A flicker of Hope?? Concluding part

Courtesy hope fellowship podcast
Picture courtesy hope fellowship 

Mr. Adamu sat Ladi down the morning after she told them about her shocking decision and asked her what exactly she would like to do. Ladi said she had decided to learn the art of tailoring. She told him how she had gone round the town two days earlier in search of a tailoring shop. She had found one not too far from the weekly market area. She spoke with the madam who owned the shop, Madam Abigail about her intentions. Madam Abigail had told her that the shortest duration for learning is three years, especially since she is educated, if not she would spend about five years. They had agreed on the fee of fifty thousand naira that can be spread into three installments till she completes her learning. Mr. Adamu was impressed that Ladi had thought it through and done all the findings. Sometimes, he believes she acts more matured than her age. They ended the discussion with her uncle promising to visit madam Abigail’s and starting the process.

Two weeks later, Ladi started her tailoring apprenticeship and found out it was not as easy as she had envisaged. She was told as a beginner, she had to run personal errands for her madam, like going to the stream to fetch water for her water pot; helping with market runs and so forth. Ladi was shocked that after six weeks of learning, she was yet to neither handle the scissors nor even fix buttons on clothes. She began to think that maybe opting out of school was a bad idea entirely. Her only solace was in a friendship she had started with Chidiebere Obi, a fellow apprentice who had been there for about a year.

Chidiebere Obi is an only child. Her father is the community priest and her mum sells hand woven wool shawl at the weekly market. They are not a rich family but have learnt to be content with what they can afford. Her father also fishes and sells to earn extra income to support the family, since Umuleke is a small community and one cannot earn enough wages from the local assembly. He was posted to Umuleke five years earlier and he had come to love its serene nature. He had married his wife when he was twenty five and she was twenty. They had to wait for eighteen years before they had Chidiebere. She was a miracle that had long been awaited. People had insulted them and some advised that the delay in childbirth must have been as a result of witchcraft operations in his wife’s family. But Mr. Obi held unto his unwavering faith in God and always consoled himself with the story of Abraham in the bible. When Chidiebere finally came, everyone marveled and could only join them to give thanks to God. The Obi’s family is one filled with many trials and challenges but God had kept them through it all.

Chidiebere had started learning tailoring because she discovered that she always found it hard to understand her academics. The simplest subjects were like a mountain before her, very insurmountable. Her parents had gotten several tutors for her with a view to getting a solution to her problem, to no avail. All she loved to do was knit and fix any loose buttons on clothes. Her teachers then advised her parents to withdraw her from school and let her follow her passion, and to get trained in the fashion line.

It was then such a huge shock for Chidiebere to discover that Ladi wasn’t learning tailoring because she wasn’t brilliant but because they was no means to continue her education. Ladi’s warm heartedness had worn her over and they became inseparable. Every opportunity they had, they talked at length sharing stories of their childhood and families. It was on one of those days that Ladi learnt about Chidiebere’s mother. .One of the Obi’s many trials.

Mrs. Obi had woken up one day to discover she couldn’t move her right hand and leg.  She had been rushed to the hospital and the doctor had told them her mother had suffered a stroke. Her father had been devastated. In a short time, her mother had become an invalid. They had to help her do everything, even bathe. The doctors had told them that her kind of stroke might be permanent. They took her to another teaching hospital and after three months, they were asked to take her home as they can’t help her anymore.

After two months that Mrs. Obi had been brought back home and after spending all their savings and the ones friends and church members helped them with; Mr. Obi suddenly realized that he had not yet exhausted all options. He was angry with himself for considering the options as the last resort. He turned to God. He told his wife about all the stories of great men in the bible had faith and how it worked for them. He reminded her of Naaman’s leprosy that was healed. Also about Lazarus who was raised from the dead. He spent a whole month working on his wife’s psyche. He needed her to believe that all things are possible to anyone who believes.

He started vigorous prayers and waiting on God. Chidiebere herself also had to join in the waiting. A month after they started the prayers, Mrs. Obi said she could feel a sensation on her toes; this was a sign that God had started the work. Exactly two months after the vigorous prayers, Mrs. Obi got her complete healing. She had regained the full use of her hand and leg and what doctors had written off, God did!! It was a moment of great joy and since then, her mother had had such unwavering faith in God. And so does Chidiebere!!

Ladi listened with rapt attention and was amazed at such miracle. It seemed to her as if she had never heard about God before. Chidiebere then told Ladi, that if she wanted to continue her education, she should simply have faith and trust that God will do the miracle. It was the most difficult words to believe, her question was “How on earth will God perform this miracle?” It seemed highly impossible. That night after the story, Ladi could not sleep. Her mind was agog with the thought of what God can do. She then decided to begin telling God to turn her situation around. There was no harm in trying she thought. She started exercising faith.

Six months into her tailoring training, one cool evening; two men were escorted by a policeman to the Adamu’s house. They were all seated outside taking in the fresh air when they saw the men approaching. When the men got to the porch, there was a grave silence, such that the sound of a needle dropping would have been heard. “Is this the house of Mr. Adamu?” asked the police officer. The sight of a policeman is not a pleasant one, especially if you live in Nigeria….Stuttering, Mr. Adamu replied with a shaky “yes, is there something I can do for you?”

“I am sergeant Usman from the zone 2 command and these men would like to have a word with you” replied the policeman. The two men then stepped forward and offered Mr. Adamu a handshake which he accepted. All the while, Mrs. Adamu and her kids, including Ladi and Tobe stared with trepidation.  Mr. Adamu took them inside and after about forty five minutes, they all came out smiling and exchanging pleasantries. They left promising to return two days later with the documents.

