One of these days after meeting up with an appointment at the hospital, I decided to walk into Asaba mall and relax at one of the eateries to wait for the prayer meetings usually commences in Church in the evening. I didn’t have the luxury to go home and return.
I had stayed for an hour when I started nodding my head at random, my eyes were closing on its own and at some points, I would open my eyes to realize they have been closed for some minutes. I would look around in style to be sure no one was looking at me as I successfully kept disgracing my ancestors.
This had continued with unsuccessful attempts to defeat the warrior sleep that was already overwhelming me. I decided to just go home, take my time and sleep till it is time for prayer meetings. I had nothing doing that day and I had worked overnight on a website, hence my body was right! It needed rest.
I had successfully boarded a tricycle alongside others and it had moved a little distance when I noticed my neighbour had a book. If you know me, you’d know I love books especially that which have to do with ministry or my areas of career. The usual I would just ignore him and his book but something in me wanted to glance through that book.
“Hi, can I glance through the book?” I asked throwing a smile at him
“Sure!” he said, releasing the book to me.
He had Shoprite bread with him and was eating it right there. After a while, he looked at and said
“Can I have a word with you?”
“Of course, you can,” I responded
“Don’t mind that I am eating bread just like this, you may not understand.” He said
“But who doesn’t eat bread?” I replied not meaning to get an answer
We got talking and he started by telling me he got revelations about me. He said he saw me pass at Shoprite and God told him I am a multi-dimensional minister of the gospel. He said I am gifted extraordinarily, he went on and I was just listening to him. I knew God has gifted me, I knew I was “multi-dimensioned” and none of those sounded new to me. He said God wants me to activate these gifting by fasting, prayers and soul winning. They were still valid as long as I know without being told that God wants us to be given to prayers and soul winning.
Our discussions got interesting and we even got off the tricycle at the same junction, I paid his fare not minding I was on a very tight budget. I wasn’t in a haste to go home so I was willing to sit in a corner with him as we continued our discussion. He said I have a sweet Spirit that captivates those who are spiritually minded at first sight, he wasn’t the first saying that and it was something I was conscious of.
Not long, our discussion digressed and we started talking about him and his ministry. He talked about how every popular Pastor in town knows him, he asked me who my Pastor is and I told him. He brought out his phone, showed me my Pastor’s phone number and said they had been together throughout that day.
He said he was starting a new organization and would want me to be involved; I reminded him I was already committed in a local assembly but he had a way of trying to make me see why I may need to leave that organization. He didn’t say it directly but he so much implied it. He also told me how he has been fasting for several days and it sounded as though he wanted to impress me and like I always do, I gave him the feeling he wanted. I feigned it and acted impressed.
“You just said wow?” He asked “You’ve not seen anything yet. I am planning to enter a new phase with another two hundred days fast.”
“Wow… That’s a lot and very good.” I maintained
“Meanwhile, if you aren’t in haste, I’d like to show you something. Will you mind following me to somewhere?” he asked
I hesitated for a while but I wasn’t busy, I wasn’t scared either. I affirmed and we boarded another tricycle to a place just close to our office. We walked into an old hotel room and I was wondering what we were doing in such a place. He led me through a dark passage that leads to a medium-sized room. He knocked on the door, we waited for a while and a young beautiful tired looking and unkempt lady opened the door. Frustration was written all over her face but in her, I saw genuineness.
While he entered, I stood at the door waiting for a signal before I could enter and he beckoned on me. On entering this room, I saw three kids, they were all looking hungry
“You are wondering what we are doing in this place, right?” He asked searching my eyes to read my thoughts
“Well, I don’t know what I am thinking right now….”
The room was a bit spacious; it had a chair, a small old tv and a double-sized bed. I watched him as he threw the bread to his wife who picked it up reluctantly. The kids were not excited about it too and I guess they wanted something better, it was written on their faces.
I won’t bore you with everything we discussed but I learnt they were going through tough times, he was sacked from the Church organization where he served as a Pastor, and he was thrown out of the vicarage. After spending some time in the village, he decided to take a step of faith, come back to the city to see how things would turn out.
He told me how many countries and states he would be touring this year for crusades, he said things will eventually turn out fine at the end but presently, they would barely feed, the children were all looking very sick and his wife? Her physical beauty was fading as it would take a third eye to see that she was really beautiful. It was an encouraging thing to see her stick with him throughout these times.
He said something that startled me which is why I am writing this. He said to me “George, I have a program in Lagos this evening and I need money to leave for Lagos. I believe after the program, I would be given honorarium and it will go a long way for my family.” He paused and continued “They sent me money to come but you know, because of the situation of things, I had to use the money. I pay three thousand naira every single day in this hotel and it’s been telling on me.”
“See George, the Lord told me something the moment you passed me at Shoprite. He said you have what I need; he said the twenty thousand naira that I have been looking for is with you.”
I smiled, he didn’t know what my smile was about but did God miss it? Was God having memory loss to have forgotten the last two thousand five hundred naira I had in my pocket was what I was using already? Did God forget there was no money in my pocket?
“Perhaps, God didn’t mean twenty thousand naira” I laughed “I don’t even have a quarter of that amount in my account.”
He felt a bit disappointed but quickly regained his morale “I am sure you have properties, something like TV or something, you can sell it and take a risk for me. I am sure God said you are with what I need.”
I was quiet for a time, I know what his problem was and I know frustration has driven him into crediting his assumptions to God. I didn’t want to come hard on him as life was already very hard on him but this same reason is exactly why some Pastors start manipulating people into giving them money. It was not true; God didn’t say I have the twenty thousand naira that he needed except God is learning new ways of lying. To help him not rob the shame on his face, I said
“Well, God speaks in diverse manners. Perhaps, he means I have something you will need in future. You may need my skills or something but the money? I don’t have it and God can’t say I have it… At least, not in my pocket or account.”
I left a thousand naira for him and left for the prayer meeting since it was time already. In the meeting, Pastor talked about someone who ran into him begging for money and by Pastor’s description, I knew it was him because he told me he met my Pastor.
I think every supposed young minister need to have skills and get some secondary jobs in case ministry isn’t footing their bills. I am a full-time minister of the gospel too but it doesn’t foot my bills, I don’t even depend on it else I would start lying and deceiving people into sowing seeds!
Imagine a Pastor I am meeting for the first time asking me to sell my TV or properties because God told him something? God speaks to me too and until He speaks to me, it isn’t God.
I know he lied against God, I understand the place of the flesh and frustrations in all this and I didn’t hold it against him and I still keep in touch with him. He would do better if he had something he is doing aside depending on ministry to feed. Currently, the hotel has thrown him out because he couldn’t pay anymore.
It is saddening what his wife and children are going through at the moment, I hope to let him understand how important it is to find a secondary means of making money other than mocking the gospel; the same gospel he hopes to reach others. I still hear Paul’s voice echoing
“We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living…”
Being in the ministry doesn’t immune you from working and earning through other means, you don’t have to sit waiting for seeds and tithes. When they start coming willingly, it is fine but if you have to lie to get believers to give you money, it is better to get a job to support yourself.
I hope this helps someone.