Derin looked at the eager faces gathered in the huge living room which had been converted to a meeting room. He was amazed that this was just a weekday fellowship. How had they been able to get this crowd to attend this home fellowship regularly? He had enough difficulty with getting his members come to church regularly on Sundays.
Upon his arrival at the Roberts’ residence, he had met the lovely Mrs. Roberts and had hoped to meet her husband too, but other than a vague smile, Derin’s enquiries about the popular man had gone unanswered. The Roberts had been kind enough to move some of their furniture out of the enormous living room and replaced them with several plastic seats.
Derin had done a quick scan around the room and had observed that there was a mix in the ages of the women who had come for the fellowship. Most of these ladies were elderly, in their late fifties to mid-sixties, followed by those in their early to mid-forties. He noticed that there was however, a lady that stood out, she looked younger than the others, and stood by the door with a condescending smile on her face. Her face did not have that world worn and tired look that the others had. She seemed like someone who was here to watch a film show.
Derin knew that he had to win these ladies over at all costs. The expensive jewellery on their chunky necks, the intricate designs on the soft lace they wore and the bags they carried all told a story. Things looked good financially for most of these people. These ladies could easily be categorised as those he and his friends jokingly called ‘the rich also cry’. It was easy, figured Pastor Derin, a couple of vague prayer points would help him figure out what their hearts desires were. He suspected they were all here because of one man or the other anyway.
Women were always desperately trying to get a man, pin a man down or make him part with his hard earned money. His role was simple. He was to make their battle seem less difficult.
‘Praise the Lord’ said Akintunde, his friend into the mic. It was Akintunde who had invited him here. They had been friends for a long time before they became ‘brothers in ministry’. ‘please permit me to introduce our visiting minister, Pastor Derin Hughes This is a Man of God with an extraordinary heart and gift from heaven. God bless you as you listen. Let’s welcome him with a warm round of applause.’ said Akintunde, who then proceeded to give him a hug. Derin smiled inwardly, for he and Akin had been with each other for the past hour and there was really no need for a hug.
‘If you know that you love Jesus, please give a wave offering to the Lord!’ Derin noticed that all the hands went up. Hmm this is a serious group; they showed that they were listening and following what he said.
‘If you know you have ever been disappointed, please let me see you wave to Jesus again, all hands came up, waving furiously. Haha! He knew this would be the case.
‘If you know that today’s pains would soon be replaced by smiles, can you get on your feet and praiiiiiissseee the Lorrrrrrrrd!’ the crowd was very excited by Pastor Derin as they all jumped on their feet and clapped.
‘I love you, I love you, I love you Lord’ he said as he closed his eyes and waved his own hands too. ‘Look, let me tell you a story, many think that being a Pastor means that you are immune from challenges and disappointment in your own life too. Tell your neighbour that this is a lie!. Let me hear you say it!’ he ordered
As soon as the chants of ‘this is a lie’ died down, he continued. ‘My wife and I suffered a bad miscarriage in the first year of our marriage.
This was a child that we already loved like we had seen, one’s arrival that we had waited for, a baby that we already called by his given name.
I had a premonition which I refused to pay attention to, a dream that I did not listen to and when it happened, right where I was broken, God whispered to me. I lost my son, but my Ministry was birthed. God had promised me that he would make us smile again very soon’.
Now, if you have ever suffered a disappointment, I want you on your feet, stomping the face of the devil prove to him that in spite of it all, you still have Jesus!’ said Derin.
His heart beat for a moment because he wondered if the audience were still with him. He needn’t have bothered, because the women jumped to their feet and began to stomp the ground crazily. Derin knew that he had to give a mysterious word of Wisdom. He just had to try this. He looked around and quickly figured out that a major problem most women had was with their husbands, then children, then daughters who were getting too ripe for marriage. It was just a little bit of psychology. He would try it! It was easy enough.
‘Listen, let’s be silent for a moment here. God wants to speak. There is a lady here, whose home is under siege right now. A strange woman is trying to take over your home. This strange woman is a younger lady whom you have seen before. All eyes closed, if you are the one, please step outside, let me lay hands on you’ Derin shut his eyes, with a thudding heart, would his guess pay off?
He opened his eyes again when her heard thundering footsteps rushing in his direction. A quarter of the congregants had found their way to the front of the room, jostling for position.
Derin looked at them, with their thick waists with their over painted faces, they were desperately looking upwards, seeking help from their Maker. He quickly shared a prayer with this group, anointed each one of them and sent them back off to their seats.
‘There is another woman, whose children have been her problem. The devil is attacking your peace through your child. If you are the one,
please come forward’ It was the same scene that took place, Derin knew he was in business as he kept calling out more vague words of Wisdom. The amazing thing was that there was always more than one person who stepped out for each category he announced.
Through it all, the young lady who stood by the door refused to move, she just stood there, leaning on the door with her arms folded across her chest. Derin looked at her closely as he finished off, wondering who she was and how she could be in a home fellowship dressed like this. Her dusky wine bra was easy to see through her grey, mesh crop top which exposed her fair skinned tummy. She paired the top with a miniscule micro mini skirt. Her long fair legs were straight and spotless. She looked like she had just walked out of a television advertisement.
When she noticed that he was looking at her, she threw her head back and laughed a huge, roaring laugh, as though she alone was aware of his antics and tricks. Derin decided to challenge her.
‘Young lady, are you here with us? Please come in for a taste of Jesus’ he asked as all heads turned to the back of the room, the congregation was inquisitive; they wanted to see whom he was referring to. The moment they saw her, there was a buzz and many hisses. It seemed that many people here had already had an encounter with Oyinda Roberts, the only daughter of Chief Roberts.
They watched as she walked confidently to the front of the ministering pastor in her club style attire and knew they were in for a show for Oyindamola was no respecter of persons.
‘No, I’m not with you. I cannot support a god who seats back and watches the world he created go to ruins’ she responded boldly
‘Is that what you think? Our God is a God of time, lessons, patience and deliverance. Nothing happens without his knowledge. He is also the one who perfects every good thing. Our times and seasons are in his hands’
Oyinda began to clap. ‘I like you pastor man. I like you. Please pray for me, my depraved soul needs Jesus’ she said
Derin wondered if there was a trick in what she had said, and looked at Akintunde for help, but Akin just shrugged and look the other way.
‘Okay come forward, let us pray’ he said as he la!d a hand on her head. He was surprised when he felt an electric current pass through her. Derin knew she had felt it too for she readjusted her balance on the floor. He quickly looked up at the audience and saw that they watched in silence and awe. It seemed this girl had never been up to any good. Was she out to embarrass him?
As soon as he began to pray, Oyinda fell to the floor, seemingly over taken by the Spirit. She rolled until she came to a stop right in front of him, lying on her side, backing the rest of the room. Derin noticed that whilst she had been rolling on the floor, one of her yellow Tips had escaped from the confinement of the bra. He was surprised that he could still notice this. Had he not been overtaken by the Spirirt? Hadn’t he just been a vessel for God?
As Derin’s confusion took a new height, he saw Oyindamola give him a huge wink, before she closed her eyes in pretence again. Derin wondered what this girl wanted from him.
Why had she done this?