A pre-wedding interview done to encourage trust in God among Christian sisters
‘I waited patiently for the Lord…he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.’ – Psalm 40: 1-3
Sabina Moneme was baptized in the Berlin Church in Germany more than 15 years now and is about to be married in a few days’ time but that’s only half the story. A captivating story of faith, perseverance and patience unveils…
Here is her story with interviews by Wale Aderibigbe…
ICOCnigeria: Let’s meet you. Who is Sabina Moneme?
Sabina: Sabina Moneme is in her early forties and about to be married in a few days’ time. I am a Project Manager and have been a disciple for 15 years (baptised July 8th, 1997).
ICOCnigeria: Where are you from?
Sabina:I am from Anambra State.
ICOCnigeria: Please describe your upbringing to give us an idea of what life was like while you were growing up.
Sabina: I grew up in a family of 9 (late father, mother and 7 siblings) – 2 of the siblings are my step.
I am next to the last sibling from my mother. My family in the 60’s was basically poor. I left home at 5 years old to live with my eldest sibling in the North of Nigeria, due to the fact that my mother could not afford to take care of all of us, though my father was present, I hardly knew him. I started school very late, but I really don’t know how old I was but I knew I was older than most kids then. I did my primary school in an Army school (New cantonment “A” as it was called then) in Kaduna. I graduated as an A student into Federal Government Girls Collage Bakori in Funtua, now in Katsina State. I excelled in very many activities in the School. I represented Kaduna State in track and field events; my best sports were 400×400 relay, 800m etc.
And I slept and dreamed handball. It was my best field event and I represented the school in this one in my entire school season at Bakori. I was also among the first 10 good students academically. I became the School’s Head Girl from 1985-1986. My favourite subjects were English, Chemistry,Geography, History, Bible Knowledge and Literature. I was average in Maths. I made only 3 Credits and 4Ps after my WASCE, and had to rewrite exams, to pass into the University.
Now, having said the above, I did not excel in all of these activities, because things were rosy. I excelled because I did my best as a teenager to be recognised as a responsible teen and a student.
ICOCnigeria: How did you meet the challenges that came your way as a young girl?
Sabina: Earlier, I mentioned that I didn’t live with my parents, and I basically was like a house help when I was staying with my guardian, so during the school holidays when other kids went for lessons I was working at home. I practically took care of my little ones and the house for my guardian. So I was not surprised when I had the problem with my WASCE result. In spite of the challenge, I didn’t give up. I loved school and dreamed of being a Pharmacist, or a Lawyer. However, my dream was shattered after the woeful result I got. It was even more tragic when my guardian didn’t want me to go back to get those papers I failed but to start a hand work as a seamstress.
When I heard it, I rebelled and would not accept such a proposal because I knew that if I was given another chance at WASCE, I would do better. I would have stopped all sports and all the Head Girl activities and with less housework I would study more and focus more. So in my rebellion I would not greet anybody in the mornings, I would not do house work, I would not eat. I did many other rebellious things (now I am not saying that rebellion was a good thing, but I needed someone to do something about my situation), however, I said to myself ‘I must read, no matter the odds’ so as a 17-year old teen, I sold many odd things to get money to buy books to read as I waited to see what my guardian intended to do.
One day, I sold my guardian’s old newspapers he piled at home for future researches. When he found out his ‘research’ newspapers had been sold, he wanted to know about it, and I told him I sold them to buy the latest novel of James Hardley Chase that was released that year. It was at this point that my guardian realised that I needed to continue my education. And they began to make plans for me to get back into school. I was at home for 2 years before I got admission to go to school in Europe. I graduated with BSc in Agriculture and have an MSc in Agricultural Fertilisers.
I speak 2 foreign languages apart from English.
ICOCnigeria: What was your religious orientation like before you became a disciple of Christ?
Sabina: I come from a staunch Catholic background.
ICOCnigeria: Why did you become a disciple?
Sabina: I became a disciple because the people who taught me about the Bible practised exactly what they taught me. Initially, I thought they were a hoax, but after living amongst them for a month, I found out they were real, and if there were people who lived the Bible, (after I have been in my former church, being in the Pentecostal fellowships), I knew I could live it as well, since it is God that wills us to obey.
