'm excited about the work the marketing company is doing to release them worldwide on September 19th 2012 - The anniversary date of when I stated writing these HOPE DEVOTIONALS on http://www.hopeisahead.com/
At 25, I would have travelled on private and government training and networking opportunities as far away as Brazil. At 25, many people don't know, but since my network is large, I market my country, and the universities in my country, St. Kitts - Nevis and I have seen many tourists and students enroll locally thanks to my doing. I too, have communicated and encouraged individuals interested in our island's citizenship by investment program, but I don't get paid for doing that when those who run it and market it, think it's ALL THEM. Small people like me, who are oft times overlooked, have made my recommendations and directed foreigners too. I better consider making this a service under http://www.kwconsultingskn.com/ or encourage them to try another country.
If I never live to see 26 or never live to see many of these dreams come to pass, when you look at me in my coffin, don't cry, just smile and say, this young man lived hopeful and died hopeful. Lived dreaming and died dreaming.
Friend - at 25 years, God has helped me indeed and I'm sure you're probably thinking of many things that you know that I've done that I didn't include here. One day you'll read it in my Biography but I remain Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:20 KJV)