Apart, but Never Alone
I was born into a polygamous family in rural Nigeria, the first boy of the eight children on my mother’s side. We never read the Bible at home, but my mother had a basic understanding of Christian teachings and a sincere desire to please the Lord. She did her best to teach us children the right way to live. We also went to church services and Sunday school regularly, and even to some early morning prayer meetings, but our understanding of the Gospel was incomplete.
Looking back over my childhood, I can see many times when God reached out to help me find the truth. When I was seven years old, my mother bought me an illustrated children’s Bible to encourage me, and later on, an uncle also bought me a Bible. They planted these seeds with the hope that I would live a godly life. At age eleven, during a Good Friday service, a video was shown about the Crucifixion and the Holy Ghost convicted me of my sins. I prayed that night and the Lord made a change in my heart. However, not realizing what this meant, I did not guard the experience and the joy in my soul did not last. Around that same time, I received a Light of Hope magazine from the Apostolic Faith Church, but I never read it. Now I can see that these were all ways that the Lord was seeking after my lost soul.
During my high school days, I became rebellious. I began drinking, hanging out with the wrong people, and going to parties and bars. The community came to know me as a troublemaker because of the problems I stirred up at school and elsewhere. Once, the police arrested me and I spent about two months in jail. There, I fasted and prayed, promising God I would turn away from all my sinful habits. But immediately after my release, I was right back to my old way of life. I was miserable.
Thank God that in all my turmoil, I had a mother who was on her knees praying for me. One day, as I was fleeing her home because the police were after me again, she asked me, “What do you want to make out of your life?” That question broke my heart.
Thank God that in all my turmoil, I had a mother who was on her knees praying for me. One day, as I was fleeing her home because the police were after me again, she asked me, “What do you want to make out of your life?” That question broke my heart. Her piercing words haunted me everywhere I went, all the time. I became restless under Holy Ghost conviction. Sleep vanished from my eyes and nothing appealed to me anymore.
An uncle of mine had been sponsoring my college fees, and when he passed away, I had no funds to continue my studies. In addition, my school asked me to leave because of the problems I had been causing. So in 1993, at the age of nineteen, I decided to move out on my own and relocate to another state. In mercy, God did not allow me to succeed there. I only encountered greater difficulties and confusion. Through it all, the Lord spoke to my heart countless times, letting me know that if I would only surrender to Him, He would put back together the pieces of my broken life.
That same year, I was invited to an Apostolic Faith Church. I had walked by the building many times without giving it any notice. However, at my first service there, I was immediately impressed by the orderliness and solemnity of the meeting. I was not used to church services where the choir members were organized, the ministers had such nice decorum, and prayer was included before and after the service. The music and the testimonies were so pleasant to my thirsty soul, and the simple message of salvation put me under great condemnation. I was not saved that day, but I kept attending until one day, at the altar of prayer, I surrendered my life to God and He miraculously saved me. What a great change God made in my life that day! The joy of the Lord that flooded my soul was indescribable. My burden of sin was gone and I felt light and free; I felt as if all the money in the world had been given to me! The smile on my face told what a transformation the Lord had performed in my heart. Salvation is real!
After that day, there was a new song in my heart, and there was no more alcohol, fighting, or deceit. Old things had passed away and all things had become new. The Lord also helped me to make restitutions to my parents and others for all my past wrongdoing, and I started sharing my testimony with everyone I came in contact with.
Hungering for more of God, I loved reading the testimonies and articles in the church magazines, tracts, and other Gospel materials, as well as listening to recorded sermons. These all facilitated my spiritual growth, and God also provided godly associates who were constantly praying and encouraging me in the faith. In time, as I sought to draw closer to God, He sanctified me and filled me with the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Thank God, today we have a loving group of believers who worship together in Winnipeg and are making plans to build a church here.
