S.I.M.S Episode 36
( STEPPING INTO MAGGIE’S SHOE)
©️ Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde
After my set had left Ikeji-Arakeji, I stayed behind for another 5 years working passionately for God under Baba Fire.
In no time, Baba Fire’s church had grew from 130 members to close to 2000 members. We were able to build a small cathedral of about 2500 members. We had started having Elites in our church, even to the point of having the First Lady (Governor’s Wife) as a member of our church. All these were possible because of the level of exposure I brought into the ministry.
Baba Fire started having international ministrations which I had to follow him to, because I had to interpret in English Language…
He was getting blessed with cars, houses, money and a lot of gifts. At this point, the Spirit of Greed took over me. I felt I was the one pulling the crowd to his church and should be in charge of all that he was in charge of.
I felt He was using my glory, and I decided it was time for me to pull out and start my own ministry. My mum was not happy with the idea, but Maggie who at time was my fiancée, gave me strong support. She was also of the opinion that I had what it took to be the General overseer of my ministry and not laboring for another person, who someday will hand over the baton of the ministry to his children.
Maggie and I got married after my fifth year under Baba Fire. We settled in Ikeji-Arakeji but Maggie and I were not content with the life over there. I would come back home every Sunday lamenting over how the church members were blessing Baba Fire more than they were blessing me. Maggie would also add to my misery by telling me it was obvious I was just been used by my G.O.
We both decided in the second year of our marriage to move to Lagos and start my ministry there, whenever the opportunity presented itself. Not long after our resolution, a woman who usually came for prayers all the way from Lagos became our source of motivation. She was always encouraging me to come over to Lagos…
“Pastor Ray, your anointing is underutilized and not appreciated here as it should be, you should come to Lagos or go to somewhere like Abuja or Port Harcourt, I tell you sir, under a year, your church will be the talk of the Town.”
“I know, but God asked me to assist Baba Fire here”
” Well you have done a great job so far, maybe God just wanted you to learn under him, Pastor Ray I think this is the time you should launch out, Bible says we should go and preach to the uttermost part of the earth, not just in Ikeji-Arakeji town” She said laughing…
“Honestly Pastor, if you are interested, my husband and I will be willing to invest in you financially to start up your church”
I was so excited about the opportunity and on getting home to Maggie I discussed the development with her. She was excited as well, and encouraged me to take up the offer. She even asked me to call her immediately to accept the offer.
On calling her, she was excited as well and she asked me to come over to Lagos to see her husband over the weekend. She said, she would want it to seem as if I came over to pray for her family and from there she would take care of the rest.
I travelled to Lagos for a prayer vigil at her home. On getting there, her husband and children were not at home, she told me they would be home before the vigil. She lodged me in her visitor’s room and inside the room, everything I needed had been arranged there including food and drinks.
Around 11:45pm, she called me over the intercom, that she would join me in the Living room for the vigil.
On getting to the living room, the place was empty. Her supposed husband and children were nowhere in sight. As I sat wondering, she walked out of her room in a see- through net gown, and underneath she had nothing on. My heart raced and right there I lost my strength, I couldn’t resist her. I slept with her and that was the beginning of my woe. I believe that was where I got the strong attraction, for married women.
She kept to her word, and set me up in Lagos. But I hid my affair with her a secret between us. I didn’t tell anyone, not even Maggie or Baba Fire.
On returning to Ikeji-Arakeji, Baba Fire called for me, asking me what I had done. I acted in denial, he asked me the question 3 times….
“Raymond, what have you done?” and my answer those three times were “Nothing Baba”.
Maggie and I moved out of Ikeji-Arakeji around 10pm 4 months later to avoid being noticed. We didn’t inform Baba Fire, we only dropped a letter at our missionary home that had been provided for us. I stated in the letter that I was led by God to go start my ministry. I apologized for leaving without prior notice as I knew he (Baba Fire) would not want to release me.
We immediately changed our lines to avoid calls from Baba Fire, when we got to Lagos.
“Are you saying, you have not heard from him since you both left there” I asked Ray who sat in front of me narrating the issue to me…
“I only heard from him, after about 2 months of starting my ministry. Till date I don’t know how he got hold of my phone number.
“Ray, you made me an object of ridicule, you brought me disgrace, may you forever be caught in the web of shame and disgrace. You will continually see shame in your ministerial work” Ray recounted the exact words Baba Fire said to him over the phone
“Ha! My God! He said all these and you never went back to plead?” I asked Ray.
