The Rendezvous

All your life, you are certain you are a born-again, spirit-filled Christian. You know this because your parents keep reminding you of the role they played in ensuring the Reverend Minister baptised you and ten other children on December 4th, 1990. You believe you are a child of God because you try to be good. Well, mostly. You have your quiet time daily and you do not smoke nor drink, neither do you club nor fornicate and the list goes on. Thirdly, you go to church every Sunday and are a member of the singing ministering and when you are not singing in the choir, you serve as an usher.  These two positions take so much of your time but you juggle them quite well and though you hate to admit it, you sometimes struggle to execute both roles effectively.

You are doing just fine (in your opinion) until a friend introduces you to another brother who is the youth leader of another church. There was nothing fascinating about him. Dull, just like that. During your initial assessment, you did not like the way he had dressed. His mannerisms and speech were funny. Simple subjects about the church, bible and the life of a Christian became so complicated whenever you spoke with him. On your second meeting, he brought up a conversation on the subject of the Holy Spirit but you shut him out while he kept rattling. In your mind, he simply likes to talk but you gave your phone number to him, anyway. This was to keep him from pestering your friend who introduced you both.

You honoured one of his insistent invitations to a weekday service in his church. The youth in that church was on another level. They seemed too exuberant, highly animated and overly cheerful. Perhaps, they have had a heavy lunch or had they taken in some narcotics? You observed keenly because you had never seen so many young people so excited about church. The service was scheduled to last for an hour but in your heart, you wished it was over so you could walk out of the midst of these over-energetic youth.

Before the grace was shared, you took your bag and were ready to bolt when you felt a hand on your shoulder, trying to restrain your movement.

“You made it. I am glad you came. Hope you enjoyed the service and I hope you’ll join us for the next one,” youth-leader said with a smile on his face. He really looked happy to see you.

“I enjoyed it but I have a number of things to do right now so let’s chat over the phone, ok?” you replied almost shrugging his hands off you.

“You seem annoyed. Are you sure you’re alright? Did someone say anything nasty to you in there?” youth-leader who seems to know everything, quizzes you. His concerns and posture were preventing you from moving away. Instead of allowing you to walk off. You turned to use the other exit but he quickly moves to stand in the doorway and that stopped you.

“Hey! Hey! Are you crying?” He asked too gently for your liking. Through the tears, you tried to push him aside but were not successful. You began to scream. This time, very loudly for him and the other members of his church to hear.

“Never invite me to this church again. You guys confuse me. You, in particular, make me question myself. Ever since we met, all you do is to speak differently on the same subjects that I’ve always known. They keep ringing in my head. They disturb me,” you said. You look at him, almost whispering, “And I don’t like you.”

Youth leader looks at you, raises his hand but decides to put them down. He rather walks up to you and what he did, shocked and intrigued you at the same time.

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This is the first of a two-part sequel. I am not too certain how it’ll end but you can give me ideas. While you do that just fix your eyes here. It promises to be exciting.

© picasion.com_9CWp

Me? A Pastor’s Wife? Never…

Dear Kwesi Broni,

I have been thinking about the conversation we had about a week ago. The one concerning the revelation the mighty prophet had about you – that you were going to be a p-a-s-t-o-r. Yes, that revelation! I told you I was going to think about it. I have thought through it very well, so, below is my response:

Kwesi B., I don’t want to be rude but just take a critical look at me. When you had your vision, did you see me as your wife? Or did the prophet announce to you that I was going to be your ‘Osofo Maame?’ You know I am very popular and don’t have a problem when it comes to receiving love proposals from men. Even as we speak, I have about four pending ones, which I’m reviewing. I decided to give you a chance not because you are the richest or the coolest dude, but, I just did. Did you know you were still on probation all this while? But you have already failed as a result of our last conversation. Anyway, the chance I gave you has expired. I am no longer interested in our ‘assumed’ relationship.

How can you consider me, Akosua Darling, as a pastor’s wife? I am not saying I am above that role because I know some beautiful wives of pastors. Oh, or you are thinking of starving me to death, eh? Kwesi, that won’t happen oo, that wouldn’t happen! If you are looking for someone to fast and pray for the needs of your congregation, why me? Please look for that person that you want to put on a perpetual diet for members of your congregation. As for me, Akosua Darling, I don’t think I have the capacity to intercede for some church members who may even end up gossiping about me. Even as I type this note, I have directed the new pastor, whose church is down the street, the one who advertises on the radio. Yes, that one. I have asked him to fast and pray for me. For your information, I have paid quite a hefty amount for him to achieve the results that I am seeking. Fasting is not one of my favourite hobbies.

Sorry. I digress. So how did I come to mind when you thought of somebody who was going to partner you in your ministry? I have told you several times that as a pastor’s daughter, coupled with what I have seen and experienced, I have vowed never to date, not to talk of marrying a pastor. Why? You think I wouldn’t like to see my husband on a daily or at least, a regular basis? Unlike my mum, who stayed with my dad even though he was absent almost 3/4th of our lives, I wouldn’t like to raise my children alone while you tour Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Greenland, among others, all in the name of winning souls. I want to close from work, drive to the house to come and meet my husband, so, we have a hearty conversation. I want my husband to be part of my everyday life.

