(STEPPING INTO MAGGIE’S SHOE)
© Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde
“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”.
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 who hailed from the same town of Ikeji-Arakeji tapping me from sleep and speaking to me in the Yoruba Language…
“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….