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My Ministry, God's Plan and Baba Fire!

- #planodefundo
“My Landlord in Ikeji-Arakeji was a pastor popularly referred to as “Baba Fire” because he was a Fire brand General overseer of a growing church. He was genuinely called of God. Despite being a Yoruba speaking church, Youth corps members like me, attended “Baba Fire’s” Church, because of his depth in the Word of God and Healing Anointing. He was a man in his late forties.


Baba Fire picked interest in me and would ask me to come for prayers anytime he was at home. He told me he saw a light in me that would draw nations to the light of God. Through his persistence, I became genuinely born again. I also caught the fire. I got baptized in the Holy Ghost. He taught me how to pray for long hours…

In no time, I was on fire for God. Some Yoruba non speaking Corp members walked up to me and pleaded with me to stand in as Baba Fire’s interpreter. They wanted me to be the English interpreter.
I tendered their request to Baba Fire who gladly embraced the idea.
I became Baba Fire’s interpreter, this made his ministry experience a boom, as almost all the Youth Corp members started attending his church. Even the non-indigenes who did not understand Yoruba like the Igbos, the Edos, those from Benue who were all in Ikeji-Arakeji and its environs started worshipping in Baba Fire’s church because of the English interpretation. God used me to expand his ministry.
By the time my one year of service was coming to an end, Baba Fire called me to his Prayer Room on one faithful Saturday morning…

“Raymond, your coming to Ikeji Arakeji was an answer to my years of prayer. God told me He was going to make this ministry go all around the world, but I kept telling him I couldn’t speak English. He told me He was going to send me an Aaron that will help my speech to be heard everywhere including in front of kings and nobles” Baba Fire said in Yoruba Language
“I believe you are that person God told me about, I would like you to be more than my interpreter, I would want you to be my Assistant so that this work of God in my hands can light up the world,” he said.

Baba Fire was asking me to give up a good life in Lagos as a potential Civil servant to become a “Village Pastor”.
I didn’t know what to say!

Baba Fire told me he was not in a rush and he wasn’t trying to enforce his will on me, he advised I should go pray about it.

At that time, Baba Fire had trained me in the act of praying and receiving from God, so I went on a personal retreat for some days.

One sunny afternoon after returning from the primary school I was serving as a teacher, I slept off very exhausted.

In what looked like an open vision or trance, I saw the Late Apostle Joseph Babalola who was a revivalist in the 1930’s whose ministry hailed from the same town of Ikeji-Arakeji tapping me from sleep and speaking to me in the Yoruba Language… He had received his call in that town in 1928
“Raymond, you are to assist Gabriel in his assignment, you will be his voice where he may not be heard, rise up and follow him, don’t betray him and don’t stop following him, for this purpose were you created, ask your mother”

It was a very short trance, but very powerful. I had goose pimples all over my body like a high spiritual power was in my room, I broke into tongues and laid down in the room. I didn’t know how long I spent in that position, until I rose up and found out it was dark. From my estimation, I had spent four hours slain in the Holy Ghost.

When I stood up and went out to join my other Youth Corp members, the moment I got to the corridor, they all fell to the floor like an electric wave from my body hit them. Some of them burst into tongues, while others who were not born again started weeping under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Baba Fire met us there and started praying with us. A little crusade started that night, as neighbors joined us.

The next day, I called my mum and explained in details all that happened…
“I am not surprised, that is your destiny, accept it son. You know, when I was looking for a male child after having enough daughters, I told God if He gave me a son, I will give him back to Him, so the trance you saw is correct, you were created for God’s Glory.” My mother had said
That was how I agreed to be Baba Fire’s Assistant….

After my set had left Ikeji-Arakeji, I stayed behind for another 5 years working passionately for God under Baba Fire.

In no time, Baba Fire’s church had grew from 130 members to close to 2000 members. We were able to build a small cathedral of about 2500 members. We had started having Elites in our church, even to the point of having the First Lady (Governor’s Wife) as a member of our church. All these were possible because of the level of exposure I brought into the ministry.

