Pastor Roma Bachew looks to the resurrection

Pastor Roma Bachew says it is a joy, honour
and privilege to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
PHOTO BY Faith Ayoung
Pastor Roma Bachew says it is a joy, honour and privilege to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. PHOTO BY Faith Ayoung

Senior pastor at Faith Assembly International Roma Bachew has made serving God and her fellow men her life’s work, always striving to emulate the example of Jesus Christ.

Bachew preaches the gospel, heads the church’s women’s ministry, goes out into communities to offer physical and spiritual nourishment to people in need, and attends mission trips, among other things.

“It is the greatest joy, honour, and privilege to serve the Lord Jesus Christ,” Bachew said, expressing her gratitude for His ultimate sacrifice that is commemorated every Easter.

“He is not dead, He is alive! He rose triumphantly from the grave as He prophesied He would. What a hope his resurrection has given us. Because He lives, we will also live forever and we have a blessed hope that we will again see our departed loved ones who believed in Jesus. Praise God!”

Bachew is the widow of the dynamic pastor Prakash “KK” Bachew, who died of a brain aneurysm in 2012. She told WMN, “His (KK’s) death was sudden and very traumatic. He was doing a funeral when his speech started to slur, but he kept talking even as he fell down, clutching the mic and saying, ‘Oh death, where is thy sting?’ “He always said he wanted to die with his boots on, and he did just that.”

She said, as difficult as the loss of her husband was, she found solace in his signature scripture verses – Phil 3: 13 and 14: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” “He always said, ‘Forget what lies behind and don’t look back,’ so I knew I had to look to the future and what lay ahead with my children. I know he would have been pleased.”

And although she doesn’t speak from behind the pulpit as much as in the past, her love for studying and sharing God’s word remains unwavering.

“I preach only on occasions now, sometimes once a month. You know sometimes you will feel the anointing and know it’s the Lord wanting to speak through you? Sometimes He just downloads a thought, a verse that He wants me to share. “But I don’t stamp my feet as much as my husband did when he was preaching,” she said with a chuckle.

The large church which has become a landmark at Five Rivers Junction, had humble beginnings at Crown Street, in Tacarigua.

“It was started in 1993, November 14, to be exact. Then, it was an upstairs and downstairs house, holding a maximum of 200 people. My husband had the vision to come across here, so we bought the land and started from scratch. “We knew we were doing something for the kingdom: building a place in the community where everybody could feel free to come in and utilise the service we offer here. KK and I loved serving and meeting the needs of people, and this was one of the ways in which we were able to do it. “We have services for each age group, we offer counselling, and so much more.”

Bachew, the mother of six sons and two daughters, is a former Spanish, French, and English teacher who chose family over career about 40 years ago.

“I was a teacher for 12 years. I taught at Arima Secondary and Success Laventille...I gave it up to take care of my family, but I see now that God had bigger plans for me,” as her teaching experience laid the foundation for her work in the ministry. She did a leadership-in-training programme with US missionaries visiting TT, and a correspondence PhD in counselling psychology from South West Bible College and Seminary in Houston, Texas. But she never uses her “Dr” title.

“The title doesn’t matter to me. People call me ‘Pastor Roma,’ ‘Aunty Roma.’ “Doing it was for the benefit of the ministry, and a lot of people have needed it over the years – grieving families, hurting families with whom I’ve counselled and prayed and offered comfort from the Word.”

Because she and her husband spent most of their time working “in the vineyard,” the eight Bachew children practically grew up in the church, learning everything about what would one day be their parents’ legacy.

“The three Ws – warmth, worship, and the word – and then we added a fourth, which is world mission – are the foundations on which this church was built. KK always used to say, ‘Success without a successor is a failure,’ so from the time they opened their eyes I let them be part of the ministry. The Bible says ‘Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it,’ and that’s what we did...and my children have their individual anointing...Only two of the eight are not active in the ministry.”

As a result, she said, they were very capable of taking up the leadership of the church when their father died. Her son Paul currently leads the flock. Although she is one of the Faith Assembly directors, Bachew said she has fully entrusted the running of the ministry to him.

“When your children get married you have to let them loose to live their own lives; I do the same thing with the church. Paul is the head pastor; I allow him to spread his wings. I may offer advice from time to time, but I let him go. The spirit of the Lord will lead him.”

As the world evolves to adapt to changes in just about every sphere, Bachew said Faith Assembly too has had to keep up with the times, with members of the congregation doing their part to guide the process.

“God has blessed us with a lot of skilled and knowledgeable people who work side by side with us to bring about the changes we need, especially the young people.”

But as things change, especially from a technological perspective, Bachew is adamant the church’s vision will never change. “The same four Ws are the core and everything else is built on that: there is no compromise. The Bible says, ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but the word of the Lord endureth forever.’ Once we build our lives on the Word, that’s a solid foundation. It’s just to stand by and see the Lord work for us.”

She said with so many young people heading down roads of destruction these days, keeping them in the church takes a lot of prayer as well as other measures.

“Young people today have a lot of needs and problems. Thankfully, we have leaders who are trained to handle young people, who can offer advice, counselling, and activities for them.”

During her tenure as a teacher, Bachew said when she looked at the backstory of the children who gave the most trouble, it turned out many of them came from troubled homes.

“Not all the time – sometimes peer pressure played a role – but in the majority of cases those children were victims of abuse and were just playing it out at school. “So my advice would be to the parents, not the children: Get back to the Lord and acknowledge Him as your firm foundation. Put God back in the schools. Have religious teachings in the schools and make it an important part of the curriculum, not just a sideline. “If the children get that training from small, they will know right from wrong and stand up for what they believe is right. Never underestimate the power of prayer.”

She said she has witnessed many miracles that were invoked through prayer in her ministry, one of the most memorable being the healing of a man on one of her Caribbean mission trips.

“He was dying from leptospirosis, as all his organs were starting to shut down. We prayed with him and I gave him a scripture verse to hold on to. He said, ‘I will not die but live and do the works of the Lord,’ and made a miraculous recovery.

“When people’s faith is activated, miracles happen.” But Bachew believes there are times when other factors must accompany prayer. “We should have social workers going out into the schools and communities identifying the problems and offering counselling. It’s about restoration, not putting down. Sometimes these children have so much potential that is never developed because of their circumstances. Teachers too need to play a part in moulding their lives. Everybody plays a part – we need to go back to the ‘village.’”

Bachew said everyone, no matter who they are or their circumstances, needs to feel loved and took the opportunity to point them to a source.

“My favourite scripture is Romans 8: 38-39, which says, ‘For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’”


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