Unashamed to Preach the Gospel by Oladipupo Charles Olakanmi

Bidemi sat alone stretched out on the wooden rickety chair in front of the mission house at Oloko village. He allowed the sun that was hurriedly crossing over the roof towards the west burn his face with it heat. The ground smells of baked earth that was anticipating water. His hands quietly ran down his jaw, caressing and pulling his rangy beard that ran all over his jaw to meet his moustache; both which were by now should be screaming his name to shave them if they could talk.

Unashamed to Preach the Gospel by Oladipupo Charles Olakanmi

Beside him he had the cup of water one of Pa Akinoye young boy, Oluwaseun brought and his bible – no, Baba Agba’s old bible that was already brown inside out before him.
His mind was elsewhere, far from here, away from the village in an air conditioned room. His mother pleading voice rose above the throng of voices that were simultaneously talking in his head.
“Are you telling us now that this is what God wants?” Her voice carried an edge of anger.

“Yes” He replied. Yes he mumbled in the present. His smiling face flashed at him like a mockery of his present state.
His father stood up from behind his reading desk, he left the book he was reading before Bidemi’s mom had stormed into his study room to tell him what he had told her. 

“Are you saying this is God’s will for you? To go for mission”
“You are going to leave the job and run to villages for evangelism?” His father voice rose higher than usual. He must by now just be realising what his only son was about doing to them.

The yes was very easy and sweet for him to say back then. Time has proven to him that the first time you hear God talks to you about your destiny you are too happy to leave space for your rational mind to think of the trials and impossibilities before you. The fear of failures that could happen won’t even be there. It would just be God, your dream and the sweetness of the prophecies.

Bidemi shifted on the chair, allowing his body to sink downward into the chair. He smiled at the irony of that – a description of his life. What is a graduate of Chemical Engineering, a fellow of the fellowship of Chemical Idealist of Nigeria doing in a village that is deep into the forest, far from the might seeing eyes of technology and civilization, away from the possibilities the course he studied offers preaching the gospel. 

It felt right eight years ago when he decided to join missions and preach, following Baba Agba. The interesting way the villagers look at them, their excitements and curiosity to know more of the gospel of Christ was exciting to him just as it excited them. Fast forward Baba Agba died, most people who came for mission went back to other jobs in civilization, but he stayed back still going from village to village with those that remained and that passion of his destiny still burning in his heart. But what the years of labouring gave him? Nothing. More people had left and less fund. At age thirty Bidemi, the once promising Chemical engineering graduate now looks like a man that was closing the chapter of forty; with a farm and a roof over his head!  He is just here after all these years fallowing silently without anyone to console him of the decision he has now come to understand to be a wrong one.

He felt a tap.
“You are already sleeping sir. It is almost church time” Oluwaseun was back. 

Bidemi stood up and stretched himself. The sun has already pass over the house, its fainting glow spread over the cloudless sky, tainting the blue sky with orange lines. “That is right” He said before patting the boy’s head. He picked the bible. He didn’t study it, the hours that was meant for studying it to preach at the evening service was what he spent thinking of his life.

He was some distance away from the house when barefooted Oluwaseun caught up with him. The boy was beaming, taking steps the way he does.

“I want to be a pastor when I grow up” Oluwaseun started.
Bidemi smiled at him. How does he tell the boy that he is just at the stage of feeling to waste his life on preaching without putting his rational mind to work? What difference would it have made if he is working in a big firm and sending his money to sponsor the gospel? He could even be a pastor in one of the cities. 

The voice of the people singing praises to God welcomed them at the foot of the red knoll where their thatched covered shed of a church was standing alone. His eyes scan the building and he was forced to hiss. Some goats, six of them laid chest down few metres from the left, unconcern quietly ruminating and at the right side Mama Ajao’s fufu smells from her home.

“Look they have started singing!” Oluwaseun pulled at him and ran ahead over the knoll into the church.
Bidemi just stood observing them sing and worship God. In his heart he didn’t blame them – what is there in life they seek for? They are just farmers who are actually satisfied with life. No aspirations or dreams.
It was dusk when it was time for preaching. The sky was now all purple with fluffy white cloud. The silhouette of an half slice of moon was already eastward looking down at them.
Bidemi fling Baba’s old bible open. It won’t be hard tonight. Just a verse and then an admonition before he sends them all home. Tomorrow he will prepare to leave the village after he has set Chief Akinoye and the team on what to do. There could still be a lot in life he can catch up on. He felt great hope.

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His eyes settled on the verse ten of Ephesians 2. He felt glued to it. Eloquently he busted into Yoruba explaining that God didn’t have them by chance in this village. He has thought of them before the world began to be saved and do good works. 

He continued tying scriptures with scriptures, opening them like a delightful father open a new gift to his son. It was like cutting the first yam you roasted for your daughter. His heart became heavier. It was as if someone, a force was working in there, pulling at a weight that lodges so tight to it. He heard a sob and then another. He lifted up his face. His eyes met Oluwaseun’s. The boy’s brown eyes bore intently into his, captured in whatever he was saying. Someone was on her kneel, holding her chest and telling God to use her. He felt something pull at his own heart too. Another person followed suit, then another. Till many were on their feet, crying to God. 

He heard a voice do you feel displaced and dispirited? It was like the voice he heard that year when he knew what to do He knew the answer now. Watching these people he called uncivilized react to the word of God brought joy into his heart, like the touch of water on your sun baked aching back.

“Lord I am sorry” He sobbed as he went on his knees too. Scriptures flashed in his mind, filling him up like raining water fill up holes. Scriptures Baba has taught him and made him meditate multiple times. How could he call God’s work a waste of time?

It dawned on him that he hasn’t been wasting his time. He was at the right place in destiny, fulfilling it. He is like Paul the Apostle working night and day to instill in people, the Gospel of Christ. No joy from job, business or life achievement is close enough to what he is feeling right now and they won’t take it.
His mind flashed back to the various ordeals they have seen on mission. How the gospel walked in adults, made them shed tears, made them commit to bible meetings than their farms.

He took a long look at his flocks. From his small team of guys from nearby towns to the aged, the middle age and young age of the congregation and he knew it was shameful to have been embarrassed living his life preaching the gospel. It worth it not to allow your rational mind change your decision of the will of God.



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