Baba Fire started having international ministrations which I had to follow him to, because I had to interpret in English Language…

He was getting blessed with cars, houses, money and a lot of gifts. At this point, the Spirit of Greed took over me. I felt I was the one pulling the crowd to his church and should be in charge of all that he was in charge of. I felt He was using my glory, and I decided it was time for me to pull out and start my own ministry. My mum was not happy with the idea, but Maggie who at time was my fiancée, gave me strong support. She was also of the opinion that I had what it took to be the General overseer of my ministry and not laboring for another person, who someday will hand over the baton of the ministry to his children.

Maggie and I got married after my fifth year under Baba Fire. We settled in Ikeji-Arakeji but Maggie and I were not contented with the life over there. I would come back home every Sunday lamenting over how the church members were blessing Baba Fire more than they were blessing me. Maggie would also add to my misery by telling me it was obvious I was just been used by my G.O.
We both decided in the second year of our marriage to move to Lagos and start my ministry there, whenever the opportunity presented itself. Not long after our resolution, a woman who usually came for prayers all the way from Lagos became our source of motivation. She was always encouraging me to come over to Lagos…

“Pastor Ray, your anointing is underutilized and not appreciated here as it should be, you should come to Lagos or go to somewhere like Abuja or Port Harcourt, I tell you sir, under a year, your church will be the talk of the Town.”
“I know, but God asked me to assist Baba Fire here”

” Well you have done a great job so far, maybe God just wanted you to learn under him, Pastor Ray I think this is the time you should launch out, Bible says we should go and preach to the uttermost part of the earth, not just in Ikeji-Arakeji town” She said laughing…

“Honestly Pastor, if you are interested, my husband and I will be willing to invest in you financially to start up your church”

I was so excited about the opportunity and on getting home to Maggie I discussed the development with her. She was excited as well, and encouraged me to take up the offer. She even asked me to call her immediately to accept the offer.

On calling her, she was excited as well and she asked me to come over to Lagos to see her husband over the weekend. She said, she would want it to seem as if I came over to pray for her family and from there she would take care of the rest.

I travelled to Lagos for a prayer vigil at her home. On getting there, her husband and children were not at home, she told me they would be home before the vigil. She lodged me in her visitor’s room and inside the room, everything I needed had been arranged there including food and drinks.
Around 11:45pm, she called me over the intercom, that she would join me in the Living room for the vigil.

On getting to the living room, the place was empty. Her supposed husband and children were nowhere in sight. As I sat wondering, she walked out of her room in a see- through net gown, and underneath she had nothing on. My heart raced and right there I lost my strength, I couldn’t resist her. I slept with her and that was the beginning of my woe. I believe that was where I got the strong attraction, for married women.

She kept to her word, and set me up in Lagos. But I hid my affair with her a secret between us. I didn’t tell anyone, not even Maggie or Baba Fire.

On returning to Ikeji-Arakeji, Baba Fire called for me, asking me what I had done. I acted in denial, he asked me the question 3 times….

“Raymond, what have you done?” and my answer those three times were “Nothing Baba”.
Maggie and I moved out of Ikeji-Arakeji around 10pm 4 months later to avoid being noticed. We didn’t inform Baba Fire, we only dropped a letter at our missionary home that had been provided for us. I stated in the letter that I was led by God to go start my ministry. I apologized for leaving without prior notice as I knew he (Baba Fire) would not want to release me.

We immediately changed our lines to avoid calls from Baba Fire, when we got to Lagos.
“Are you saying, you have not heard from him since you both left there” I asked Ray who sat in front of me narrating the issue to me…

“I only heard from him, after about 2 months of starting my ministry. Till date I don’t know how he got hold of my phone number.

“Ray, you made me an object of ridicule, you brought me disgrace, may you forever be caught in the web of shame and disgrace. You will continually see shame in your ministerial work” Ray recounted the exact words Baba Fire said to him over the phone
“Ha! My God! He said all these and you never went back to plead?” I asked Ray.
“No, Maggie told me, it was just an empty threat” At that point I understood why Pastor Maggie was able to cover and condole Apostle’s sinful lifestyle, they both rebelled against God.

