“Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away” (SS 8:7)
Brother G started attending our church about seven years ago. He was saved but found no joy in his former fellowship. He had to change his address and with it, he decided to look for another church. One Sunday, he went to a church not far from ours. He said that he became very restless and could not even sit down. He came out and started walking down the street. He then saw our sign board and on the spot he made up his mind to enter in. He said that immediately he felt at home. At the end of the service he went to the head usher and told him that he wants to join the ushering ministry. He told me he never did that in the past. He said that because he is naturally very shy he decided to push himself beyond his comfort zone. He also made a vow to God that he will come every Friday and Saturday to clean the sanctuary and arrange the chairs for the Sunday service. Nobody appointed him. Lead by the Holy Spirit he appointed himself to do this humble ‘unglamorous’ but very necessary work for God. As his pastor, I am a witness that he has been faithful to his vow ever since.
He comes from a poor family. His mother had two children for two different men. She could not take care of them. When her son was one year old, she gave him up to a richer aunt living in Warri. Bro G grew up there with his cousins. But the aunt sent only her children to school. G worked in the house and in her shop. He managed to go to school much later. When he was twenty, he left his aunt’s place and hired a room for himself. He worked as a driver and did other odd jobs. He gathered some money and bought a printer. That is how he started a ‘business center’. He also went into a partnership with a company and drove a ke-ke for them, paying daily the rental fees. At the end of two years, the ke-ke became his (a ke-ke is a covered tricycle used here as taxi).
When he was about twenty five, his birth mother came from the village to look for him. That is the first time he saw her as an adult. She explained that she could not take care of him that is why she gave him to the aunt. He was very angry that she ‘abandoned’ him and refused to accept her apology. She went away crying…
Brother G is now 37. He is a very committed Christian. Each Friday and Saturday I see his ke-ke parked in front of our church. I know that he is inside cleaning the sanctuary. He never had a girl-friend. He never dated any girl. He is very shy. For the past two years he has been coming to my office telling me about his desire to marry. He told me that in the past, if he likes a sister and tries to talk to her, his tongue will ‘seize’. He will be unable to talk properly and begins to stammer. That is how his heart got ‘broken’ three times. In Nigeria, the women generally like to marry confident men. When the sisters saw him struggling to even talk, they rejected him immediately. To make matters worse, he does not know how to dress properly. He has no ‘fashion sense’ at all. His shirts are too big for him ‘flying’ on his (too big) old man’s style of trousers. He also told me that the sisters hate his ke-ke. They could have preferred a car (of course). To add to his problems, he is a Genotype AS. That means he has to marry only a woman whose Genotype is AA. This is to avoid the risk of having children born with Sickle cell anemia (This is the advice we give to the young people in our church who desire to marry).
Each time Bro G came to my office, I encouraged and prayed with him. I told him that the problem is not the tongue, is not the clothes, is not the ke-ke and is not the Genotype. His problem is that he has not found his own ‘rib’. I told him to be patient and continue to serve God and that one day, he will meet his bride. The sign that the sister is his true bride will be this: she will love him exactly as he is and she will not be afraid to change him for the better. I also told him that she will be a mature Christian, a woman who has suffered but by the grace of God she overcame her past. I told him that she will be about the same age with him and that she is a beautiful woman. Her sufferings, combined with the work of the Holy Spirit, have made her a humble and mature woman of God. I told him that she will have her own hand-work and she will never be a liability to him. She will be a true God given helper, an encourager, a challenger and a true blessing to him. I could see it in his eyes… It was in my office that he learned how to dream. For most poor people all over the world, romance is too much a luxury. But he is a child of God. That was my confidence in encouraging him. Nothing is too hard for God to do for His children. At the beginning he was even afraid to say ‘Amen!’ He will open his mouth and forget to close it when I will tell him things about his future bride. At the beginning, he will always look down. But with time, his faith increased. The breakthrough came sometimes last year when he said that now he believes that I am not just his pastor, but his mother in Christ. It took him almost seven years to receive this revelation.
Each time we prayed, he always knelt down… I saw him bowing his head to God Almighty… His humility and faith encouraged me too… I knew in my heart that one day, all these words will come true…I rejoiced, Oh… I rejoiced!
