A Novel Written by: Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO)
Less than a week to the end of the first month into his suspension, Pastor Kalejaye got the Pastoral Board to pardon Morakinyo.
“The initial arrangement was that following the expiration of your three-month suspension, you will immediately proceed to The Bible College in Ikeji-Arakeji for a special three month course in Missions, however the Pastoral Board has reviewed your case and it is the opinion of the Board that your suspension be reduced to one month and lifted immediately” Pastor Kalejaye explained to Morakinyo who remained on his knees as the Senior Pastor addressed him.
The trip to Ikeji-Arakeji was immediate. He had only two days to plan and bade his relations goodbye. He was to spend three months at Ikeji-Arakeji.
Morakinyo drew a list of people to visit before his travel to Ikeji- Arakeji. Gbayike was first on his list!!!
Within a month, Mr. Oyero had become a member of the newly established Deeper Life Bible Church. Apart from the fear created by the sudden discovery of his wife involvement in the marine occult world, another factor that propelled his consistent attendance was the excitement of being under the regular ministrations of his old school mate at Mayflower, Ikenne, Williams Folorunsho Kumuyi.
In 1973, while serving as a mathematics lecturer at the University of Lagos, Kumuyi an old boy of Mayflower school and protégé of Dr. Tai Solarin had started a Bible study group with 15 university students who had come to him requesting training in the Scriptures. The church started as the Deeper Christian Life Ministry.
Kumuyi was a former Anglican who joined the Apostolic Faith Church after being baptised. In 1975, he was expelled from the church for preaching without credentials. He continued his independent ministry, which in 1982 became the Deeper Life Bible Church. By the time Oyero joined the church at Yaba area of Lagos, that small group had grown to several thousands, at which time Deeper Life Bible Church was formally established.
Oyero had unsuccessfully persuaded his wife to join him in the attending the church. Her excuse was either domestic chores or lateness in waking up.
On one of the Sundays, Oyero had woke by 4am, took care of the children and made breakfast. By the time she woke at 6am, everything was set. Shocked and disappointed by the arrangement, Mrs. Oyero complained of great pains on her waist region and insisted she could not carry one of the legs. Unsure of what to do, Oyero let her alone and took the children with him to the church.
As soon as the service ended, Oyero sought audience with ‘Bro. Kumuyi’ as the Pastor was fondly called. Kumuyi, pleasantly excited to see his old school mate in church exchange pleasantries and a few banters with him. Oyero wasted no time in explaining his plight to Kumuyi because a long queue of people waited to see ‘Bro. Kumuyi’
“Brother Oyero, I understand everything you have said concerning your wife. I also share your burden. But you see, with God, nothing shall be impossible. We are going to pray for her and The Lord in His infinite mercies shall touch her heart and deliver her…” Kumuyi counselled.
“Which area of Lagos do you live? I will like to pay you a visit” Kumuyi said as he smiled pleasantly displaying his gap tooth.
Oyero was shocked. He least expected that from Kumuyi, the General Superintendent of one of the fastest growing churches in Lagos!!! Although they were classmates, his attendance in the church in the last one month had revealed a different Kumuyi from the one he stole meats from his plate while he prayed over food in those days at Mayflower School.
“You will come to my house…Pastor?” Oyero stammered. He could not believe his ears.
Kumuyi smiled again. “Yes I will…Won’t that be an opportunity for me to collect back the meats you stole from my plate in those days at Mayflower” Kumuyi said sarcastically as the two of them burst into hearty laughter.
Kumuyi made good his promise the following Saturday. He actually visited the Oyero’s. Mrs. Oyero had become moody and uneasy since she woke that morning. She figured out that something was going wrong but she could not fathom the danger lurking around the corner for her. She attempted tuning her spiritual antenna to receive signals from the Palace of the Queen of the Coast but nothing seems to be coming forth. She desperately needed to know what was going wrong.
Ever since her husband started attending the Church, following the death of Oyinkan; his niece, her spiritual antenna appeared to have been damaged. She had unsuccessfully attempted three astral travels and lost communication with the palace completely.
That morning, Oyero sat in the living room reading the newspapers as was his habit on Saturdays. He does not arrive the filing station on Saturdays until around 12 noon. Suddenly, his eldest son burst into the living room to announce the arrival of Pastor Kumuyi.
“Where is he? Are you serious Gboyega?” He quizzed the boy.
“Daddy, I mean it, he is downstairs. He is parking his car!!! You can confirm from the window” Gboyega explained excitedly.
Oyero almost flew to the window and looked down from his second floor apartment to see Pastor Kumuyi stepping out of his 504 Saloon car.
“Jesus is Lord” He almost shouted. “Pastor is here!!! Gbenga, go and lead him here”
“Yes Daddy!!” The boy ‘flew’ down the stairs to lead Pastor Kumuyi inside. Oyero dashed back inside the room to change his clothes. He had only a wrapper and singlet on.