After walking with the Lord for a few years, He opened the way for me to return to university, more than ten years after I had finished high school. God provided everything for me to successfully complete my undergraduate and then postgraduate degrees. Then in 2008, God opened another door for me to relocate to Canada. This was a new challenge in many ways, including that the closest Apostolic Faith church was a seven-hour drive from my new home. In addition, my wife’s immigration to Canada was unexpectedly delayed for many years. Despite the isolation, the Lord was with both my wife and me during that period, and He sustained us. Many were praying for us and my church leaders also encouraged me by sending Gospel materials. Thank God, today we have a loving group of believers who worship together in Winnipeg and are making plans to build a church here. In 2018, God also made a way for my family to join me in Canada.
It is amazing how God saw me as a poor farm boy in Nigeria, and in His great love pursued my heart until I surrendered and received His gift of salvation. He took me from death to life, and it is my deepest desire to serve and please my Lord who has done so much for me.
At home when I was growing up, we were taught to pray and we always went to church. However, our church did not teach us how to have real victory. Many times I felt condemnation in my heart for my sins and would beg God for forgiveness, promising not to do them again, but before long I would find myself doing the same things. It was an ongoing cycle of defeat.
While I was still young, the Lord led my mom and an older sister to an Apostolic Faith Church. Soon I decided to follow in their footsteps, and eventually three more siblings and my father joined us. The Lord was leading our paths to a church where we could learn the truth found in God’s Word.
Upon arriving at the Apostolic Faith, I loved the services. The music from the choir and instrumentalists was beautiful, and the Lord used that to reach out to me. During a prayer meeting one day, I repented of my sin and the Lord saved me, and I continued praying until He sanctified me and also baptized me with the Holy Ghost and fire. This was the starting point of my relationship with God.
Our family was so happy to be among the congregation of Heaven-bound believers. The Lord blessed us greatly, provided for our needs, and healed and protected us.
In time, the Lord led me to marry my husband, Samson. Before we were engaged, he had already begun the process of immigrating to Canada, which meant that my name was not included in his immigration application. Our plan was for me to apply after he was approved. He was accepted and moved to Canada in 2008, and returned to Nigeria for our wedding in 2009. Shortly after that, however, my immigration application was denied. By 2010, three more applications had been denied. This was extremely challenging, though we were grateful that God provided a way for him to return home during summers.
Despite times of loneliness, the Lord kept our home, and ultimately we saw how God used our difficult circumstances to teach us to trust Him more.
Years passed while we waited for my immigration to be approved. Despite times of loneliness, the Lord kept our home, and ultimately we saw how God used our difficult circumstances to teach us to trust Him more. In the most trying times, God gave many precious promises. We especially held to the wonderful assurance in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” It seemed those words were echoed repeatedly in church services, songs, radio broadcasts, and elsewhere, and we both felt as if God was speaking that promise directly to us. This was a source of encouragement that strengthened our faith and walk with the Lord.
We never dreamed that my immigration would take ten years to complete. It was not until 2019, after three years of virtually no updates, that I received a phone call from the Canadian consulate inviting me for an interview. Even at that meeting, the interviewer threatened to deny the application again, but we persevered in prayer and the Lord prevailed for us. It was amazing how quickly the details were processed and the application was approved, and then God also provided the funds for relocating in a miraculous way.
The Lord reunited our family and today we are together, happily serving the One who has done so much for us. He blessed our home with three beautiful, healthy children and has provided for all of our needs abundantly. We are thankful that during the ten years of waiting, our faith was firmly anchored and rooted in Him. It can be difficult to understand why God allows our trials, but in the end, Samson and I could see that God used all circumstances for good in our lives. He taught us many spiritual lessons, including how to better understand the difficult situations that others go through, and ways to support and encourage them. We also learned to confront every situation with the weapon of prevailing prayer. Without everything we went through, we could not have understood the wisdom and goodness of God’s ways as we do now.
Today, I am fully persuaded that what God has promised, He is able also to perform. I thank Him for His great love to me, and I know He can save and keep anyone who will yield to Him, because He did it for me. He has been gracious, merciful, and compassionate, and He hears and answers our prayers. My desire is to keep walking with Him until I see Him in glory one day.