“I, who was nobody, have come to be somebody. Now I know that I have worth. Now I see that my life has purpose.”
From a very young age, living in poverty, the responsibility was thrust upon Nigel when his parents died to look after himself and his five younger siblings. His preoccupation with their survival and with meeting their basic needs resulted in his not being able to have any dreams or aspirations of his own…until someone helped him realize and develop a potential he never knew he had, and, in the process, create the opportunity for him to have a purposeful and happy life.
As a teenager, I started attending Trinidad Christian Center and there I discovered the purpose for giving my life to Jesus Christ, and I did. Soon afterwards, I got involved in service in the church and it was then that I formally met Rev. Dr. Austin de Bourg, who was the Pastor at the time. From our very first meeting, he took an interest in me and invited me to join our Video Ministry to be trained. Although this was my first experience with video equipment, I gained the knowledge of it quickly and I soon realised that I had the potential for that type of work.
I shouldered great responsibility at home, having to take care of myself and my five younger siblings when my parents passed away. I struggled to find means of providing for them, but ensuring that they did not go astray always posed the bigger challenge. When Pastor learned of my home situation, he took the initiative and extended himself to me, providing support, spiritual guidance, and mentorship, as well as fatherly counsel and a love I never had before. We quickly developed a father-son relationship.
I was so accustomed to having to fend for myself and my siblings that it was strange, at first, to have someone stand with me and be concerned about my welfare and my future. Pastor, however, simply blew me away, time and time again, with his quiet, genuine care and his overwhelming generosity.
When I completed secondary school, for example, I did not plan to attend my graduation. Things were very difficult at home and there was simply no way that I could afford clothes or even a ticket to attend. When he realised that I planned to not attend my own graduation, he outfitted me and paid for my ticket. I did not only attend my graduation but I did so in a new suit, with new shoes, while wearing my very first pair of cuff links as well as a brand new wristwatch. These were things that I never dreamed that I could wear, much less own. I realised in a whole new way that I really was his son and he my father.
Upon graduation, I got my first job through an On-The-Job Training Programme spearheaded by my church's Youth Ministry. While at this job, I continued to develop my knowledge in the Video Ministry at church and a few years later, I was offered a job as a videographer at a local television station. Excited to be working in television and eager to put to use the skills that I had learned, I found myself promoted to the position of News Editor within just two months.
During this time, I met my beautiful wife, Khadijah, at church. My younger siblings were now at the age of being on their own, so, at age 28, five years after meeting Khadijah, we were married. Not long after the wedding, I moved to my current job and position as NewsFeed Editor in the government's information service.
My wife and I now have a sweet, one-year-old daughter, Sarah, and, in the near future, I also hope to have my own videography company.
I think back on the boy that Pastor met; that brave little boy who was forced to be a man, who focused solely on the survival of his family, but who had no dreams or aspirations of his own. Only after meeting Rev. Dr. de Bourg did that little boy (now a man) come to realise that all things really are possible.
It is my earnest desire to help others in the way that Pastor helped me. I also want to be able to give back tangibly towards his benevolent work, to enable him to reach out to many others and change their lives just as he did mine.
Because of him, I, who was nobody, have come to be somebody. Now I know that I have worth. Now I see that my life has purpose.