I grew up as a catholic, infact my father's first wife used to be a nun and then she started dating my father who used to work at a catholic mission. I remember how my maternal grandpa (who was also catholic) used to give us one cent coins to take to church and give as offering.
They were the big old one cent coins, I used to love the noise they made as you threw them into the dish - aaah those were the days. I always looked forward to sundays so I could get my one cent coin which I would hold in a tight fist to make sure it did not get lost - they did get lost easily those coins!! By the time I gave my coin it would be nice and sweaty!! And my hands would be left smelling of copper coins.
Glory to God. So it was not surprising to my family and friends when I decided I was going to be a nun after school.
I wanted to dedicate my life to God - be a missionery for Christ. But now at school I hung around with a group of christian friends from different back grounds.
Mostly were seventh day adventists and also some born again christians - now here was a breed of people I did not understand - the born agains!! They was Nqoe who was a walking talking bible. Even in maths she could find a scripture that explained the sums, decimal, anything really.
She had a scripture for everything so we all avoided her as we thought we could not have a normal conversation with her. Infact I personally tried so hard to stay away from her.
But one day she and a friend of hers somehow pursuaded me to visit their church and they promised to visit mine the following week. I was in form five at the time (1992).
I got to the church I did not like the movement there. They was just too much movement for it to be a church! It felt like I was at one of the catholic youth meetings and not a proper "church service".
(You have to have a catholic background to understand this) they moved around while praying and they were dancing in church can you imagine!! And they still had the audacity to claim to be in church!. I was stunned to say the least.
Anyway when alter call was made I just sat there curiously watching others go to the front and when I looked around all eyes were on me waiting for me to make my way to the front. At first I was like nope am not budging from this seat but an inner probing said you will even get prayed for, remember you have exams coming so you will need all the divine help you can get.
I went to the front and gave my life to Christ. I had no idea what I had done but I was happy about the prayers I had received - it was a powerful prayer.
And besides everyone seemed very happy, infact too happy; and yet according to me what I had done was not a big deal. Later on one of my friends wrote a me a note telling me how proud she was of what I had done that day.
Ok still I had no idea why this was such a big deal. I passed my exams and registered to be a nun with the Saint Franciscan nuns.
Little did I know that a seed had been sown in me. And this was no ordinary seed, in that it would establish all that it had set out to accomplish in me.
Plans had to be changed and altered many times before i could understand what God's plan for my life was. It would be years later that a cousin of mine would invite me to the Dome to see Pastor Chris.
Now this cousin of mine (according to me and my conservattive thinking) just loved things. She was always looking for God, actually I had no idea what she wanted from God but I was sure that she would find it one day!! (said in the most sarcastic way).
2004 She had gone to Nigeria to to "see some Pastor" So yah naturally when she invited me to see this Pastor at the Cocacola Dome (2005) I refused to go. But she was not taking a no for an answer.
She told me she and this other aunt of mine were counsellors at this program so it would be nice if I came they would make sure I got a nice place to seat! She must have known me well to have thrown that bait in because I found myself at the Cocacola Dome. I tried to call my cousin so I could tell her I was in and needed that fancy place to seat.
It was noisy with everyone trying to find the best place to sit. It was my first time at a gathering like this I had never been to a crusade, a revival or anything this big except the occasional soccer match or musical concert and yah once to see the Pope but it was nothing like this.
So I did not know where to sit. I was not even expectant, I thought it would have been nice to sit next to someone I know, but instead I found myself sitting next to rows upon rows of people on wheel chairs and strechers (now i think it was a special place for the students of the Healing school section).
The lady next to me was actually wearing a hospital gown meaning family had maybe asked to take her out for a day (I don't know if you can do that) And the man on my other side must have kept drifting in and out of consciousness. I was sure I was at the wrong meeting.
Normally I would have stood up right there and then and left as I was sure I was not sick and did not need healing. But "something" made me sit.
The meeting started, the choir ministered beautifully. I remember when one of the Pastors (Rev Thom) who I thought was Pastor Chris stood up and said its time for offerings but what struck me and stayed with me was what he said.
It was along the lines of " take out a good offering for the Lord remember the word of God is free but it is not cheap". Sjo! that was a very striking statement for me I did not know what to make of it but it stayed with me to this day.
Now when Pastor Chris came on stage a lot of activity was happening around me with all these people in wheel chairs but I manged to ignore and listen to the preaching. Pastor Chris was not preaching but he was raising the bible from the dead!!!!.
The word of God came alive. I found it hard to believe that all those scriptures were in the bible because I did not have a bible.
(I only owned a little Gideons bible which did not even know it was). And right now I needed a bible I looked around for someone with a bible so that I could see if Pastor Chris was really reading from the bible, I mean the Christian bible, (i had heard of so many churches having their own bible, and at that moment i was convinced this was one of the churches).
But around me no one seemed to be holding a bible they were all too sick. I was burning to see for myself where Pastor was reading, i had written the scriptures down and would have checked them later when i got home but this burning in me would not allow me to wait until i got home; so I decided to move from where I was sitting and look for someone who had a bible.
Now the Dome was packed infact they were pepople on overflow, but I was sure they must be a seat close to someone with a bible. I stood up and started moving I did not look around I just moved, I saw a lady with a bible and at this stage even if they were 2 sharing a bible I would have joined them and forced them to share with me.
They was an urgency for me to see that all of this was infact in the bible. So I sat next to this lady who mumbled something about her husband being in the toilet, I didn't care about her husband's seat I just wanted access to her bible.
Lo and behold there it was, all there in black and white. Wow who was this Pastor Chris? Why did everyone talk about his miracles and forget to tell me about his teaching of the word.
By the time Pastor Chris said "take it" and people started walking out of their wheel chairs I was also walking out of my wordless life into a life full I mean full of the word of life. I was born again that day by the word of His grace.
I was delivered that day from all darkness into His marvelous light. I have never looked back.
I have been humbled by the word of God as taught by my father Pastor Chris. The word of God in Pastor's mouth comes alive and it has come alive in me now.