After they had gone, everyone looked to Mr. Adamu to tell them what the meeting was about. He looked at them, smiled and said nothing. They all almost died of anxiety, not able to take the silence anymore, Mrs. Adamu gave the command…they all pounced on Mr. Adamu and tickled him so hard he begged to be set free. After he had calmed down, he sat them all down and explained what the two strange men had come to tell him.

The men work for Virgo airline. They had explained how sorry they were about the plane crash that had claimed the lives of Ladi’s parents. They had gone in search of the deceased’s relatives and had been told by neighbours that they had vacated the house and gone to live with their uncle. But no one was willing to tell them where the uncle stayed. After two attempts, they gave up. But four months ago, their MD remembered the case and made it a matter of compulsion to find the deceased’s children. Because of the resistance they got at first, they decided to get the help of the local police in the search, which led them to finding the Adamu’s.

Virgo Airline felt the need to pay compensation to the family of everyone affected by the crash; they had visited the Njoku’s and given them their entitlement. Now they have come to give Ladi and Tobe the compensation for their parent’s death. Virgo airline promises to see to the education of Ladi and Tobe till the University level and master’s degree. They would also support them with monthly allowance for the whole duration.

It was like a dream for Ladi. She didn’t know what to say at first. Tobe jumped up screaming excitedly, Ladi only wept for joy. In all her imagination, it never crossed her mind that her story will take this turn. She remembered what Chidiebere had said “That there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail….but at the scent of water it will flourish and put forth sprigs like a plant”.

The promise made by Virgo Airline is a flicker of hope, Ladi doesn’t know what the future holds but she trusts the one who owns the future. He had started it and she believes He will surely bring it to a glorious end.

THE END.

A flicker of hope???? Part II

The burial was a quiet one. Friends, family and neighbours were present and their church pastor. Ladi only stared into space throughout the ceremony. Her grief could be felt strongly. When it was over, everyone said a word of comfort to her and her brother. She only nodded; she cared less.  She simply hated everything. Why did it have to be her parents? Poor innocent people, merely looking for their daily bread? Life is so cruel.

Immediately after the death of their parents, their extended family member took Ladi and Tobe in. They thought it best for them not to stay at home alone during the grieving period. They tried their best to cheer them on and make them forget the incident but they were just inconsolable. For Ladi, the death meant the end of her dreams.

Her parents had formed a habit of saving most of the money gotten from the farm produce sales for their children’s schooling. Mrs. Bello would not buy new wrappers but recycle the old ones, saying, “When you grow up and become successful, you will buy me many wrappers that I won’t even be able to finish wearing” this thought brought fresh tears to Ladi’s eyes and sadness into her heart.

The door opening jolted Ladi out of her thought. It was Tobe, rushing in carrying clothes he had washed earlier that morning. “Ladi, so you are in the house and you couldn’t help me bring in my clothes from the hanger? You want them drenched in the rain?” He repeated himself a second time and when he got no response from her, moved closer to see what was wrong with her. It was when he moved closer that he saw tears running down her cheeks. He forgot the wet clothes, dropped them on the floor and held his sister in his arms. He knew the cause of the tears, it isn’t as if he doesn’t miss his parents too, but he also realized that no amount of tears would bring them back. It is a sad reality and Tobe made up his mind to help his sister get over her grief and become the lively girl she had once been. Ladi just kept weeping and Tobe stoked her hair and tried to whisper comforting words to her.

***********

Since the death of their parents, Ladi and Tobe had stayed with the Adamu’s. It had not been an easy transition. Umuleke village had been in the news for the past 3 weeks since the plane crash incident. Reporters had thronged the entire village. The plane company also came, asked questions and paid condolence visits to Ladi’s family. They also visited the Njoku family, they had a farm besides the Bellos. Their crops were also affected. It was a very unfortunate incident and all affected parties tried so hard to put it behind them.

Mr. Adamu is Ladi’s maternal uncle. He and his wife, tried to help Ladi and Tobe adjust to life without their parents. It had not been easy, but it is a task they determined to pull off. Gradually, Ladi came to terms with her parent’s death and decided to live again. The fourth week after the demise, Ladi and Tobe returned to school. Their school mates and teachers had been sympathetic the first week but everything returned back to normal the following week. Besides, they are not the first people to have lost a parent.

It wasn’t easy for them, their parents had saved up and ensured that their education was top priority, but with the Adamu’s, it was a different ball game. They had three children of their own and struggled to pay fees from the meager salaries they both earn as local council workers. Having Ladi and Tobe as extra mouth to feed just wasn’t easy on them. Ladi had just promoted into SSS II while Tobe was supposed to be writing the junior WAEC few months from then. The Adamu’s on the other hand had all their three children in primary school, the oldest being in primary six.

Ladi called Tobe aside one day after school and shared her plans with him. “Tobe, I know how our parents wanted us to be a medical doctor and an accountant. But death has done otherwise”. “I have thought about it and the situation of living. You know our uncle is really trying his best but it is still not easy. In view of this, I will step aside for you so that they can help train you to university level. I will go learn a trade and support. Then when I have saved enough, I will go back to school and finish up and become the medical doctor I have always wanted to be”.