It all made sense to me, Apostle was never meant to be an Apostle or a founder of a ministry, he had been called to Assist a founder instead. The Marine powers and the spirit of immorality was able to swallow him up, because he was not in the perfect will of God…
The question in my heart as we both became silent were the first words that came out of Ray’s mouth…
“Is it possible for me to close down my church that I have invested so much in and return to Ikeji Arakeji to become the Assistant of an illiterate?”

Ray kept to himself for two days, as the thought of losing everything he had was too much for him to bear. He told me he was going to ask for the Mercy of God and permissive will of God, to let him Continue with his ministry.

I tried talking him out of this, telling him it was better to obey the will of God 100 percent. I was not planning to be like Pastor Maggie who acted as a Jezebel of a wife, who made her husband sin against God. For those two days he locked himself indoors, I was fasting, asking God for a second chance for him. I cried unto the Lord telling him, I know I got into this shoe of marriage thinking it was going to be glamorous, but on getting in, it felt like stepping on broken glass. I told God I was going to stay in the marriage, but I needed him to help me work on Ray, so that I could still make something meaningful out of the oversized shoes…

On the third Day, Ray came out of the room and told me he was ready to go to Ikeji Arakeji, and he would love me to go with him. I was excited God had done what I prayed for. I put a call through to my mum, asking her to please come stay with the triplets, but she told me she was very ill.

There was no one we could trust the kids with, I suggested his estranged sister who was living close to us, but he refused. We decided to take the triplets along, but drop them off at his mother’s place at Sagamu. On getting to his mother’s home, we explained all that had happened and what we were about to do, his Mother was excited, she started jumping and praising God. In excitement, she said she was going with us, she said for years she had been unhappy about the church he established, she saw what happened as God’s show of Mercy towards her.

We couldn’t go to Ikeji- Arakeji that day anymore. Early the next day, we set out and got there in peace alongside my mother in law and the triplets.

On getting to the Church Premises, Ray kept exclaiming “Ha! Ha!” repeatedly. When I asked him why, he said the church had become bigger than how he left it. He said it was 6 times bigger than how he left him. We asked the church secretary on how to see Baba Fire, but she told us, we had to book an appointment with his P.A for over a month, as there were people from all over coming to see him, but on seeing the triplets, she showed compassion on us by giving us a way out…

“There will be evening service today, the moment Baba is rounding up his message, go and stay around where he parks his vehicle. The moment you see him coming, start shouting his name and your name telling him the reason why you are here to see him, if he is interested in seeing you, he will ask his security to call you.”

I could see that Ray felt belittled by that Approach, but I held his hand and gave him a smile of encouragement.
We stayed in the church premises till the evening service, few old members recognized Ray and they exchanged greetings. Some shared their condolence about Maggie‘s death. Others praised him over his ministry as they confessed they watched his T.V broadcast anytime they were in Lagos.

The service was a glorious power packed service, and the icing on the cake was Baba Fire’s ministration. At that Point, I knew why they called him Baba Fire, he was a mobile fire carrier, and I could see who Ray took his preaching style from. Baba Fire was a thorough Bible teacher. At some point, Ray could not help his tears, he kept crying in the auditorium, he was attracting a lot of attention, I had to pull him out.

“Happy, Baba Fire now speaks English, even though he still uses an interpreter” Ray said in tears with disbelief and regret in his eyes. Baba fire was still preaching in Yoruba language with the help of an interpreter who interpreted in English, but at intervals Baba Fire spoke fluent English. From that I learnt no one was indispensable…

We followed the advice of the secretary and stayed around his car. The moment Baba Fire came out, Ray started shouting

“My Father, Baba Fire, I am back, it is your first Son Raymond, Just like the Prodigal Son, please I am back” Apostle said in Yoruba, and I couldn’t help but cry, I felt the shame, I knew it took a lot for him to say those words, he had gotten to a high point in his life and ministry, but all of a sudden, he realized God was never with him…

Baba Fire stopped in his tracks, he recognized the voice, he looked around and saw Raymond, but you could see pain and hurt in Baba fire’s Eyes. He turned away from us and entered his car….

