If you meet Almarie Campbell today, you’ll encounter a powerhouse woman of God, filled with perseverance and confidence. You will see a woman who embodies strength and empowers others to be the best version of themselves. However, she was not always that way.
Campbell is a mother of three who now spends her time in full time ministry at church.
“My secular job was in retail branch management. I worked in that space for approximately 40 years. I am now retired. Spiritually, I operate in the realm of prophetess. I am a trained counsellor who specialises in grief and general counselling. I do deliverance ministry, motivational speaking, evangelism, and I preach at various churches across the island of Jamaica. Though retired, I do contractual work within the retail industry,” she told Our Today.
“My home-base church is Jacob’s Well in Trelawny. I’ve ministered in The Cayman islands, Canada and through Zoom for other countries. She also has a YouTube channel where she hosts a programme on Sunday afternoons,” she added.
Before Campbell got to the point of impacting the lives of others through her ministry, she lived a life overshadowed by domestic abuse.
THIRTEEN YEARS OF ABUSE
“I met someone when I was 18 years old and we got married when I was 20. Then, all hell broke loose. Who I thought he was turned out to be different,” she said.
“When I was pregnant with my first child, that’s when the hitting started and gradually increased and transitioned to him beating me. The more I reached out to him to change, the more the physical abuse continued.”
The abuse she endured also took other forms where her ex-husband would hide household money from her.
“If the children got sick, he would tell me to find the money somehow, because he was not going to help. He would hit me for everything. It got to a point where my blood was drawn and physical cuts and bruises came with the deal. There were times when I suffered gaping wounds on my head. He would use the telephone cord or the actual telephone to beat me,” she recalled, giving an example.
Campbell shared that her brother visited the house and was traumatised by what was happening and encouraged her to leave the situation.
“He said, ‘you can’t live like this’. But, each time a round of physical and mental abuse happened, I thought that my abuser would change because he said he wouldn’t hurt me again. I noticed a bit of change but then it just got worse the next time around,” she shared.
Campbell said that she came to a point where ‘enough was enough’ and she knew that she had to go because her life and her children’s lives were in danger.
“Each time he did something to hurt me, it was worse than the previous occurrence and it was horrific. I remember there were times when he told my children that he would hurt them like he hurt me. He also threatened to kill them and then himself if I tried to leave. That was the breaking point. I took the children and left everything else behind. All this after 13 years and three children,” she said
GRATEFUL FOR HER CHILDREN
Campbell’s children were a beacon of light for her during her darkest moments. Unknowingly, they supported her emotionally and encouraged her.
“When we moved out, I remember I used to go into the bathroom to cry because I didn’t want them to see me crying. There was a particular day when one of my daughters saw me crying and asked if she could pray for me. I said yes. That moment broke the mould. After that I cried freely in their presence. We had one chair in the room we stayed in. One child would sit on my lap and the others would sit on either side of the chair. That’s where we prayed and held our devotion. It became part of something we would look forward to, said Campbell. We also bonded over crossword puzzles, Sudoku and reading the Sunday paper. They truly became a tower of strength,” she continued.
Campbell shared as well that her children were grateful when they had very little. “I remember when I didn’t have much money and whatever food I was able to prepare, they would say ‘yum yum, thank you for the dinner’, ” she added.
FROM ABUSE TO TRIUMPH
Campbell acknowledged that taking the step to leave was difficult but necessary. It weighed on her self esteem and she doubted her decision. She wanted the stability of a two-parent and dual-income family despite the fact that she earned more. Ultimately she knew the right decision was made and she has not looked back since.
She recalled him telling her that no man would want her with three children but she said she put her trust in God to see her through.
In her continued moments of triumph, Campbell enrolled in various short courses in dressmaking and design which she later used as a means of supplemental income. During her marriage, she attempted to go back to school to elevate her skills but he burned all her material. Re-enrolling was one way she took back her power.
One of the other ways she healed was to find volunteer groups and engaged with them by sharing her story or giving motivational speeches.
“My regular job would have taken me across the island. So with each parish visit, I would always ask about the volunteer groups in the various spaces. I found people who were hurting from similar abuse situations as well as teens who would soon become parents,” she said.
“Because I actually experienced what I spoke about, it allowed people to relate to me and it helped them to realise that if I could go through that struggle and come out then they could do it too,” she continued.
Campbell would say to them, “no man or woman should beat you into submission whether it be mental, verbal or physical abuse. Know who you are and know your identity”. She added that she met a 14-year-old who was put out by her mother.
“I counselled her and took her in. She was pregnant and did not have a birth certificate, neither did her child’s father (who was 18 at the time). I helped them to get their birth certificates and sent them back to school,” she said. Campbell worked to mend family bonds with the girl and her mother. She used a bailiff to find the mother, counselled them and reestablished a mother-daughter connection.
Through her volunteering efforts, Campbell found people going through similar situations and she helped them in the best ways she could.
“Before long I developed a connection with them and then lift them out of the negative situations they were in,” she said.
Also an author, Campbell has published two books entitled Which Piece of Your Armour is Missing and The Prophetic Ministry: God’s seed and Harvest. She is in the process of writing her third, which will address the topic of domestic abuse.
“Without giving too much away, my third book is about domestic abuse through the lens of society, the lens of a child, and also of a man because domestic abuse is not only directed to the woman. A man can be abused too,” she said.
“To those currently facing abuse at the hands of their partner, know who you are. You are more than what they say you are and your journey does not end with abuse. Get acquainted with your true identity and you will find deliverance from your struggles. Remember that you cannot heal through your wound. You heal from your scars,” said Campbell.
Connect with Almarie Campbell at [email protected]mail.com.
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