Street Apostle

Street Apostle.

I have heard this term used recently by a friend of mine. I’m not totally certain what it means but to me it seems to refer to a believer who has a special ministry to those on the streets. They disciple those who are non believers or the new believers who are just off the streets and need proper grounding. The likes of David Wilkerson who wrote ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’ shows us that it really takes some very special people to do the apostle ministry. But it seems a lot of us have already jumped into this ministry without being aware of it.
Or how else do we want to explain our spirit-filled tongue lashing presence at clubs, digging it with the people we are trying to disciple? How do we explain our association with those whose conversation is seasoned with vinegar instead of salt? Nowadays, the old time religion our forefathers used to sing about is truly outdated. It has given way to a permissive, free-for all, come-as-you-are-but-don’t-bother-to-change kind of Christianity.
The effects of these are obvious. The folks we are trying to disciple do not see any difference between them and us. They look in bewilderment when we quote to them the scripture: ‘Come out from among them and be separate.’ They really do not have any idea what we are talking about, because we go with them to all their parties, laugh at their crude jokes…some of us even take apostle Paul’s advice of just drinking a little wine. Maybe some feel they want to appear as all things to all men so that they might win some. But we need to be honest with ourselves. Is our approach really helping these ones? Are we rescuing Mary Madgalene from her seven demons or are we helping the demons to thrive in the house they are dwelling in? Worse, we might actually be inviting demons into our own lives also. We must never underestimate the power of the blood. The blood is available to still change from the inside out. It is still available to cleanse sin. And the standards of God can never be changed no matter how understanding we want to be.
It has been said that it is easier to pull a person down than to pull a person up. That is why the Bible warns us to take heed lest we fall. If we do decide to disciple those from the streets, then we need to establish some ground rules.
1. We should not agree to go with them to places that Jesus cannot be glorified. In fact, we should actively discourage them from going to night clubs or drinking parties. Isn’t that how many of them fell in the first place? They need to be taught that they cannot go back to their vomit that though they have been saved by grace, they still have the responsibility of protecting themselves from evil gatherings.
2. Their conversation should be censored. We must not allow them to get away with crude jokes or swearing. They should know that once we’re around at least, they need to wash their mouths with soap. With time, they might eventually realize that their uncouth manner of speaking is not necessary to get points across.
3. Flee from every appearance of evil. This is important both for us as street apostles and for those we are trying to disciple. The enemy has subtle means of trying to place us in potentially dangerous situations. The thing to do is not to try to reason ourselves out of the dilemma we are in but to take to our heels immediately.
Paul and the other apostles were successful in their ministries because they remembered that their allegiance was to Jesus first and foremost. Not to the people they were trying to convert or disciple. If our relationship with Jesus is uppermost in our minds and we draw our strength for Him, it makes it easier for us to truly minister to His children.


Is Somebody Singing?

Is Somebody Singing?

As a news correspondent, my job takes me to varied places-even where angels fear to tread. When I was told that my next assignment would take me to the Chibok village and environs, I mentally prepared myself. Carnage was not new to me. I had covered one of the bombings in Maiduguri a year ago. My family had their reservations about a young female reporter going into such difficult climes and for a while the TV station I worked for had given me a break from dangerous assignments. But now with the Boko Haram crises escalating, and the over two hundred girls kidnapped from Chibok still missing, they had reviewed their decision and those at the top considered me the best correspondent to cover the situation. So here, I was with my camera man and my light travel kit filled with basic supplies traveling in a rickety pick-up inot the unknown. On our journey down, I saw scattered spots of security personnel dotting the countryside. They looked bored or disillusioned. I wondered if the Ak-47 they carried was enough to deal with the threat this Boko Haram people represented.
Finally we got off and I shook the dust that had gathered on my clothes. We stopped at the school and took a few pictures and then headed off on foot to some of the surrounding villages.
I am not a blubberer but I couldn’t stop the tears that formed a pool in my eyes when I saw how the villages had been razed to the ground. There seemed to be scattered human remains here and there. I did not look closer for fear of what I would find. Who were these monsters that had destroyed the lives of innocent people? As we walked through the village, we did not see a single soul. It seemed bereft.
We got to a hut and a part of it had collapsed but I seemed to be hearing some movement inside. My cameraman and I edged closer to take a closer look. What we heard stunned us. I had to pinch myself. Was somebody actually singing here? Somebody was singing: “Mungode Ubangiji mungode kwarai kwarai.”
I was amazed. Surely it was impossible for someone to sing in such a place, let alone sing song of praises to God. We made our presence known to the woman and she came out to meet us, her face welcoming. She had a six month old baby on her back. My first question was to ask her why she was singing. She beamed as she answered: “God is so good to me. When the Boko
Haram people came my parents died and my husband ran away leaving me with my baby but I could not run because the baby was sick. But God healed my baby and spared our lives.”
I could only gaze at her in wonder. Apparently it was still possible to be joyful despite whatever loss a person had experienced. When coming for this assignment I had an idea on the angle I would write-the carnage, the devastation, the hopelessness. But this singing had changed all that. Her courage and resilience reminded me of Martin Luther’s famous words which I truly believed could be applied to Boko Haram. “We shall overcome someday.”‘

Sons and Lovers. Series Finale

Sons and Lovers series.

