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(Did you miss Episode 5? Click here)
THE FIGHT FOR LOVE (A CHRISTIAN STORY BY DE-RACONTEUR)
“Isn’t this house too gigantic?” I asked Pastor Owah who was accompanying me to The Olawuwo’s residence.
“It is o my pastor” He replied as we alighted the Uber vehicle I had chattered.
“What does Pastor Olawuwo do?” I asked as I surveyed the big, exotic building.
“He is a retired architect but he is into full time ministry now”
“Powerful!” I replied as we walked through the gate till, we reached the main entrance to the house. The door opened after we had rung the doorbell for like three times.
A beautiful, elderly lady opened the door and looking at the semblance she had with Mo, I knew it must be her mum.
“Oh, good morning Pastor Owah.” She greeted the pastor that had escorted me down to their house briefly and turned to look into my face astonishingly.
“Is this Pastor Mensah?” She predicted correctly and I smiled.
“He is the one o” Pastor Owah said and we both laughed together as she ushered us inside.
“You know me?” I asked and she started clapping and laughing altogether.
“That voice is even the voice!” She danced a bit. “You are the National Pastor of Bible Life Church, Ghana, right?” She asked again and we men laughed out loud again. Her husband had come downstairs casually dressed. He greeted me briefly and went to sit down.
“You are very correct.” Pastor Owah said again.
“I see you on our church channel every Sunday! Sir, you are anointed! The anointing of the Lord over your life will not dry off in Jesus Name” She fervently prayed, the veins on her neck really protruding.
“Amen” I replied with a smile. “Your husband knows me. We have met a couple of times at different conferences” I said and her husband smiled briefly.
“More Grace my pastor” He said coolly. I had quickly established the fact that he was the cool version of the duo.
“He got to Nigeria today and suddenly asked to be ushered to the Olawuwo’s house” Pastor Owah said and Mrs. Olawuwo went on her knees immediately.
“Wow! Such a great honour! I am so delighted to have you around. Oh my! God bless you! Thank You so much sir! Ah, my God will bless you. I love and honour the Grace of God over you sir.”
“You can be on your feet ma. Please and please, don’t let’s do this” I said and she stood up shyly.
“I love it when I see brethren serving the Lord in truth and in the Spirit. That’s why sir” She said and I patted her on the back.
“The Lord will honour you too in the Name of Jesus!”
“Pastor, I will like to be on my way sir” Pastor Owah announced. “Weekends are not free for engineers like us”
“The Lord will reward you my brother. Thanks for the honour” I replied.
“The pleasure is mine sir” He said and stood up.
“Alice! Alice o! Our visitor is going o” She announced and soon a lady, who appeared like a help came in with a white polythene bag that contained some drinks and other things I couldn’t see clearly. She greeted us and handed the bag over to him.
“Oh my! Mummy, you shouldn’t have troubled yourself ma. You shouldn’t have” Mr. Owah retorted even though he clung to the bag. I laughed silently.
“Don’t worry my pastor. That is how we give it to all our visitors. Don’t be burdened by it” Mrs. Olawuwo said with a lovely smile.
Pastor Owah left and after seeing him off, Mr. and Mrs. Olawuwo came back inside to meet me where I was seated.
“Daddy, food is on fire. When it is done, we will eat sir. Should I bring drinks for you?” She asked and I shook my head.
“Never mind sister. I will prefer it packed in a polythene bag like that of Pastor Owah when I am leaving”
“Alright sir” She said and settled inside a chair. “Sir, to what do we owe this visit sir?”
I cleared my throat, rubbed my moustache and smiled.
“Where are my children?” I feigned ignorance.
Immediately Mo realized shockingly that I had arrived Nigeria, I informed her to leave the house with her twin sister as I wanted to come over to do some ‘spiritual cleansing’ in their house. We had laughed over it but she definitely must have left.
“You know our children?” She asked and I tittered.
