On the last day, of the last semester of my first year in the university towards the end of September 1995, I had two exam papers to write. Due to the tight schedule, my best friend in school whose name was Kevin, and I, had agreed that we would ‘’cooperate’’ during the exams, and I was to read for the first paper in the morning, and see both of us through during the exams, while he read for the second paper and carry the weight during the second paper.
We wrote the first paper without any hassles, it was quite easy. Immediately we were through, we were asked to locate one of the designated halls for second paper.
We finally were able to secure a seat in one of the halls, but several of our course mates attached themselves to us, in the bid of being close to our pair during the paper. Then one of the invigilators complained we were too many on our bench and asked that I move elsewhere.
Under pressure, I asked Kevin to come with me, but he refused, saying he was quite comfortable where he was. And angry, I left, and located another hall… and had a tough paper.
I went back to the hostel in rage, knowing fully well, that I wouldn’t ace the paper like I would have been able to if I had prepared adequately on my own. When I got to the hostel, it was around 4pm, and everyone was leaving, packing their bags and heading for the park to travel back home.
My room was at the top floor of a 4 storey building. Then nature of the building was that of a rectangle, with the doors to the room facing the center, and my room was the very last, Room 110, situated just at the inside corner.
I leaned on the railings of the balcony, to get a breather for a couple of minutes before embarking on my trip. As I leaned on the railings, all of a sudden, the atmosphere became surreal, and eerily quiet.
Then I felt the presence of the Lord before I saw Him. I wasn’t born again.
I had stopped attending church in my teen years, for I felt that going to church was of no use, and had no effect on me or my family. I had even encouraged my younger brother to stop and stay home with me, while my father took the rest to church, usually after a fight and row over going to church, which I always fought vehemently.
I didn’t know much about spiritual things, or about the Lord more than what I had learnt at Sunday school, but in the spirit realm, you know people instantly. You don’t need anyone to tell you this is Abraham, or Isaac if you meet them in Heaven, because you would know them instantly, and I knew this was the Lord.
He walked over towards were I was still leaning on the railings, and stood beside me. He did not appear to me physically the way another human being is, but it was more like I could see into the spirit realm, and the world there overlapped on my physical world.
So I saw Him, in a sort of translucent manner, like a shimmer of light in the shape of a man. Nevertheless, knowing He walked towards I didn’t turn towards Him, but kept looking down into the courtyard.
Then He spoke to me and said, “All these people who you call your friends…” and as He spoke, as if on cue, I saw several of my friends coming out of their rooms and hailing out to me as they were leaving saying, ‘’Bobs, E go be” (Meaning Friend, we would see), and I called out back to them in kind, all the while listening to the Lord as He spoke. He continued saying, “How many times have these your friends not let you down when you needed them?” And I would remember how this one was not there when I always searched for him in need, or that one duped me of money, or that one abandoned me when I needed him over a girl.
But I didn’t answer Him a word. Then He said, ‘’Even your best friend Kevin…” And yet again, as if on cue, Kevin came up the stairs and sauntered towards me.
As he came, he laughed out loud, in what to me, appeared to be both irritating and malicious. Then he came over, unknowingly walked past the Lord, then slapped my hand in a handshake, and asked how the paper went.
I mumbled out, ‘’Fine. ” Then he laughed and continued onward and walked away.
The Lord continued, “Tell me how many times he has not let you down” And in my mind, I thought to myself, “If only He was aware of what Kevin did to me just hours ago” but I said nothing. Then the Lord said, “If you know all these is true, why don’t you give your life to Christ? He’s the only One who has and would do His all and ultimate for you” As the Lord lingered there, I thought to myself, “Maybe its best I recommenced going to church first, so that when I do give my life to Christ, no one would know the difference and I won’t be laughed at” My answer probably pleased the Lord and was sufficient for Him, because He simmered away, and the atmosphere returned to normal.
Then I took the trip back home, and I was greeted by my father with a hug. One of the greatest shocks in my life because my dad was never the hugging-type! I wondered to myself, ‘’Ooooookay, what’s wrong with the old man?” Little did I know my dad had given his life to Christ a few days earlier.
Come Saturday morning, my dad came to me and ordered, ‘’Tomorrow is Sunday. Better get prepared because YOU ARE GOING TO CHURCH!” And I hollered back, “I’M NOT GOING!” Though I wanted to.
However in the evening, my older sister who attended Believers LoveWorld (BLW) in school, but went to Redeemed Christian Church of God at home, came to my room and asked me, while twiddling her hands, “Kpobasa, won’t you come to church with me tomorrow?” And I smiled and said, “No problem. ” If she was surprised at my response, she didn’t show it.
Me I was just glad for a way out while still appeasing my pride. I went to church that Sunday quite early, attending Sunday school and all, and I liked it.
But by Wednesday, I felt the old me returning, so I decided, I’d start attending more services during the week, so that the ‘positive’ effect of church on Sunday would last me to bible study during the week, then the midweek services would last me till weekend. Then on the 9th of October, I attended a meeting of the Full Gospel Business Men Fellowship International to increase the amount of services and consequently the amount of God’s word I was exposing myself to.
Finally, one week later, after constantly attending services, I was the FGBMFI again and the preacher talked about Israel and how they moved about in the wilderness camping and how God provided for them. He ended his sermon and was about to sit, and as if on second thoughts, went back to the podium and said, “There are some of you, like the mixed multitudes who followed the Israelites about.
But following the crowd of believers does not make you one of them. If you would like to give your heart to Christ, please raise up your hands” I knew that was me.
Most times in my life, when an altar call was being made, I always ducked my head deep down, so that as the Spirit of God was flying round and ‘pouncing’ on people, I felt if I ducked down and kept a low profile, He won’t spot me, and grab me. This time, I raised up my head, and my hand shot up.
Then I stood up. 8pm.
October 16, 1995, I gave my life to Christ in a rundown building 3 floors up. Best decision I ever made.
Later on, I started seeing visions, God confirming what had happened to me as real, and I started hearing the voice of God. Ironically, my friends who I thought won’t notice my change, were almost able to pin down the week they noticed a change in me.
When I got back to school, I looked for where to go, and when I entered BLW, I knew I was home. Later on, I was told by two brothers who I became close friends with, Brother Tony Oflue and Brother Innocent, that they always saw me during our year one, and were always speaking the word everytime I passed, that ‘’this dude, he’s going to give his heart to Christ, and he’s going to join BLW’’.
They said I looked too much like their pastor, Pastor Chris to be living in the world. Ever since then, God has been leading me, and I’ve followed closely sometimes, and other times, further than I would have liked, but He’s protected me from physical danger and saved my life times over, He’s helped me in making decisions that has led me to success, and only when I had not listened and done things myself had I made mistakes.
Yet still, I’m enjoying the favour and blessings of God. My dad grew on to be a senior pastor in Redeemed.
My younger brother who I had led astray, I had to work hardest to get him born again. .