“Noooooo!!!” screamed Tobe, “this cannot be happening. You are the smartest and deserve the opportunity. I am a man, let me find some work to do and I will help you through school” “I will support you until university and till you get married too”.  “No Tobe, I insist” replied Ladi. “My mind is made up. I am the eldest and I have spoken. We will tell uncle our plans after dinner”. And she stood up and walked out of the room. She went to the back yard, into the garden and cried her heart out. It wasn’t an easy decision to take but she believed it was the best given the situation of things. “Papa, mama, I know you wanted to see us through school but the cold hands of death snatched you away from us. I promise to take care of my brother and to live the upright way you have always taught me. I will not let you down” she sobbed.

In the evening, when everyone had had dinner, Ladi excused her uncle and aunt to the veranda that she had something important to discuss with them. She insisted that Tobe stayed back with the younger children when he also wanted to follow them. She started by thanking them for accommodating her brother and herself and for being their new father and mother. She particularly thanked Mrs. Adamu for her patience and love. It really isn’t easy taking in two grown-ups into one’s house. She then went on to tell them of the decision she reached earlier in the day and how she thought it was the best under the circumstance.

Her uncle and his wife listened to her speak and couldn’t utter a word. They were shocked at her decision. Mr. Adamu felt it was his fault, if only he had studied harder and obtained a higher grade in the college of education; he would have been able to secure a better job in the city and would be able to take care of them all. Because, even a blind man could see they were struggling to take care of the home. He begged Ladi to rescind on her decision, that he was able to sort it out. Ladi only reminded him that he is yet to complete the fees for his children; it would be heartless to add theirs to it. Mrs. Adamu then stood up, hugged Ladi and promised her that she would return to school as soon as things got better. Ladi knelt and thanked them and went into the house. Her uncle felt really bad but he also knew that if things didn’t change for good, something drastic would have to be done to sustain the family.

A flicker of hope?????

Hope
Hope

Hope in life should not be lost. Belief in oneself should not be quenched. One must always have the understanding that God can make a way where there seems to be no way. “Spiri” talk it seems, but no, it isn’t “Spiri” stuffs but a necessity. Life can only happen when there is even but a flicker of hope.

Hmmm!! The famous man Job, known to have endured such hardships and untold misery, who despite all, didn’t allow his spirit to be broken, once said: There is hope for a tree, if it be cut down …that even at the faintest smell of water, shall sprout again. Such amazing belief that it isn’t over until God says it is!!

The breeze whizzed furiously, “weee, weee”, the sun had gone to hide behind the dark clouds, it seems like a heavy downpour is about to be witnessed.  Feet can be heard shuffling hurriedly in the compound, hens scampering for safety, goats running for shelter; every living thing around seemed to be avoiding being drenched in the rain that is about to fall.

Ladi Bello just lay on her mat, totally oblivious of the helter skelter going on outside. To her, be it rain or sun shine; life has lost its meaning. What is there to live for? She can barely wait for nightfall but still, the dread of the dawn of another day sets her on edge. How can anyone ever tell her it’s okay? That time heals all wounds? For her, the wounds will never heal. It just can’t!!

Growing up had been filled with so much fun. The Bello’s are not an affluent family, not in the least possible way; but they are hardworking and resilient. They believe that the next day could bring the miracle they so eagerly looked forward to. They farm and sell the produce at the local market close by. Ladi’s younger brother, Tobe assists their parent on the farm after he comes back from school. Ladi on the other hand, hawks the produce and eventually stops at the local market where she finally sells off the remaining.

Ladi’s prayer is always to sell off her wares completely. It made her parents very proud of her and means an extra bush meat or mushroom in her soup bowl that night. And because of her beautiful looks and calm disposition, this feat is always achieved. You can imagine the envy Tobe feels towards her. How can he be the one to go to the farm, work tirelessly and simply because Ladi sells it, she becomes the hero? It just didn’t seem fair.

Tobe then devised a plan. He deliberately stayed longer hours in school playing football with his friends. He did it for three days, giving the excuse that they had extra lessons. On the third day, when the workload on the farm became unbearable, Ladi was asked to join them on the farm. Ladi suspected Tobe all along, but didn’t have any proof, besides they school in different locations. It wasn’t until the fourth day; Mrs. Bello had taken ill and didn’t go to the farm.

Tobe, thinking they were all on the farm, came home trying to sneak into the house. He suddenly stumbled upon his mother lying on the mat in their living area.  She was able to pry the truth from him. When she learnt the reason behind his acts, she decided to stop the extra meat for Ladi. Of course, this didn’t go well with Ladi but she always stills completely sells off her farm products.

The day had seemed like every other day. People going about their duties like they always do. No one had any inclination that things would be any different. The neighbour’s goats running and jumping around in the compound like it was a thing in vogue. The Bello’s had taken the previous day off from farming as it was a Sunday and since God commanded that no work on the Sabbath, it was obeyed to the letter.

Mr. Bello and his wife went to the farm the next working day to farm as usual, it was around 7am in the morning. They rested at noon in their farm hut, roasted some bush fowl and yam for lunch. They kept some aside for Tobe to eat when he comes to join them later in the day. They finished eating, rested a while and was about to start the second round of work. As they worked, suddenly there was a loud noise. Mrs. Bello looked up and froze. Run!! Run!! Shouted Mr. Bello and he pulled at her. Then there was a deafening noise. Sound of metal clashing. And everything went blank.

Thick dark smoke rent the air. Everything was quiet except for fire burning some distance away. About ten minutes later, little moans could be heard faintly. The Cessna 401 Titan cargo plane, travelling from Abuja to Lagos with computer hardware had crashed landed in Umuleke. There was a cry for help was from the pilot who had been trapped in the plane, he must be in a terrible state.