“Mo is my daughter. And by a way of relationship, Mowa is my daughter as well” I said and the couple started laughing. I knew they would need more explanation, so I continued.
“My daughter and Mo studied together in India. They were even roommates…” I was saying when she raised her hands to her mouth.
“Mary Mensah! Oh oh oh oh!” She went on as we laughed together again. “That means her mentor that she talks about every now and then is you sir?” She asked and I nodded.
“Meeting my daughter in India and hearing a lot about me, she wrote me a long mail one day asking me to be her mentor. I monitored her for a while and accepted to do it” I explained and she looked so thrilled to hear that.
“My daughter is highly connected o”
“No! I am highly honored to be a mentor to such a young lady! She is disciplined, meek, gentle, beautiful and when it comes to her spiritual life ehn…” I paused when I realized she wanted to say something, her face slightly blushed.
“Pas-tor! I really want to thank God for the gift of Mo! She is a fire girl! She gives me joy!”
“Oh glory! Mo is actually such a wonder! She hears directly from God, has some evident spiritual gifts…the summary of the whole matter is that she is so spiritual and a wonder to many generations” I said and Mrs. Olawuwo, obviously so glad couldn’t contain her gladness as she grinned from ear to ear.
“Glory be to God pastor. So, are you here to see Mo? She suddenly left home with her sister this morning” Pastor Olawuwo said
“Yes. I called her and am aware that she has gone out. I actually came to Nigeria to see you, mummy and daddy”
“Oh really?” They both exclaimed.
“Yes. Mo reported you to me that you call her a babe in the Lord, someone who doesn’t know anything, a backslider, a sinner and so many other things like that” I said and they looked shocked.
“How on earth can we do that? Never!” Her mum retorted.
“So, when she said she is being led to a Godly, Christian brother outside the church, why do you think she doesn’t know what she is doing?” I dropped the bombshell and there was silence.
Pastor Olawuwo’s head became bowed while his wife started turning her neck around like an ostrich, intertwining her hands and ‘hmmmm’ing every now and then.
“This girl is a child of God. She knows the Lord. She fears the Lord and concerning her marriage, she has been praying for years! I am not telling you fables! Better guys have gone to propose to this lady but she saw no future, no leading, no attraction of any kind towards them!”
“Hmmmm” Mrs. Olawuwo downed a cup of water.
“She knew it was going to be Emmy before he even met Emmy. I don’t know if you have prayed about this guy or if you have sat Mo down to hear her testimony” I said and she shook her head.
“There are some things you don’t pray about sir. And there are some things your ears shouldn’t hear” She said and I smiled.
“My daughter was brought up in the way of the Lord”
“Why do you think Emmy wasn’t brought up that way too?”
“I desire that my children get married in the church of the Living God and the Bible says the desires of the righteous shall not be cut short”
“But why should your desires try to override God’s Will?”
“In what way? With all due respect sir, I am a child of God and I know what God wants my children to do at every given opportunity.”
“That is what I am talking about! You being a child of God doesn’t overrule Mo also being a child of God! When there is a conflicting view of a subject by two children of God in determining what God wants them to do in any situation, there has to be a consensus! A spiritual consensus! The other doesn’t say his own idea is the better one. They sit down, pray together and hear what God is saying about the issue!”
“I have been in the Lord for years before I even met their father. I will be thirty five years in the Lord next month. They are from my womb. I am their guide in this world!”
“Guide! I will come to ‘guide’ later. But let’s talk about the length of time we have spent in the Lord. You respect me, right?”
“Sure I do”
“I gave my life to Christ twenty years ago!”
“Twenty years ago? Just twenty years ago?”
“Yes ma! But does that mean I am a babe in the Lord?” I asked and she sighed deeply. “Peter was supposed to be a father in the Lord to Paul! He saw Jesus! He touched Jesus! Yet, immediately Paul got a wind and a full grasp of the Gospel, he went farther than Peter! The length of years we have spent in the Lord doesn’t always determine the quality of our spirituality.”
