After giving his life to Christ, Ahmed was rejected by his family. He had no education because his parents were peasants who could not afford to send him to school. Moreso, he was crippled from birth, which made him to be ostracized from his family who saw him as a bad omen. That was when he found solace in the preaching of the cross. This led to his eventual and total abandonment by parents and relatives, so that his parents could maintain their religious respect as the Islamic Priest in the town.
Ahmed was all out fending for himself as a roadside cobbler, and he continued to grow in grace, having fellowship with brethren. On a particular day, before he returned from a church program, the Local Government Council bulldozed his roadside cobbler shop, which was where he also lived. He then moved to an uncompleted building near the motor park, having lost everything, including his tools. He continued his fellowship, but was devastated again when he was robbed of all his life saving on a particular night. His friends in the church could not be of much help, so they encouraged him to share his plight with the church for possible assistance.
One Sunday morning after the service, he met with the Pastor and explained his plight. The Pastor felt sorry for him but regretted that the church could not be of assistance because of the coming convention and he could also not be of personal help at that time for obvious reasons, so he kindly referred him to a department in the church that handles such cases.
The department asked him to write a letter to that effect and submit it, which he immediately did. He was however, asked to come back in 2 weeks time as there were others before him. But he complained of the urgency of the matter, as he had nowhere to sleep for the night and needed food and clothing. But they could not jump protocols; he had to wait for his turn after an interview by the panel. He begged for assistance at least, to meet his immediate needs, but there was nothing they could do.
He sought audience with the Pastor again, but he was told that the Pastor was having a ‘love feast’ with the Convention Planning Committee at the children auditorium. Ahmed was happy, at least he would have something to eat there, so he left for the place, but the ushers could not allow him in as he was not a member of the committee. He asked if he could be served food as he was hungry, but the request could not be honoured since he could not produce a ticket admitting him in. He was asked to wait in an office till the meeting was over, so that he could see the Pastor.
Three hours of waiting in the inner office, without the arrival of the Pastor, he ventured to go out, but discovered that the meeting ended about an hour earlier and everybody had dispersed. He was shocked. At this time, he had become so hungry that his hands could almost no longer hold his crutches.
The gateman felt so much pity for him that he offered to take him to one of the elders in the church who lived nearby. It was night and the elder apologized that he could not accommodate him in his house without the church’s recommendation but offered to take him to the nearby Police Station. Unfortunately, too, dishes had been washed; otherwise, he would have been offered food.
Ahmed took a tired look at the long walk from the GRA house of the Elder to the church and could not summon the strength to begin, being weak with, an empty stomach. As he sat on the culvert on the roadside, he saw a brother coming from the other side of the road, singing and distributing tracts. Ahmed rose up quickly and as fast as he could, to meet this brother, who, of course, he knew must be a child of God. He was happy at last. He narrated his ordeal to the brother who gave him a listening ear, and requested if he could get a small amount of money to buy food to eat.
The brother was moved with pity and began to encourage him from the scriptures. Afterwards, he led him in a one hour of warfare prayers, after which he counseled him. He then released him into God’s mighty care. The brother, on his way, bought some snacks for himself and a bottle of coke for strength because of the long exhortation and prayer, so that he could continue with his evangelism.
Ahmed watched the brother as he left him to continue with his tract evangelism. It was night and he had nowhere to sleep, besides, he was hungry without food.
Many things ran across his mind: should he go back to his parents and renounce his faith, or turn to street begging for survival? He was lost in thoughts when his crutches suddenly slipped…
The curtain was drawn. The accuser laughed hysterically with a feel of victory. Rhetorically, he asked the Master: “do you see those whom you call your children?”
Have you been in a situation where you could offer assistance, but did not because of a good excuse? - Bola Olu-Jordan. email@example.com
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