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What do you do when

What do you do when you feel the tugging of the Holy Spirit to embark on a journey and you wonder how you were going to endure, much more to complete it? You simply obey. I approached the Pathfinders Discipleship Program somewhat apprehensive, having heard stories from forerunners about its intensity. However, I was already acutely aware that often when you encounter fear, opposition and blatant obstacles at the beginning of such things, that you should push all the more. And so I pushed. After the first week, of the Program I cleared my calendar. I mean, I cleared everything (I was self-employed as a teacher, conducting my classes online). I dismissed my classes early for the year, not lamenting the cost; that it was a period when every dollar counted for the long Christmas/New Year season ahead.
The Pathfinder Discipleship Program surprised me. It carried that yoke-destroying, situation-fixing anointing that the Apostle Paul had prayed so much for. By Week 3, I felt that I had been stretched to the point of elasticity. Somehow, I didn’t snap. Instead, for every day I saw a new itinerary (and boy were our mentors faithful in sending them), I received strength, a grace to continue. I learnt to embrace the pain; to “band my belly” as we would say in Trinidad and Tobago, and move forward. No excuses. This, I discovered was discipline. Soon after, pain turned into passion.
During PDP, I discovered that after twenty years of being in the Lord, I had misconceptions about what meditating on the word was. Pastor Vincent Arifalo cleared this up nicely. I learnt to ruminate—to mutter, chew and bring it up again until the word of God could be ingested. The Bible opened up to me. So did other aspects of my Christian walk. I was praying ten hours, nothing less than five hours. I gained a deeper understanding about prayer as fellowship with the Father. Doors in ministry began to open. I was asked to mentor ladies much older than myself and developed a boldness for evangelism. Mentor Fisayo encouraged efforts in evangelism while commenting about my Growth Plan, even offering counsel on what should not be done: You don’t preach your testimony, she encouraged. You preach Christ. During the PDP, I ministered to seven young men between 13 and 18 years old who accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Together with the assistance of another fellow PDP mentee, we now disciple them.
The anointing I was receiving began to pour out on my family. My husband caught the fire. Soon, he was praying in the Spirit all over the hours, going to eight hours straight. He began to read the word more, venturing for curiosity sake into some of the material we were being exposed to in PDP. I learnt to increase my prayer, coming to comprehend the difference between the prayer for things and the prayer of supplication. The day before the PDP closed, my fourteen-year-old daughter had been rejuvenated, filled and praying in the Spirit.
Mentor Victoria embodied “discipleship”. She was the mentor you always wanted. I supposed that I was some years her senior, but I submitted myself as a babe under her insightful leadership. She checked in regularly, enquiring about my progress, offering counsel and occasionally, light humour where I needed. She responded to questions from a lesson we had with PV, even encouraging me to attend live Prayer School. Mind you, it was 2 am in the morning. Additionally, you would check your phone, and there was our faithful Director Olufunso, with his “Jesus Barracks in session” trump. Later in the day, you would check again, and there was Mr. Olufunso texting with reminders, encouragement. His “The degree to which you grow is totally dependent on you” has become one of my mantras.
Interestingly, Bible readings, books, and podcasts we were to study worked in refrain to address situations I was facing at the time. Pastor Dotun’s book, “In Pursuit of Purpose” could not have been timelier. Noteworthy was her teaching that the environment we live in, impacts the realization and fulfillment of our purpose. I exit the Program stepping into a new season in ministry.

Words fail me for the impact that has been made during the Program. I can only announce that the Pathfinder Discipleship Program transcends a program. It is a necessary stop on one’s pathway to realizing one’s purpose.

My immense gratitude to the leadership of Pastors Vincent and Dotun Arifalo and to our Director and fellow mentors.

Nicole Semper,
PDP November Graduate
Trinidad and Tobago

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