THE VOICE OF DESTINY
“You have a daughter. You are worried because she is in the world. You will see, she will love Jesus more than anyone.” Before I ever met Prophet TB Joshua, the man who God would use to change my life forever, he had prophesied to my mother about the love that would carry me to my destiny.
Born into a middle class, educated and slightly eccentric Christian family in Winchester, England, and growing up with a passion for fashion, arts, languages and literature, my life could not have been further away from the ministry of a Spirit filled prophet on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria.
In the year 2001, the ‘Divine Miracles 5’ VHS cassette made its way into a leaders’ meeting in my local church in Winchester and from there, my parents’ spirits were stirred. In the summer of 2002, when I first visited The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in a group from that same church in the UK, what I saw in TB Joshua, ‘The Man In The Synagogue’, was a man whose best friend was Jesus. All he wanted was to see you accept his best friend – that was what his life was all about. I had never seen anyone so passionate before, so genuine, so childlike yet so powerful. It was an experience you cannot take lightly – whether you like it or not, life could never ever be the same.
“If you take Jesus at His Word in simple faith, you will see the same results the first Apostles saw.” This is what he said and this is what I saw – I can never forget the line of HIV patients with their placards falling like a pack of cards without the prophet even touching them, a man with anus cancer shouting for joy as he sat for the first time without pain on a wooden bench.
I found myself, somewhat reluctantly, in what seemed to be a scene from the Bible – raw miracles for raw believers from a raw God. I say ‘reluctantly’ because at 18, the ‘world’ still held some allure for me; although searching for the truth, I was not really ready for the commitment of a deeper relationship with God.
But even if I wasn’t ready for God, He had seen me. In the midst of all the miracles, the crowd, the noise, the prophet turned and looked directly at me: “Have you accepted Jesus?” He asked and the question was more than just words – it was a sword that pierced my heart – leaving a mark for the years to come.
The Jesus he was talking about was Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. That week, he introduced me to His Jesus – Jesus of Love, Jesus of Truth, Jesus the Miracle Worker. Although the seed was planted, my heart was not yet ready for the flame to light – it landed but grew dim. The advice from the prophet when I met him one-on-one before going home – ‘Are you ready to accept Jesus? You have to be careful of your friends’ – did not settle in my heart.
It remained however as a gnawing pain at the back of my mind, the voice of my conscience as I started running away – running away from God.
Parents who place their children’s spiritual life above and beyond any materialistic, academic or social status are a rare treasure in this age and I was lucky enough to have them. As the prophet years later repeatedly told me, “Your parents really tried for you.”
Throughout the next two years, as I fell head over heels in love with a world of falsehood, they never gave up praying for me. Until finally, after my second year at Exeter University studying English Literature and Spanish, as I was about to travel to Mexico for the third year of my degree, they persuaded me once more to go to Lagos to visit the prophet.
What I experienced, that week in August 2004, was simply the unconditional love of Jesus reaching out to rescue me. Apostle Paul said he became all things to all men that some might be saved (1 Corinthians 9:22). That is what Prophet TB Joshua did for me, and I am eternally grateful.
“Run, the Prophet is calling you.” They shouted as I ran along the gallery into a waiting vehicle outside the church. I entered and saw Prophet TB Joshua smiling at me. He took me to the prayer mountain, where after walking through lush vegetation and after a short boat ride, we alighted on a tiny island, where there were huge statues of Jesus and His disciples.
Expecting to be treated as the outsider I was, the display of fatherly love took me unawares and all I could say was – thank you. “After all the love Jesus has shown you, what are you going to do with Jesus?” he asked. That was it: Life’s most important decision is what to do with Jesus Christ. Life’s second most important decision is to follow His leading daily.
Later in the prophet’s office, the warning came: “There is a crown, a promise of God for your life. But if you go your own way, the result is bad. You have been protected from the outcome of your sin because of your family praying for you – but if you step outside of God’s will, I see you becoming sick and you will not recover.”
The battle was on – I knew this wasn’t a half-hearted altar call experience but all or nothing. As the tears ran down my cheeks, my heart rang at the prophet’s words. He gave me a Bible, he blessed me with money, he reconciled me with my parents, he made me promise not to trade my destiny but to accept Jesus truly. As I left for Mexico City to teach English with the British Council, I knew deep, deep down that I couldn’t run away forever, that one day I would come back.
It is often not until we experience darkness that we recognise and appreciate the light. Hurled into darkness at my own invitation, my year in Mexico made me realise that I truly needed God.
