IF WITCHES WERE HORSES … Episode 55&56 – Kolade Segun Okeowo

IF WITCHES WERE HORSES – Episode 55

Mojoyin hissed and spat Which godsor you wanted to say idols. Powerless idolsIf nothing happens here today, nobody will pull me out of this church again. Not even my late mother will convince me otherwise

“Yes the gods of Onigba-Iwofa are dead today finally Ilelomia said shaking her fist at the fire!

Yes!!! Dead Forever!!! Mojoyin echoed.

Ilelomia stared blankly at her friend and burst into laughter.

You know, its kind of strangeMojoyin and Ilelomia are speaking with the same voice for the first timeThis Jesus is doing something ooo” Mojoyin said falling on her friend as the two of them laughed heartily again.

Suddenly, they heard a loud noise as everyone looked towards the direction of the palace!!! Coming from the palace was the King Oba Folagbade himself accompanied by a retinue of his chiefs. Word had reached him about the events at the church and he had decided to see things for himself. As the entourage moved closer to the church, someone started a chorus, hailing His Royal Highness, Oba Folagbade Lagooku (Ogajafowomeke II) The Adigbaare of Onigba-Iwofa.

Ki le n fOba pe
Oba O Oba Alase Oba
Oba to de ade owo
Oba O Oba Alase Oba
Oba to wo ewu ileke
Oba O Oba Alase Oba

Who dares the King!!!
The KingThe all-powerful King!!!
The one who wears a crown of cowries!!!
The KingThe all-powerful King!!!
The one who is decked in a beaded robe!!!

The drama crusade continued on the second and third day with more massive results. On the final day, as the altar call was being made by Brother Mike, a woman suddenly screamed from the audience and landed heavily on the ground. She began to roll violently on the ground and screamed at the top of her voice. She scattered a few rows of humans standing close to the rostrum. She spoke some gibberish and was directing attention to herself and causing commotion.

From where he sat, Pastor Joju rose angrily and moved menacingly towards the woman. As if she saw Pastor Joju, she stood up impulsively and began to run through the crowd, pushing those she met on her way. Her strength was difficult to explain as she pushed hefty men from her way as if they were brooms! Others began to give way when they saw the way she pushed heavily-built men before them. The attention of the whole crusade ground was directed to her.

Angered, Pastor Joju ordered some brothers to go after her. He sensed in his sprit that the demon operating inside her wanted to prevent the successful conduct of the altar call on the final day. The crowd on the third day had exceeded the first and the second. Since it was Christmas period, more sons and daughters of Onigba-Iwofa had arrived from Ibadan, Lagos, Ilorin and other major cities to celebrate the yuletide at home. Most of them had joined the teeming crowd at the Palace Grounds when they got information about the drama programme. Apart from that, several natives who stayed more in the adjoining hamlets and villages to practice farming had returned home for Christmas and New Year celebrations only to meet the town agog.

Within seconds, the rampaging woman had been caught and returned to the altar where Pastor Joju quickly laid hands on her and spoke in tongues. She immediately went limp and silent.

A loud and deafening shout of “Hallelujah” filled the air as soon as the woman became quiet. Thereafter, Bamiloye continued with the altar call which he successfully made, leading to another huge harvest of souls. The number of converts on the last day was more than the first and second day put together.

The Mount Zion Team did not leave until Monday morning. They willingly accepted to join the Onigba-Iwofa church for Sunday service. The attendance was overflowing. Wooden benches and chairs were collected from the only rental service in the town to contain the large crowd who sat outside the church despite the scorching sun.

Pastor, no doubt, the construction of anther church building has become necessary. This auditorium can no longer contain this converts, let alone the regular members” Brother Bamiloye opined as they moved out of the auditorium after the service.

“You are very correct Sir. Work will start as soon as the Lord provides. We are deeply convinced that the Lord who has made this possible will also make provision for the work to commence soon Pastor Joju responded.

