April 2022 Viewpoint
In 2011, a young man approached Debbie and me at the Toronto Pearson International airport to introduce himself. Samson Jimaza was excited to be on his way to the first ever Newfoundland camp meeting, as were we. Beyond his modest enthusiasm, our initial impression of Brother Samson was that he was a man of action. You can learn more about him and his wife, Sister Tosin, from their testimonies in the article "Apart, But Never Alone."
Brother Samson moved from Nigeria to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 2008, after Manitoba Immigration nominated him as part of their Skilled Worker Program. Upon arriving, one of his disappointments was his distance from the nearest Apostolic Faith Church. A greater one was the failure of the government to approve his wife’s visa. It took ten years before she could join him there! In each instance, Brother Samson took action.
Action and patience are not often used in the same sentence, but with their immigration challenge, both were exercised with diligence. In their testimonies you will read of steps Brother Samson and Sister Tosin took during that decade.
Brother Samson also practiced each virtue when it came to attending an Apostolic Faith Church. He was determined to be a part of our church because of his experience as a new convert in Nigeria. The music, testimonies, unsolicited means of financial support, prayer before and after each service, sound doctrinal preaching, and wholesome living of participants were attributes which first drew him to the Lord. It all stood in stark contrast to his lifestyle prior to being saved. However, our nearest church was several hours away from Winnipeg, and sometimes winter driving conditions prohibited travelling at all.
His prayerful attempts to secure employment closer to one of our churches failed. So what did Brother Samson do? He acted! He began holding prayer meetings and Sunday school in his apartment. Meanwhile, he read our literature and watched our services remotely. When more immigrants and students from the U.K. and Nigeria relocated to Winnipeg, he invited them to join him for those informal services. Soon more space was needed, so he arranged to rent a church. Over the past decade, the Winnipeg Apostolic Faith “group” that began with one individual became a handful of people, and now numbers nearly one hundred. Under the direction of Canada District Superintendent Chris Hewlett, property has been purchased with building plans underway.
The experience of Brother Samson and Sister Tosin reminds us that disappointments are overcome by God’s help and our determined actions. Our part is to pray patiently, whether we are called to wait on God or to move forward decisively according to His leading. Even when the outcome is uncertain, we are assured that God will have His perfect way in the end as we seek and follow His will. Our prayer is that you will be inspired by the message presented throughout this issue of The Apostolic Faith magazine and, by God’s grace, rise above every disappointment.