ICOCnigeria: Did you face any form of persecution in the course of making the decision to become a disciple?
Sabina: The decision I took 15 years ago to follow Christ has not been easy, because I faced a lot of challenges, when I came back to join the Nigerian Church. The brethren here were not as brotherly as the ones in Berlin (Germany) where I made this covenant with God.
My Catholic family didn’t understand it, especially my mother.
I faced the challenge of learning to behave like the country of my childhood at the office. I was almost sacked, because I would not offer my international passport to be used for a fraudulent transaction with a bank, etc. But in all this, God was with me.
ICOCnigeria: What is the one thing you would say (I know you have a whole lot more) discipleship has changed in your life?
Sabina: It has taught me not to compromise. You can’t serve two kingdoms (the world and the heavens) and you can’t serve two Masters (God and the Devil), you either say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. You are either in the Church or you are out.
ICOCnigeria: You are getting married in a few days’ time. Tell us how it feels.
Sabina: I am excited. In fact, I can’t wait to say ‘I do’ knowing I have kept faith with God; I didn’t break the covenant I made with God concerning purity with my spouse- to -be.
ICOCnigeria: Having waited on God this ‘long’,what would you say to women your age in the Lagos/Nigerian Church (es) and our movement worldwide who do not have a special friend yet, talk less of having a fiance?
Sabina: For my sisters who probably are older and a bit younger or my age, I would say remain faithful, in what you do for God, be it serving, be it faithfulness to be at Church all the time, whatever, always remember that God is the best match maker in the whole wide world. Funnily enough, I never told God the physical aspect of the man I wanted (you know what I mean). I didn’t care if he would be tall and handsome, rich or short. I only told him about the spiritual aspect which was that he should have the fear and the image of God.
And of course, for those who are close to me, you know how God answered that prayer. I have the evidence before me. (Ha! Ha! ). Sisters all I want to say is believe God. Do not believe the outburst of the brothers, “you are older than me, I can’t possibly like you”. If it is God’s plan, the brother will not know such words. I love you sisters but God loves you more. When you give all you have to him, he will give you back in his own time. That’s what he did for me. One more thing I almost forgot to add, you must not know a brother, before you decide he is from God. I never knew Ejiro in my 14years of being in the Nigerian Church.
I never spoke or greeted him. In fact, I never saw or noticed him until the day he was bold enough to introduce himself to me sometime last year. Everyone I asked about him, seemed to know him, but I didn’t.
ICOCnigeria: Do you have any ‘personal’ fact about yourself you would like to share to help our teen girls and, of course, adult women in the fold in the area of remaining faithful till they are married?
Sabina: Wow, Wale, the questions are overwhelming. It’s almost morning and I started answering these questions since 4am. Anyway, for the teens, although I was not a disciple when I was in my teen years, otherwise I might not have rebelled like I said initially and done all the bad stuff I did like I mentioned above, but I have worked with teens in the church in the past (when I first arrived home). I studied with Uyime Akpan, Peace Akpan, worked with Clarita O’Tudor, Kizito’s elder sisters,( can’t remember their names right now), and a host of other teens both boys and girls in Surulere, Islands Regions etc.
And one thing I have seen in my protégés is that the faithful ones are the ones who understood the fear of God, and made friends with teen boys who were disciples. So teens, if you want to remain faithful and wish to marry a disciple, you must make friends with the teen boys at Church who love God and want to be disciples, because they will never want to compromise their love for God, by being bad boys who do not respect you.
And for the Big sisters, who are single, forget the guys out there, because they might be rich towards this world but not rich towards God. Their marriages you see look good, but problem solving in marriages outside of the Church can be very tormenting and a major category end up in divorce.
With this I rest my case. God bless you.
Wow, I am getting married in 48hrs’ time, I must run. Thanks Oga Wale for your patience.
ICOCnigeria: Thank you too for your co-operation and understanding while the interview lasted. We do wish you a hitch-free wedding and a blissful married life.