That Sunday, Pastor Joju was heavily burdened as he battled with himself on the honourarium to give the visiting drama team when they take their leave the following morning. He had just rounded off a meeting with the planning committee where all that the committee could raise; four hundred and fifty naira only was handed over to him. Although, he appreciated the committee because he knew they had brought their best. Moreover, the economy was not at its best. The new military government of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida had just introduced the Structural Adjustment Programme which was taking its toll on the economy everywhere. Dollar had sharply risen to N4.99k equivalent which was a terrible and sharp increase from what it used to be.

Before 1984, the Nigerian currency was one of the strongest in the world. In 1981, the naira was equal to $0.61 after it was at its peak at N1 to $0.550 in 1980. Within the span of eleven years after its creation in 1973, the naira competed well with the American dollar making it almost as strong as the dollar. In 1979 and 1980, the naira was at its strongest as it was $0.596 and $0.550 respectively. Between 1974 and 1985, the naira had rocked from $0.63 to $0.894.

The sharp increase of the value dollar-naira from $0.894 to one unit exchanging for N4.99k had become responsible for the sharp rise in the process of commodities and services. In 1984, a brand new Peugeot 504 car sold from #9,999.00k. By December 1985, the price of the same vehicle had jumped to #38,950.00k. Although shielded from the massive effects of the national economy due to its remote location, Onigba-Iwofa was not completely immune from the unfortunate vicissitudes of the Naira/Dollar saga.

“You dont have to be downcast because of that Sade walked up to her husband in the dimly lit bedroom. There had been a power outage. In the last two months, power supply in the town had become epileptic and erratic unlike what it used to be before.

I know I shouldnt be. However, am concerned that we are going to give nine hundred and fifty naira as honourarium to guest ministers who came all the way from Ile-Ife down here. I doubt if the money will take care of their transport back home Pastor Joju stood from the bed and walked to the window. He gazed briefly at the full moon outside as if seeking advice from it. He walked back to the bed, dragging his feet as he went.

“The planning committee raised only four hundred and fifty naira only. That is the best they can do. The five hundred naira I added is from the envelope Kabiyesi gave as his personal support in addition to the accommodation at Gbelegun Guest House He explained further.

“How much do we have remaining from the six thousand naira with you?” He asked staring at Sade pleadingly.

Sade smiled and sighed. She knew he husband was coming to ask about the six thousand naira. Deep in her heart, she had given up the six thousand naira for the work of the mission. Her intention was to travel to Ibadan and get some additional cash so that she could purchase a small Liteace bus for the use of the church at Onigba-Iwofa. The last time she enquired on the price, the bus was selling for #7,500. When the vision of the drama crusade came, she had committed one thousand five hundred naira to the feeding of the Guest ministers and other logistics.

My Dear, what do you want us to do. The money belongs to God. Speak the word and consider it done Sade said jokingly and smiled again. We have spent one thousand five hundred naira only.

Thank you DearCan we add two thousand and fifty naira to the money so we can give the guest ministers three thousand naira. That looks a little presentable. I would have loved that we give them five thousand naira, but, am thinking of other things we have to do”

My dear, if five thousand naira is what the Lord is laying in your heart, please lets go ahead. I dont mind. I recognise it as a seed of faith from us. I am ready to release allI mean all. The Lord will provide as He has done before. I should go to Ibadan next week. I trust God that He will raise more help for this work. Lets give them five thousand naira!!!

Pastor Joju stared at his wife and smiled. He thanked God again for the kind of woman God gave to him. He stood from the bed and walked to the window again. The brightness of the moon had reduced, so he barely could see like before. He quickly walked back to the bed and knelt beside his wife who sat on the it, holding her lovingly to himself.

Sade, thank God I married you. Thank you again and again for being my friend and backbone. But for God and you, this mission would not have been a success!!! Sade smiled and blushed again.

“We cannot thank you enough for the great thing the Lord has used you to do for us and the entire community of Onigba-Iwofa and environs” Pastor Joju started to address the leader of Mount Zion Drama Team as they set to leave for Ile-Ife via Ibadan that Monday morning. The bus was already warming up outside the Gbelegun Guest House. The brethren were already in the bus waiting. Pastor Joju, his wife, Major Labode and Brother Bamiloye were in the living room of the Guest House. Major Labode had joined Joju and his wife to bid the team farewell on behalf of the church.

Major Labode had proved himself to be more than capable of being the Chairman of the Planning Committee. On Sunday afternoon, he and Odewole, accompanied by their wives had joined Pastor and Mrs. Joju Dairo to lead the team to the palace of Oba Folagbade on a “thank you” visit and to bid the King farewell. Major Labode alone donated more than half of the four hundred and fifty naira gathered by church leaders to support the honourarium of the guest ministers. But for the financial strain occasioned by his seven-year psychiatric ordeal, Major Labode would have single-handedly sponsored the whole programme.

On Sunday evening, after they left the palace following the “thank you” visit to the king, Major Labode had led the bus to AP filling station in the town to fill up the tank with fuel in preparation for the following days journey. He ordered the 80-litre tank to be filled with sixteen-naira worth of petrol. He immediately counted thirty-two pieces of fifty kobo notes and paid the attendant without telling Pastor Joju.

The fruits of your ministration has already started to emerge right from the first day of the programme Major Labode added. He felt highly honoured to have been invited by the Pastor to join him to see off the guest ministers at their hotel.

He grinned happily when Pastor Joju handed over the envelope containing the honorarium meant for the guests and asked him to present it to the at the appropriate time. Major Labode felt the weight of the envelope and exchanged glances with Pastor Joju and his wife. Sade had smiled and looked away. Pastor Joju explained what happened to him. Major Labode stared blankly at the couple unsure of what to say. He quietly used the side of his palm to clean off the string of tears already forming in his eyes.

We cannot pay you, neither can we reward your services. Only God who has called you into this glorious ministry is capable of rewarding and He will reward you in Jesus name Pastor Joju prayed for the drama team leader.

Amen chorused everyone.

On behalf of the entire church, please accept from us this token in support of your coming to Onigba-Iwofa” Major Labode handed over the envelope to Bro. Mike Bamiloye who smiled and collected the envelope from Major. Labode grinned again, he felt his two legs floating in the air as he proudly presented the envelope to the leader of the team.

“We thank you Pastor. We thank you Mummy. Major, thank you so much Sir Bamiloye began what turned out to be a very short thank you speech.

Thank you for the honour and priviledge of inviting us to partake of what the Lord is doing here in Onigba-Iwofa. We also thank you for your kind hospitality and wonderful welfare arrangements. We cannot thank you enough Major Labode grinned again as Bamiloye spoke.

We also thank you for this heavy honorarium, we are grateful indeed. We accept it with the whole of our heart and from the bottom of our hearts, we pray that the Lord will increase you and increase His work in your hands in Jesus name Bamiloye prayed again.

Amen chorused everyone again.

Since we have accepted this huge token from the bottom of our herats, I guess we are free to do anything we like with it Bamiloye asked smilling.

Yes They chorused reluctantly, unsure of what Bamiloye was trying to do.

Goodin that case, Pastor, please kindly accept from us, this token as our own seed towards the commencement of the new auditorium for this mission work. Please use it to start the church building Bamiloye said as he stretched the envelope to the Pastor, smiling heartily as he did.

Noooo!!! Noooo!!! Brother MikeYou shouldnt do thisWe invited you and kept you here for three days. We should do this, not you…You deserve to n-be honoured. You did not ask us for a pennyy, that is more than enoughPease dont do this Pastor Joju pleaded.

But you just said now that the money belongs to us and we are free to do anything we like with itHave you changed your mind? Mike Bamiloye asked, laughing as he spoke.

Mrs. Sade Dairo sighed for the umpteenth time and spoke. Brother Mike, are you annoyed with us? Is the money too small?”

Exactly, that is what I wanted to say. Please dont mind us, just accept us as we are. We promise to do much more than this when next we invite you Major Labode joined in the pleas to the drama leader.

Mike Bamiloye laughed heartily again and said: No. We have not even counted the money inside the envelope so we dont know what is inside, but you see, the Lord had already spoken to us on what to do if and when you give us this honourarium. Pastor, please permit us to obey HimPlease use it to kick start the construction of another church for this mission. Please help us to obey God

Haa!!! This is serious Major Labode exclaimed.

