Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Those who fear God

Rev. Paul Ogunyale was the pastor of Oja Oba Baptist Church (which being translated means King’s Mountain Baptist Church). This was the church my family attended when I was a child. Rev. Ogunyale was my pastor.
His is a story of reckless faith. When he was a young boy, his family sent him to a Christian school because they wanted him to learn to read and write. They had no intention of him becoming a Christian. They already had a mix of Moslem and Pagan in the family and that was enough religion for them. But since this mission school was the only way he was going to be able to get an education, they allowed him to attend.
But one day at school, young Paul learned how Jesus had come to the world to save people like him from their sins. Paul made a profession of faith in Jesus as his savior. He was so happy and just couldn’t wait to share the good news with his family!
Sadly, his family was not happy for him. No, they were not happy at all! The people of his village were steeped in superstition and one of those superstitions was that the number three was an evil number. Because of this, his family could not allow Paul to bring a third religion into the family and they demanded he renounce his newfound faith.
Paul refused.
So his family held a council where the elders of his family concluded they absolutely could not allow this third religion into the family or it would draw the anger of the gods and they would surely all fall into some type of doom. So strong was their belief that this was the case, they concluded the only thing they could do if Paul continued to refuse to announce his belief in Jesus was to kill young Paul.
The elders informed him of their decision and offered him the choice of becoming either pagan or Muslim. But still Paul refused. Before going to bed that night, his mother made a tearful plea with him to renounce Christianity and choose one of the other religions. Paul lay down on the floor that night as he did every night on the mat he used for sleeping so as to not be sleeping directly on the dirt floor of his mud walled house underneath the window where he always slept. But he did not go to sleep. Instead after all others in the household were fast asleep, Paul who was about twelve at the time, quietly climbed out the window near his bed and fled for his life. He ran to the house of a British Anglican missionary who was one of his teachers. This man took Paul in and became like family to him.
What a privilege I had to know people who had actually given up everything for the sake of Christ!! 

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