I thank God for His unfailing grace. God has been good to me. He sure has the plan of our lives all worked out, long before we were born. There is no denying the fact that the road has been rough and steep but God has been too good to me. He has been more than sufficient. True to his word, “All things work together to those that love the Lord”.
I just take life as it comes. I believe as long as it is a divine call, God will grant the grace to handle things. Yes, I’m very busy as a pastor, but I also recognize I am first a husband and a father before I am a pastor. So as much as I can, I spend time with my family even in the midst of a very busy schedule. That is the only way to be truly effective even in my pastoral responsibilities. I believe we all need to create time for the things that are truly important to us.
Few years ago you pioneered a strong and vibrant ministry outreach to widows and widowers called Ruth and Boaz Fellowship. What was it that motivated you to start this program and how has it faired?
With your years of experience as a widower and then as a pastor and mentor to this group of people, what would you say are their greatest challenges and why?
I have come to understand that it is easy to castigate and condemn single parents, widows and others but the truth is that their issues and challenges are deep. They need a strong support system, acceptance, love, care, understanding and above all, grace to pull through their emotional pains. Many of them are weighed down by the burden of rejection and depression, a sense of failure and loss, so they need love and support. They need grace to overcome temptation and stay pure. Much more, they need direction on the way forward.
There is no reason for me to be. A good man should not be intimated by his wife’s success. What many people don’t know is that l am a very restless person. At any given time, I could be doing ten, twenty things at the same time. As I am thinking of this, I am working on another. So, naturally, anyone and everyone around me has to get busy. That was what helped Pastor Bimbo to be so busy and to live her life to the fullest in the service of the Lord. Our union brought out so many latent gifts and abilities in her and she was able to nurture and utilize them well. The truth of the matter is that apart from the time she spends traveling around to preach or minister, every other day and time she was not out, she was practically at home for me and the children. She was a family woman and she gave her entire life to nurturing her home and children. Even for those ones that were schooling abroad then; she would spend hours with them on the phone, chatting and sharing to ensure that everything was okay with them.
I lost my first wife in an air crash and it can with a sense of great loss. Maybe that’s a low point; I mean, when it happened, and I honestly wished it never did. Regret? No, God remains God and as it is written in His word, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” That’s why I sincerely don’t have regrets.
Pastor Nomthi is a woman of great grace. Unlike Pastor Bimbo, her own area of focus is the children, so she goes all out to nurture and bless the children in this church and even beyond. And when she came on board as my wife, it was like all the women in the church had been waiting for her. They received her with so much love and warmth and she has continued to wax strong and do exploits. She is a gift from God and I am very grateful.
With your very busy schedule as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, pastor, mentor and social entrepreneur, one cannot but wonder if you ever have time to relax. How do you relax?
(Laughs). Well, I try as much and as often as I can to sit with my wife and watch some of her favourite programmes on television. Apart from that, I like to read as part of my leisure but my reading style is not like everybody’s. I hardly have time to pick up a book and read it from cover to cover. So there are a lot of digressions in my readings. I start reading a book and the author makes interesting point, then I want to investigate what I just read. So I find myself going from book to book – some people call it topical or research reading style. This is what really gets me excited and can keep me awake the whole night.
We understand that the present situation of the county leaves much to be desired but never the less, my appeal to this administration is that “We believe in them and the change they have promised. So, they should do everything possible to ensure that positive change truly comes to Nigeria and its people. Also, the churches should not relent in their corporate social responsibility. They should continue to support in areas of education, healthcare, feeding, skill acquisition, empowerment and others to transform lives and make the society better. We can also engage the youths through quarterly rallies, mentorship programs, vocational trainings and also see how to equip them with technical and practical life skills.