April 1, 2015

A Place of Surrender

Born into a Muslim family, I was trained from my youth to practice the Muslim way of prayer, praying five times a day, and fasting for thirty days during the month of Ramadan. As much as possible, I followed all the principles of Islam. I went to a Christian school, but my business there was to argue with the Christians. I had been taught that anyone who did not believe in the prophet Mohammad was a rebel, and to hate Christianity as a whole. Anytime someone tried to preach to me, I did not listen, especially if he told me that Jesus was the Son of God.

I thought I was doing the right thing. Yet as I would leave the mosque after praying, the Holy Spirit would ask me, “If you die, will you make Heaven?” In my heart I would answer, “I just finished praying so I will make Heaven,” but I had no peace. In my mind, I purposed to die as a Muslim, but thank God He did not allow that to happen.

During my secondary school years a sickness developed in my body which slowed my academic progress. However, I was still able to pass all the exams and was granted admission to a university. Once there, however, I did not do well and was one of the bottom four in my class.

One day the Spirit of God told me that I should pray in the Name of Jesus, but I answered that I had never prayed that way. Then I felt two hands upon my shoulders as if somebody was begging me to pray. I knelt down, and it was God Himself who gave me the words to say, “Jesus, I’ve been rebelling against You. Forgive me.” Immediately God’s peace flooded my soul, and the condemnation in my heart was gone.

Then I looked for a Bible. Previously I had read the Bible only for argument, but after I prayed, God helped me understand the real meaning of His Word. Also, God miraculously healed my body, even though I had not prayed for that. I threw away the charms I had brought to the university and began to trust God. Satan said I was finished because I had thrown away the source of my protection, but the Spirit of God let me know that He was with me.

Not wanting to keep the joy of the Lord to myself, I wrote to my parents and relatives. To my surprise, they rejected me and said I should not come home again. They stopped financing me, and I had no other source of financial help. The Bible promises when our parents forsake us, God will take care of us, and He did. There was never a day that I did not have three complete meals. At the end of three years, God supplied a scholarship, and I was able to successfully complete my education.

After my experience with God, I began looking for a church to attend; each Sunday I went to a different one. After some time, I decided not to go to any church because of the disappointments I encountered. Then a friend wrote inviting me to a meeting in Lagos, Nigeria, and I decided to attend. On the way to Lagos, we stopped for a prayer meeting at a small shop where an Apostolic Faith Church was in its beginnings. At the end of the prayer service, I asked my friend, “Do you have this type of church?” He told me that this was just a foretaste of what we would see once we arrived at Lagos.

When I stepped into the tabernacle on the Lagos campground, the Spirit of God witnessed to my heart that this was my church. As I listened to the service, I felt led to pray for what they called “salvation.” Without arguing, I did so, and God’s Spirit came down and witnessed to my soul. Then I knew that I had been saved. God also sanctified me and baptized me with His Holy Ghost and fire.

Since then, God has been all to me. He led me to a Christian woman who became my wife, and the Lord gave us children. God has provided and cared for us. One time our son was sick to the point of death. We prayed for God to heal him, but promised that even if He did not, we would still serve Him. Miraculously, God undertook and healed him.

In time, it was my privilege to be a Sunday school teacher and then a minister in this Gospel. Now we have the opportunity to pastor a growing Apostolic Faith work in Iseyin, Oyo State, Nigeria. We started with less than five people, but today an average of 130 attend the services. Others have been saved, sanctified, and baptized with the Holy Spirit and have become teachers and ministers in other locations.

In 2014, God made a way for us to attend the camp meeting in Portland, Oregon. Some of our children who live in Canada made the arrangements, and God provided money for our flight. Then, shortly before the camp meeting, my wife and I became ill. In a miraculous way, God raised us up, and we were able to make the journey to Portland. God gave us strength so we could enjoy the services and fellowship. We thank God for His many blessings.

apostolic faith magazine