October 1, 2016

Surrendered to God's Call

Born in Ika Oku Iboku, Nigeria, I grew up attending church regularly. In my teenage years, while away at school, I attended another church and took part in the services by playing the organ and singing in the choir. None of these things made me a Christian. My heart was filled with sin, and remained so.

Like many other young men, I had great ambitions to excel, and so applied for and gained admission to a university in the United States. I also was awarded scholarships to study in Romania and later, in Cairo, Egypt. However, God had other plans for my life, and He stopped me in my ventures.

In 1973, frustrated at not being able to leave my country, I moved to Calabar and quit attending church altogether. Then God brought a friend into my life who invited me to an Apostolic Faith service. My initial purpose in going was to enjoy the music, but God had much more in store for me. I found the beautiful music inspiring and consoling, and so continued to attend the church just to hear more of it. In the services, I also heard about salvation. My first thought was that the preacher bewitched people into receiving it. Eventually, though, I decided to test it for myself.

On September 14, 1973, God humbled my heart. I prayed, confessing my sins and promising God not to do those wrong things anymore. In answer to my prayer, He saved my soul. Later, He sanctified me and baptized me with the Holy Ghost.

At salvation, my life was instantly changed. God gave me victory over sin, and a wonderful joy flooded my soul that is still there today. Also, my ambitions changed; I burned my admission letter to the U.S. university, telling God I wanted His will for my life, even if that meant not studying abroad.

Another change took place. As far back as anyone could remember, my village had been plagued by the power of darkness. Nightmares were a daily bitter occurrence. When I was awarded the scholarship to Cairo, I had been excited, thinking that there I would procure as many talismans as possible. I wanted to gather that black magic and take it back home to destroy the power of darkness over my village, while also securing my own safety.

Thankfully, God prevented me from going to Cairo. After I received salvation, the saints told me that the nightmares would be gone. I decided to prove this by returning to my village. It was true! I slept soundly through the night without having any nightmares. From then until now, God has been my refuge and strength. The greatest power is in the Blood of Jesus!

While I was still a young man, an epidemic invaded our family. My grandfather lost thirteen of his fourteen children, including my father. My older brother also died, and there was fear that I would follow suit. However, my trust was in God. Through His power, I am alive today, and am the beginning of a new generation who do not die prematurely.

God has continued to provide healing for me and my family over the years. One time my two daughters were afflicted with the measles so severely that the presence of death could be felt in the room. Our church family prayed, claiming God’s promises, and they were healed.

I had cold symptoms for over twenty years, and felt that my lungs were damaged. Chilled water was like poison to me, and it was difficult to stay warm. I continued to pray and trust God, and in 2014, Jesus touched me. He healed me completely, making my lungs brand new.

In 1981, God called me to move from Calabar to Ikot Enwang to take part in the work at our regional headquarters church. I am thankful for my wife who was supportive and encouraging as we relocated. A few years later, God called me to devote myself to His service fulltime.

In 1997, there were some challenges, and I thought God had released me from that call. However, He gave me three consecutive warnings to remain steadfast. With the third, He allowed affliction to come upon my body. There were serious pains in my right ribs. Finally, they became so severe that I was gasping for each breath and felt I was at death’s door. In that hour, I renewed my consecrations to God, promising to do His will if He would heal me. That night, a song kept going through my mind with these words: “Just obey...just obey.” Upon waking, I was still singing, and was grateful to find that the pains were gone. God had healed me! Immediately, I surrendered to His call.

God has provided for my every need. My wife and I were blessed with two daughters who are happily married in the Gospel. The journey to Heaven is not always easy. Trials, afflictions, and persecutions have come, but Jesus has always been there to encourage.

It pays to serve God. He has given me the hope of eternal life, and filled me with sweet peace, joy, and contentment. The best Friend anyone could have is Jesus.

apostolic faith magazine