News of the crash filtered into the village. Fire fighters from the city had been called upon by some of the villagers and had not arrived at the scene, since the village is about 50km from the city. Villagers had rushed there in the meantime with water from the well to quench the fire. Rescue operation had begun in earnest by the villagers. No one knew how many people were on board; the task ahead was to save as much lives as possible.

Tobe ran as fast as his legs could carry him when he heard the news. And that it happened near their farm land. He got to the scene as rescue operations were going on. He started shouting “Papa, Mama!!”  There was no response. The hefty village men were seen, lifting heavy metal, some using cutlasses to wield their way through. Some others were busy carting away computer hardware scrap scattered all over the farm, from the crash site to their respective homes.

The smoke prevented some people from moving near but Tobe kept on, shouting “Papa, mama!!””. And then he saw them, both holding themselves close, under a pile of rubble. He ran there, screaming for help. Some of the men, ran to him and started lifting the metals. Moments later, they were pulled out from the rubble and moved them some distance away from the smoke. Tobe held them, shouting “Wake up papa, wake up mama. Your son Tobe is here”. His parents lay there lifeless. He kept on shaking them until one of the villager pulled him up. “They are gone”, the man said.

“Noooooooooo!!” Shouted Tobe and he started running back into the village. He was running and shouting; he ran past Ladi who had also heard the news and was rushing to the scene of the accident. He didn’t know he had passed her, he didn’t even see her. He just kept on running. Ladi froze in her stride. She feared the worst. What could make Tobe behave like that? Without even noticing her presence? She ran on to the scene and when she saw the bodies of her parents on a side of the farm, her worst fears were confirmed. She had lost the two most important people in her life. Her parents were gone. She curled up on the ground and wept her heart out. Life became meaningless.

Thereafter, the fire fighters arrived at the scene. The major work had been carried out by the villagers. There was nothing left to do but to write down reports and ask questions. The only crew on board the ill-fated plane died too but the pilot had already been taken to the nearby village clinic. It had indeed been a sad, sad day at Umuleke.

Watch out for the concluding part. Stay blessed

My Dreadlocks journey!!

dreadlocks pic

When I made a post two years ago about the natural hair frenzy…I remember I said I might join the wagon soon. In all honesty, I didn’t think too much about what i said then. It was just for conversation sake, you know!!

Not long after, I got tired of the weaves and Ghana weaving. Not to mention the heat in this part of the world we find ourselves. I then decided to go to the salon and do something about it. I did the big CHOP!! The hair dresser didn’t want me to cut it; some other ladies and salon workers also begged me, because I had a considerable amount of lengthy hair. but my mind was made up and the deed was done.

I rocked my Hale Berry Short hair style for three months and was particularly happy i could pour water on it whenever i felt like it. Wake up the next morning, bring out my hair straightener and spray gel and voila! I was ready to hit the road. Then as the days went by, I realized that i could do something more with the 20-30 minutes spent styling my short hair and sought for “what else i can do to make my hair more manageable”.

Then i did a little research, asked questions from friends….and I decided to join the dreadlocks train.The journey started at a salon at Surulere in Lagos. The guy explained more to me about the “journey i was to embark upon” and possible hitches. I took it all in and said ” I was ready”. The process was a bit painful at first because mine was locked from day 1. And since it was short hair, and with some little traces of perm, it saw me going back to the salon frequently.

Now, I am loving my dreads. I have more time on my hands for more stuffs, I get to bathe with the shower and get my hair wet; it is easy to style; there is no more complaints of weave strands on the room floor(married ladies will understand this part) and i get to scratch the roots of my hair easily without having to hit my head like a “raving lunatic”..lol

Are you on dreadlocks? Or simply rocking your natural hair? Let’s know why you embarked on the journey and how it has been. Till then…stay blessed.

Such Disgrace!!!

Image

Do you remember when the reality of puberty caught up with you?  Whether as male or female. Those times when you notice the changes in your appearance, voice texture, shape, etc.  Those days when the guys start noticing the appearance of slight hair growth around the corners of their mouth and they feel like they have a moustache already. I remember some would use methylated spirit on the little growth just sprouting because there was a belief that the spirit would make it grow longer.

The girls too start noticing that they have grown broader around the hip area and if blessed; a fuller breast as well. A period when we all couldn’t seem to wait to become full grown men and women.

I had my fair share. I would put Robb ointment on my lips because I couldn’t afford a lip gloss and apply a little hair cream to my bushy eyebrow to make it shiny and smooth. My mum had this Vaseline oil and I would pour so much on my hair to make it shine, I’d use so much then that it would make my black hair brown from the dust that the oil would attract which in turn makes me look like a red albino.  And I also was able to buy a brown “pancake” powder and you need to see me, if it could be peeled off, I’d have up to 5 layers to peel from my face.

Those were days your parent’s friends would look at you and comment on how much you’ve grown. If you were a girl, you’d hear phrases like “you are even more beautiful than your mother” and such would make you more aware of yourself and always try to look good.

It was a time when the boys start writing love letters and you’d see girls gathered in a corner discussing about the hottest “bloke” in school. They would all seem uninterested but secretly wished that “bloke” would look their way and ask them out.  It was a very interesting time, so much fun with little or no cares at all.

I had my share of day dreaming as well, from reading my mum’s mills and boon and her numerous Barbara Cartland series. I would go to bed each day looking forward to when my prince charming would arrive and sweep me off my feet

I remember when sent on an errand, how I would quickly powder my face before leaving, of course, without letting mum see me. It was on one of such occasions, mum had sent me on an errand that shouldn’t have taken more than five minutes…..