Today marks the long awaited end of our Sons and Lovers series. We do hope you’ve enjoyed the ride. We hope to bring you another exciting series soon.

Ruth struggled to swallow the bites of the appetizer that had been served them and then cleaned her mouth with her napkin. It was time.
“Excuse me Dare, I need to go to the ladies.” She said hoping he wouldn’t argue with her.
“Oh. That’s fine darling,” he said smiling at her. “Take your time.” She got up and out of the corner of her eye she saw him wink at someone. That was when she noticed for the first time that one of his guys had followed them to the restaurant and now apparently he was going to follow her to the rest room. She took a deep breath and walked in the direction of the conveniences.

Tomiwa was in a hurry to park at the restaurant and the tires screeched on the pavement. Peter put a steadying hand on his arm. “Be cool man. We’re here.”
They were all thankful that one of the three guys that were sitting with Alex in the car knew exactly where Dare had taken Ruth.
“So we’ll go in together,” Alex said directing everyone with his hands. “Then we’ll spread out and look for them.”
At the entrance of the restaurant, Alex discreetly showed the security man his badge. “Nobody leaves the building,” he said in a low voice.
As soon as they entered the restaurant and looked around, Chidera pointed towards a guy in a white shirt backing them. “Over there. I think he’s the one.”
“But Ruth isn’t there,” Ruth murmured.
Tomiwa took giant strides towards the direction Remi was pointing just as Alex shouted: “Freeze! Police!” “Nobody moves,” Peter said in an authoritative tone as he walked behind Tomiwa. Fola grinned at him. “You’ve always wanted to say that, haven’t you?”
Peter nodded as Tomiwa jerked Dare up by the collar, anger giving him a boldness he never knew he had. “Where is she?” he shouted.
Dare feigned innocence. “Leave me alone man. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You better tell us where she is. We already have your men,” Peter said in a threatening tone as the whole of the restaurant watched in shocked silence.
Dare jerked free of Tomiwa’s hold. “If it’s Ruth you’re talking about, I don’t know where she is. She was here a while ago but she has left now.”
“Liar!” Tomiwa said taking hold of his arm again. “Where have you hidden her?”
“You’ll never find her!” Dare said suddenly, laughing loudly. As he did so, his eyes darted to and fro as if looking for someone. An idea struck Fola and he tapped Peter on the arm. “Just a minute Peter,” he said and they both walked in the direction of the rest rooms.

Ruth had checked through all the stalls but there was no way out. It seemed that people only escaped through the toilets in the movies. There were no windows in any of the stalls. She flushed the toilet bowl and decided to give up and come out. Perhaps God had another plan to save her and she did not want one of Dare’s henchmen to burst in on her and pull her out. After the sound of flushing stopped, she heard voices outside the door. Voices she recognized.
“Do you think we should go in and look for her?” Fola said.
“I’ve never entered a ladies rest room, have you?” Peter said, a little nervously.
“So you think we’ll be scarred for life? Come on dude,” Fola said jokingly.
Ruth could take it no longer and she burst out of the toilet.
“Finally!” she said surprising them. “It’s about time.”
They shrieked and hugged her and walked her towards where Tomiwa had Dare in a headlock, threatening to punch him until he gave up the information about Ruth’s whereabouts. As soon as he saw her, he dropped Dare like a ton of bricks as Ruth walked tentatively towards him. Their eyes met and misted for a moment and then their embrace spoke more than words could have said.

Richard tried to keep up with the gist that was going on around him as they sipped on soft drinks and dug their feet into the sand, but it was hard to piece the whole story together as everyone kept talking at the same time. They were having a small get-together at a nearby beach, thankful for all that had happened to them.
“I didn’t know Fola was so macho!” Chidera laughed punching her friend in the arm.
“Hey I’m macho too,” Richard said puffing out his chest.
“That you are,” Chidera said also giving him a playful punch.
“Hey I helped Fola too,” Remi added. “I was brave.”
“Yes. She was my wingman,” Fola said putting an arm around her. They had had no time to talk about what the dynamics of their relationship was but there was an understanding between them. They had definitely come out of the friend zone.
“You guys have forgotten the real hero in all this,” Peter said pulling Ize down on the sand beside him.
“Yes, if it weren’t for Ize we wouldn’t have been able to track Ruth sat all,” Chidera said gaily.
Ize got up from beside Peter and gave a mock curtsey as everybody laughed. “Glad to be of service.”
As if on cue, everyone’s heads turned in the direction of Tomiwa and Ruth who were holding hands seemingly lost in a world of their own.
“Oh, look at them,” Ize exclaimed. “They make an adorable pair.”
Peter looked round at the two other couples beside them. “So do we,” he said expansively.
Chidera was running towards the waves as the tide came in.
“Hey you guys, let’s try to catch this one,” she said excitedly. Her gay voice interrupted the lovebirds and everyone moved towards the shore grateful for the life and love that surrounded them.