During our Christmas and Jesus Mega Party program, he volunteered to use his ke-ke to carry the female ushers free of charge. That is how he ‘discovered’ sister L. He told me later that his ‘eyes got opened’. He will take extra care with her. He will take L and her daughter home every evening.
One day, Sister L was surprised when he wanted to know her Genotype. He begged her to come with him to the laboratory not telling her why he is interested in the result. Eventually she agreed. The next day the result came. She was AA. Usually so shy, Bro G got so excited… He jumped and jumped with the paper in his hand. He said: “I knew it! I knew it!” Then they entered his ke-ke to go home. In front of her parents’ house, with the traffic and the dust all over them, Bro G took her hand and asked her to be his wife. He had an engagement ring that he bought in the market. Sister L said ‘yes!’ Later, she told me that the same anointing that came upon her in my office, that same anointing and joy suddenly came upon her in the humble ke-ke in such a way that it was easy for her to say ‘yes’. The day was 17th of February, 2014, exactly one year from the day she gave me her wedding shoes. The dust and (the ‘cheap’ two sizes too big) ring could not stop the angels jumping for joy… Is that not wonderful? The eternal God counts our days and moments… What a beautiful story of love and faith!
When L came to my office the next day she was happy like a teenager in love. The first question I asked her was this: does Bro G stammer? She laughed and said not at all. She told me that he is very ‘talkative’. She said that she loves that ke- ke because ‘God is in it’. She told me that she has ‘a designer plan’ how to improve his clothes, that she will sew them all. Then I looked into her eyes and with all the confidence of heaven and earth I said: ‘Congratulations! You are indeed Bro G’s bride!’ The long awaited sign has finally come true!
Then Sis L wanted to meet his mother. He was silent for a time. They went to see his aunt who was surprised that G will get married to such a beautiful girl. After the visit, L asked him if this lady is birth mother. He said no. She insisted that she wants to see his ‘real’ mother, to thank her for bringing her future husband to earth. For the first time since they knew each other, he got very angry. He refused to tell her the truth. For a moment he started stammering again…
Later in my office, L told me that she had to fast and pray for him to open up his heart and mouth and to tell her about his pain of rejection. He promised to inquire about his mother. One day, his sister, her husband and their three children came to visit him. They said that they located their mum and they want to go and visit her. He said that he will come along. L said that she will come too. That is how one early morning; all of them went to the village in ‘the bush’ where the mother lives. It was a long journey, by bus and by motorbike. L told me that to her great surprise, bro G paid the transport fee for everybody. When they arrived at the village, they were told that the mother is in a church. They were all surprised because the mother was a pagan and never attended church before. They went to look for her there. When she heard that her only two children came to look for her, she ran bare feet on the village road thanking God for such a miracle. The pastor and the villagers soon gathered. That is how they discovered that two years ago, mama G became born again and the whole village knew that she was praying for a miracle to see her children. There was praise and worship, clapping of hands and dances of joy. She ran to the kitchen and cooked rice and stew for the ‘visitors’. Her daughter told her that L is her soon to be daughter in law (in love). That she was the one who interceded for this miracle of reconciliation, love and victory. They hugged and praised God and danced some more! The next week G’s mother came to Warri to stay with her son. She wanted to meet L’s parents and to thank them for bringing her to the world as a wife to her son. She promised that from now on, by the grace of God, she will be the best mother she can be to her children! Wonderful! Praise the Lord!
The wedding between Bro G and Sis L is coming soon. Please pray for them. Living here in Nigeria, I have learned so many things, holy beautiful things of God. One thing is sure: When poor people who have nothing and nobody except God by their side become vessels of honor for the Master’s use, their faith blooms like a rose in the desert. That is when the true testimony of grace and glory begins! I testify that I have seen God smile over Warri, Nigeria! Praise the Living God, who loves ‘the nobodies’ of this world, who is mindful of the humble state of His servants and who makes all things beautiful in His own time!
Dear reader, you too, be encouraged today and forever!
In Christ I declare:
Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever!
God is faithful!
God is love!
God is good!
All the time!
In Jesus name