“… For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
Mrs Lottie Banks, not her real name, is a friendly, hardworking, quiet, decent, and pretty woman. She loves her family and serves the Lord enthusiastically. I first met her as a young Christian, and I was quite close to her family.
Sadly, despite her sterling qualities, her husband did not think much about her. He snubbed her consistently for over ten years, even though they lived under the same roof. But, Mrs Banks continued to be good to him in every way, regardless. She also cooked his meals, which he ignored, throughout. After some time, she became downcast and felt God had left her and forsaken her!
One day, a mutual friend of ours informed me about Mrs Banks’ ordeal, and I stepped in immediately, with one of my Christian friends. We got our Deacon, a man filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, involved as well.
Right from that day, we started to pray for her, on a regular basis, while our deacon fortified her with the words of God. One afternoon, exactly nine months after we started to pray for her, the Holy Spirit spoke through the man of God.
He said Mrs Banks should rejoice, as her petition concerning her husband had been answered. As a proof, therefore, He instructed her to prepare his favourite meal for supper that day, and he would eat it, and be intimate with her afterwards. Please, remember that Mr Banks had nothing to do with her for over ten years, prior to that day.
Initially, she was reluctant to comply with the instruction given to her, because they seemed too good to be believed, bearing in mind her past ugly experiences. But, we managed to convince her to do so in the end.
Guess what? Her husband indeed ate the meal and was intimate with her that night, as told by the Holy Spirit. The result of that act was a baby boy; a look-alike of his father, and the eventual unifier of his parents. Today, the family are united and doing great! God did not leave Mrs Banks nor forsake her after all!
Friends, what are the things you are battling with lately, which has refused to give you a breather? Whatever they are, please, realize that God has not left you nor forsaken you. He is working behind the scene, and He will sort you out sooner or later (Isaiah 45:2-2), because He loves you greatly (John 3:16), being the apple of His eyes (Zechariah 2:8).
Among other things, He will not leave nor forsake you and your children. Instead, He will contend with those who contend with you, and then save them (Isaiah 49:25b). Also, He will not leave nor forsake the work of your hand; on the other hands, He will bless it greatly (Deuteronomy 28:12).
Similarly, God will not leave nor forsake you when you are in need (Philippians 4:19), or when you are unwell (Psalm 41:3). He will not cut off your expectations (Proverbs 23:18), and He will fulfil the numbers of your days (Exodus 23:26), in Jesus name. Amen.
Jesus is Lord!
Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr Stoney)
Medical Practitioner, Author, and Speaker
TRIBUTE TO CHIEF J.B.O OJO, OUR DEAR PRINCIPAL!
I remembered Chief J.B.O Ojo, an old boy of the prestigious Government College, Ibadan, Nigeria (GCI), and former principal of the same school recently, and I decided to do a short tribute to him.
Before I go on, please permit me to declare that this tribute is not intended to draw attention to myself in any way! It’s simply intended to honour Chief J.B.O Ojo, a perfect gentleman, foremost educationist, renowned sportsman, astute administrator, and an ardent lover of people, who I owe a debt of gratitude, for making it possible for me to attend GCI in the first place. It was him who alerted my Dad about the interview, which gave birth to my set when they met at a social function. Up until now, the letter inviting me for the said interview has not surfaced.
It may interest you that I was a motor mechanic apprentice at some point in my life, even though I had always wanted to be a Medical Practitioner. But, along the way, I derailed and abandoned my studies at GCI for a while in Class Two. The reason being that a senior boy called me a leper; a derogatory label in our culture, and an insult to me, a self-believing prince of Àkúré Land, Nigeria.
To my non-Nigerian readers, please note that unlike in the developed world, being a motor mechanic is not a great achievement in Nigeria. The profession is common among the poor members of our society, and among those who are not trainable, academically speaking. A lot of mechanics in our country, are viewed as failures and are usually hard up financially.
I was under the tutelage of Baba Yellow, an Adamasingba, Ibadan, based motor mechanic, without my father’s consent. He was overseas at that time, and my mother could not successfully persuade me to go back to school.
Baba Yellow was a good and easy-going man! He had a couple of wives, many children, a rented apartment, and a fairly used green Opel Record car. To me, he was a success story, and I wanted to be like him at all cost.
I wish to put it straight on record here that I actually lied to Baba Yellow that my father asked me to join his outfit because he could no longer afford to send me to school. But, he saw through my lies and rejected me immediately. He knew my father to be a keen lover of education, who would never allow any of his children to drop out of school.
However, while he was contemplating what he would do with me, I melted into his crowd and started taking instructions from his senior apprentices and running errands for them. And within a short time, I became famous in and around his garage. I believe Baba Yellow eventually allowed me to be, after seeing how committed and resolved I was to become a motor mechanic.
