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Wescome revels in teaching God’s word

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Growing up in the foster care system, Dwayne Wescome sometimes felt like he was unloved, unwanted and abandoned.

Then he developed a close relationship with God, which proved to him otherwise.

The 30-year-old recently graduated with a master of divinity from Andrews University in Michigan. He has already found work as a religion teacher for middle- and high-school students at Bermuda Institute.

“I'm excited,” Mr Wescome said of the new opportunity. “I kind of felt a pull towards teaching, but didn't want to step away from pastoral ministry completely.

“So when this opportunity came up I was excited for it and the Lord blessed me in getting it.

“I've always wanted to start mentoring programmes and after-school programmes so this gives me an outlet for that and a more hands-on approach to ministry.”

From day one his goal will be to help students develop a closer walk with God.

“Of course, they get a grade in the classroom, but my ultimate goal is to make sure they have a secure relationship with Jesus Christ,” he said.

“I believe that can happen at any age and no matter where you are in your life.” Mr Wescome grew up attending Pentecostal New Testament Church of God, but said his relationship was shaky at best.

There were times when he said he stopped believing completely, but a move to the Seventh-day Adventist Church revived his faith.

“I believe God has always had a plan in my life,” he said. “He planted the seeds when I was young and they eventually grew.

“It all happened when I was around 21 or 22 years old. That's when I started to feel like I was being called into full-time ministry.

“I felt God saying ‘I've been with you even though you couldn't see me. I gave you that mess from your past to give to a message.'

“After that I started reflecting on particular things that happened in my life and I realised He was there through all the struggles and trials.

“I figured if He brought me this far, he would continue to carry me.”

Mr Wescome was initially hesitant about studying to become a pastor. However, the signs kept cropping up.

“There were people and TV shows and anything you can imagine, so I couldn't get away from the fact that God wanted me to enter the ministry,” he said.

“I prayed one time about it and after that people came up to me and asked, ‘Are you going into the ministry' and I was like how did she know that? Eventually I said, ‘All right God I'll do it'.”

His educational journey did not run completely smoothly.

He was placed in classes with students with more biblical knowledge and was not always sure how he measured up. But God was still teaching him in the midst of all that. “I think God was showing me how to trust and rely on Him because it was me and maybe only a few other people there that didn't grow up in the Adventist church,” Mr Wescome explained.

“I took a class and most people knew all these spiritual things, but I didn't so it was a huge learning curve.

“I had accepted the calling that same year I started at Oakwood [University in Huntsville, Alabama].

“I had so much learning to do to catch up with the people who had wanted to do this from primary school.”

Some days he did not feel like reading his Bible, but then a class assignment would force him to dig into God's word.

“I also had to do Bible work and knock on doors of random houses asking people if they wanted prayer or Bible study,” he said.

“The very first door I knocked on the person answered and said, ‘You believe in something you can't see? You're delusional!'

“Getting rejected was hard for me. It's in those moments you want to give up. But as much as I wanted to quit, God put this burning inside of me that wouldn't allow me to do that.”

He believes his fear of rejection came from his time in Bermuda's foster care system.

“Any time I feel rejected by someone or something it brings up those feelings from my past,” he said. “But now I'm in a place where I have tools and whenever I do feel those thing I know not to trust those feelings.

“I counteract that with truth in God's word. I understand my pain, but I know what the solution is.”

He has also learnt to focus more on the positive than the negative.

“When I was younger I looked around at my reality and the situation I was living in and thought, ‘How can there be a God'?

“Now I say, ‘How could there not be?' He was there all along,” Mr Wescome said. “That's why I'm where I am today.

“That's why He took me through that whole process to get me to this point.”

On a mission: Teacher Dwayne Wescome says his goal will be to help students develop ‘a closer walk with God'
Dwayne Wescome.(Photograph by Akil Simmons)
<p>Three books with a message</p>

Three books that have made a difference to Dwayne Wescome:

1 Steps to Christ.

This book by author and evangelist Ellen G. White helped Mr Wescome when he first decided to follow Christ.

“It was a very easy read and gave really practical information about my walk with God,” he said.

“It provides people with practical steps for how to become and remain a Christian and shares about Jesus’s love and acceptance and how to deal with doubt.

2 The Normal Christian Life.

Mr Wescome liked this book by Watchman Nee because of its powerful message. It presents foundational principles for the Christian life and walk, focusing primarily on the book of Romans.

Mr Wescome believes it can help to strengthen people’s faith.

“Many people are in church, but not necessarily sure about their salvation. This book talks about what Jesus has done for us and the deliverance he has given us from our sins.”

3 Chasing the Sanctuary of the Heart.

Written by one of his past professors, this book discusses how past hurts can impact our present faith.

It not only outlines how people can enter into the process of forgiveness, but also how they can themselves be healed from past pains.

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Published August 29, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 29, 2015 at 1:27 am)

Wescome revels in teaching God’s word

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