The people of Ibadan woke up to a new day. It was environmental sanitation. The movement was restricted to emergency services only. The city was shut down for the people to clean their neighbourhood. Between dawn and 9 am, neighbours brought out their buckets and spades to clear the blocked drains and gutters. It was
quite an important community service in light of the recent floods in the city. Some of us used the time to have a lie in. It was out last day of ministry at Imini, time to round up and say our good byes to our wonderful colleagues and friends. We started our good byes at IITA, 7 our members left for Lagos. Off went our team doctors. Would our honorary doctors be able to help? We intensified our prayers! Group photographs were taken and off went the Eye Clinic staff in their coaster bus to Imini.
We arrived on site around 11 am to sounds of Praise and Worship. The intension was to leave at 1p.m that never happened. The praise session was followed by a drama session. The minister shared the gospel for the last time. The people still listened attentively. The alter call was made. It was an amazing experience seeing so many people raise their hands once again. The counsellors took them in once again in groups sharing the next steps on their journey with Christ. Another group of villagers, patiently waited for the medical centre to open. It was quite heart breaking to tell them that they had closed shop. But exhilarating to see the lives these men and women who had touched over the past four days by Jesus Christ and the skilful hands of the wonderful medics.
The women empowerment seminar moved up a gear on Saturday. The Akure contingent introduced a new business venture – Bead necklace making. It initially looked like a Blue Peter job but it was a serious money making business. I never knew there was an art to tying knots until the delicate beads scattered to the floor as a result of an inadequate knot at the end of one of the necklaces. The beads were beautiful. I was captured by the delicate arrangement of the colourful beads. The combination of the deep red and gold beads with an ornamental pendant wrapped elegantly around the neck of the model. Was a sight worth seeing.
The next seminar was the Gele tying. The villagers were replaced by the eager volunteers who wanted to learn a trick or two. As an observer, I was happy to watch from afar how a flat piece of cloth would become a 3 feet high head piece. To be sincere, I thought of my wife and hoped I could acquire the skills. 30 minutes off dressing up time would be satisfying, I wish. The audience was attentive. The beatification was instant. After five minutes, they were all ready for ball.
The baptisms continued for the last time. Beside the pool, a new generation of athletes were kitting up for a photo shoot. The 1st group came out in their white jerseys. What a transformation, they looked the part. The opposing team then joined them. A mixture of boys and girl ready for battle. Their orange jerseys illuminated the field. The jerseys were donated by a local football club in Essex. It seemed as if they were reflecting the glory of God. Lord, I pray let these ones do mighty exploits for you.
Clothes distribution took place today. All the suitcases were emptied. Boys and girls, men and women were give clothes to wear. In 2009, Sister Funmi fell in love with a little girl called Favour. So she decided to buy her some clothes on this trip. While she selected some items for her, she picked up a duplicate of a dress. She noticed the mistake but had an urge to put that item through at the checkout. Throughout the outreach, she carried the clothes in her bag hoping to find Favour’s mum. On Thursday, asked the Lord, so who did you buy these clothes for? No answer. She split the clothes into 3 packs. On the Friday, she gave one pack to one of the Imini school teachers. Come Saturday, she still had two sets left. As she was working in the children’s section with Sisters Lola, Bose and Yetunde. She spotted a lady feeding a little girl. She just gave her a pack of clothes. As she was walking away the woman called out “THEY ARE TWINS”. TWINS! She asked. What sex was the other baby. The mother responded a girl. She was amazed how God had ordained the whole episode. The clothes were brought for the Twins in Croydon. It was fulfilling to see the smile on the mum and the grand mum’s face. The whole experience blew her away. The twins will be 2 years old on the 20th of August 2012. Even the Village Pastors had some clothes set aside for them. There were smiles and giggles as the clothes were given out. It was particularly useful for those who had got wet during the water baptism.
We met with the head teacher and a cross section of the teachers. The key message was self development. Sister Yetunde emphasised that it is only when the teachers develop themselves that the children will develop as you can only share knowledge that you have. What you don’t know you can’t share. The teachers listened attentively and showed an enormous amount of gratitude for the advice. It was agreed that development session will be arranged for teachers during the next Liberty. Afterwards, the teachers stated that they require a laptop and digital camera for day to day use. Both items were promised by the end of the year.
Brigadier Baiyeroju, the Samonda Conference Pastor, a gentle man of steel. He roved the site daily ensuring that everything was running smoothly. It was hard to distinguish him from other volunteers as he mingled with the young and old. He solved problems with speed and wisdom. He held the fort both in prayer and strength. It was a privileged working with him. I had visited Bro David his studio in London a couple of times to do a voice over for the Liberty Video. Out of nothing came the last Liberty video. He was exhausted each evening we returned to base. Throughout the programme, he hauled his cameras and lens all over the place. I admire his strengthen. I have only been able to write about a few things. He is the man who has recorded much more.
Finally, I looked around for the last time. My eye caught some half burnt pieces of fire wood. Who let the cow out? I had previous asked. Well, they had fulfilled their purpose. Over 2000 people had been fed and watered daily. They were fed with the word and bread – Jolloff rice, Amala, white rice and stew topped with either fish or meat. I joined the eating crew in the afternoon. I ate like a king yam porridge with stewed bean and dodo. Garnished fish with spinach was consumed in adult portions washed down by a bottle of lacasera. I can still savour the beautiful taste. Well done food department. You did well.
Liberty 2011 has been an extraordinary experience. The people on the mission and those praying at home were amazing. A 21 day fast had been organised by the Intercessors. Sisters Comfort, Lara, Hannah, Brothers Akin A, Akin L, Lekan and many others I will not be able to mention prayed. Everyone placed their hands on the plough to breaking the fallow ground.
My colleagues at work were amazed at the testimonies. One said you see these things on television but Kayode you have experienced it first hand. To be sincere, it is always a humbling experience to know that I or anyone else can be used by God in such a way. One thing I have come to realise is that if you make yourself available God will use you. The power to transform lives is placed in each and everyone of us. Jh 14:14 He that believes in me greater work will he do.
I sign off today saying thanking a big thank you for patiently reading this blog and a bigger thank you to God for doing exceeding abundantly more than we could think or imagine. I love you Jesus Christ.
Saint Kayode (Akowe Ominira Tuntun).
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