MY BORN AGAIN STORY
During the Easter Passion Week of 1979, during my second year at the University of Ife, my late friend – Ebun Jakande, challenged me to give God and the spiritual dimension of my life a rethink. In previous encounters with this beautiful soul, she had systematically and brilliantly deconstructed and debunked my philosophical objections.
On April 7 however, I experienced a major Turning Point in my life. Heading to a campus party, I had a late night night run in with Ebun. “Oh no, not this SU again,” I thought to myself. Ebun looked me in the eye, and chose to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with me once again. “Jesus loves you” she said as I attempted to brush by her. I was stunned into silence and paralysed on the spot. Two simultaneous conversations then began – one, was Ebun preaching her heart out in the corridors of the women’s Mozambique Hall. The other was the clear still voice of God telling me this was my last chance to surrender my life to Him. To cut a long story short, that night, with Ebun Jakande and Gbolahan Faluade, I knelt down and prayed the Sinner’s Prayer.
From that point on everything changed. My perspectives, world views, values, morals, and attitudes, all underwent fundamental changes.
But this, is not only about what happened then, it is also about what happened shortly thereafter, as Salvation is about the past, present, and future.
Like many in my situation, I expected life from that point on to be a bed of roses. It was not to be. I came home from Ife at the end of session in 1979 and a few weeks later, my 49 year old father died suddenly following a very brief illness.
It’s a complicated story. But let’s just say that on my return to campus in August 1979, I had only N5 in my pocket. With the exception of a handful of close friends, very few on campus were aware of my loss or financial predicament.
In those days, at the ‘exorbitant’ cost of 50 kobo per meal, a student needed a minimum of N45 per month for a basic no frills catering plan that did not include the ‘fancy’ Forks and Fingers restaurant in the Student Union Building, or the occasional foray to the ‘Mama Put’ at the Bukateria.
At the beginning of my third year, I remember saying – “God, your Word says ‘You are the father of the fatherless.’ That being the case, take care of all my needs.”
Over the next two years, something strange and miraculous took place. On countless occasions, and only when I was down to my last one Naira, on getting back to my room, there would be an envelope either under the door, on my bed, or underneath my pillow. In it would be money and a note from someone. The variety of messages would say something such as – “Victor, a gift from God.” Or, “Victor, God loves you.” Or, “Victor, the Lord impressed on my heart to give this to you.” I cannot tell you how many times I would break down crying because the provision would come just in the nick of time. It would be just enough to meet my need.
As a member of the Evangelical Christian Union (ECU) on campus, my habit was to always never spend my last one Naira. To my thinking, it belonged to God and it was the ‘seed’ upon which further much needed provision was contingent. Without fail, I would drop my last one Naira in the offering bag. And equally without fail, that same day, there would be an envelope from an unknown benefactor waiting for me in my room.
I wish I knew who they were. But not once in two years did the many benefactors used by God ever take credit for blessing me financially. Neither did they ever identify themselves. Not once! Till today, they remain completely anonymous to me … but not to God!
Almost 40 years later, I want to say to those persons known to God alone –
“I have always wished that I knew who you were so I could personally say ‘thank you.’ Even though you remain unknown to me, I have never taken your kindness for granted. Thank you for your generous financial gifts during a time of great personal need. I have prayed for you these many years and I strongly believe that on account of your kindness, you and your children’s children will never lack any good thing. The Lord of Heaven will continue to remember you all the days of your lives. Thank you most sincerely, Your brother and friend, Victor Oladokun.”
I want to thank many good Ife friends such as Akinwumi Adesina, Gbolahan Faluade, Femi Mafe, Busola Eboda Oke, Professor Kunle Kehinde,Tokunbo OmoJesu Kehinde, and many others who encouraged me in my early Christian walk.
Most importantly, my thanks go to God. I have seen His miraculous providential Hand over the years. It has nothing to do with me but everything to do with who God is. He is Sovereign. Kind. Generous. All Knowing. Abundantly lavish. Bountiful. Benevolent, and Amazingly Loving. He Never Fails. He is always On Time. He is still the God of Turning Points. To Him alone be ALL thanks, Praise, Honor, Glory, Majesty, and Power forever and ever, Amen.
This Easter Season, I choose to Remember His goodness.
Feel free to share you own Salvation Story below.