Jesus!!! Jesus!!! I dont know what to say Bro Mike. This is a shock!!! Pastor Joju said as he collected the envelope from Bamiloye and handed it over to mar Labode.

Brother MikeThe Lord will raise men for you. He will cause this vision that He has given you to take you beyond the shores of this continent and make provisions available for you. He will remove obstacles from your ways. He will announce you by Himself. The Lord will open for you, doors that no man can shut and Pastor Joju continued the prayers for another five minutes, pouring his heart out in prayers for the Mount Zion Team. Bamiloye went on his knees as Pastor Joju prayed.

Aarinola remained in Onigba-Iwofa until after the new year celebrations. She had determined to spend the entire period of her annual leave which coincided with the yuletide to stay with her parents and mend fences with them; especially her father. Her mission had succeeded and met little resistance from her mother whom she was able to convince to attend the second day of the drama crusade. The old woman watched the drama and became one of the many who stepped out to give their lives to Jesus as soon as the altar call was made.

Her initial claims of being a leader in the Egungun cult had given way when she saw other members of the Egungun cult stepping out at the drama crusade to give their lives to Jesus. News had gone round town about what happened at the church during the counselling and new converts’ class on the first day where many ritual and fetish objects were burnt without any repercussion.

The news emboldened several other fetish and idol worshippers to attend the two other days of crusade and the new converts class. One of the paraphernalia burnt at the church was the costume of a dreaded masquerade called Gbonkuka brought by its custodian; Eleku Gbonkuka to the church. The costume of Gbonkuka and other of its paraphernalia were burnt with no repercussions.

All these added to the strength and conviction of the old woman and aided her smooth conversion to Christ. Although, she attended the new converts class the following days, Aarinola became her major post-conversion teacher, explaining the word of God to her step by step.

Her father, Labinjo Oderinde a leader in the local Awo-Opa fraternity was however the hard nut to crack. When news got to him that his younger brother Odewole had carried a load of powerful charms to the church for destruction, he became enraged!!!

IF WITCHES WERE HORSES – Episode 56

The news emboldened several other fetish and idol worshippers to attend the two other days of crusade and the new converts class. One of the paraphernalia burnt at the church was the costume of a dreaded masquerade called “Gbonkuka” brought by its custodian; “Eleku Gbonkuka” to the church. The costume of “Gbonkuka” and other of its paraphernalia were burnt with no repercussions.

All these added to the strength and conviction of the old woman and aided her smooth conversion to Christ. Although, she attended the new converts class the following days, Aarinola became her major post-conversion teacher, explaining the word of God to her step by step.

Her father, Labinjo Oderinde a leader in the local Awo-Opa fraternity was however the hard nut to crack. When news got to him that his younger brother Odewole had carried a load of powerful charms to the church for destruction, he became enraged!!!

Labinjo’s anger was not because Odewole joined the church or accepted to follow the “new Jesus god”. For all he cared, Odewole could even choose to become a Revered Father or a Bishop. As far as he was concerned the whole of Onigba-Iwofa had suddenly become mad and gone nuts with the new fad in town introduced by the Pastor from Ibadan and the Kabiyesi. For him, the senses of everyone will return when epidemics of higher magnitude than the Olomoro scourge descend upon them to do greater damage and havoc.

“It is only then that I will speak!!! For now, silence is the best answer for the folly in everyone including your King who chose to bring disgrace, shame and dishonor to the throne of his forefathers by giving up the worship of our gods for the sake of some strange gods” He shouted at Aarinola who attempted to bring the topic up again for the umpteenth time. Quietly, Aarinola had walked away from the corridor where she had engaged him in another round of discussion about Jesus.

Labinjo greatest worry was the charms his younger brother was reported to have taken to the church to be burnt. One of the charms he inherited from their late father was a waist band that enabled whoever wore it to see into the hearts of his enemies and know their thoughts even before they spoke. He had pleaded severally with Odewole to allow him the use of that waistband to no avail, only to now hear that Odewole had submitted charms to burnt in the church. He reasoned that the magic waistband was one of the burnt charms.