“Hmmmmm” Pastor Olawuwo exclaimed, nodding as he did. “Thank you, pastor, for this” His wife eyed him slightly before looking down at her legs.
“Glory to God my brother!” I said and looked at Mo’s mum again. “Is it possible for me to know any other reason why you don’t want to have anything to do with this young guy?”
“Sir, he is not a member of our church! He is Igbo! I don’t like that at all!”
“Okay! Let’s take this one after the other! He is not a member of our church.” I said and sighed. “Mummy Mo, please listen attentively to me”
“I am all ears” She said fumbling with her fingernails.
“One day, when my daughters were still kids, I got them three big cartons of chocolate bars. Then, I bought twenty small empty containers and divided the chocolate bars into them so they can take to school. After pouring out into containers like that, I still had some left in the three big cartons.” I paused to look into their faces. They were listening with rapt attention.
“One day, I came back from work and realized that one of my daughters was serving punishment and when I asked my wife why, she was so furious. I calmed her down, took her to the room and asked her to explained. ‘Mary poured chocolate bars out of three containers into one single container’ ‘What was her reason?’ ‘She said she wanted to plant maize in two containers that it was an assignment from school’ ‘So, why are you angry?’ ‘The chocolate- why should she pour them altogether?’ I was startled for a while. ‘Why shouldn’t she? She needed the containers’ ‘No! She shouldn’t have mixed the bars together! They are from different containers’ My wife shouted that day.” I paused again to swallow.
“I had to start explaining to my wife that since the chocolate bars were from the same carton, there was nothing wrong if Mary pours them together. That day, I sat down with my wife after releasing Mary from the punishment and we spoke at length about the Church of God! We are all from the same carton of chocolate bars but because we need to reach the ends of the earth and since there are different gifts, the church is spilt into different denominations. Therefore, we shouldn’t throw ourselves away and say I am for Paul and some say, I am for Apollos! We are different, we shouldn’t be mixed! No! That shouldn’t be!”
“Well, with all these things we are hearing about churches around? With all the bad things going on in different denominations? We are obviously not of the same body sir!”
“Well, not all who make mention of the Name of the Lord is of the Lord! That is right! There are false prophets everywhere! There are pastors who are plain herbalists! And that is why the Bible says that as many as are led by the Spirit of the Lord, they are the sons of God! We need the Spirit of God to guide us and lead us in the way that we should go!”
“And it is safer to reside in the church where you were raised!” She retorted and I smiled.
“I have four daughters. Mary, Martha, Mabel and Martina. They are all happily married to the Glory of the Lord with gloriously smart kids. Mary and Mabel got married to brothers in our church in Ghana. Martha and Martina got married to brothers from different denominations entirely. They are doing gloriously well because they are in the center of the Will of God! And I must mention that they all got married to people of different tribes!” I said and she sighed again. Her husband only nodded on.
“Thank God for them sir. But what is good for the goose might not be good for the gander! In Nigeria, Igbos are very bad! I mean…”
“But I have Igbos, two Igbos as sons-in-law and they are not bad! They are wonderful! They are sons to me! They are consolations to me” I said and she sighed again.
“I want Mo to get married in the church to the brother who the Marriage Council has just introduced to her”
“Why? What is the big deal about that brother?”
“Well, he is a leader in the church, he loves her, he followed the church protocols and he fears the Lord”
“Does she love him?”
“Erm…well, she will grow in love with him obviously!”
“And she is at peace with him?”
“Well, what does that matter? The brother is led to her, I confirm it in my spirit and I will see to it that she follows God’s Will to the latter”
“What if they get married and the brother tells her after marriage that he has received the call of God and would like to leave Bible Life Church to start his own ministry. What would you do then?”
“Erm…. well, there’d be nothing like that. he is not leaving the church” She said and I laughed.
