So, Chika got up early this morning just like other times to get ready for work and to get her little son, Ebuka ready for school. At 4 am the alarm clock rang; she had gone to bed at 9:30 pm with Ebuka, though he never wanted to because his favourite TV program was on air that night.
Ebuka was so interested in the show that he was willing to miss school the following day. ‘This is serious!’ Chika exclaimed within her. Ebuka is never the type of child that dreads going to school, especially because of Miss Ifunanya, his Mathematics teacher who he has grown to cherish.
On many occasions Ebuka has refused to go home immediately after school, preferring to stay a bit longer with her. So, for Ebuka to be reluctant, it must be for something much more appetizing than her. Well, Chika had a special appointment the next day, so not even Ebuka’s lovely TV program could make her a second late to it.
As the alarm clock rang, she calmly rolled over her ruffled but well-perfumed bedsheets to snooze it. Slowly she brought down her legs to the sides of the bed, tucks her feet into her slipas and stood up. As she walks towards the bathroom, stretching herself and releasing a few yawns, she realizes that she only snoozed off the alarm and in 5 minutes it’ll go off again. She quickly returns to turn it off altogether; the next one is set for 6 am when she’ll wake up Ebuka.
In the bathroom, she quickly brushed her mouth, washed her face and headed back to the bedroom to pray. She knows that today’s morning devotion with Ebuka would last for about 10 to 20 minutes. So, she preferred pouring out her heart unto God for an hour before Ebuka gets up.
‘Heavenly Father, I thank you for this morning. I’m so grateful for Your grace and strength in my life and my family. Thank You for the numerous blessings you’ve kept bringing our ways. I’m grateful for life and for Your grace. Thank You for the success we had in our last antiterrorism operation’. She goes on to pray for her son, invoking the protection and wisdom of God upon him. She also prays for her extended family, her fellow workers, and her Church.
Chika is what the pentecostal Christians and evangelicals call a born again child of God; she gave her life to Christ at 19 years. Although she was raised in a Christian home, it wasn’t until her university days that she had a personal encounter with the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
One warm afternoon Chika was sitting under a tree shade getting some fresh air. She was done with her lectures for the day and wanted to spend some hours studying at the university library. The initial plan was to return to the students’ lodge with her friend, get some rest before heading to the library to study. But on second thought, she decided to rest for some minutes under the shade instead.
Until this day, she still believes that it was God that planned everything.
While she sat on the bench, a young man came around, gently asking if he could share the bench with her. ‘Of course, you can’ she replied, though she quietly prayed within her that the young man doesn’t make noise nor start a conversation; she was so exhausted. God answered her prayers and the young man simply went on studying for about 30 minutes without saying a word, besides asking how she was doing when he arrived. A question to which she barely recalls if she answered or not.
After about 30min, she was ready to go to the library for some studies.
‘You had a good sleep, right?’ he asked. ‘Yes, I did. Thanks for not disturbing me’ she answered.
‘Well, I should thank you because you allowed me to revise the last pages of my notes. I’m on my way to the exam hall. I had wanted to revise in the hall but there was so much noise that I decided to come apart in a quiet environment’, he says while glancing through the last equations on his notes.
‘Alright dear, that means we both gained.’ Chika replies looking at him. ‘I’ll be on my way to the library now, I have quite a lot to cover for my exams coming up next week’, she continues.
‘Ok, the library is a good place to study, especially when someone needs maximum concentration’, he adds. Chika rises and heads to the library, while Ikenna finishes with his revision. They both exchange goodbye.
One of the days, Chika was invited by a female friend for a programme in her Church. At first, she didn’t want to attend because of her health; she was feeling feverish. But after much persuasion by her friend, she decided to attend, believing that her smaller-than-a-mustard seed faith will be enough to attract God’s healing upon her.
The church congregation was a mixed one; it spanned from children to people who were elderly, in their mid-80s. That day, the teaching from the Pastor centred on patience. There was something about the minister that got her so hooked and focused on him. There was something about the way he explained the Bible; it seemed quite easy to understand and very close to everyday life that she was amazed.
She was very excited after the Church service that she decided to pitch her tent there; she hasn’t been regular with Church activities at school anyway. So, finding a place that stimulates her desire to know and serve God more. Also, God answered her prayers and she felt better at the end of the service.
She asked her friend if she could join the sanitary department of the Church as she felt that she would do good in that area. It was on one of the occasions while serving in God’s house that she discovered that Ikenna also frequented the same Church, serving in the media department. In months to come, they would talk more and eventually desire to spend the rest of their lives together.
And Here is Chapter Four