He was right, Odewole had released all the charms without leaving anyone behind. He surrendered all the charms for burning. The particular charm that infuriated his brother Labinjo the most was one of the first set of charms he packed for destruction, although he had not used the charm for a long time, it was one of the charms he feared most amongst the ones he inherited from his father.

The charm was not only capable of making the wearer hear and know unspoken thoughts, it is equally capable of making him hear the voices of gnomes and elves. By implication, whoever uses it will never have peace of mind as he will hear those things he desires and the ones he detests.

The last time Odewole used the charm, he had seen two headless gnomes discussing how they intend to create a new market of gnomes where only the headless ones will be able to buy and sell. They also discussed how to arrange body parts of human beings for consistent and constant sale at the said market. For seven days after the experience, he could not sleep, he kept seeing different scary gnomes, and elves. He never returned to the particular charm afterwards.

As soon as Aarinola returned to Ibadan, she went to see her father in the Lord, Senior Pastor of the Jesus Assembly Pastor Adegoke. As soon as she explained her vision to Pastor Adegoke, the clergymen smiled and simply congratulated Mrs. Paseda.

“Congratulations? Why Sir”

“You saw what many did not see until the twilight of their life…Sister Aarinola, I am glad that you identified what god will have you do in your Jerusalem. We are prepared to support you and ensure that you bring to pass gods desire for your life. Congratulations again”

“Thank you Daddy” Aarinola smiled and courtesied again. She must have done that more than seven times since she arrived to visit Pastor Adegoke. Pastor Adegoke counselled her to be start the work gradually and expect God to speak to her as the work progresses.

Construction works on the new church at Onigba-Iwofa started a few weeks after the drama crusade. The “gift” of #5,000 from the drama team was more than sufficient to commence the work. Although, the money was the honourarium returned by the drama missionaries, Pastor Joju recorded it in the financial books of the church as “gift from the drama team” He explained to Major Labode that since the money was meant for them and the leader had actually received it with thanks, before returning it to the church, it must be seen as donation coming from them and not a returned honourarium anymore.

Moreover, Pastor Dairo and his wife had travelled to Ibadan as planned and returned with over ten thousand naira. Since the issue of the new church building started, they had jettisoned the idea of buying the liteace bus. They visited the Senior Pastor and gave him a report of the drama crusade and the testimonies that followed it. The Pastor had immediately ordered a release of five thousand naira for the Onigba-Iwofa mission towards the construction of the new auditorium. She secured another five thousand naira from her supermarket. Her younger sister whom she put in charge of the place had been very faithful and had kept records of sales and profit at the supermarket most religiously.

As soon as they returned to Onigba-Iwofa, preparations for the construction of the new church started immediately. Major Labode volunteered to supervise the works. He was an engineer in the Nigerian Army before the unfortunate incident. He was in the Engineering Corps of the Nigerian Army attached to the 3rd Marine Commando under the leadership of Lt. Col. Olusegun Obasanjo during the civil war. He promised to use his experience as a civil engineer in the Army free of charge for the new church. He also promised to raise one thousand naira from his friends and relatives in support of the project.

By the time the construction began, the church had over fifteen thousand naira cash at hand. His Royal Highness, Oba Folagbade Lagooku (Ogajafowomeke II) The Adigbaare of Onigba-Iwofa had aslo supported with two thousand naira and promised to raise another ten thousand naira through the Onigba-Iwofa Descendants Union based in Lagos and Ibadan. Other major donors included Odewole and his wife who gave two hundred and fifty naira each.

When the construction started, members of the church including women and children volunteered to work on site as labourers. A few of them who had minimal experiences as artisans joined to work free of charge under the supervision of Major Labode. This singular action on the part of the church members made the available fund to go a long way. A truck laden with cement had brought in one hundred bags from  Iseyin costing a whooping sum of six thousand five hundred naira.