PART 38

Baba Fire refused seeing us, even after staying a week in Ikeji-Arakeji. Different people had gone to speak to Baba Fire on our behalf, but he would not set his eyes on Raymond.

Raymond’s mother had found her way to see him on one of the counselling days, but he respectfully told her to please leave his office. Baba Fire had been deeply hurt. I heard he was always around Saturday morning for marriage counselling, so I decided I was going to go see him.

I prayed before leaving and I asked for the Wisdom of God…
When it was my turn, he didn’t recognize me. He asked me what my challenge was. I told him about my marriage…

“I got married over a year ago, and my husband has only touched me once, it hurts knowing that my husband satisfies his sexual urge with married women under our roof. Sir, do you know how hurting it is, when someone who ought to give you joy brings you tears that is how I feel. Sir, my husband is back and genuinely born again and is asking for my forgiveness, do you think I should forgive him?” I said in Yoruba language

“Yes, it is a must that you must forgive him, to err is human, to forgive is divine, meaning it is normal for human beings to offend us, but if you are a genuine child of God, you must learn to forgive… You must forgive your husband and accept him back…”

“Thank you Baba, but why are you finding it hard to forgive my husband?”

There was a moment of silence, and I didn’t need to explain who I was and who my husband was…

Baba Fire was in pain…

“I trusted Raymond too much, and he stabbed me in the back”

“He is human Baba, and it is normal for us as humans to err. Please Sir, forgive my husband and let him come back to you. We are ready to serve under you. We are ready to move to Ikeji-Arakeji. My father, God has fought for you, he has brought him back to you to fulfil his initial assignment” I wept knowing this was not also my dream, I wanted to be the wife of a general overseer in the city wearing heels, but I didn’t know that was not the will of God for the one who would be the wife of Pastor Ray, she was to be the wife of an Assistant Pastor in Osun state.

“That assignment has been given to another, there is no more space for him here”

“You can create one for him”
Baba fire knew I was not going to let him go unless he blessed my husband.
“Where is he?”
“He is at the hotel”

“Bring him” he said
I didn’t want to take any chances, so I called him instead, to rush down to the church.
He came along with the triplets and his mother.

The moment Raymond stepped in, he laid on the floor sobbing…

“Baba mi (My father) please forgive me, because ever since I left you, my life has been a mess, please accept me and let God use you to straighten my life.

With tears in Baba Fire’s eyes, he lifted Ray up and hugged him tightly, praying for him with tears pouring from their eyes…

“I pull you out from the grip of the strong woman of immorality, you are rid of all curses I placed on you in the time of anger and bitterness in Jesus name.”

The prayer lasted about 30 minutes. He later told us to see him the next day.
When we returned later to the hotel, Ray and I sat outside at the balcony

“I have not felt this good in years, Happy I am indeed very happy. You have brought me happiness…”he said holding my hands in his…
“I am happy, God gave me the privilege, despite the rough beginning”.
We sat outside for hours talking about the relocation plans…

“Thank you for agreeing to move here with me…”

“You are welcome”…
Ray went in earlier than I did, I sat and had time to reflect, If I had my way, I would have wanted a better shoe that would have been my perfect fit, but I wished for another woman’s marriage and I got it.
But it now made sense to me, What John the Baptist said about not been worthy to even untie the rope of the sandal of Jesus Christ. That means there are some shoes that we are not worthy to put on, but out of greed we force our legs into them. Most times, the pain is immediate and noticeable like mine, while others will not be noticeable but would be causing internal pain for the person wearing it, like that of my husband.

