It Began in Nigeria in 1997
My mess started when my father was assassinated in1997 and I was so hurt that I wanted to leave the land of my birth forever. In addition, I was desperate to leave Nigeria for ministry and personal reasons.
Although I was blossoming into a successful traveling preacher and a bourgeoning church pastor at the time, life in Nigeria was unpleasant due to perennial power outages which thy called NEPA [an acronym for the National Electric Power Authority].
The Giant of Africa was dwarfing my entire existence.
In 1998, I said goodbye to my wife and three little children at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria on my way to South Africa to commence my Ph.D. in History at the prestigious Rhodes University University. I had left a greater part of me: my beautiful wife and little kids.
My last born was barely two years old at the time. I cried like a baby during the flight. My little son’s voice tortured me throughout that long flight. He had said to me as I walked away from them to board my flight; “Daddy I want to go with you.”
I arrived in South Africa with no family, friends but $100 in my pocket.
Although I had barely paid the first Semester of my fees, I do not know were the next penny is going to come from. One bright shining afternoon in June of 1998 at the start of the Southern Hemisphere winter, as I am walking towards our main campus gate called the Drodsty Gate, I saw a group of young South African men who were also Rhodes students walking toward me and as passed by me, one of them stopped and tapped me on my shoulder and said to me, “Sir, I don’t know who you are but I sense you’re a man of God and I would love you to meet our pastor sometime.”
I answered “Yes l, I am a preacher and I am a new PhD student on campus and yes again, it would be a pleasure to meet with your pastor.”
The rest, as they say, is history. I met their pastor, who had also newly come into town from the Johannesburg area to pastor the Assembly of God Church in Grahamstown.
My mess was gradually turning into a message.
I suffered unexplainable loneliness, missed my wife and kids terribly, lived off campus when I could no longer afford to pay for my dormitory accommodation [which of course also meant that I could no longer eat the food which came along with the residence].
A professor at the University who was also a member of the Assembly of God church blessed me with free accommodation at his house. Occasionally I would scrape as much I could eat from his kitchen.
I went without food for many days. I learned to fast by force.
I believed that one day I would see my family again and perhaps have them join me in South Africa. God saw me through. My fees were supernaturally paid for by a sister whom I had prayed for. She received multiple scholarships and offered me one of them and it was more than my fees required.
Suddenly the Lord opened the door for my wife and kids to join me in South Africa. We were thrilled. God provided us with a beautiful three-bedroom home on the same day my family arrived Grahamstown. I received the keys to the house on my way to the airport to pick them up.
My kids attended one of the best and most expensive schools in town supernaturally sponsored by God. I had no father but God and my sacrificing wife. At the time, she could not work as a physician because of a government moratorium against Nigerian doctors working in South Africa.
The dry seasons taught me that life is not about trying but about trusting.
God opened doors. I left South Africa for America with a powerful law degree. My massive law school fees were supernaturally paid for. I remember preaching full time and attending law school full time. I would preach all weekend and rush back to campus to sit for tests. I had terrible fears of failing but God always turned it around.
In America, I attended law school again with the same principle of divine impossibility which makes living fantastic as long as you are one who adds value to others and you become valued yourself.
As a lawyer and preacher in America I am still adding value to others. It is the guiding principle of my life even as I am now serving as a full-time traveling preacher, lead pastor, bishop and apostle!
Trust me, if you’re down to nothing, it is because God is up to something!
God gives you ugly messes as concoctions for beautiful messages. I have been through so much in life because I am going somewhere. The journey is still unfolding as I go forth to impact my generation for God. I am a valuepreneur. Will you join me and the Tony Osuobeni World Outreach?