“Akos, if you want to give me a heart attack, then bring a prospective fiance with pastoral ambitions to this house,” my mother has already warned me and you know I am not a disobedient child.

Oh. Did I ever mention to you how some of my friends and I take long looks at our pastor’s wife? In fact, we assess her every day. We know she likes to wear funny shoes and her attire is someway. Her hairstyle, nowadays, makes her look older and we’ve concluded it’s because her husband is never around to compliment her. The other pastor’s wife too, we think she simply overdresses, wears too much makeup and is competing with us, the young ones. She never likes to cover her hair but fixes weave that some of us cannot even afford. What makes you think she is not sponsoring herself with our offertory and tithes?

Eii! and the way some church members can also demand their daily upkeep from pastors? You have been a witness to that eh? They come for their rent, transport fare and school fees from pastors. This implies that our small earning will be used to alleviate poverty among members of your congregation. So I wouldn’t only share you with your members but my money will become the church’s money. Don’t think I am selfish, I only like to protect what is rightfully mine.

So Kwesi B., do you want me to stand behind you in posters and billboards? How can you think of such a thing? Me? Akosua Darling, on a large billboard near the Motorway, standing behind my husband and inviting people to ‘our church.’ I was seriously considering you as a husband but your plans, for me and our future, are making me cry. I want to live a quiet life, probably get married to a rich man but not to someone who will be at the mercy of his congregation and everyone. I wouldn’t know what I will do when people discuss you on traditional and social media. Do you think I don’t see how some people describe pastors and Christians on Facebook? You know I can’t pretend. I may descend to their level and make myself dirty and I know I will be in the trends forever so you, let’s call this relationship off.

In the future, I may come and support your ministry when I am wealthy. Don’t see me as selfish and greedy. In fact, you should thank God I am not being pretentious. You should pay me for my frankness (you can put that in the offertory bowl on Sunday).

However, please read this portion of my letter carefully (you can read it aloud like a confession):

I, Kwesi Broni, will never, ever mention to anyone that Akosua Darling and I were ever in a relationship. I will never get in touch with her again and I won’t even bother to respond to this letter. I am removing her number from my phone contacts. I am unfriending her on Facebook and unfollowing her on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. In fact, starting now, I have deleted her from my memory. I consider her as my forgotten ex and our relationship, dissolved. Dead. Caput. Buried. Drowned in the deepest part of the ocean. I wish her the best in her future endeavours. So help me God!

Thank you for your time. I don’t look forward to hearing from you ever again.

Your ‘dead’ ‘drowned’ and forgotten ex,

Akosua Darling.

Disclaimer: This is purely fictional and does not represent the views of the writer.

Glossary

Osofo Maame: Wife of a Pastor

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Oh! I Don’t Want to be a Pastor!!

Most prophecies are received with jubilation, particularly, if it’s in line with the recipient acquiring some wealth or travelling outside of Ghana and making an impact in other areas on the globe. It’s been your dream, perhaps, you’re working on it and most of your friends have begun calling you Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. But all you needed was that powerful prophet who was visiting the church to confirm what you already knew and that was why you left for the service earlier.

You were not shocked when he pointed to you because you sat on the chair closer to the aisle. That Prophet with the loud voice, who sweated profusely and always had a wet towel hanging on his shoulder – the very popular one in the charismatic circles – he signalled again and you made your way towards him. He looked straight into your eyes and you could almost feel his eyes piercing through your soul. He asked you to raise your hands and without hesitation, you did as you were told. He breathed some hot air onto your face and paused, you were anxious to know what he had to say.

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“You. You are are going to be an evangelist,” he said rather flatly. That was when the smile vanished from your face. That was not what you expected.

“Oh, Prophet! But why? Didn’t you see anything different? What about all those business conglomerates that I have had visions of owning?” you asked, your voice almost trembling.giphy (2).gif“I said you are going to be an evangelist. One of the greatest pastors in your generation. You are going to be an apostle, a prophet and everything that has got to do with the work of God,” he said. “In fact, you are going to walk on the sea and raise the dead,” the prophet added, this time even louder for the old woman to wake up and stare.

As you looked on, Mr Prophet dipped his fingers into the anointing oil and smeared a generous amount onto your forehead as if the oil will make his words less difficult to accept.

“Oh! I can’t be a pastor,” you say to yourself.

You can recount the number of times you’ve visited your pastor’s office to see a long queue of members of the congregation who were waiting to have a word or two with him. This implied that a pastor should know at least something about each member of the church in order to make meaningful conversations. Isn’t that what they call fellowship or consultation? When members with marital issues, school fees problems, accommodation challenges, erectile dysfunctions and all, come to see the pastor to get it solved. Just imagine if you have a large congregation with about 2000 members, multiply that by one problem each. Meanwhile, You fall into the category of people who can’t even remember your own birthday without Facebook’s notification, how are you going to remember all the 2000 issues of your church members?

“Oh! I don’t want to be a Pastor,” you say to yourself.

