“I am completely blind, but I still preach the Word of God” – visually-impaired pastor

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Pastor David Domingo

By Alva Solomon

He says he made a commitment to the Almighty to preach and despite losing his sight more than a decade ago, David Domingo continues to undertake his religious duties as a pastor and marriage officer across the Moruca sub-region.

Domingo has been a church leader at Moruca for over three decades and despite being visually impaired, he is well-known for preaching to congregations in the area including at the village of Parakese, where he resides.

There are times when he would travel throughout the sub-region, ministering to audiences within the Full Gospel Fellowship and also carrying out his duties as a marriage officer; he has been in the latter role for some 28 years.

Following his calling

Domingo told Guyana Times that at the age of 18, he decided to follow his calling and undertake bible studies. As such, he enrolled in a 3-year sojourn at the Hauraruni International Missionary training centre on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.

Domingo, who is now 64, said some three years after completing his studies he moved back to Moruca. At age 25 he said he decided to get married and since then, his wife, Magdalene, has been by his side.

He said he commenced ministering the bible on the outskirts of Moruca at Kwebanna, a remote village that sits some 22 miles away on the Waini River, from his home. “I spent seven years there and during that time I would also visit other communities such as Manawarin, Wallaba and Santa Cruz,” he added.

In July 1993, Domingo said he moved back to Parakese and he and his wife continued to build their family life. He said the couple produced three children, two boys, and a girl. “All the while, my wife would also study the bible with me so we are always reading the word of God,” he added.

Losing his sight

Domingo said as time passed, he observed that he was not seeing words properly while reading and he said sometimes his vision would become blurry. That was a few years prior to 2011. He said he travelled to the coastland to determine what was the problem.

“My sight was going and I went to an ophthalmologist and they diagnosed me with glaucoma,” he added. “It was so advanced that nothing could be done.”

He said he was using a treatment for the condition but in 2011, things took a dark turn then one day, he could not see anything. “It is 11 years-plus now, but I am still very much involved in the work of the Lord,” he said.

He noted that he became very worried when he lost his sight, noting that his immediate worry was how he would be able to move around. Domingo said he gradually accepted the fact and calmed his mind.

“I had to accept it, that nothing could be done about my sight,” he said.

With his wife by his side, he said he made adjustments to his life and his wife would spend more time reading the bible with him as he would prepare his sermons for church. “My wife is always my biggest supporter,” he said.

He said in the initial days of being visually impaired, he bought a cassette recorder and he would play the biblical cassettes as a guide to assist him in his religious duties. He said he then upgraded to a Compact Disc (CD) player and he would listen to the verses of the bible while his wife wrote his notes.

Pastor Domingo said he managed to obtain an audio version of the bible and he noted that this assisted him greatly. But these days, he said he knows the bible from his heart and he and his wife would sit and prepare his sermons at their home.

“Whenever I want to study the bible, my wife would always be there to assist, ever since we got married,” he added. He said she would read the sections of the bible he requests and he would then listen to the notes she records.

“I would then prepare it in my mind and in my heart, I try to memorise it in order to bring out my points in front of the congregation,” he added.

He said his three children also support him. He noted that they have all gone into the world of work. He said his daughter and one of his sons, Dwayne, decided to join the teaching profession while his other son works in the mining sector. He said too that Dwayne is also following in his footsteps since he too has decided to become a pastor in the church.

Message to the youth

Pastor Domingo said when he preaches to the general church population his advice is always to follow the word of the Almighty. He said those who listen would have to decide in their minds the type of life they choose to live but he noted that “we should try live by the word of God and try to apply his teachings to life.”

He said today’s youth may have many challenges which confront them but he noted that they should always trust in the Almighty. “Trust in the lord to lead and direct and you got to just be sensitive to what God wants for you,” he added.

Outside of preaching

Despite his current condition, Pastor Domingo said he still carries out his duties around the home. He said he has adjusted to ensure that he knows how to find his way around the house and also within his yard. He said he and his wife are also ardent farmers and he noted that he would accompany her to their farm whenever the need arises. He said he usually assists by fetching their goods out of the farmland.

He noted too that he is always occupied around the home or out in the community.

“Sometimes I would have to travel to carry out marriage ceremonies as far up in the Barama River. The people would come for me and transport me back to my home. So I am always trying to keep myself busy. I don’t want to just be at home sitting and watching,” he said.

“I live by the word of God and I will continue to do so for as long as I live,” Pastor Domingo added with a smile.