May 20, 2005
Lee-Wilkins: We have to reclaim our families!

Story by Sheron Garraway

“Our families are plagued by spiritual poverty and if our families are not well, our society would suffer.” With these words Vincentian Anne Marie Lee-Wilkins addressed women here last Saturday, May 7. The group got together to spiritually motivate themselves at a National Women’s Gathering held at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown.

The women sang worship songs, read scriptures from the Bible, and listened to Lee-Wilkins give advice.

“Drugs, prostitution, HIV/AIDS and incest are some of the problems affecting our families and they in turn affect our society. We have to reclaim our families and in doing so we reclaim our society.” {{more}}

Lee-Wilkins, who is also a Nurse Manager at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in the USA, urged women to awaken their consciousness by living a life rooted in Christ. She described Mary the mother of Jesus as “the pioneer of spiritual empowerment” whose obedience to God helped saved the world from sin and damnation. The women were urged to listen to the voice of God to affect change and to put love into action.

“We have to take spirituality beyond the church, we have to speak out against social injustices.” Lee Wilkins said.

But it was the true-life story as related by Stanice Anderson herself, which touched the gathering. The speaker and author of the autobiographical “I Say A Prayer For Me: One Woman’s Life of Faith and Triumph, “recounted her life story of rape, low-self esteem, prostitution and drugs while living in the US.

“I came from a wholesome family and I never believed that I would have strayed that far. When I was eight years old, I was constantly teased at school because of my thick lips, but today women are injecting things into their lips to make them fuller.

“I was teased because of my dark skin and “nappy” hair. I would have to endure the dreaded hot iron comb to bring my hair straighter, but thank God for dreadlocks. I have been liberated from that state of mind where your hair has to be processed straight to be beautiful.”

Anderson testified about how she was raped at age 14, and of how she became hooked on heroin and almost died after overdosing herself. She also told how she sold her body to get money to buy drugs. Anderson spoke of how she was finally freed from her dangerous lifestyle after she received Jesus Christ.

She summed up her story with, “the saying that God helps those who help themselves is not totally true, because I was not looking to help myself, I was killing myself.

“God however had a plan for my life and through my pain, I can now help others out of their crisis by telling them that I have been there and came through. You too can make it. It’s never too late, God loves you!”

Stanice Anderson plans to make her book “I Say A Prayer For Me: One Woman’s Life of Faith and Triumph” into a play and also plans to write more books.