“No, Maggie told me, it was just an empty threat” At that point I understood why Pastor Maggie was able to cover and condole Apostle’s sinful lifestyle, they both rebelled against God.
It all made sense to me, Apostle was never meant to be an Apostle or a founder of a ministry, he had been called to Assist a founder instead. The Marine powers and the spirit of immorality was able to swallow him up, because he was not in the perfect will of God…
The question in my heart as we both became silent were the first words that came out of Ray’s mouth…
“Is it possible for me to close down my church that I have invested so much in and return to Ikeji Arakeji to become the Assistant of an illiterate?”
S.I.M.S Episode 37
( STEPPING INTO MAGGIE’S SHOE)
©️Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde
Ray kept to himself for two days, as the thought of losing everything he had was too much for him to bear. He told me he was going to ask for the Mercy of God and permissive will of God, to let him Continue with his ministry.
I tried talking him out of this, telling him it was better to obey the will of God 100 percent. I was not planning to be like Pastor Maggie who acted as a Jezebel of a wife, who made her husband sin against God. For those two days he locked himself indoors, I was fasting, asking God for a second chance for him. I cried unto the Lord telling him, I know I got into this shoe of marriage thinking it was going to be glamorous, but on getting in, it felt like stepping on broken glass. I told God I was going to stay in the marriage, but I needed him to help me work on Ray, so that I could still make something meaningful out of the oversized shoes…
On the third Day, Ray came out of the room and told me he was ready to go to Ikeji Arakeji, and he would love me to go with him. I was excited God had done what I prayed for. I put a call through to my mum, asking her to please come stay with the triplets, but she told me she was very ill.
There was no one we could trust the kids with, I suggested his estranged sister who was living close to us, but he refused. We decided to take the triplets along, but drop them off at his mother’s place at Sagamu. On getting to his mother’s home, we explained all that had happened and what we were about to do, his Mother was excited, she started jumping and praising God. In excitement, she said she was going with us, she said for years she had been unhappy about the church he established, she saw what happened as God’s show of Mercy towards her.
We couldn’t go to Ikeji- Arakeji that day anymore. Early the next day, we set out and got there in peace alongside my mother in law and the triplets.
On getting to the Church Premises, Ray kept exclaiming “Ha! Ha!” repeatedly. When I asked him why, he said the church had become bigger than how he left it. He said it was 6 times bigger than how he left him. We asked the church secretary on how to see Baba Fire, but she told us, we had to book an appointment with his P.A for over a month, as there were people from all over coming to see him, but on seeing the triplets, she showed compassion on us by giving us a way out…
“There will be evening service today, the moment Baba is rounding up his message, go and stay around where he parks his vehicle. The moment you see him coming, start shouting his name and your name telling him the reason why you are here to see him, if he is interested in seeing you, he will ask his security to call you.”
I could see that Ray felt belittled by that Approach, but I held his hand and gave him a smile of encouragement.
We stayed in the church premises till the evening service, few old members recognized Ray and they exchanged greetings. Some shared their condolence about Maggie‘s death. Others praised him over his ministry as they confessed they watched his T.V broadcast anytime they were in Lagos.
The service was a glorious power packed service, and the icing on the cake was Baba Fire’s ministration. At that Point, I knew why they called him Baba Fire, he was a mobile fire carrier, and I could see who Ray took his preaching style from. Baba Fire was a thorough Bible teacher. At some point, Ray could not help his tears, he kept crying in the auditorium, he was attracting a lot of attention, I had to pull him out.
“Happy, Baba Fire now speaks English, even though he still uses an interpreter” Ray said in tears with disbelief and regret in his eyes. Baba fire was still preaching in Yoruba language with the help of an interpreter who interpreted in English, but at intervals Baba Fire spoke fluent English. From that I learnt no one was indispensable…
We followed the advice of the secretary and stayed around his car. The moment Baba Fire came out, Ray started shouting
“My Father, Baba Fire, I am back, it is your first Son Raymond, Just like the Prodigal Son, please I am back” Apostle said in Yoruba, and I couldn’t help but cry, I felt the shame, I knew it took a lot for him to say those words, he had gotten to a high point in his life and ministry, but all of a sudden, he realized God was never with him… Baba Fire stopped in his tracks, he recognized the voice, he looked around and saw Raymond, but you could see pain and hurt in Baba fire’s Eyes. He turned away from us and entered his car….
To be continued
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