Article: Decisive Conversations

Yesterday’s conversation with a dear friend, big brother, former flatmate and mentor was a very decisive one. I believe our 40-minute whats-app call, sandwiched by a prayer time, provided the reassurance I need to chart the course ahead.

I’ve often had such conversations with another dear brother and friend. We call them strategy or mastermind sessions. They have grown over time and touch diverse areas in life – one of such conversations helped provide the needed clarity almost 10 years ago and led to me focusing on the relationship with that very special sister and friend. I have been privileged to share my life with her for the past 6 years and counting.

Another brother, friend, and mentor engaged me in one of such decisive conversations over a decade ago. We were sitting in his hotel room for five hours, without realizing that the air conditioner was off meanwhile we were sweating, that it had gotten dark, etc. That’s how engrossed we were. That decisive talk eventually led to my decision to pursue personal development by resigning from the paid full-time ministry and returning to school to earn a degree. Countless doors have opened up thanks to that turning-point-of-a-conversation.

In 1994 such a conversation led to me staying back in Abidjan while the missions team I left Germany to join, launched into Douala, Cameroon. It started with the statement: “Gilbert, I don’t know where you see yourself in the years to come, but as for me, I believe God has great plans in store. … That conversation laid the groundwork for me to stay and get trained in the ministry. The same brother engaged me a year later and pointed out the progress I had made with the French language. He now urged me to keep growing but to also work on my English for future purposes.

In 1992, one of my doctors to whom I was complaining about the excruciating pain of laying a catheter for my cancer treatment said something that changed my attitude for life. He looked at me straight in the eyes and said: “Herr Kimeng, your disease is hazardous (short of saying “deadly” ). You get to choose between the pain and the other option (referring to death). I never ever complained from that day on – even with 16 spinal chord injections, 12 bone marrow punctures followed by a bone marrow transplant, 5 surgeries, etc. That conversation has since defined my attitude in the face of life’s many twists and turns.

Are you ready for a decisive one?

Gilbert Kimeng

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