John Ekongo AT 13 or so, I wanted to give myself to the Lord. This happened when my junior secondary school had the pleasure to welcome a South African evangelist to come and impart some good gospel into our brains. Now the dude was conversant. In no time he whipped out his Bible, all I could hear were chants of "Hallelujah, Praise Him, Sweet Jesus, Amen and yes, yes, yes, my Lord." For extra measure, my English teacher was also in the fray jumping and hallucinating. Being ignorant, because of the Afro hairstyle I always kept, I asked what was wrong with her, and the answer was the "Holy Ghost have gotten hold of her". There and then I too needed this 'holy ghost', so I jumped, allelujah'ed, Amen'ed until I was convinced the holy ghost had gotten my spirit and I was saved. Exactly from what, I did not really know. My relationship with God was short-lived - it lasted only a few hours - until I swore the hell out of a cubby school bully who had a passion for making my life hell. This time around he mocked at my new-found spirituality. The Bible teaches us that you do not fight back, rather we give the other cheek. Now that was the part I could not contain. So in the end I let out a volley of expletives in full view of "colour man" (the principal). We named him that because according to him the English word for 'verkleurmannetjie is colourman. That episode had me suspended from school for two weeks. My granny believed that I was cursed and needed cleansing, so she summoned the local pastor and we had a marathon prayer session. From that moment on I decided better stick with the "lord you know best". I am not saying this because I have something against the church. However, of late I have observed an emerging trend of born agains. People spend fortunes going to crusades and fellowships and whatever else. Now the strange part is almost everyone I know keeps telling me how blessed the night was when they were in Johannesburg at Pastor Chris' night of bliss. Lately, I found myself in the company of a few supposedly converted lady friends (two, in fact), and I envied them. For once they really sounded intelligent. The conversation was about God and how God wants every man to be empowered physically, spiritually and emotionally. But the cherry on top was how God wants you to meet your soulmate and live happily ever after. "I pray to God my soulmate should own a house, good job, be a loving man and have a credit card," said one. "I just want him to be rich - he must take me to expensive vacationing spots and we must take turns to cook, for the Bible says the man is the head and I am the neck, we need each other", said the other. "I am tired of this kansvatters I want a real brother. And I wish it could be one of Pastor Chris' staffers. Did you see the suits they were wearing?" Born again or not, at least I know for a fact that you don't go to church to look for riches. So yeah, the thing is when you really want to be converted do it for that and that only. If you only watch TBN when you are broke, jobless, have relationship problems and chasing 30 and still not yet married - stay put, try the Internet or just stay the hell away. Sorry Ngo!
2008-04-18 00:00:00 10 years ago