Pastor Joju had agreed with Major Labode to first arrange for the 100 bags of cement and begin to mould blocks with them as that will reduce the cost of the blocks. According to Major, with one hundred bags, the hand moulders will make 3,000 thousand pieces of 9 inches blocks. That, according to him will be enough to complete the construction of the new church which was planned to be 50X100 feet in size.

Life at the Bible School in Ikeji-Arakeji was getting better for Morakinyo. Not only was he selected the President of the Crash Programme Class, he was on daily basis saddled with one responsibility or the other. His colleagues have also come to accept him as their “generalissimo” of some sorts as every issue that has to do with the welfare and well-being of the entire students’ population was referred to Morakinyo. On his part, he was enjoying the training by and by. Every lecture he received at the school was like eye opener. He was getting better understanding of the ministerial work. He wished he had attended the Bible College before going on the mission field at Onigba-Iwofa.

As the course gradually moved to a close, the school began making arrangements for the graduation of the first batch of graduating students for the year 1986. The leadership of the church had announced that a man of God from Lagos was coming to preach and pray for the students. However, the identity of the man of God was kept in secret. According to the tradition of the college, the name of the visiting man of God will be mentioned only twenty-four hours to the graduation and sent forth.

Morakinyo was eager to return to Onigba-Iwofa. He wished that the graduation and send forth will be over quickly so that he could return this base. He had developed a kind of emotional attachment to the Onigba-Iwofa church. He missed Kabiyesi and his wife the most. He had developed a kind of father-son relationship with the King and looked forward to seeing him again. He could not communicate with anyone but Barr. Wole Olaoye visited him once during the course and gave glowing reports about what was going on at Onigba-Iwofa.

Twenty-four hours to the graduation, the Principal of the Bible College made announcement concerning the guest minister from Lagos. The man of God was the new General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God; Ebute Meta, Lagos, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye.  The Principal announced the reasons for the choice of Adeboye to bless the new set of crash programme missionaries. Adeboye, according to him took over from the founder of the church five years ago and had succeeded in moving the church forward in greater leaps within the five years of his being the General Overseer of the church.

“Adeboye was a Senior Lecturer at The University of Ilorin until four years ago when he became The General Overseer of the RCCG. He had obtained not only a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree in Mathematics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1967, but also a Masters (MSc.) Degree in Hydrodynamics and a Doctorate Degree (PhD) in Applied Mathematics, both from the University of Lagos in 1969 and 1975 respectively” The Principal addressed the student population as he read from a prepared piece of paper.

“Pastor Adeboye was ordained a Pastor in RCCG in 1977 and received a solid foundation in the scriptures under the tutelage of the late Reverend Josiah Akindayomi. He manifested an incredible passion for the work of the Lord by pioneering Bible study meetings, crusades, revivals, outreaches and the evangelistic programs” A round of applause by the students followed the reading of the citation of the Guest Minister expected in the next 24 hours at the graduation of the Bible College.

“Four years ago, when the founder of RCCG passed to glory, the baton of leadership was handed over to him by divine orchestration. His appointment as General Overseer immediately terminated his academic career, and as a result, he set his heart on taking RCCG to the next level of ministry, where all strata of society could be involved in the ministry without compromising the true worship of God. At the time of his predecessor’s death, there were only 39 parishes in South-west Nigeria. Within four years, it has grown to 105 parishes” Another round of applause followed. The principal read with pride. Adeboye was his classmate at Ilesha Grammar School between 1951 and 1956.

“Last year March, he started the Holy Ghost Services, a programme which featured a night of praise, worship, prayer, soul-winning, deliverance, testimonies and the preaching of God’s Word once a month on the premises of the ministry’s headquarters in Ebute Metta, Lagos. Over 1,000 people attended the programme”

By the time the Principal finished reading the citation of Pastor Adeboye, Morankinyo was soaked in tears. He was deeply humbled by the life of the expected Guest Minister. He was hearing about Pastor Adeboye for the first time since he became a Christian. The aspect of the citation that humbled him most was the mention of the fact that “his appointment as General Overseer immediately terminated his academic career”

Morakinyo found a resemblance between his life and that of the expected guest minister and got immediately attached in his spirit to the man of God. Adeboye was a Ph.D holder like him and had risen to become a Professor when he pulled out of the academic career to serve God wholeheartedly.  He was happy he could have an example to make reference to. That Adeboye was young and highly literate was for him warming and refreshing. He was said to be 39 years only when he became the General Overseer of the RCCG. He made up his mind to attach himself to Adeboye and become a mentee of some sort to him.

