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A woman spat on my face while preaching I just wiped my face and prayed for her

Posted by By Toyin Osawe on 2005/01/28 | Views: 904 |

A woman spat on my face while preaching I just wiped my face and prayed for her


As a little boy, the vicarage was his home. Having lost his father quite early in life, his clergy grandfather became father. Thus any observer would conclude that hed end up a clergyman which he did.

As a little boy, the vicarage was his home. Having lost his father quite early in life, his clergy grandfather became father. Thus any observer would conclude that hed end up a clergyman which he did.
Rev. Awa K. Ume, is the Moderator, Synod of the West, of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria. For him, taking to the pulpit might have been automatic but the conviction to heed the call came as a result of a personal divine encounter. He had thought all hope was lost but hope came at the nick of time and he says that experience helped to deepen his faith in God.
" On December 24, 1980, I was climbing a staircase and I hit my big toe. The next day it swelled up like I had elephantiasis. Initially we thought it was a bone problem and in six months we had visited 12 bone setters."

His condition worsened and he depended on crutches for mobility. Moving from one hospital to the other, the ailment took about eight years of his life. At the point of utter hopelessness, divine help came. He recalls the experience, which he sees as a divine encounter.
" Like the woman with the issue of blood, we were spent out. At a point, some people really made me angry and I sought Gods face. I remember praying and fasting like I had never done. And help came in a dream I had. I saw a man who told me that God said he would heal me. Then a week later I fell into a trance in which my healing was further confirmed. Since then, my healing had been perfect. The only time I went to the hospital was when I had an accident on an okada."

Rev. Umeh has been tending the flock for about 14 years, an experience he describes as beautiful. To him, if Jesus was crucified, then any man of God should prepare himself, for there is the cross to carry.
" It has been wonderful being in the ministry. I consider the challenges as a beautiful part of the ministry. Ive had an occasion where someone came up to me and spat in my face while I was on the pulpit. The issue then was about the appointment of elders. It gave me the opportunity to win a major battle, which is with my temperament. That day, I just wiped my face with my handkerchief and started praying for her. Everyone in the church broke into tears. My reaction at that point in time mattered so much and if I had reacted violently, the church would have probably scattered. Such has helped me to control my temper, to know what to say and what not to say. It has also helped me to know when to stop and where to continue. The bible says anyone that can control his temper can be in charge of cities and nations. Betrayal, false accusations and blackmail are all part of the daily experience in the ministry"
As a minister in the Presbyterian Church, Ume says his actions are dictated more by the Bible rather than church doctrines. He says the church places more emphasis on the Bible than doctrines. With their watchword, faith alone, salvation alone and scripture alone, they have been able to embrace Pentecostalism and other social-political developments the church has had to face since it was established in the country over a century ago.



On the issue of cultism amongst the clergy, he denies involvement. He also says the Presbyterian Church frowns at it.
"Some years back when the issue came up at the synod, it was agreed that anyone who was involved should renounce his membership. Although the church may not necessarily be able to monitor who is doing what but such information will definitely come around. And given the stand of the church on the issue, the defaulter will have to face the music".

Unlike most people who criticised Mr. President for his verbal assault on Rev. Pam, Ume says he has no bone to pick with the president. Though not justifying his use of foul language, he says Rev. Pam should have been more discerning, by not asking the president the provoking question.
"I feel Rev. Pam should have asked his question at another time and place when the atmosphere is less tense. He did not read the situation well and its not surprising that he only succeeded in provoking the president. He should have even conveyed his question through the proper channel, maybe through the National CAN president when the atmosphere will be less strained."
For this University of Nigeria Nsukka graduate, who is married and her kids, being in the Lords vineyard is a dream come true, its a journey of fulfilment and gratitude to God for sparing his life.

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown