October 1st

Oct 2, 2023 | Gilbert's Journal

This date carries a lot of weight in terms of its significance in my personal spiritual journey, our son’s physical existence and the history of Nigeria.

I am on my way to Maryland to join in the All-Maryland Sunday Service and the Nigerian Independence celebration thereafter. Then Cincinnati on Wednesday for the Africa Missions Association Meeting before ending up my US Trip speaking in two churches in Atlanta.

The train ride affords me the opportunity to reflect on the Journey thus far. Three months ago, I was in Berlin to teach at a Bible workshop but I also remember visiting the place/block of flats where I was baptized on that blessed Thursday night, 1992 at the Rosenheimer Str. 28.

I was sharing this morning with Bunting, my new friend and great brother in the Philadelphia Church, about the prayer I prayed back then – asking God to add two years to my life as a cancer patient. I later asked for 5 years – each time converting the years into the number of days.
God has now added 31 years and is still counting.

Not only has He added six times more than what I requested for, He has done immeasurable more than what I could ever ask or even imagine – He blessed me with 13 years of service on the church staff across French Africa, the most amazing partner and helper I could ever ask or imagine, and today we celebrate the 5th birthday of our happy handsome son, Josef.

I am reminded of the words of a fellow traveler I met exactly a month ago on the flight to Angola – after hearing me share about my life experiences, she concluded that she has met a lot of people but I am the person with the most amazing life story she has met thus far. She said I have lived life to the full and I simply can’t disagree with her.

One of my mentors once told me that I have many lives – whatever he meant by that, I believe he was expressing in his own words what this fellow traveler was trying to say.

Through my travelling teaching ministry, God has blessed me with trips to over 20 African countries with another 11 countries outside the African Continent. 31 years as a Christian with 31 nations visited thus far.

It was so fulfilling last night to share some of these experiences with a dear sister, her dad and my host (Bunting), in Philadelphia. Her text message after we left summarized some of these blessings:

Hi Gilbert,

Thank you for taking the time to come and share your time, your knowledge and your stories with us all.
You made a MAJOR impression on Dad. He asked for your number the second I walked back into the house. And I sent it to him, so he’ll reach out to you.
I also appreciate that he’s now thinking about visiting the church in Ibadan as well.
He also mentioned going to study the 7 churches in Revelations as a result of tonight’s conversation (smiley).
Thanks again for ALL you’re doing for God and His people!
TO GOD ALONE BE THE GLORY!

Looking forward to another 31 years. Josef will be 36 by then – prayerfully an accomplished and faithful man of God!!!

 

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