I came to the states from Nigeria in the year 2012. To me it was my year of maturation, and the first step towards being a man. Before leaving, my mum sat me down and told me to be a good boy, and also to remember whose son you are, as most mums would say. Most importantly, she told me to serve the Lord, and also keep Christian friends! My young naïve self did not take that to heart. I was just excited that I was going to the States and I was going to be a college student. At the same time I was leaving family members behind in Nigeria – especially my mother – but at that point I knew it was beneficial for my future for me to leave.
After arriving in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania where my sister and her husband lived, I enrolled in the local community college. Like a typical college student who is not living to please the Lord, and just had a taste of freedom, you wouldn’t want to imagine all the things I was doing – things that were not legal, and things that I am not proud of, and would be ashamed for my mum to know of. My second semester was awful as I filled my weekends doing stupid and meaningless things.
I love sports and I especially love playing ping pong. I played that a lot at college and in competitions was the champion a few times. I played many people I never got to know, but one man I played – Derek – stood out. He was also in one of my engineering classes and he asked me if I remembered him. “No,” I replied, “I don’t think I have seen your face before.” He reminded me that I had played him in ping pong.
“My young naïve self did not take that to heart. I was just excited that I was going to the States and I was going to be a college student” Derek offered me a ride home that night and for some reason we started to talk about God. He asked if I was “saved.” I claimed I was and started making up some story on the spot because I didn’t want to look like a bad person. I had a Christian upbringing and I thought that was good enough. He later invited me to church but I declined a few times. When he invited me to the missions banquet at church and told me there would be food, I finally decided to take him up on his offer!
I ate a lot of good food that day, but I also met a lot of people and that made me comfortable enough to go back to church on Sunday and every Sunday thereafter for a while. It felt like every time the pastor preached something he was coming right after me, but for some reason I kept going back. There was a particular Sunday that the pastor preached on “In all things you do, do it to the glory of God.” That sermon hit me in so many directions. At that point I was disgusted with myself. Immediately after the message I went forward and asked for help. Bro Gable opened the Bible and shared some truths with me and then we started a four lesson Bible study.
I learned about how can’t be saved by your “good works” but only by being born again. At that point I knew “Mr Nice Guy” wasn’t doing me any good. I also learned that one must truly repent to get saved. After the last study I realized there was a huge hole in my life and I asked God to forgive me, and save me. He did that I was saved May 28, 2012! I still remember because it was an amazing day and an amazing thing happened to me.
“but one thing is for sure – I have the Holy Spirit in me to tell me when I am going in the wrong direction and he puts me back on track.” After being saved I didn’t necessarily become perfect or change overnight. I’m still the same person and struggle with a lot of things, but one thing is for sure – I have the Holy Spirit in me to tell me when I am going in the wrong direction and he puts me back on track. God is good, but you can’t enjoy all the benefits he has for you unless you get saved. I would honestly say things have gotten better for me since I got saved, school would be a great example of that!
The Christian life is not a boring life, but the Christian life is an abundant life filled with the glory of Christ. You can never lose with God in control of your life!
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31