While coming back, I met a guy on the road, one I had been admiring from afar, one of the regular “blokes” in my neighborhood and that day he chose to chat with me. I felt like a queen, he kept on telling me all the sweet nothings about how beautiful I was (like I didn’t know already)*winks* and how he wanted me to be his special friend.

We had to stop by the road side to talk and I confess, I was enjoying our private little chat. There was no mobile phone then so he asked if he could come to my house sometimes to say hi, I was contemplating how to turn him down without sounding “childish” when I noticed a sudden look on his face. It was as if he had seen a ghost, I tried to ask him what the matter was when a hot resounding slap landed across my face from behind. I staggered from the impact and behold it was my mum, she was livid with rage.

The boy obviously ran away at that instant and trust my mum, she squeezed my ears all the way home, insulting me as we went along and that attracted stares from passersby and also from my neighborhood folks.

I wanted to disappear right there and then, I had never been so embarrassed in my life. I knew I was in soup when I got home and you can imagine how that day ended..

And yes, I refused to leave my house for two whole weeks. Thank God it happened during the holidays. Anytime I am asked to run an errand, I would almost kneel down and beg my little brother to help out, oftentimes promising him my meat from my dinner that night……

Have you ever been disgraced like this? Please share..

God bless you.

 

The beautiful wanna be…..

wannabe

 

 

Kate had just gotten admission into the university and like anyone her age, was ecstatic. She had spent two years at home because she could not make her Jamb results. When home became unbearable for her due to pressure from her dad about why she has been unable to secure admission like her friends, she had resorted to secluding herself from every pleasure (movies, outings and her iPod) to focus on intensive studying and thank God it paid off.

Kate had been a reserved girl all through her life. Her friends used to tease her about taking life too seriously but she knew what exactly she wanted from life and vowed to do all it takes to be successful. Her mother would always call her and tell her to remember the child of whom she is and not to disappoint her family and most especially God.

This made her resolve not to have any boyfriend while in secondary school unlike all her other friends. They often teased her about being “Mary the virgin” but she held on to her belief and decision to be different.

Her first semester in the university was one of the most hectic months of her life. Lectures and assignments and all the registration issues she had had taken its toll on her. She didn’t know this was how school was. She quietly thanked God for experiencing it because she knows there are many out there who would give anything to be in her shoes.

The first semester ended with Kate having a 4.2 GP. It was a feat has been a rare occurrence in engineering department of that school, especially for a first year student. She vowed to keep up her grades by working harder.

Because the school had gone on 2 months ASUU strike earlier, the students were only given a week holiday before second semester resumption. Second semester started with the usual hustle and bustle. Some students play and engage in too many social activities and only prepare for examination when it is only 2 weeks away. One of the social events that occurred in second semester was Valentine’s Day. It was greatly celebrated by the students.

Kate’s two roommates, Bisi and Tola both got beautiful gifts from their boyfriends and somehow, Kate felt lonely. Especially when evening came and her roommates went to the valentine’s party organized by the student union executives. Later in the morning when her friends returned, all excited and talking about how great the party was, it made her think and conclude that she won’t be alone the next Valentine’s Day. She vowed though, to make sure she gets a bible believing boyfriend, one who would not make her fall into sin.

Kate being a very beautiful eighteen year old lady and with the right curves at the right places, had lots of admirers. Ranging from good boys to cult boys, but she was looking for one that had a Christian background. She believed she would be able to imbibe her biblical principles if she dated a Christian boy. Her friends also introduced guys they thought would interest her, but she had no interest in them.

Would she find that Christian guy who would ensure she stays on track as a Christian lady?? Watch out for the concluding part.

(Proverbs 1:10 When sinners entice thee, consent thou not)

The search for a godly boyfriend had taken so much of Kate’s time that it had started affecting her concentration with school lectures. It was as if she had forgotten the reason why she was in school in the first place.

one sunny afternoon, Kate and Bisi had just finished lectures and strolled to the park to take a bus home since they stayed in a hostel off campus. To their dismay, there was no bus in sight but a long queue of students. Lucky ones who had friends with cars started calling them to find out if they could hitch a ride into town. Just when Kate thought she couldn’t take the scorching sun anymore, a car parked just by the curb besides her and offered her a ride into town. She quickly peeped to confirm that the driver was a student and not a sugar daddy and jumped in, dragging Bisi into the car as well.

They were so grateful to the guy who later gave his name as Jude. He is a 300 level student of economics and stayed in town as well. His father was the pastor of the new breed Pentecostal church in town. He also spoke so eloquently like a pastor that Kate secretly wished he would ask her out. She hoped that he would be the one to be her Val during the next year’s Valentine’s Day.

Jude eventually asked her out and they started dating. He knew so many scriptures that she believed he must have been sent from heaven. They went everywhere together and the only place she hadn’t followed him to was his house. He played the gentleman all through.

Her roommates were shocked when she told them he had not even asked her for a kiss. “He is such a God fearing guy” Bisi said. And they all laughed about it. Two days later, Jude was absent in school and Kate found out from his friend that he was ill and also called him to confirm, telling him she would see him after lectures. When lectures ended, she went to the market and got fruits and a get well card to take to him. She met him on the couch in his one room apartment shivering. She moved close to feel his temperature and that was when he grabbed her.

He pushed her onto the bed and kissed her. He got up quickly and locked the door with the key, removed the key and threw it behind the desk. Kate suddenly realized what he intended to do and got on her knees to plead, begging him in God’s name, reminding him that he was a Christian. He only laughed and told her it was all a ploy to get her to trust him. He said he was actually Tola’s friend and Tola had told him Kate only wanted a Christian boyfriend. She made attempts to run and get the key and they struggled until he was able to overpower her. He succeeded in raping her. She felt as if her world had crumbled.

