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Divorce doesn't have to be an option

BY VERNON DAVIDSON Executive Editor - Publications davidsonv@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, April 20, 2014    

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LIKE most married couples, pastors Paul and Dorrett Blake had their challenges. The problems got so bad that Dorrett eventually filed for divorce some years ago.

That was probably the most devastating experience for her husband, who admits that he was at fault. But God, Paul told the Jamaica Observer, was not about to let the marriage dissolve.

"At the time when we were going through all of that, the Lord told us that our marriage would be a blessing and that people would be blessed by our marriage, which looked like the opposite [to what was happening]," Paul told the Sunday Observer last week.

"But then God restored our marriage and now we are pastoring and ministering to others ... the Lord has mandated us to share with people that no matter what you go through, God can come through and restore," he said. "Divorce does not have to be an option, there is restoration by the power of God."

That experience, Pastor Blake said, qualifies him, his wife and children to help prevent other people from making the same mistakes that he did.

And they will do just that this Thursday to Saturday during their Family and Marriage Conference 2014 at Golf View Hotel in Mandeville.

The conference is being staged by their Acts of the Holy Spirit Ministries International, which operates a church in Montego Bay and another in Mandeville,

Using the theme 'Restoring the Foundation', the conference will feature American singer and songwriter Regina Belle, who is now a minister.

"Regina Belle is going to both sing and speak," Pastor Blake explained. "She's mainly going to speak about her marriage. Her topic is 'Communication, key to a happy, healthy marriage'. That will be on Thursday at 7:00 pm."

Belle, who is married to ex-NBA player John Battle (now a pastor in Atlanta), released her debut album All By Myself in 1987 featuring her first hits So Many Tears and Show Me The Way.

Two years later she released her second album, Stay With Me, and has since earned a reputation as a prolific artiste who won a Grammy award for her hit duet with Peabo Bryson titled A Whole New World.

On Friday at 10:00 am, Pastor Dorrett Blake will speak on 'Raising children of purpose - How separation and divorce affect our children'. The couple's children -- Stephen, who is now a pastor and who sings using the stage name Anavah, and Tiffany, a minister and youth leader at the Montego Bay church -- will join their mother in that presentation.

"They have been through it, so they are qualified to speak on the issues," their father said.

At 2:00 pm, Paul Blake will address the topic 'Lust and pornography - How they affect marriages and overcoming them'.

Then, at 7:00 pm, former child star Junior Tucker will speak on 'Facing adversity and overcoming it in a family'.

Blake said that when they contacted Tucker and told him the topic on which they wanted him to speak, Tucker was surprised.

"He said, 'Are you serious!'" Blake revealed, saying that Tucker explained that while he was on his way to his daughter's funeral he got a call that his mother was taken to hospital.

"He went through it. So he's very qualified to talk on that," Blake said, adding that Tucker will also sing at the conference.

"On Saturday morning at 10 o'clock Dorrett Blake will again speak, this time on 'Rebuilding after unfaithfulness'.

"Our church in Mandeville is growing because we share very openly the mistakes that we've made, the pain that we've caused," said Paul Blake. "But we also share how God can restore relationships."

Admission to the conference is free, Blake said, pointing out that they hope to help as many people as possible.

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