Mrs. Oyero froze with fear where she was in the kitchen. Her husband never told her they were going to receive a visitor, let alone Pastor Kumuyi. The fear led to apprehension and confusion. She understood why she had been feeling uneasy since she woke up. She knew the consequences of meeting with a man like Kumuyi.
Oyero met Pastor Kumuyi at the staircase and ushered him into the living room. He almost prostrated for the man of God. However, Kumuyi restrained him and called him by his nick name “Aban di jooh!!!” to the amusement of the assistant that came with him.
The hysteric laughter that followed could only come from two old buddies. As soon as he stepped into the flat, Pastor Kumuyi opened his arms and embraced Oyero. He and Oyero were locked in that embrace for almost a minute. Oyero counted himself lucky.
Many thoughts raced through his heart as he remembered the days at Mayflower School especially the meat stealing episode and the several bullying moments of Kumuyi by him and two other boys who dubbed Kumuyi “Jesus Houseboy”
Never in their wildest imagination would they ever think that Kumuyi will become a nationally acclaimed preacher that he had become in the last three years since his ministry metamorphosed into a full-fledged church.
Oyero’s first visit to the church about a month ago when he returned from Ibadan following the burial of his niece left him spell bound. He watched with awe as Kumuyi dissected the word of God with so much confidence and authority. He could not but ask “Is this not the same Kumuyi I used to bully in school”
As soon as Pastor Kumuyi settled down, he asked after Oyero’s wife.
“Oh just a minute Sir” Oyero said as he dashed into the inner house. He had started using “Sir” to address Kumuyi. He could no longer relate with him as an old school mate. He was now relating with a Spiritual Father!!!
What Oyero saw inside the room was beyond his expectation. Lying on the bed and shaking vigorously was his wife with a duvet drawn over her head. At first, Oyero could not find his voice. A few moments ago just before the arrival of Pastor Kumuyi was announced, she was in the kitchen about to commence the preparation of breakfast. He stood there wondering what had suddenly come over his wife.
“My dear, when did this start?” He managed to ask her. He knew, this was another gimmick to avoid seeing the man of God.
“Just now. I came inside the room to pick something…” She said, her voice trembling. “I did not know what came over me…I simply lost my balance and fell on the bed…I guess it is acute malaria”
Oyero stood there looking at the woman with anger unsure of what to say. He took two steps towards the living room and stopped.
‘What am I going to tell the Pastor now…Will I lie?’ His mind raced through several potions. Finally, he summoned courage and stepped outside the room.
“I hope all is well Brother Oyero” Pastor Kumuyi saw the change in the countenance of his friend. He had stepped into the room excitedly, only to come out moments later wearing a long look.
“Is she sick?” Pastor Kumuyi asked smiling. He was speaking in tongue under his breathe asking the Holy Spirit for direction. The question was a big relief for Oyero as he didn’t know what to say without having to lie.
“Yes Pastor! She is inside…Would you mind helping me to pray for her Sir” He asked with great caution, unsure if Kumuyi would accept to follow him into the room.
As Pastor Kumuyi stepped into the room led by Oyero and followed by Kumuyi’s assistant, a deep guttural male voice spoke from the woman on the bed.
“Don’t you ever come near me Williams!!! I don’t want you around me…Why!!! Why!!! Stay away Williams…Stay away Folorunsho!!!” I respected you enough by staying away from your territory…why would you come to disturb me in my territory!!! the voice said.
Oyero stood far away from his wife, shock was clearly written all over him. He could not believe his wife was the one speaking. The voice was deep and masculine.
“You foul spirt possessing the temple of this poor daughter of the Most High God…I command you come out of her this very moment in Jeesuus mighty name” Kumuyi spoke calmly as if he was addressing a naughty primary school boy!
What happened next made Oyero want to run out of the room, but Kumuyi’s assistant encouraged him to stay on. Mrs. Oyero screamed with the male guttural voice and twisted violently on the bed for about a minute and went limp on the bed. Pastor Kumuyi prayed again and moved to the living room. Oyero ran after him. The event that transpired in the room was like a fairy tale to him. He thought he was dreaming.
Few minutes after, Mrs. Oyero strolled out of the room and knelt before Pastor Kumuyi crying profusely. Oyero could not believe what he was seeing. He opened his mouth staring at the unbelievable spectacle. Pastor Kumuyi laid hands on the woman and began to pray for her.
Her response as Pastor Kumuyi prayed for her shocked Oyero the more. He tried to compare her attitude a few days before when she referred to Pastor Kumuyi as using charms to draw crowd and her sober mood now. The difference was wide apart. He lifted his hands in appreciation to God as Pastor Kumuyi continued the prayers.
