Carika Weldon

BSc in Medical Biochemistry, 2011

Praise the only wise God and my Saviour JESUS CHRIST!! I serve the Almighty God who saves all that call upon his name with a true and pure heart. I thank my Father Jesus Christ for this and I am truly a living testimony that the power of Jesus Christ far exceeds any man’s expectation. He truly has done above anything I could have ever asked for or fathomed for my life.

All my life I have grown up with loving parents who ensured that I knew right from wrong. They supported me in all that I did, especially my education, and as a result I excelled in academic performance. Throughout primary school my parents had mandatory progress meetings with my school every 6 months to check if I was being challenged enough. At the age of 10, the summer before my final year in primary school, I had started going to church and committed my life to Jesus. From then on I purposed in my heart that I would not indulge in activities that would defile me, or get caught up in the drinking/smoking culture.

After primary school I got into one of Bermuda’s top private schools, Warwick Academy. To get in, all had to take an entrance test and the student who achieved the highest would get a scholarship towards tuition fees every year for 5 years. Initially I did not get the scholarship, but the girl who got the highest changed her mind and decided to go to another school and give up the scholarship. Looking back now, I know that she could have never had the scholarship because it was mine! God had given it unto me because he knew that this would influence my parents’ decision in sending me to Warwick Academy. My whole family was very excited, as was I, and from this I knew that I had to work hard to maintain my scholarship.

Year after year I excelled, being first in class at all annual prize giving ceremonies and eventually came out with some good GCSE results; 3 A*, 5 A and 2 B. From these results I was able to get another scholarship for the college at Warwick Academy. From hard work and dedication to my schoolwork I was able to yet again relieve my parents of the financial burden of private school. Again, I knew that I had to work hard to justify my scholarship and I was able to obtain 39 out of 45 points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma program, the joint highest Warwick Academy had ever had at the time. This allowed me to be valedictorian of the 2008 graduating class and to obtain a full scholarship to university in England.

The year 2008 was a huge year for me; I graduated from college and was going to a completely new country for university. It was a year full of transition, however, I did not use to the betterment of my life. When I came to university I had more freedom, as my parents where over 3000 miles away. I found myself engaging in behaviours that I myself condemned a few months before: I pierced my nose and belly button; I went raving at least 10 times a month, as well as sold tickets to a club; lost my virginity; skipped lectures and skipped tutorials with no shame. The high academic standard I had for myself had totally crumbled. I made lots of new friends who all encouraged me to go raving with them. To me this was life! No one to answer to? No one to stop me from doing what I want? I used this as a green light to indulge in satisfying the lust that raged within me. Sleeping at many different boys houses was a thrill to me. Knowing that they had no idea about each other made me feel in control and I liked it. The path I was walking was leading to being a slot and only when I realized that this type of lifestyle was NOT my life, did I cry out to God.

From the age of 9 I started been playing the violin and continued playing even until university. In my first year I had established myself as a good musician and at an audition for a talent show I was invited to play at an event the next evening. Upon my arrival at the charity event, I could see a Choir dressed in African attire. I had never seen such since being in England and was immediately intrigued to hear them sing. When I heard them sing, and saw how lively they were, I could only but join in the dancing and singing. It was such a relief to be able to dance outside of a night club and enjoy myself. I enquired if there was a church related and one sister arranged for me to come to church on the Sunday morning. Sunday morning as I arrived at Emmanu’-EL Apostolic Church, I was taken aback at what I saw. All the women wore hats and skirts and everyone was jumping up. I was not used to this AT ALL and decided I would not ever dress that way, however the preaching captivated me. Everything the pastor was saying I could relate to. For this reason alone, I continued to come to church and eventually came to EAGA. The raw worship, where there is no restriction on how to praise God, drove me to come and learn why these peculiar people do what they do.

As time went on I found that just by studying the Word of God and by hearing truth, I was changing. I stopped wearing trousers, I started wearing hats, I stopped wearing jewellery and took off the makeup. The transformation since I came to church was unreal for even me to see but even so much the more for my parents. The wild Carika that they were trying to tame, tamed herself without any effort from them. Only Jesus Christ can save, no man by his own might can save anyone. I know that no man can take the glory for my transformation and I give God all the glory that deliverance was in praising God in spirit and in truth, and testifying continually. My attitude towards my education also changed and now I am proud to say that I am graduating in July and set to do a PhD in Biochemistry in September. Trusting in God has brought me from a world of mess into a world of joy, peace of mind and love from all my brothers and sisters in Christ. Being able to testify that being in Christ Jesus I am a new creature, even when I did not want to change, is an honour for me and I will continue to testify of the Godness of my Lord Jesus Christ.