Francine’s road map to Destiny

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  • Following her path: Francine Rollins with students from her after-school programme, Destiny. From left are Chayce Minors Butterfield, Hailey Oduori and Ja’zere Simmons

    Following her path: Francine Rollins with students from her after-school programme, Destiny. From left are Chayce Minors Butterfield, Hailey Oduori and Ja’zere Simmons


A book was all the inspiration Francine Rollins needed.

She was recently divorced from her high school sweetheart and still suffering from a devastating miscarriage when she picked up US pastor Joy Morgan’s Roadmap to Destiny last year.

It helped her move on to the next phase of her life: a faith-based after-school programme she aptly named Destiny, and a plan for forwarding her gospel music career.

“Even before reading the book I knew I needed some sort of direction in my life,” she said. “It was a 21-day programme but I don’t think I got even halfway through because the book was forcing me to look at so many hard issues. Every day it was like the author was speaking to exactly the situation I was going through.

“I was getting irritated because I knew I needed to make some changes in my life and the way I was heading.

“While reading one of the chapters it hit me: you have to do an after-school programme and it has to be called Destiny.

“It was very clear to me. I didn’t want to just make it a place where children would come and laugh and have fun and get burnt out and go home.

“I wanted to create a space that would be an experience and have things that no other programme has.

“I wanted to think outside the box with programmes like children’s yoga and African dance, but for there to also be a character development element.

“I wanted Destiny to be a place where those seeds of faith are first planted.”

Then a civil servant, she strongly felt God encouraging her to quit her job and follow her long-held dream.

She spent a lot of time in prayer before making the decision.

“I always had that desire to do singing full-time, from the beginning of my career, but because I had so much success from working with government’s community centre programmes across the island and doing my own camps, I got comfortable,” she said.

“Sometimes we develop a crutch because we have that steady paycheque coming in, so we don’t take on new challenges.

“Another thing I found is if you speak to too many people about your plans they will discourage you, but I got to the point where I realised I couldn’t operate to my full potential in terms of what I could offer others if I still had a full-time job.

“It was terrifying because I had no idea what was going to happen if I went out on my own. I thought I might fall on my face; I knew there would be some failure involved, so I hesitated to do it.

“I thought 2015 would be the year, but then I convinced myself to hang on a little longer. However, with all the personal things I was facing last year I knew that was the right time.”

Her after-school programme offers music, arts and crafts, a book club, homework help and various activities for primary schoolchildren. As for her music career, she’s planning an album, an overseas tour and local concerts.

The 37-year-old started singing in primary school. She was working at the Somerset MarketPlace packing groceries, and would sing to customers on breaks.

Performances at school events followed. It wasn’t long before she realised how much she loved ministering the gospel of Jesus Christ through song.

The Berklee College of Music graduate was a finalist in the 2011 Gospel Festival’s vocal competition, and part of the faith-based play Joy In The Morning, in 2014.

“I’ve always had a song to sing and would write lyrics as well; that was my secret place I could get to when I couldn’t speak or talk,” Ms Rollins said.

“I would go to the piano and come up with something and it would give inspiration to some sort of vision.

“When it comes to my music, I think: how are you going to impact someone who is right where you are and get them closer to their faith?’”

Although she doesn’t know what’s going to happen next, she’s built an “unseen faith”, trusting in God along the way.

Her Christian walk has shown her that small disappointments are often a set up for something greater and if something doesn’t come as quickly as you think it should, don’t give up.

“I’ve learnt the power in waiting until God thinks I’m ready,” she said. “After you make a big life decision you have these questions and doubts — did I move too early? But in the end, you have to trust that it was the right timing for you. Don’t look to other people for that guidance, but go to God himself.

“It’s like having a personal consultant — did you consult with Him about that issue before making a move? Did you spend any time with Him?”

Contact Destiny Afterschool Programme on destinyafterschoolprogram@gmail.com or 505-7945.

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Published Feb 25, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 25, 2017 at 1:33 am)

Francine’s road map to Destiny

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