Monday, April 22, 2024

Happy to serve God in song

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THEODORA BESSEM has been given a gift, one which she willingly shares with the entire world.

The gospel singer for the last 25 years spoke with EASY about her experience at the recent GospelFest.

“It was fantastic,” she said. “I was blown away by Gozzy, Neesha Woodz, John Yard and Allison Norville-Forde. They are very talented.

“It was beautiful to see the community come out to worship and praise God. Even though they attend different churches, it seems they all look forward to doing it each year.

“It was like they decided ‘let’s all come together and have a worship party in the park.’

“After I sang at the sunset gospel concert, the MC introduced me to the crowd and asked if I should return.

“I got a very appreciative ‘yea’; it was overwhelming. I sang one reggae and two soca songs; two of which are on my CD. The following Saturday, I was on stage at Kensington Oval,” she said.

The 52-year-old songwriter moved the crowd with her big hit One Voice.

“It’s about how God has called us all to be one; it’s not about competing with each other.” she said.

“It’s about sharing and getting the word out – sharing the love of God and the Word of God to the lost. God has given us one voice to stand and declare who we are to the lost nations.”

But Theo, as her friends call her,  said her call to sing at the age of 15 came as a big surprise.

“When the Lord revealed this gift to me, it was the turning point in my life,” she said.

“I got saved shortly after I began singing, I joined a gospel group in Ghana called Joyful Way Incorporated. I then moved back to the United Kingdom and joined another gospel group there.

“It so happened that I had to sing at a friend’s wedding, and the Lord said to me: ‘Join the worship team.’ I don’t do worship, but the feeling was so strong I had to obey,” she said.

The rest, as they say, is history.

The mother of three – Elena, Annabel and Jessica – found herself taking on the responsibility of worship leader, a call she said left her in a panic.

“I had never done anything of that nature before, so I kept asking God if He was sure that was what He wanted.

“It became clear to me that it was the calling He wanted me to pursue, so I eventually surrendered at Deliverance Ministries International,” she said.

However the family, including husband Steve, an IT professional, moved to Vancouver, Canada shortly afterwards.

“I had all intentions of just relaxing. Nobody knew me in Canada, so I figured I would be okay and that I would find a worship group, say I sing soprano and they would stick me in there,” she recalled.

But that was not to be.

After visiting Calvary Worship Centre with her friend, the pastor called her and said that she was the answer to his prayers.

“He said that they had been looking and praying for a worship leader.

“The church employed me, so I am currently the director of music and arts,” she said with bright smile.

How she ended up performing at the Barbados Gospel Fest, is itself another story.

“My friend, Delores, gave one of my CDs to organiser Adrian Agard of Things Gospel. He contacted me, invited me to sing and I accepted.

“I have no regrets whatsoever and hope to return for many years to come,” she said. (RA)

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