What would she do now? Who would she tell? How could she face her parents with such news? How would she face God knowing that she had disappointed Him? She cried all the way home. When she got to the door of her room, she quickly wiped her tears so that no one would know. She pretended that she and Jude had a little misunderstanding and had called off the relationship.

A month later, exactly in the month of November, she discovered she had missed her period and realized she must be pregnant. She told her roommates who pitied her but had no solution to her problem. She told Jude who claimed it was only once they had sex. Her whole world came crumbling right before her eyes. She had disappointed her parents. She had disappointed God and couldn’t even pray since the rape. She felt like turning back the hands of time. She had no choice but to go home and inform her parents.

Her parents were highly disappointed in her. What had happened to the innocent God fearing girl they knew? How could she have gotten herself pregnant? To think they had boasted to their friends about her good grades? They were really sad and broken hearted.

Kate had to withdraw from school and defer her admission indefinitely. And of course, the valentine came the following year, but she spent hers in sadness and all alone because it was the thought of not spending Valentine alone that led her to the predicament she found herself. Her roommates stopped calling after a while because they had to concentrate on their studies.

Shouldn’t Kate have faced her studies more and focused on being rather than envying the things that the world enjoys. Shouldn’t she have realized that friendship with the world brings enmity with God? Didn’t she realize she ought to flee every appearance of evil?

She learned the lesson the hard way. I pray the grace to stand for God always be made available to us in Jesus name.

II Timothy 2:22 flee also youthful lusts but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

 

Seasoned words!!!!!

Image

Adaeze Obi is what any man would call drop dead gorgeous. She is a lady endowed with looks and intelligence. She is simply breath taking…one that lay men would say was created on a Sunday morning.  She was friendly, intelligent, smart, graceful and above all, a God addict.

Adaeze’s is thirty  two years old  and works in one of the top financial institutions in town, she works in the marketing department and holds majority of the key accounts in her organizations. She seems to have everything going well for her, except for the one thing everyone keeps bugging her about; which is why she is yet to settle down despite throng of suitors flocking around her.

Mrs. Obi, Adaeze’s mum does not understand why her daughter, who seems to have it all, is lacking in the area of finding the right partner. She makes it a habit to fast and pray twice a week to seek God’s intervention for her daughter. She even tries to introduce eligible bachelor sons of her friends to Adaeze, all in a bid to get her settled as a wife.

Her friends also wonder why because it seems that she never lacks male admirers. Men flock around her like bees to honey. Her friends even get envious of her because of her male admirers. They believe she is truly blessed.

In church, she serves in the music department; she often leads songs on the pulpit and is the cynosure of all eyes as she offers praises to God. She is simply loved by all.

What seems to be the problem with this paragon of beauty and brains? What could be the reason why Adaeze has refused so many suitors’ hand in marriage? Why?

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Adaeze had a secret she had kept from everyone for so long. It worried her so much that she cries herself to sleep most nights. She hardly spends the night outside her home as she is scared what she has been trying to hide would be found out. She had never spoken about it to anyone, not even to her pastor.

Her fear is made worse by what her mother said to her when she was a teenager. Her mother had come into her room one night around 11pm and woken her up furiously. She practically beat her to wakefulness that very night.

Adaeze woke up to hear her mum use the most derogatory words on her. She had called her a dirty pig. She had told Adaeze that it would be very hard for any man to stay married to her if she did not change. She swore that no man would be able to stand it for more than a week if nothing was done about it.

Adaeze cried all through that night because she felt it was unfair to be judged by what she had no control over. Her secret is that she snored excessively, called sleep apnea.

Adaeze had gone for so many treatments to cure her condition all to no avail. She felt there was just no cure out there for her.

This sleep condition and the words of her mother keeps ringing in her ears whenever a man showed interest. She believed the marriage would not last once the man heard her snore and she decided she would not hurt herself or any man by putting him through her problems. She believed no man can stand the sound. She lives in shame and dread and the reason why she does everything she does exceptionally. At least, she had control over that aspect of her life.

The sleep condition would just have to be hidden from everyone and forgotten. She vowed she’d rather be single than have any man see her shame.

‘Now we understand why Adaeze, the envy of friends and colleagues is single. The most damaging of it all are the words her mother uttered.’

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The power of our words has an effect on us as well as those around us.  Think of a time you said something that hurt someone’s feelings.  You may not have intended to be hurtful, or maybe you did, but there was a consequence and vice versa.  Clearly our words carry energy and have power and impact.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Col. 4:6)

(Prov 18: 21)The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Let’s be mindful of what we say at all times!!

Taking heed…

Distressed

Lape is what you would call any man’s dream woman. She is a tall size 10 lady, with all the curves in the right places, fair in complexion and to crown it all, very bubbly and down to earth. She is blessed!!

Lape has a degree in humanities from the premiere University and works in the human resources department of one of the prestigious resourcing companies in Victoria Island, Neon Consulting. Her colleagues dread when she has to go on vacation because it seems they are in for a season of gloom; she brings zest anywhere she goes.

Dotun is the lucky husband of this beautiful woman who seems not to know how blessed he is. They are blessed with 3 adorable children and theirs is what one calls a perfect family. Nothing can ever go wrong; or that is what anyone would think.  But lately, both seem to be too consumed with work life that they have forgotten their promise to each other to strike a work-life balance. It had become all about career growth and less of companionship…..