“Even in our church, Mrs. Olawuwo, our precious church, Bible Life Church, there are cankerworms! When it comes to marriage, some brothers are fraudsters! They pretend to be godly and wise and true simply to get the sister. Afterwards, they display their true colours!”
“This brother is not like that”
“How? You know him well?”
“Yes. And the findings I have done about him shows he is the perfect match for my girl”
“No one on earth knows who is perfect for him or her in marriage but God!”
“Not maybe! God had to cause a deep sleep to fall upon Adam to form Eve! That is a great lesson to us. Most times, we need to just sleep! We need to fold our arms, fall into the arms of God and relax there so He can choose for us! Once we are doing the searching, we leave God out so many times!”
“Pastor is talking. Can’t you just keep quiet for a while and let’s listen?” Pastor Olawuwo said and she turned to look into his face, obviously angry.
“Is that why you are now barking like a dog? I should keep quiet ba?” She nodded like an agama lizard at him, folded her arms across her chest and frowned.
“Sorry” Pastor Olawuwo said and she shrugged. I smiled. It is well.
“Well, I understand, pastor. Now, let’s say God breaks me and I even agree to this denomination thing, what about the tribe thing? I can’t even think about it!”
“So, you have no one in your family who got married to an Igbo man or woman?”
“My grandmother did”
“Ah, that marriage is the worst marriage I have seen in my life! And history has it that her mum was against the union o. But it is this same Will of God thing that pushed them together. She eventually committed suicide! My poor grandmother” She burst into tears and I shook my head.
“It is well Mrs. Olawuwo.”
“It is o. I always wonder. Why is it that those who even say ‘God’s Will’ are the ones that their marriages collapse? Why? You see unbelievers around and they are enjoying their homes”
“I will tell you why today so you will stop wondering!” I said and she nodded. “The devil does not love Christian homes and he would do anything possible to stop any union that will glorify God! Now, if they eventually succeed and get married, some Christians forget themselves and become careless! They believe since they are in the Will of God, they can misbehave and their spouses will still be alright with them” I said and the husband heaved a deep sigh.
“Are you in the Will of God?” I asked her and she nodded.
“I heard God o. I am married to this man because it is the Will of God”
“So, why is your marriage not working?” I asked and she sat up defiantly.
“My marriage is working! I try my best to make it work!”
“Can’t you see how you embarrassed your husband before me, a stranger just few minutes ago? Unbelievers most likely wouldn’t do that! They know that they are treading on egg shells, so they have to behave well to keep their men or women! But we that have the Grace of God, we misbehave! If the man can love and the woman can submit, with the Grace of God and the leading of God that brought them together, it would be an explosion into the face of the devil! Many people don’t know this!” I said and she sighed again.
“You were saying something about being your children’s guide the other time. Yes, you are their guide, not their judge! You do not have the final say! You are the caretaker, not the landlord! God gave them to you to guide them, you should go back to Him when they need to make any major or minor decision in life! When you see that they are headed for destruction, you correct them, go to report to the Lord and hands off! Watch and see how God will work things out!”
“Ah, I cannot watch o! I want my children’s lives to be better than mine! I want their marriages to be better than mine!”
“In the process of trying to give our children wings, we often break off their legs!” I said and the husband shook his head.
“Gbam! Gbam! Thank you daddy! Thank You” He repeated.
“I was a matchmaker for twenty years!” I said and they all turned to look into my face. I smiled. “I studied temperaments, psychology, DNAs, Compatibilities financially, socially, genetically and so on. Then, I would connect my ‘perfect’ couples together! I matched over two thousand couples”
“Yes! That was what I was doing. But looking at those marriages today, only the few who could work hard at it are truly enjoying it. Those who got born again along the line are making a difference but even though I won several awards as ‘World-best matchmaker’, I can see now that the only Matchmaker is God! Stop being a matchmaker Mrs. Olawuwo”
“Well, thank you sir. But I am not a matchmaker. The brother wants her and he will get her. He has proposed already, she can’t disappoint him”
“Talking about disappointment, who would be disappointed more? The one who has been in this marriage thing with her for some years and left all his work in Germany to come for her and the one who just came like a week or two weeks plus? Who will be more disappointed”?
