“Changing the nation, one youth at a time” has been and continues to be the mandate of Apostle Edison and Prophetess Dr Mattie Nottage, pastors of Believers Faith Outreach Ministries International on Carmichael Road.
Over the years, the Nottages have developed several youth programmes, initiatives and incentives aimed at transforming the lives of our nation’s youth spiritually, socially and academically.
Dr Nottage said she firmly believes that with God and a good education, young Bahamians can be successful. Therefore, over the last several years, her ministry has sought to motivate and reward the students of the local ministry by highlighting their academic success, athletic accomplishments, social achievements, and more, during an annual awards service.
During their recent annual back-to-school service, selected students were anointed, prayed for and prophesied over before returning to the classroom. Additionally, they were awarded with trophies for their academic excellence and sporting prowess during the previous school year.
“Our students have received top grades in national examinations such as the GLAT (Grade Level Assessment Test) and the BGCSEs. Further, a high percentage of our students are honour roll students who consistently hold positions on the principal’s honour roll while others maintain 4.0 GPAs. Many also hold top leadership positions such as prefects, deputy head girl, assistant head boy, head prefects, and the list goes on,” said Dr Nottage.
“Many of our students have received local and international scholarships as a result of their academic success. Several of our recent graduates are now studying in the United States and at the College of the Bahamas.”
Dr Nottage explained that the children they minister to are known as “Kingdom kids”.
“They are taught to excel at whatever they put their hands to or set their minds to. We believe that the many improvements in overall grades, social involvement and academic performance we have seen in our students is due directly in part to our pastors consistently and earnestly praying over them; sometimes even praying over their report cards, progress reports, and more,” she said.
Dr Nottage said each year they have noticed a marked improvement in the overall academic and social performance of their students. “We also accredit this to fact that our students are blessed to have a firm support system which includes the positive influences at the church, a stable, Christian home and attending schools which seek to push them towards excellence. We firmly believe in the old African adage which says, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’,” she said.
“During this past year, we also saw an increase in the number of sporting awards and recognition that our children received. Many represented their local schools in the GSSSA meet, the nationals, and other track meets, securing top-place finishes. Others were successful in their inter-house competitions, again securing top-place finishes. Many also achieved success in local school competitions such as the Young Chef Competition, Spelling Bee, poetry competitions and more.”
Dr Nottage said they are especially grateful for their pastors “who labour with our children, not only in the area of prayer but who are also a tangible blessing to them.”
“Our pastors would also ensure that their basic social needs are met – whether it is providing monies for lunch, text books, school fees, uniforms and more,” she said.