Lape got to the office late one bright Monday morning because her last daughter had the fever and she had to take her to the hospital, rush her back home to the nanny before setting out to work. She would have called in sick or given another excuse and stay home with little Omotola but there is an interview she has got to conduct by 12noon and was happy when she rushed in at 11am, meaning she still had an hour to calm her nerves and prepare for the task ahead.

She totally ignored stares from her colleagues as she slid behind her desk to resume work. Some minutes later, the receptionist calls to inform her that the candidates for the slated interview were all seated. She called on to the other interviewers via the intercom and proceeded to the meeting room where interviews are conducted.

The interview session lasted 2 hours as they had 8 candidates to screen for the position of head-marketing and sales. Eventually, they all agreed that only 2 would be selected to meet the group head the following week. They wrote their recommendations and Lape felt they had done great with the selected persons.

Exactly three weeks after the interview for the head, marketing and sales, a man walks up to her and asks to speak with her, she looked up trying to place the face and then she remembered, he was the successful candidate from the last interview. He stopped by her desk to get some documentation done as regards his new employment offer and also to thank her for finding him worthy of being employed. As was her usual self, she waved his thanks aside and muttered “I am only doing my job and I must say, you actually were better than the other candidates and that is what earned you the position and not me”. None the less, he still thanked her, and they got round to settling what actually brought him to her desk in the first place.  “By the way, my name is Steve”, he said before leaving her desk and didn’t wait to hear her feedback. She just shrugged and went back to her task

Two weeks later, as against its regular way of doing things, Neon consulting announced its plans to hold a dinner party to honor some outstanding staff for the first half of its business year. Everyone was so excited because the recipients of the awards were being kept a secret, even the HR department had no inkling of who the successful awardees would be. Typical of women…all the talks in the office was on what to wear, where to go shop for shoes and dinner dresses. Lape was not excluded in the gist. It was going to be an award night to remember.

Neon consulting also told staff to come along with just one partner each as it didn’t intend to use up all its reserves to fund a party…so everyone planned to come with either a spouse or friend.

The D-day finally came and Lape’s husband Dotun was to accompany her to the party. They had lots to eat and drink and all felt the party should continue forever. Lape was lucky to be one of the recipients of the awards and her husband proudly escorted her to receive her plaque. It was a moment to cherish. She was all smiles and dedicated the award to her colleagues in the human resource department; she would not be a recipient if they had not been supportive of her, she said.

Just before the party ended, Lape excused herself to go to the ladies and on her way back in the hall way, she tripped and almost fell down but was quickly helped by strong hands. She turned to see who it was since she didn’t even notice someone was around and stared into the face of Steve. He had been coming from the gents as well and because his shoes had rubber soles, she didn’t hear him behind her. She thanked him profusely and turned to move and discovered she had sprained her ankle. Steve helped her to her seat and explained what had happened to Dotun who thanked him and took over from him.

Lape got home that night, happy at being recognized by the management of her company and sad that she would have to be away from work for some days due to the sprain. She felt some demons were after her because of the award…but quickly tossed the idea from her mind. She limped to go check up on her kids, kissed their foreheads and went to her room to join her husband.

Lape got series of phone calls when Monday came and she wasn’t in the office, she was elated at the thought of being loved by all. Steve also called her line and she made sure to thank him for his help the other night. Lape got back to the office on Wednesday and as expected, had tons of email waiting to be attended to. She was so busy she lost count of time and just when she began to bother about the rumblings in her stomach, one of the janitors in their office brought her a lunch pack from TFC and said one of the new staff asked her to get it across. And to say it was a thank you gift. She hesitated and told the girl to take it back but her colleagues told her not to, that it would be rude to do so.

But I never asked anyone for food she retorted back. I don’t want to owe anyone anything. But her colleagues persisted and one volunteered to eat from it so that she can be sure there was no black medicine in it…they all laughed and Lape told the janitor to thank the person and to give his name. When she heard it was Steve, a part of her wanted to return it but another part said but it is just a harmless meal of rice and chicken now….couldn’t be that bad! Anyways, her hunger defied any form of reasoning anymore as she devoured the remaining pack of rice.

The next day, she sought Steve out as he was going for his marketing calls and thanked him for the meal but that he shouldn’t send her food again as it would send wrong signals to people around. He said he understood and vowed not to. They both ended the conversation and went to do their work for the day.

For some funny reasons, her mind wandered to Steve and she didn’t know where to place him. Was he just a nice person or he wanted more. She meant to discuss the issue with her husband when she got home but he gets home late and she was already in bed. She only woke up briefly to say night prayers with him and rolled onto her side of the bed and slept off.

Work continued as usual at Neon consulting as everyone was looking forward to the end of the year party and award ceremony. Everyone put in extra efforts at work. It was on such days that Lape, busy with work that her table phone rang. She picked it up and was surprised it was Steve, he had called to find out about some calculations in his last month’s salary computation, there was a deduction he didn’t understand. She took her time to explain to him and even told him to come up to her office if he still wasn’t clear on it. He said he understood and thanked her.

Days later, he called again to find out the company’s policy on having devotions in the mornings as he was thinking of starting one. She was surprised and immediately dropped every reservation she had towards him. She told him the company had no issues with it so long as it doesn’t coincide with work time. He then told her he would like to start it since they didn’t have any. She was in full support and promised to be the first attendee. She confessed that work and family commitments’ has actually affected her prayer life and is happy so that at least she can enjoy fellowship with other brethren in the office and still get to do her work.