“He should go away from my daughter! I have placed a curse on him. If he tries to come close to my daughter ehn….”
“A curse? Mrs. Olawuwo! Do not let religion turn you into a monster!”
“With all due respect sir, I am not a monster. I cannot take that.”
“Hmmm…I didn’t call you a monster but since my statement hurt you, I am deeply sorry. But I want you to watch it sis. Whatever eats at you and makes you behave irrationally or out of line at times might not be from God. Watch it!”
“Thank you!” She said and dusted her wrapper as if to stand up.
“There is a big difference between spirituality and religion, many profess godliness but they deny the power of such godliness”
“Sir, with all due respect again, I must say that you have overstayed your welcome.”
“I should leave your house?”
“Please, leave” She said and I smiled, sadly. Her husband frowned and shook his head repeatedly.
“I will soon leave. Permit me to round off, we pray together, then I will leave”
“No more insults please” She said and sat down.
“When your child is born again, you should be glad because excepts he fights God’s Will, he can never miss it in marriage! You should only be scared if the child is not born again.”
“Okay. Thank you”
“The Lord’s face shines upon Mo. I believe that she will not miss it.”
“Amen. Thank you”
“Let go and let God, madam!”
“I appreciate your coming” She said, stood up, moved inside and brought out a white polythene bag with her.
“Pastor Olawuwo, you should also make your firm decision known in this case, you…”
“What decision does he have to offer?” She said and gasped mockingly. “Even he as he is like that, is he a good husband? What does he know? I am their mother. I will guide them!” She said and I shook my head.
“You don’t talk about your husb….”
“Enough sir!” She shouted at me and even genuflected respectfully. I shook my head. “Leave my family alone sir! We didn’t invite you here. You came in here and you are doing too much already. Out, sir!” She said with a finality and I nodded.
“Thank you, madam!” I smiled and stood up. I brought out a big bag and placed it on the table. “This is my gift to the children. Kindly deliver it”
“Thank you. This is from us to you too. Oya, thank you sir” She handed the white polythene bag to me and ushered me out of the house like an infected dog that needed to be treated immediately.
“Holy Spirit!” I kept muttering till I was seated in the Uber car that had brought me earlier.
“I am so sorry sir” Pastor Olawuwo said as the car was about taking off. “Please put us in your prayers” He said and I nodded.
“It is well my brother. It is well” was all I could say. I was just not happy at all. The spiritual state of the woman was so poor that her family was collapsing right on her head.
Indeed, a wise woman builds her home and a foolish one pulls it down with her own hands.
My phone rang and it was Mo. I sighed as I picked it.
“Oh my! Your voice is not good sir. No good news right?”
“The Lord is in control dear.”
“Oh my! She doesn’t know who you are?”
“And you told them about your own daughters as well”
“It is well daughter. It shall be well.”
“Hearing this from you is really disheartening daddy. It is, daddy” She sobbed.
“Do not fret daughter! Do not be afraid!”
“I hope she didn’t walk you out of the house daddy. I hope she didn’t”
“All is well dearie. Where are you guys? Is it possible to still see before I go back?”
“I am ashamed daddy! I am ashamed of whatever my mum must have done to you daddy. I am so sorry. I am. Now, if she could do this to you, what hope do I have? What hope, Lord?” She started to wail.
My heart shattered to pieces as she did.
What do I do?
Lord, what do I do?
“Where are you, daughter? We need to meet” I said, informed the driver who turned back and followed her direction.
I never knew Christians like Mrs. Olawuwo still existed!
It was the first time ever that someone would say ‘No’ to my counsels and even chase me out of their house!
Father, please forgive her for she doesn’t know what she is doing!
WATCH OUT FOR EPISODE 7.
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