Saturday, April 20, 2024

Spiritual renewal

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After being in church for as long as she can remember, from a babe to a teenager, Keann Walters, now 32, explained she felt a shift in her spirit and decided it was time to return to church.
“Before I stopped singing, I felt a need for a change in my life so I said to God I think I’m ready to go back to church because even though I had not been to church for many years, I still had a relationship with God and I used to pray and talk with him throughout the day. Some people gravitate to God if they’re sick or dying, but [in my case] it wasn’t for any particular reason – I wasn’t going through a hard time or anything.”
Walters explained that she had attended church because she always enjoyed it as a child, but now she wants more than to just “play church”.
“I just used to love church. I was going from the time I was a babe in hand, so going to church was never a problem for me. I used to like getting up and going because I enjoyed it.
“But honestly, I feel church should be more than just going because you want somewhere to go on Sundays, so I asked God to show me which church to go to because I feel like there are lots of churches right now in the world that are just playing church and I’ve been doing that from young.”
Like some people, Walters explained that she started singing in church around the age of 17 but wanted more than “church folk” to hear her voice.
“There was a gentleman in my church who played keyboard for the band Full Force in Harbour Lights, so I spoke to him about singing with the band and he introduced me to the guys and I auditioned and from there I started singing at that nightclub every Monday.”
She is known for what she describes her “most popular song to date” called Balampalampam and also performed with the bands Coalishun, Square 1 and sang backup for the Bacchanal Time Calypso Tent. By the age of 18, she travelled the region and by extension the world, where she was given the opportunity to perform and be recognized as a young, upcoming soca artiste.
When she knew it was time to return home to the House of the Lord, she was faced with the challenge of which church to attend so she asked God to direct her.
“God doesn’t always answer your prayers right way but my good friend, Wacky Wayne, was going to People’s Cathedral and he stopped and started going to the church I now attend called Rhema Apostolic Deliverance Ministries, so he came to me one day and said ‘I want to invite you to my church – it’s really new and dynamic and it’s a church with a difference’. I said well, I’ve been asking God to show me, because I didn’t want to just go to any church.”
However, she explained that she didn’t attend for several weeks because she wasn’t quite sure if it was the church for her so she sent an offering each week to “sow the seed”.
“When I got there, I was thinking to myself, what kind of church is this? I just see some old school chairs and stuff, but by the end of church I felt so lifted in my spirit and I felt like God was really in that place even though it wasn’t like other churches. But the Bible says come in your twos and threes, so it doesn’t have to be a really pretty church for God to be there and he was there because I know what God feels like from being in church as a babe, so I knew that this was  a real church.”
She explained that she went home and spoke to God, who eventually answered her prayers and told her that it was the church for her, which led to her decision to stop singing. However, several weeks later she discovered she was pregnant.
“I was pregnant and I didn’t know, so about four weeks after I started going to church [again] and being serious, I found out and said to myself, how will it look that I’m in the church, pregnant and not married, but I still continued going, and when I was almost three months [pregnant], it was preying on my mind and I called the apostle because it was humbugging me in my mind and spirit.”
She continued: “He said to me there’s nothing going on with you that I don’t know and before I told him, He said to me, ‘You’re pregnant’, and if I could have dropped down, I would’ve, because a real man of God sees in the spiritual realm and knows what’s going on in his congregation.”
Although motherhood calls for countless sleepless nights that leave her tired each morning, she explained that her two-month-old son is a “real joy and blessing”.
“I would always hear people saying children are a gift from God but you never really understand it until you have a child of your own, within the first month of his being home, I was nursing him and I looked down at him and I just started a wild cry and I said to God, ‘Did you really see it fit for me to have a child’, because it was a joy and somewhat of a disbelief that I am actually a mother.”
Walters, who is currently self-employed and sells clothing in a boutique, explained that because of her job she decides how much time she spends with her son but nonetheless, she admits that business is not good.
“Business is not good at all. The turn in the economy has been hard on me because the spending power of the general public is very low and sometimes when my bills come at the end of the month, I get really demotivated and sometimes lose my faith a little bit, which is why I say being a Christian in God takes time to build that faith and I want to get to that stage.”
Nonetheless, she expressed that she always had an interest in broadcast television and wanted to get involved in several business ventures, one being a cooking show.
“I really love TV. I was looking at doing a cooking programme because I love, love cooking, and this was way before Eggonomics started, but I couldn’t find sponsorship. I even had a concept and everything on paper and I was ready to go but the problem was sponsorship and with the experience of working on TV, that wouldn’t have been an issue.”
Although she has stopped singing in the calypso arena, she still makes use of her talent in the church, and is looking forward to making uplifting music for conscious reggae and gospel.
“When I started showing [that I was pregnant], the apostle told me he wanted me to lead song service, and I asked if he was sure because, I mean, I was pregnant and I wasn’t married, ‘but you want me to come to the front of the church and lead song service?’ He said ‘God told me that you are to lead song service in this church and I don’t want you to question it. If anyone has any questions, they will answer to me’.”
She added: “That’s why I really like my church – our apostle always encourages people to come as you are because the word of the Lord says to come to him no matter how you are, don’t wait for perfect conditions. I believe that’s where churches need to get right now, where you allow people to come as they are because God will accept you either way.”
After being involved in Crop Over for almost 15 years, Walters does miss it and explained that if she started singing again, she might do social commentary but it was a choice she would need to discuss with God and her apostle.
“I miss it right now. Kid Site even called me from the studio, saying I need to come down right now because they have a song for me and I would really like it, but I had to say to him, well, Site, I’m not singing anymore but if I was to sing again, I would do social commentary.
“I always wanted to do it but it’s changed a lot and it’s more about cussing out someone or revealing their secrets. If I were to it, I would be more constructive than destructive, and uplift people.”

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