When Pastor Adeboye arrived for the graduation ceremony the following day, Morakinyo and all other students were pleasantly surprised at the simplicity of the man. His entourage came in only one Peugeot 504 car and had only his driver with him.

Adeboye’s sermon was short but very deep and got Morakinyo crying again. He sobbed throughout the duration of the sermon titled: INSURANCE IN SERVICE.

Adeboye said “of all the masters a man can serve, serving God is the most rewarding, both now and in eternity. God is the Almighty who alone has knowledge of the past, present and future. He alone understands us inside and out. Serving God faithfully brings several blessings upon you, such as divine healing, long life for you and your family, prevention of untimely death and fruitfulness in every area. It makes you stand out as God’s servant and crowns your days with joy”

He told the story of a young pastor who had an interesting encounter. His wife was a medical doctor. Over the years he had built his faith on and had enjoyed divine healing. One day he took ill and his wife insisted he went for a test. After much resistance, he was confined to a hospital bed, even though the cause of his problem was unknown. He wrestled with that situation and asked God questions without receiving any answer.

“In the same ward was a man. He observed how the man keenly looked at him as he read his Bible. At one point, the young pastor asked if the man was a Christian. He replied and said he used to be. Used to be? What happened? The man revealed that he was an evangelist who was really sold out to God, but fell into sin” Morakinyo adjusted his seat when Pastor Adeboye got to that bit of the story and listened more attentively.

“He could not forgive himself. The devil capitalized on this and kept hammering that he could never be restored to the faith and he was eternally doomed. He believed the lie of the devil, backslid, contracted a terminal illness and was now awaiting death” Pastor Adeboye continued his story.

“The young Pastor immediately swung into action and showed him Scriptures that God would forgive him if only he could confess his sins. He did, and reconciled with God. Then all his guilt and fears suddenly disappeared and were replaced by so much joy… Someone here today will become a source of joy to others!!!”

“Amen!!!” chorused the students.

Pastor Adeboye smiled. He was enjoying the reactions of the Student- Pastors who listened with rapt attention and concentration as he preached. “The following day, the results of a test revealed the young pastor was healthy and free to go. About to take offence over the unnecessary waste of time, he asked after the evangelist and was told he had joyfully passed into glory that night. It was then that he realised God had brought him to restore the backslider, so that he could come home. Your service could be a safeguard for your soul. Don’t joke with it” Adeboye ended the sermon on that note and prayed for the graduating missionaries.

As soon as the short service ended, the graduating missionaries posed for pictures with the principal and Pastor Adeboye. As soon as Pastor Adeboye waved the entire students goodbye and walked to his car, Morakinyo ran after him and fell at his feet just before he opened the door to enter the car.

“Please pray for me Sir…” Morakinyo said as he fell at the feet of the man of God. “I have failed God once…I don’t ever want to fail Him again”

Pastor Adeboye saw the tears in Morakinyo’s eyes and smiled. He saw sincerity in the eyes of the young man and had compassion on him. That morning as he travelled to Ikeji-Arakeji for the programee, he silently meditated on the topic of the sermon. Just as the car entered the compound of the Bible College, he heard the Lord speak to him distinctly. The Lord said “The siege of failure is over”

Although, he said “Amen” and was happy, Adeboye was not sure if the message was for him or someone else. However, when Morakinyo knelt before him and asked to be prayed for, Adeboye looked up and said “Thank you My Daddy” He instantly knew the message was for the young man kneeling before him.

“The siege of failure is over!!! Receive grace to see right and do right in the name of Jesus”

Morakinyo screamed “Amen” as Pastor Adeboye laid hands on him and prayed further for him.