I settled down very quickly at Baba Yellow’s garage, and before long, I picked up some traits associated with many motor mechanic garages in Nigeria. That is dirtiness, playfulness, talkativeness, deceitfulness, waywardness, etc. Besides, I learnt how to sweet-talk girls to a little extent. I remember having a crush on a girl who sold bread and cooked beans (‘èwà elépo pupa’), nearby. She told me off eventually!
Above was my life, until my father returned home from his overseas trip unannounced one night, and saw me in my greasy, dirty, and smelly khaki mechanic uniform. Of course, he was very angry with me, and very early the following day, he bundled me back to GCI, amid loud protestation from me. That was how my dream of becoming a motor mechanic like Baba Yellow ended abruptly and completely.
As luck would have it, Chief J.B.O Ojo, accepted me back to GCI unconditionally and protected me. He was even kind enough not to announce my escapade to all and sundry, thus, saving me from unpleasant backlashes and everlasting cruel jokes.
Today, Chief J.B.O Ojo is no more with us on earth, but I am full of gratitude to him for giving me a rare second chance. His contribution to who I am today cannot be overemphasized. May his gentle and sweet soul continue to rest in perfect peace, in Jesus name. Amen.
Dr Adedayo Adegbulu (Dr Stoney),
Medical Practitioner, Author, Speaker.
GCI, OUR GCI!
Shortly after I finished my School Certificate Examination, I suddenly found myself grossly underutilized, and unbearably bored. Of course, I tried to get myself a vacation job, but, it seemed the employers of labour around us were allergic to people in my position. Before long, I gave up, and I quietly looked forward to going back to school in September, after the release of our result.
One morning, as I was chatting with a friend in front of our house, Broda Dare, one of my uncles, emerged from nowhere. In general, I did not fancy him much, and that day, I struggled really hard not to snub him.
But, I noticed that Broda was unusually excited to see me; he was also in a hurry to talk to me. In the end, I said ‘OK Broda, ki ni’ (Okay brother, what is it? ‘Dayo, I am here to see you O’! He replied. ‘I see, what for’? I asked him, barely concealing my impatience. ‘I have arranged a Research Assistant vacation job interview for you in the History Department of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (U.I), he answered in adulterated Yoruba language. Broda Dare was then a gardener in the same University!
‘Broda, you see yourself? Why should you arrange a History job for me without my consent? For your information, I hate History, so please go away with your job ja re’! ‘Bo’mi, mo bi nu si mi, wa se’se un ni o, mo d’oju ti mi, dabo’ (my brother, don’t be angry with me, you have to do this job; please don’t disgrace me).
I later found out that Broda Dare had gone everywhere, boasting to everyone who cared to listen to him that I, his nephew, a brand new old boy of Government College Ibadan (GCI), an internationally renowned boys school in Nigeria, was coming to ‘grab’ the job. To him, GCI boys were extraordinary human beings, and he couldn’t see why I would not get it. After pleading with me for a while, I agreed to attend the interview, and his contorted face relaxed temporarily for a change. He was full of joy!
I went for the interview as planned, only to find out that eleven others, all men, came for it too. I was the youngest, and the most junior of the whole lot. I was also the only non-undergraduate among them, and it was obvious that some of the blokes felt insulted to see a small boy like me in their midst. It was as if I was there to spoil their little party. One of them even tried to intimidate me, but I stood my ground solidly.
After waiting for what looked like an eternity to me, a young stylish looking, pipe in mouth lecturer came out of an inner office, cleared his throat, and said, ‘who is the GCI man here’. I raised up my hands, and he looked at me from head to toe, obviously surprised to see me, a mere small boy. Honestly, I expected him to order me out of his presence, and I was prepared for him. After all, what would I be doing in a History Department, in the midst of ‘old men’, if not for Broda Dare, who wouldn’t take no for an answer? Guess what? He just smiled, and said, ‘Mister Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, the job is yours, others should please go away’. I was stunned; others were too!
Later, when we were alone, I asked him why he chose me over and above the other guys who were much older, and better qualified than me. Again, he smiled and said ‘you are a GCI old boy, you were trained to excel in all things, at all times. Don’t worry, Dayo, you will be fine with me; I will support you’. He was not an old boy of GCI!
By the time I got to where Broda Dare was mowing a lawn, he had already heard that I got the job, and I met him dancing and bragging, saying “You see, I told you that my nephew would get the job. He is an ex-GCI, his own GCI is ‘ojulowo’ (original)’. Before long, Broda’s joy infected me, and I found myself dancing with him. I did not join him to brag though! He later bought me a bottle of Pepsi Cola, and ‘Senega’ bread (a spindle-shaped bread in vogue at that time), to thank me for not disappointing him.