The atmosphere on the campus became tense following the announcement by the Vikings Confraternity that it would hold an initiation ceremony on the campus. Handwritten flyers smeared with blood were pasted in strategic places on the campus announcing the proposed initiation. The confraternity vowed to bring down notable leaders of the Students Union.
First on the list was Lanre Durotoye the President who was accused of being a deserter. It warned Lanre to get prepared to face his punishment for the show of shame and ridicule he subjected the cult to during his testimony time at the amphitheater last semester.
“Is this all they could do?” Femi asked sarcastically holding a copy of the threat flyer in his hands. Lanre had brought a copy of the flyer to him and requested the prayer support of the fellowship.
Suddenly, Femi rose in anger and walked about the room chanting some scriptures. “Why do heathens rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed, saying, ‘let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us’ He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: The Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure” His eyes shone like one intoxicated as he moved about.
“Bro. Lanre, don’t worry, this is not about our fellowship alone. All the fellowships on campus will be involved in this. We shall mobilise through UJCM…Cultism has been rooted on this campus forever!!!”
“Amen!!!” Lanre responded.
“I am not praying…Bro Lanre…I am not praying. I am only making a declaration of what has already been settled in the spiritual realm” Femi said boldly and spoke in tongues.
“Believe me…Bro Lanre” Femi held Lanre by the shoulder “The day you gave that testimony concerning your involvement in the occult group was the symbolic termination of cultism on this campus. A covenant was made between heavens and the seat of the President of the Student Union”
“Hallelujah” Lanre responded joyfully.
“You don’t know what you did on that day…” Femi spoke in tongue again. He charged like someone drunk with wine “You handed over the spiritual authority which was vested in that office to the King of Kings…You released the soul of this campus to the Owner of Heavens and Earth…Haaa!!! No earthly authority can reverse that!!! Let’s pray”
Lanre left Femi’s room bold and encouraged the more after a vigorous session of prayers.
Mrs. Aarinola Paseda had not been herself since Oyinkansola died. Since her husband died a few years ago, she had not been this devastated by the death of any other person like Oyinkan’s. Each time she tried to forget about her, images of meeting with Oyinkan kept flashing through her memory. For three days after Oyinkan’s death she wept continuously. It took two days of visitations from the wife of the Pastor and members of the Hospital Visitation Team to get her back on her feet. She had to take two days of casual leave from the office.
“Mummy I was so close to her. Although it lasted only a few days, we had suddenly become bonded after she offered her life to Christ” Mrs Paseda had explained to her Pastor’s wife who came visiting.
“Initially, the attraction to her developed when she told us about Onigba-Iwofa my home town. I also remembered her husband was a lecturer in my department on campus before he went into full time ministry” She continued the explanation to Pastor Mrs. Adegoke who listened to her with rapt attention.
“However, the real attraction came when she gave her life to Christ and began to show serious interests in the word of God. Just when, she began to long for more of God. The Lord took her home…Why…Why mummy her” She was becoming emotional now. Stream of tears had started flowing from her eyes again.
Pastor Mrs. Adegoke held her close to herself and patted Mrs. Paseda on the back.
“Sister Aarinola, who are we to question God? The righteous are taken away before the days of evil. God must have seen that her death was best at that time, so He took her. From the testimonies we heard from the nurses concerning her last moments, we are sure the Lord took her home” Mrs. Adegoke comforted Aarinola.
“My dear Sister, thank God for your life too. The Lord used you and your team to perfect His purpose in the life of that woman. You should rejoice that God counted you worthy to be used of Him to do such a glorious assignment. I celebrate you Sister Aarinola. I covet the kind of grace upon your life” Aarinola smiled for the first time. Pastor Mrs. Adegoke smiled too. She was glad her words are touching the right ‘buttons’ in Aarinola’s life.
“Mummy, why did God choose me to attend to the case of that Sister…She was coming from my hometown, Onigba-Iwofa. Her husband used to be my boss in the office…I once had a dream about him that I later learnt was a major boost in his decision to go into missions in my hometown…the pieces are not just coming together Mummy” Aarinola said, looking confused.
Pastor Mrs. Adegoke smiled again. “Sister Aarinola… we know in parts and we prophesy in parts. God won’t hold us accountable for what we do not understand…Lets dwell on what we know and understand. The rest, God will reveal to us by and by…God bless you”
That night Mrs. Paseda had the same dream again!!!
Morakinyo was gathering firewood on a farm. He sang as he gathered a big bundle. He looked around for a rope to tie the bundle of firewood. He saw a good one and pulled at it but the rope would not give way, he tried again and a sharp thorn pricked his hand, he screamed and turned away from the rope.
He looked around for another one; he saw a thin rope not strong but was easy to pull, he pulled it out and tied the bundle all around. He pulled off his shirt and made it into a head-rest. He carried the bundle to his head just then, the rope broke and the bundle scattered.