Anyone can drive the latest model of cars at any point in their lives but as soon as the Pastor releases his V8 or Porsche or the sleekest Benz or when he buys a house in one of the estates, he becomes a subject of gossip. Imagine seeing the pastor with his beautiful wife and children at Kempinski or Movenpick or Golden Tulip Hotel having dinner. Even when the pastor wears a ‘non-pointed’ shoe or designer suit or perfume for once to church, the rumours start. We are not interested in how he acquired them – whether he bought them with his money at a discount or they were gifts from his church members, we do not care – in our opinion, a pastor should be ‘modest’ because we give him our tithes.

“Oh! I don’t want to be a Pastor,” you say to yourself.

You have been a witness to news of Pastors losing close members of their families through tragic accidents and have heard rumours of pastors divorcing their wives? They did not have it easy.

“Ehn, he says he is a pastor yet he can’t even manage one wife.” OR

“His wife died in that tragic accident. Why couldn’t he save her if he was that powerful? Or has he gone to use her for ‘juju?” they will ask.

“Oh! Why should I be a pastor?” you ask yourself.

Do pastors even have personal lives? How are they able to manage their family times when they keep moving from one place to the other all in the name of spreading the gospel? That slay queen you’ve been dating. Yes, the popular one in the squad who is the daughter of a preacher. She has promised not get involved with anyone who has pastoral ambitions because she knows the experiences of her mum. How are you going to break this prophecy to her?

Just observe how pastors are trolled on social media when they wade into politics? Even when pastors become quiet in a particular political era, the people simply make fun of that. Now, there seem to be journalists, bloggers or spies in every church. Just wait till a pastor says something which does not sink too well with the people and he will either be quoted or misquoted. Let a pastor, under God’s direction, ask for a certain seed from members of the congregation. ‘That pastor die be that.’ He is going to be in the trends for days and weeks. Woe betide you if you decide to defend a pastor who is being trolled on social media.

Do you see why I don’t want to be Pastor?

© picasion.com_9CWp

Glossary

Juju: Black magic

Chilling: Enjoyment

That Pastor die be that: The pastor is in trouble.

True Story: When Favour did not Receive Favour

“I do not have anything to lose,” Favour thought. “God is probably giving me a second chance. Besides, I am only on a short contract with this organisation.”

Those were Favour’s thoughts when he received the job description from one of the managers of the organisation. In 2012, he had attended an interview with this company but he was not offered the job. When the managers called him the second time to re-apply for the same position, Favour was beside himself with so much excitement. This was going to be his second try and probably his final job application.

Favour knew how well the company paid its employees, not to even mention the trips and allowances which came with working there. He could not keep himself from imagining how his life was going to transform when he finally reports to the office. Before that, the Human Resource manager had also asked him to forward his latest Curriculum Vitae (CV) and cover letter. Favour felt special when an interview date was forwarded to him immediately he submitted his CV and cover letter.

During the interview, he did put up a splendid performance. Favour recalls how the Manager kept nodding at every sentence that came out of his mouth. To him, the questions were simpler compared to the other interviews he had attended. He never doubted the position was going to be his.

After the interview, he could not help but reminisce over the entire experience. He tuned in to his favourite Christian FM station as he sipped on the bottle of fanta he had bought from the shop. This is called ‘celebrating victory ahead of time.’

“I can tell there is victory ahead. Somebody is about to hear the best news ever,” the preacher on the radio said. “Can I hear someone shout a loud Amen.”

This must be the Holy Spirit speaking to me, Favour thought. He did shout his largest Amen as he made a quick trot and ended up somersaulting in his bedroom. He jumped three more times and was completely out of breath when he finally walked to sit on his bed. This preacher is indeed a man of God. He made a mental note to capture his contact details and probably sow a seed into his ministry when he is employed in the company. Indeed it is not flesh and blood that had revealed his enormous victory to the preacher.

The days following the interview were one of the longest ever experienced by this young man. He kept praying, trusting and believing that indeed, his miracle was knocking on his door. He had earlier told his mum about the job and she was also trusting and praying with Favour.

On the fourth day, after constantly checking his smartphone for updates or email from the organization, Favour decided to include a fast to his daily routine. He remembered an aspect of a sermon which was preached on the radio the other day in Daniel 10:13, where Daniel had been praying but the prince of the Persian kingdom kept resisting him for twenty-one days, thus, his prayers going unanswered. This scripture pushed Favour to pray some holy ghost crazy prayers which could last for about three hours. His shirt was always drenched in his own sweat whenever he finished praying those prayers.

That was the routine for Favour for 14 days. He barely touched his meals which were prepared by his mum. All he wanted was a phone call confirming his appointment in that company.

On the 15th Day, the heavens smiled on him when his phone finally beeped notifying him of an email from the company. The logo of the company was unmistakable. His heart flipped out of excitement while he clicked on the email.

“Dear Favour. This email is to inform you that the interview panel has decided to select another candidate for the Business Development Manager Position. We are sorry….”

This is a true story which was shared by one of our readers. Favour is seeking your response to what he should do next. Remember to leave your views and remarks in the comments box.