And that was how Lape and Steve became best of friends in the office. He also calls her desk phone regularly and they discuss almost everything there is to talk about. He became her confidant. Any day he is out for marketing calls and is unavailable to call, she finds herself missing him and wishing to hear his voice. She didn’t even know she was feeling that way towards him until her colleague joked about it with her. It was then she thought about it…Steve isn’t as good looking as her husband, he doesn’t speak as eloquently, he doesn’t have Dotun’s charm….so what is the attraction? And since she knew Steve doesn’t measure up to her husband’s standard, she felt no harm at all.

They still continued their phone relationship and during the morning devotions, they acted as if all was well but both knew there was an unspoken chemistry between them. Steve would call and tell her how lucky her husband was to have her, how he wishes to someday get married to someone like her and all these talks gets Lape very excited. Sometimes, she locks herself up in the toilet and they continue chatting on the black berry, they say nothing vulgar but she looks forward to such moments chatting alone with him. She never once told her husband about Steve, she felt she could handle him so long as they were not dating and don’t even see outside the office hours.

She gets home and deletes all conversations they’ve had and acts like nothing is amiss. Once sunny afternoon, Steve chatted with her about being a bit bored and would like to go catch the afternoon movie showing at the cinema close to their office and would be back before lunch time was over. He didn’t invite her along but knew she would love to go. Common sense told her to tell him bye but she found herself asking if she could come along as well and when he answered in the affirmative, she told him she would meet up with him there and to buy tickets for her too. She told her colleagues she had some personal errands to run and would be back once break time was over and left the office.

By the time she arrived, Steve was already there and had their tickets in his hands. Lape told him she would rather wait inside the cinema until the movie started for fear of being seen by someone familiar and at a cinema during work hours. He agreed since the movie starts in 10minutes, he went to buy popcorn and drinks instead and she went in to wait. When he was through, he went in as well, sat beside her and the movie trailer started showing.

While she was seated, she felt she shouldn’t be here but felt it would seem childish to get up and leave. She told herself she was only watching a movie and not committing adultery! So she sat back, relaxed and ready to enjoy the movie and saw that it was a romantic movie. Commonsense said to her again to get up and leave but she just couldn’t. The cinema was almost empty because of the time of day it was. She sat there tense and Steve noticed and whispered to her ears to calm down, the movie was for sixty minutes and she would be back to the office soon. She nodded and didn’t say a word.

The movie, the dark cinema, his closeness; everything was getting at her. He brushed his hands along her arm and she felt jitters run along her spine. He didn’t stop, she didn’t want him to. He brushed his lips across her cheeks, ears and neck and she turned her face and their lips met and it was like she has never been kissed before. He seemed to know exactly what to do. His hands started roaming over her body and she didn’t stop him, he started unbuttoning the buttons on her blouse and she couldn’t stop him….and then her phone rang. She knew the special ring tone, it was her husband. She looked at herself and felt like the ground should open….she didn’t pick his call. He called again and this time, Steve had let go of her and with shaking hands opened her bag and picked the call…”where are you dear?” was Dotun’s first words. She couldn’t answer and instead burst into tears…”what is wrong with you? Are you hurt? Where are you?” all he heard was her uncontrollable weeping. Dotun couldn’t imagine what might have happened to his wife. He ran out of his office and started the drive to his wife’s office.

Steve held her to console her and Lape smacked his face with the back of her palms. “It is all your fault” she cried, “but I didn’t force you did I”? He retorted. With shaky hands, she wiped her face, got out a mirror and re-arranged herself then got up to leave. Steve held her hands and said he was sorry. He didn’t know what came over him. ”I can’t deny that I want you but I meant to cause you no harm. Am deeply sorry” Lape stared at him, said nothing and moved past him and left the cinema. She got into her car, tried to calm herself down and finally started the drive back to the office.

As she was about entering the office premises, she saw her husband’s car trying to maneuver in the visitor’s parking space. At that instant, he saw her too. He parked and ran over to where she was. He opened her car door, checked her out and sighed with relief when he didn’t see any physical injury. He thought someone must have died. “What happened”? He asked, “Did someone die”? Lape looked into his face and started crying all over. Dotun then pulled her out of the car and locked it, walked her into his, went up to her office and got a permission that she wasn’t feeling okay, called his office that he wouldn’t be coming back as there was an emergency at the home front. Then he went to his wife and they drove home together. When they got home…with tears and shame, Lape narrated all that had transpired from the very first meeting to the cinema drama.

Dotun was livid with rage but showed calmness that even he could not explain. Lape kept crying that she was sorry and didn’t know what came over her.  Dotun looked at his wife and though still angry at the thought of another man touching his wife yet he said he was to be blamed as well…..He is hardly at home, they don’t have outing times anymore, their prayer life was nothing to write home about, they don’t communicate anymore and it made them drift apart even though they lived under the same roof. If they had talked about it before, what happened wouldn’t have.

Lape also knew she was playing super woman. She had thought the fact that she wasn’t sleeping with him made it no big deal, she thought she could handle her emotions and not go astray. She thought it would be a harmless adventure…

They both re-dedicated themselves to making their marriage work and to always tell the other party what was going on in their lives. They became an accountability partner to themselves. They vowed to put the whole episode behind them and start on a clean slate. Lape felt such a big release of burden off her shoulders and felt brand new again…

She went back to the office the next day and felt as good as new. She had deleted Steve from her contacts and made sure she would only relate with him on official matters henceforth. When Steve saw her the next day, he was shocked to see her stare him in the face squarely and with a triumphant look on her face. He knew he had lost.

Let he that thinks he stand take heed, lest he falls and let us flee every appearance of evil…..

Stay blessed

Be a positive reference point!!!!!