That was the type of school we attended by the grace of God. The school that made people prefer us above others. The school that gave us the confidence and skills we need to do well in life beyond its confinement. The school of our pride built on the rocks. Like most famous institutions in Nigeria, GCI is no more what it used to be, due to the irresponsible disposition of our political leaders, but, it lives in us, and it will live in us forever.
I love my school! God bless ‘GCI, our GCI’ forever. Amen.
Dr Adedayo Adegbulu (Dr Stoney),
Medical Practioner, Author, and Speaker
THANK YOU NEPA; UP YOU!
The National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), the Nigerian electricity company, is notorious for its sickening inefficiency and massive corruption. And most times, it attracts opprobrium upon itself from Nigerians, for obvious reasons. However, this same NEPA saved me at some point when I was a student of the prestigious Government College Ibadan, Nigeria (GCI). Please permit me to narrate what happened to you today.
Majority of my classmates in Carr House were not known to be great in the GCI social circle. I believe we just didn’t know how to be social. But, a very few of us easily rubbed shoulders with the numerous ‘social gurus’ in Swanston House. Swanston House boys were our standard at that time.
As an individual, I wanted to be a ‘raré’ (super cool guy) like the aforementioned boys, and I concluded that one of the fastest ways I could achieve my aim was to attend a school social function, and at least be seen talking to, or dancing with a girl, preferably from Queen’s School, Ibadan, Nigeria (QSI), St. Anne’s Girls School, Ibadan, Nigeria (ANZEA), St. Theresa’s College, Ibadan, Nigeria (TÈRÉ), or Our Lady of Apostle, Ibadan, Nigeria (OLA).
One Saturday evening, when I was in class two going to class three, I strayed into a school party in the assembly hall. It was attended by loads of girls from various girls’ schools in Ibadan, and environs. A small number of boys from a few secondary schools were in attendance too.
On seeing the bevvy of girls, my confidence began to wane, but the appeal to become a ‘raré’ deterred me from changing my mind at that point. So, I approached a QSI girl, and the following conversation, paraphrased, ensued between us.
Adedayo Adegbulu: Hello, please floor.
QSI girl: What do you mean by ‘please floor’.
Adedayo Adegbulu: I mean please dance.
QSI girl: You must be joking. You and who? Who do you think you are, and what do you take me for?
Adedayo Adegbulu: Please, don’t say no to me.
QSI girl: And if I say no, what will you do?
Adedayo Adegbulu: I will be very sad, and when I grow up, and become your boss, I will sack you. Remember, no condition is permanent. Please dance with me, I am begging you in the name of God.
QSI girl: (looking at me with surprise, clapped her hands, hissed, and began to laugh) You really disgust me you know, please just leave me alone, and go away with your Èkìtì English. Èkìtì is a big section of the Yoruba tribe found in the South-Western part of Nigeria, and Èkìtì English is generally believed to sound funny.
A nearby QSI girl interjected: Why don’t you give this small boy a chance? Why don’t you make his day by dancing with him?
QSI girl: Okay o Èkìtì boy, let’s go and dance, but please behave yourself, you hear?
Adedayo Adegbulu: I will behave myself, but I am not an Èkìtì boy, I am from Àkúré. Àkúré is a Yoruba town in Nigeria!
QSI girl: Please, just shut up and follow me.
Next, she held my hand and led me to the floor. That was too much for me to handle because back home, we were told that only bad children hold hands with people of the opposite sex.
Anyway, we got to the floor, and I started to sweat profusely. I also felt dizzy and saw flashes of light orbiting around my head. There and then, I knew I was in serious trouble; I knew I could pass out at any time. Therefore, I began to panic, just because of ‘this rude’ QSI girl, and my desire to become a ‘raré’ at all cost.
Suddenly, NEPA struck; there was a power outage! So, I quickly abandoned her on the floor, mustered the remaining energy in me, and ran all the way back to Carr House (quite a distance for a small boy), panting and sweating profusely, but full of joy that I survived the ordeal I needlessly brought upon myself. That was how NEPA saved me from imminent shame and indelibly horrific history.
In the end, I still got the veneration I craved for in Carr house, because some boys saw the girl holding my hand, and concluded that I was ‘raré’ enough. Of course, I did not argue with them; I felt really super cool afterwards. Thank you NEPA, up you!
Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr. Stoney)
Medical Practitioner, Author, Speaker
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
My family and I once lived in one of three apartments in a compound, in our hometown, Akure, Nigeria. The second apartment was occupied by our Pastor friend, while the third was occupied by our landlady.
