This is quite a significant date for Nigeria (October 1) and for me personally. While the nation celebrates 58 years of independence from colonial rule, I am reminiscing and mulling over the past 26 years of God’s faithfulness from the day I went down into the waters of baptism as a 21-year old student in Germany, on October 1st 1992. This date also marks my independence from the “colonial” master of sin and the rule of Satan, with a new allegiance to my new Master, Jesus.
The build-up to this year’s spiritual birthday has been quite memorable. Our brother’s body was finally interred in his village as we experienced both the deep pain of earthly separation from a dear friend, brother, fellow soldier, son, husband etc and God’s comforting presence, especially through His powerful Word.
One of the unique and memorable experiences during the funeral was a conversation I had with one of the two drivers of the Coaster buses that took us to Paul Okolo’s village (Ogwashi-Ukwu in Delta State) and back.
During one of the bus rides in the village, I was alone with him in the bus (going back to the hotel to pick up my forgotten umbrella on a raining day). He seized the opportunity and asked me a question out of curiosity: “Are you people Christians?” I answered in the affirmative, and he wanted to know what our beliefs and doctrine are. I mainly focused on the need to live the life of a disciple of Jesus rather than just being a churchgoer and also emphasized repentance before baptism for salvation. He resonated with the emphasis on lifestyle by saying “that’s how it is supposed to be.”
He opened up at that point and shared with me how impressed he was by the entire group — very nice/kind, straightforward people etc. The best part was his request to meet with any one of us one-one-one while confessing that he is simply a church-goer who attends some of the various Pentecostal churches around. I had prayed that morning to recommit myself to the mission by studying the Bible with non-Christians. What a quick answer to prayer!
Please pray for this to be one of the many fruits that will come out of our brothers passing…
His comment made me realize once again that our lives speak loud enough (make enough noise) stopping people from even perceiving our words. Even in our weakness, God continues to work in incredible ways. The shadow of Paul’s legacy was hanging over us as we traveled and during the entire weekend. May Jesus’s life be reflected in us everywhere we go
While I was away, my wife represented us at a neighbor’s meeting on Saturday morning. She shared with me that the facilitator of the meeting introduced her as Mr. Gilbert’s wife and commented on the wonderful union he sees between us — saying he doesn’t know how and where we met but it was such a great union. Amazingly, another neighbor said the reason is that Mr. Gilbert is a disciple.
May God help us live the life!!! The world is watching and looking for the light in our lives. (Matthew 5:14-16).