How many lives are you capable of changing? How many have you changed? This is what matters to Jesus; this is what life is all about…
Beyond the burdening, burgeoning bondage of homelessness, Mr Kefa Olatunji Taiwo had strayed slowly into the hazardous realms of hopelessness. At 60 years old, his family had scattered, any shred of dignity or self-worth left battered – his life in total tatters. Living in a bedraggled and dishevelled excuse for a shed, scantily assorted from stray aluminium and rotting wood, he had dwelt and dealt in the refuse grounds of Lagos, Nigeria for over three agonising years, surrounded by the repulsive stench of decay and debris, and the degrading stigma of a lunatic-like existence. Suicidal tendencies crept increasingly closer…
He suddenly halted before him, sensing something strange.“You are the one I am chasing.” Kefa looked up, astounded, dumbfounded. “Where is your family? Everybody is scattered in your home – and you are sleeping under the bridge, as an elderly man.” Extraodinary. His life-story unfurling uncannily from a man he had never encountered, a man he had never explained his predicament to. “You are getting old, an old man sleeping outside – and the family are scattered. Do you know where your problem comes from? This is what your mummy was telling you. The little money you had, you were going out – sometimes in the night you will not come home. You would take girlfriends. The little you had – you spent it just like that. This has destroyed you, destroyed your career.” How did he know? Whom had he told? “Something happened to you before this thing started. You met a mad woman – you never knew she’s a mad woman, and you slept with the woman. This is where the problem comes from. Today, when you sleep you see animals.” “Exactly, sir”
When Mr Taiwo walked dejectedly into The Synagogue, Church of All Nations in Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday 30th August, unbeknown to him was the unfolding of a divine design to break the chains of poverty and restore the bonds of unity within his crises-fraught family. The prophecy took him by surprise. It was so sudden, so direct, so precise. Pastor TB Joshua narrated his life to him, a brief 30 seconds of breath-taking revelation, a concise uncovering. As he was led through the beautiful sanctuary, a flame of hope licked within his veins. Could it be a way out had actually come?
The following week he stood again before the vast SCOAN auditorium, clips of his ‘home’ broadcast to the world live on Emmanuel TV. Evangelists had accompanied Taiwo to establish the veracity of the prophecy. The crowd gasped, beholding a dank wasteland with pigs scavenging among the filth, dirty infected water up to the knees, slime and grime at every turn. And a human being lived there, slept there, ate there, amidst the clutter and litter of decomposing garbage and gunk. “I’m useless,” the former furniture maker told the evangelists. “I just have to go and hide myself here when it is night. This is a shameful place, but I have no alternative – that’s why I have to stay here, living here as a mad man,” he said, explaining how local hoodlums had burnt his only property to ashes, forcing homelessness upon him.
Accompanied by his estranged wife and 11 children, all suffering a similar fate, Mr Taiwo watched on in reflective silence. “I believe if this man is helped, he will not go back to his past life – because he has tasted suffering and hardship,” said TB Joshua, addressing the whole congregation. “And I know if blessing comes now, he will be able to maintain it. Sometimes God uses foolish things. Don’t be surprised that among these children may be the president of tomorrow. Remember the past history, remember the heroes – many of them were raised from this kind of humble background,” he explained. “The first step is to get accommodation for the family, so we can bring the family together and let them live as one. To liberate these children, we must give them scholarships. And those who want to learn a skill – we will give them that opportunity.” The pastor, famed for his unrivalled and unbridled philanthropic works, explained that if the youths were left to themselves, they would probably end up in armed robbery or prostitution out of frustrations irrationalising influence. “Give them N300,000 and five bags of rice.”
Tears of shock and joy escaped from beneficiaries and congregants alike. Never before had Kefa seen or touched such money. “I didn’t expect this. Thank you, sir,” he quibbled, words failing to form his heart-felt expressions of gratitude. “This is what we are born for, this is what we are to live for, this is what we are to die for,” smiled the prophet, ascribing all glory to God.
“Someone out there is waiting for you for a lifetime,” Joshua counselled the enthralled audience and viewers worldwide. “You cannot afford to fail them; failing them is failing God. Remember, God is speaking to you through them, saying: ‘They are fatherless, so that you can be their father.’ ‘They are lonely, so that you can be their companion.’ ‘They are in want, so that you can be their benefactor.’ ”