Apostle wanted to be in the Shoes of Baba Fire, but he found himself in the mouth of the Marine sharks, because God was not pleased with him, therefore making him an easy prey for them.
We returned back to the city and did the needful.
We closed down Apostle’s Church.

The Sunday service when Apostle announced this move was highly emotional, it was a Day of tears. I saw Mrs. Beecroft crying in the congregation. Apostle confessed his Sin to the congregation without mentioning names. He asked for their forgiveness for harboring them under a church, God did not ask him to Establish. He told all the branch pastors who knew God had genuinely called them to continue with their Branches asking the Lord for the name of the Ministry He wanted to them to bear. He also converted some of the branches to Baba Fire’s branches.

After the service, Mrs. Beecroft walked up to me…

“We thought we were bringing in an emotionally unstable wife, who we could push around, but we didn’t know God hid a warrior, a savior, a life helper in a bipolar patient. Thank you for everything you have done, I will forever be grateful to you, and also thank you for not paying me in my own coin, by destroying my son. He told me everything”. Mrs. Beecroft gave me another hug weeping profusely.
Gabriel walked up to me…

“I wish I had said something the first time I saw you seated in front of me in church, maybe I would have had the privilege of having you as my wife. You are a goldmine I missed.”

“And you are a goldmine I wasn’t patient enough to have, Gabriel, I wish you good luck, but that is a lesson, life is an opportunity, use it well…God bless you”

I also gave him a final hug and deep within my heart, I knew Gabriel was the man I should have married, if I had been patient enough.

From that moment, our lives experienced a new turn around. But, with a bitter sweet feeling. Baba Fire received us back after we closed down our churches in Lagos. It raised a lot of comments online with different views. Ray could no longer interprete for Baba Fire, as he had to start from scratch. He was posted to a branch as a branch pastor in another town in Osun. I encouraged him to accept it and he did with so much excitement.

We were still able to get a very good accommodation for ourselves as we had enough money. We didn’t lose our wealth he had gathered for years as an Apostle, but rather, he sowed majority of it into Baba Fire’s ministry. He confessed to me that in Ikeji-Arakeji, he felt at peace and he didn’t feel oppressed. He no longer had that sexual longing for married women, rather he had a thirst to grow spiritually.

The bitter sweet feeling I wrote about earlier was as a result of what happened a week after we had settled in Osun State. Ray was terribly sick, and I thought it was the change of Environment. I took him to the hospital and in the process of carrying out different test on him, it was discovered he was HIV positive. They carried out a test on me, and I was negative. I was devastated because this was the point I had been looking forward to Ray making love to me as his wife, but all that was not visible anymore as Ray refused to come close to me for fear of infecting me with the virus.
When he returned home, he apologized to me and told me, I could walk out of the marriage so that he would not infect me with the Virus.

“I wished for the shoe, I must manage everything that comes with it, the goods and the “bads”. God knew I had wished for 3 kids, he gave me the three at once, so if HIV comes with the wish package, I must be willing to face it.” I said to Ray telling him I was going nowhere.

Ray and I later became intimate as husband and wife, based on my persistence but it had to be with a form of protection or the other… I was ready to Use Protective Condoms or PrEP (a daily HIV Protection pill) all the days of my life.

Pastor Maggie’s shoe was beautiful, but painful too. With all my experience, I have cautioned myself and the triplets never to wish to be in another person’s shoe, because you never know if the person is hurting, and if it will look good on you.

So far, we thank God for his faithfulness, that in the midst of it, he gave us MARY, MARTHA and MELODY, as a way of comforting us. They have brought us so much Joy. Martha is a Medical Doctor, Mary is a journalist and Melody as speculated since birth is a Gospel Musician.

Ray, my husband finally got his position as the Assistant of Baba Fire after 14 years of returning back to him. We lived with our HIV status, because along the line, I also contacted it, but we lived our life serving God till, My Husband who is now late passed on at the age of 64.

God was Merciful to Him and he is still merciful to me. I decided to write this story as a gift to mankind before I go on to Glory very soon.

God bless you!

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