So many times he came to visit us—
much more like family than dearest friend,
and over him we got to make a fuss.
Our children call him “Grandpa Kawal,” for
they’ve known him all their lives, and got to spend
much time with him, and endless love outpour.
And now it is our joy to visit him
within his native home of Trinidad,
to fill his cup of joy up to the brim.
We’ll help him with the work, his burden share;
the fellowship will make our spirits glad,
and gratitude exude in every prayer.
So many times he came to visit us,
and now it is our joy to visit him.
We first met Kawal Rampersad, his wife Kay, and two of their four daughters, Rachel and Rebekah, back in 1996, when they came to the States to raise financial support for some Trinidadian preacher boys. My husband, Patrick, was in the Navy then, and stationed on a ship that was heading out to sea. I was expecting our first child, Matthew, and living alone at the time. The Rampersads were going to be in the States for a year, so we rented our house to them, and I went to live with a friend.
In the middle of winter, I moved back home and, taking up residence in the guest room, I gladly shared the house with the Rampersads. We got to know each other quite well, and this became the foundation for a life-long friendship.
Kay has only been back to the States one time since then, but Kawal used to come twice a year, and spend a few months at a time here. Since most of his supporting churches are in or near Virginia, our home became his base of operations while he was in the area. At some point, a friend parked his fifth wheel camper at our house, and we fitted it to be Kawal’s “Prophet’s Chamber.”
In 2016, the Lord led us to move to Florida. We had mixed emotions about the move. It was 1,000 miles away from everyone we had come to know and love; and though I was moving closer to my extended family, Patrick was moving further away from his. But the saddest part of all was that we would no longer be there for Kawal when he came to town.
Another sweet lady, Amy, took over where we left off. The Bible says, “I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor the seed of the Lord begging bread” (Psalm 37:25). God had always provided for Kawal. For years He used us, but when we were no longer available, He had someone else waiting to fill the void.
All these years Kawal has been asking us to come to Trinidad. This year Patrick and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, and we wanted to do something special in honor of the years the Lord has given us together. So we saved our money and made plans to visit our dear friend in his home.
Yesterday we drove to my sister Amy’s house in Jacksonville, FL. Then this morning we left there bright and early to continue our drive to the airport in Miami. Now, in just a couple hours, we will board a plane bound for Trinidad.
Kawal and his church will be hosting the Bread of Life Bible Conference in August, where they expect about 150 people to attend. Our mission will be to help get the building ready for the conference. Pat will be laying tile, and I will be painting. I look forward to sharing our updates and photos when we return home the beginning of August.
In the meantime, I would encourage you to seriously consider going on a mission trip. Your presence will encourage the missionaries more than you can imagine, and it will change your life. I can’t think of a better way to spend vacation time than in the service of our Lord.
“To Trinidad” — Trinidad Sonnet
Copyright © 2019 Angela Umphers Rueger – All Rights Reserved