Bermudian family in TV spotlight
Local fans of Three Angels Broadcasting Network might have been surprised to see a Bermudian family on their screen last week.
Darrell and Sasha Thomas were interviewed as part of Today Family Worship, a programme that airs every Friday on the Seventh-day Adventist channel.
The couple were invited to be part of a panel usually made up of 3ABN staff and guests. Mr Thomas has been working in the company’s IT and production departments since February.
He and his wife admitted they were a bit nervous about being in front of the camera.
“Over the last few years, Sasha and I have been thrust into roles that have tested our shyness and helped us to push beyond the nervous jitters that we often get when speaking in front of people,” Mr Thomas said.
“On this programme, and in public speaking, I find once you get going, the nerves and jitters begin to evaporate. I look at it like this, once you are convinced of the purpose and importance of a responsibility or a message like this, you focus less on yourself and more on meeting the objective.”
Despite the butterflies, Mrs Thomas enjoyed the experience.
“It was amusing to be on the opposite side of a TV show. I had moments of being amazed at just how far God has led us and how tremendously He has blessed us. When we were in the midst of our greatest struggles, I would have never thought we'd end up sharing our testimony on international television. God is good.”
Both were raised in Christian homes and attended Bermuda Institute. However, like most young believers, their journey into intentional faith had its ups and downs.
“I pretty much grew up in the Seventh-day Adventist church. I was baptised at age 6 but mostly had a superficial relationship with and understanding of God.” Mrs Thomas said.
“As I got older I stayed in the church but, mentally, I had checked out – one foot in the church and one foot in the world type thing. Eventually, Darrell came along and was searching for truth, so we ended up on this journey together and haven’t looked back since.”
Her husband’s experience was slightly different.
“Having been raised in a Christian home, I spent most of my younger years attending church and going to multiple Christian schools. But when I finished high school, I began a journey of exploration, trying to find myself.
“Although I still attended church for a time, as time progressed, I began to lean so heavily on a lifestyle of partying and drinking alcohol that the idea of attending church became, to me, hypocritical. So, I left the church for the most part.”
The couple were married in 2013 and embarked on a renewed faith journey together.
In 2018 they left Bermuda with their two children – Noa, 7, and Brighton, 4 – when Mr Thomas was offered a job with Remnant Publications, a non-profit Christian company based in Michigan.
“The original purpose for our move in 2018 was because we felt confident that God was telling us that it was time to relocate our family to the United States. For some time, we had considered relocating specifically to a rural area of the US and becoming more directly involved in ministry,” Mr Thomas said.
“When I was offered a job at Remnant Publications, we knew that God was saying, ‘It’s time to go.’ And so we sold much of our things, packed up and started our journey.”
Both Mr and Mrs Thomas have dual citizenship. They spent three years in Michigan before moving to Illinois last November.
Three Angels Broadcasting Network is a 24-hour Christian television and radio network based in West Frankfort that consists of nine television channels and five radio channels in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and French.
“I started working at 3ABN in February 2022,” Mr Thomas said. “When we arrived in the 3ABN area during a series of unplanned events, we quickly realised that there is a genuine warmth and community in the area. So many people reached out to help and welcome us.”
He continued: “We had previously heard that 3ABN was like a family and, having left our own family in Bermuda, we thought it was a good fit for the needs of our young family.”
Before their move Mrs Thomas worked as a high school English teacher; her husband worked in IT.
The move proved to be more challenging than expected for the mother-of-two.
“When we first moved to the States, it was very hard for me,” she said. “To be clear, I was gung ho about moving even before Darrell was, but the life that I'd envisioned did not become a reality. I had a five-month-old son and a four-year-old daughter. We lived in a kind of isolated area and, on top of that, I did not drive for the first year so I was stuck at home all day every day with a baby and a toddler.
“It was tough. Each year gets a little easier, though. The challenges never stop, but the way I respond to them has improved.”
The Thomases have settled into life in Illinois and have found a rhythm in their work, home and ministry. While they miss Bermuda and their families, they don’t have any immediate plans of returning.
“At every step of this journey, we have been open to God’s leading,” Mr Thomas said.
“We love Bermuda and love our family even more, so if God led us back home, we’d happily return. We did just buy a house – another miraculous trial turned miracle – so we’ll likely be here for a while but, again, wherever God leads, we will follow.”
• Watch Darrell and Sasha Thomas on Three Angels Broadcasting Network here: youtu.be/eymssV36ONU