Initially, we all lived together happily, until our landlady became uncomfortable with our Christian faith. After a while, she asked us, plus the Pastor, to quit her compound, within one month. I will like to state here that we never disturbed her in any way, and at any time. Meanwhile, our hometown was notorious for its serious accommodation problem.
Of course, we pleaded with her to give us more time to look for another accommodation, but, she stuck to her guns. In the end, we quickly went out, and combed every nook and cranny of our town, for another accommodation, every day, for many days, all to no avail.
However, in the middle of our house hunt, my wife and I attended a Christian crusade, during which, the ministering Pastor told the congregation that God wanted each of us present to ask Him for something of importance to us, for prompt settlement. We quickly asked Him for a good accommodation and the money to pay for it! We were low on funds at that time!
Guess what? We found four good apartments within 24 hours after the crusade. We eventually settled for one of them. Shortly afterwards, God led a friend I hadn’t seen for ages to me. One thing led to another, and we ended up in an office where a government-funded, interest-free loan, was on offer. I applied for it like other people, but, to my surprise, my application was singled out for approval that day, and I was given a fat cheque accordingly.
Usually, such approval takes a long time to come through in our place. Well, I took the cheque to my bank for lodgement immediately. There again, God led a staff of the bank to cash it for me there and then. I didn’t lobby her to help me! So, with cash in hand, I went to pay my rent for two years straight away.
Friends, we asked God for an apartment; He gave us four. He then arranged money for two years rent for us, instead of one, and we moved into it within three weeks, thus beating the one month quit notice given to us by our landlady. Without a shred of doubt, God surprised us big time!
I recommend this same God to you today. Please, approach Him with all your concerns without delay, and He will surprise you, big time, as well. For example, He will deal with your ill health and give you sound health instead (Jeremiah 33:6). He will also bless the work of your hands (Deuteronomy 28:12), and whatever you do henceforth, will prosper (Psalm 1:1-3).
Besides, God will defeat your enemies right before your face (Deuteronomy 28:7) and have your back always (Genesis 12:3). Not only that, He will teach your children Himself, and they will enjoy robust peace all around (Isaiah 54:13). On top of everything, you will not be put to shame (Isaiah 54:4), and His name will be glorified in your life, in Jesus name. Amen.
Jesus is Lord!
Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr Stoney)
Medical Practitioner, Author, and Speaker
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed…” (2 Corinthians 4: 8).
Alan, not his real name, is someone I admire and continually thank God that I met, while I was at the University. We were quite close!
His father died when he was very young, and his mum, a petty trader, had to take care of him and his siblings, all by herself, with much difficulty. Alan had very little by way of possessions, and he could not feed or clothe himself well.
Also, he found it extremely difficult to buy the educational materials prescribed for his course. As a result, he relied on the University library and his classmates for them, most of the time. Of course, his social life was nil!
Additionally, because Alan was hard-pressed financially, he trekked several kilometres to the University and back to where he was a squatter, each day. And to compound his problems, he was involved in a road crash from which he got a head injury that troubled him for a long time.
But, despite his predicaments, Alan behaved well all the time. He was always very calm, neat, friendly, cheerful, and ever willing to help others, even though he needed help himself. Besides, he studied as much as his health permitted him, attended his clinics in the hospital regularly, prayed to God each day and believed He would intervene in his condition someday, and He did.
Suddenly, his health began to improve, and he began to study better and longer. In the end, he graduated, on time, with his classmates, barely missing first-class honours by a few points. Today, he is a University Professor, turning out future champions, and serving the Lord with his amazing talents. Alan was hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed!
Friends, are you hard-pressed on every side like my friend, Alan? If you are, I pray you will not be crushed, in Jesus name. Amen. Specifically, what challenge(s) are you facing right now? Is your business in ruins? Is your family fractured? Are your children wayward? Are you ill?
Or, are you in debt and the hope of settling it is becoming a mirage, day by day? Are you involved in a tough lawsuit? As a student, is someone or something obstructing your education? And as a Christian, are you struggling with your salvation these days? Etc.
Friends, if your answer to any of the questions above is yes, then, I have good news for you. First, what you are going through is not unusual, and it will not crush you, for God will surely help you out of it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Moreover, it is temporary, and it will do you a lot of good, and make you a better person, in the long run (2 Corinthians 4:17, James 1:2-4).
But, you must be prepared to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and you may have to fast too (Matthew 17:21). From now on, pray to Jesus Christ to give you rest from your condition, and He will (Matthew 11:28), using every possible means (Isaiah 45:2-3), and His name will be glorified in your life when all’s said and done, in Jesus name. Amen.