Hello Amazing Reader,
It’s a really special Showcase Session today. We bring you the salvation testimony of our guest; which brings John 14:6 to bear. It says, ‘Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.’
SELF INTRODUCTION AND FAMILY BACKGROUND
My name is Blessing Onigbinde (formerly Khadijat), I was born into a muslim family. My parents are from Kogi State, Nigeria. They both come from muslim families but when they started out, they lived in a community in Edo state, where there were no muslims. As a result, they joined a Catholic Church. It was about this period that I was given birth to and the community named me ‘Blessing’; probably due to the circumstances surrounding my birth. Meanwhile, according to the obtainable tradition in my state of descent, whenever a child was born, the elders in the family were responsible for naming the child irrespective of the family’s geographical location. So, my parents sent word home that they just had a baby and my grandfather named me ‘Khadijat’. I grew up bearing both names. While my immediate family called me ‘Blessing’, my extended family called me ‘Khadijat’
When my parents eventually returned home, they continued their practise of Islam and I joined them. Growing up, I also lived with my maternal grandmother and aunt (at different intervals) who were also practising muslims. While with my aunt, she employed an Islamic Teacher (Mallam) who used to teach her children to read the Qur’an and in the process, I also learnt to read.
Overtime ,I got a job and began living by myself. On a particular occasion, I travelled to visit my parents in Kogi State and on my return, I made an acquaintance of one of the passengers. We kept in touch and after a while, he began making advances at me. Within me, I concluded that at best we would remain friends because he wasn’t my kind of person. First, he was practising a different religion and I doubted his ability to take care of me.
THE UNFORGETTABLE ENCOUNTER
Sometime after my parents returned to base, my mother got convicted and genuinely made Jesus her Lord and Saviour. God used her to lead eight of my siblings to Him. So, it was just one other sibling and myself that remained muslims. They all tried to introduce me to Christ but I was adamant. I told them I had decided to pattern my life after my grandmother, who until her death was a devoted muslim. I never knew that God had a better plan for my life.
On a particular day in 2003, I was on my way to work when someone gave me a flyer from Living Faith Church, Abuja. It had the picture of Bishop David Abioye on it. I collected it reluctantly because it was my friend’s church. On getting home, I kept the flyer by my bed side and because it was Ramadan (fasting) period, about the 5th day of the fast, I left my window open in order not to miss the call for the early morning prayers. I should state that even when I was a muslim, I prayed a lot. I observed my prayers five times daily, I was that much a devout. In what looked like a trance, a heavy wind came in through my window and the next thing, an image appeared to me like an angel. As he spoke to me, i realized the person before me was the same face I had seen on the flyer. He said to me ‘my daughter, don’t panic. God has sent me to set you free, if only you can believe. You have a bright destiny but you are being tied down. You are set free from today because whosoever God has set free is free indeed .’ He also admonished me to live a holy life so that my destiny can manifest. He said a couple of other things and left immediately he was done. He didn’t permit me to say anything.
As soon as he left, I came to myself and began wondering if I was dreaming but in my spirit, I kept hearing the same words and I was convinced that God had visited me.I hurriedly called my friend to confirm the time and date of the next church service . He told me there was an impartation service at 7am on Saturday of the same week and I told him I would like to go with him because I needed to confirm something. He was shocked but he didn’t question me.
THE DEFINING MOMENT
That day, he arrived my house very early and we both went to Church. We were seated even before the service began and I remember vividly where I sat till date. The service started at 7am and as soon as Bishop Abioye mounted the altar to preach, I burst into tears and wept all through the service. He spoke as if I had informed him of all I was going through. Some of the remarkable statements he made was that some people were going through certain issues which they had decided as their destinies; that was me. He also said ‘sometimes you are in a place where you don’t belong, when you locate the right place everything will change for you.’ I had practiced Islam for 28 years and all through the period, I never encountered anyone who spoke about my life with such precision. As soon as the altar call was made, I practically ran to the altar still wearing my hijab. Although it was my first time in Church, God arrested me. It then became clear to me why the devil had tried to prevent me from going into any Church for so long. As soon as I prayed the prayer of salvation, I felt a heavy chain break off my neck. When Bishop Abioye laid hands on me, he looked into my eyes and said ‘congratulations, you finally made it.’ Then, I was convinced without any iota of doubt that he was the same one that appeared to me. I attended the Believers’ Foundation Class and also got baptised in water. During my water baptism, I experienced another miracle. As soon as my body was immersed in the water, I saw myself entering a beautiful mansion. When I opened my eyes, I had this joy within me and was convinced that I am in the right place. Immediately, I discontinued the fast. My life has not been the same since I decided for Jesus. I am no longer in bondage. It’s been from one level of glory to another…
Watch out for Part II