Like Jonah who found himself in the belly of a fish, every attempt to run away brought me crashing to my knees. Having seen too much of this world at just 21 years old, my heart was yearning for something real, and my parents said their 21st birthday gift for me was to pay for any trip that would help my spiritual life. And so, in August 2005, I found myself once again in The SCOAN, Lagos, Nigeria.
Welcomed like the prodigal child, I experienced for the first time, the joy and peace that true repentance brings. Under divine instruction, I finished my studies, graduated with a first-class honours in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Goldsmiths, the University of London. Throughout my final year of university, a passion started burning in my heart for a deeper relationship with God and His Word and in June 2006, I travelled to Lagos and never looked back.
IN THE POTTER’S HAND
From a natural point of view, at 22 years old, deciding to stay in Nigeria and be a disciple of Prophet TB Joshua didn’t make any sense; but in my heart it made more sense than anything I had ever known. As I would come to understand – for the things of God – even though our reason may reject it, our heart yearns for it.
Here was a Biblical prophet, who lived out the Book of Acts daily, whose every word was a pearl of wisdom, who gave his time, his years to mentor us. He was, is and always will be God’s Beloved.
All this was a prelude, the opening pages; the real journey began for me in June 2006 when I went to be a disciple of Prophet TB Joshua. Driven by a force I could not understand, my heart never allowed me to put a time limit on God. The weeks turned into months, rolled into years and there I was still striving, still learning, still seeking.
No monotony, no set programme, no religious mindset but walking, talking, living with a man no one could ever predict – a man who hears from God.
I watched many come, I watched many go.
If the chairs of our classroom could talk, they would tell of scenes throughout the years of learning, of correction, of lessons of human character, of laughter, of tears, of preaching, of hours pouring over the Bible till revelation comes.
For me it was 15 years of God’s processing – in God’s training ground, stories that will be told, lessons that must be shared, experiences that will outlive us.
The university of the Spirit where the heart was the workshop and the process more important than whatever the result would be.
It was a training that the prophet always told us would come to an end one day but we never imagined how that end would be.
In his own words to me on 11 November 2020, “This journey of the Spirit doesn’t wait for anyone. When the Spirit calls me, I will go – I cannot be shouting ‘Ruth, Ruth, Ruth come!’ I can’t wait for anybody.”
Then on 5 June 2021 – so unexpected and yet so wholly divine – the Spirit came to call him.
The training had come to an end and like the disciples of old, we found ourselves scattered across the world, allowed by God for His divine plan.
For it was God who brought me to the prophet in the first place, it was God who took him when He did and God who allowed me to be where I am at this moment. Who then is the principal character in this story? In this unimaginable journey, the principal character has to be God – if not, nothing will ever, ever make sense.
Prophet TB Joshua imparted a seed in all of us, a seed that is capable of reproducing, bearing an incredible harvest.
The question we need to ask ourselves is: what soil is that seed planted in? What is the state of our heart today?
A HEART DECISION
Perhaps the wisest man that ever lived said that man’s heart is a deep well. No one can know its depth. King Solomon knew that God holds all men’s hearts in His hands and turns them as He pleases. This has never rung more true than in the story of my life.
Just as at Heaven’s appointed time, God turned the hearts of the Israelites to desire David as their king, in the right time of God’s processing, God turned my heart to love the man He made for me. Racine and I had known each other for 15 years, studied together, discussed together as colleagues, as brother and sister, as disciples in training. I saw in his life a reflection of the great conviction in his heart – the conviction to depend on God’s Word. Although there was always an unspoken deep understanding between us, and a similar passion to understand the Word of God, it was only in the months after the departure of Prophet TB Joshua, the most painful time in our lives, that God through divine revelation lifted the veil between us. It was then that I knew that what God said about our union echoed in the response of my heart.
My mentor Prophet TB Joshua taught me that love, like faith is unpretentious. It springs from the heart. And that a heart decision brings God’s idea. I have seen in his life, and day by day I am seeing in my own, that a decision born of God can make one God’s Beloved.
If there was one thing I saw in the life of our mentor, he did not act according to the wisdom of the world but the wisdom of God. God’s wisdom seems to contradict common sense but it is a reality. The story of our lives and our union seems to work against common sense but the reality is more than I could have ever dreamed.
Racine and I took the heart decision to seal our union before God on 14 February 2022.
And on 19 June, 2022 one year after our mentor was called home, we launched The University of God.
The journey continues
The journey of righteousness.
The journey to eternity.
Oh Holy Spirit, make me one of those rarest souls.