Pastor Julius Adeleke of Christ Apostolic Church Rescue Arena Obawole, Lagos spoke with ADEOYE OLORUNSEUN on his call to the ministry and how God them him a child after eight years of conducting naming ceremonies. Excerpts:
How did you come to be in the ministry?
I was called by God
And you automatically left what you were doing to heed God’s call?
No because at the initial stage, I rejected the calls because I was working and I loved what I was doing
What were you doing?
I was into computer engineering
Was your refusal to heed the calls monetary based?
At that time, it was yes because what I was doing fetched me money and I realised money on a daily basis. To leave that for God’s work didn’t sit well with me and for four years, I ran away from God.
What brought you back to God?
Through God’s messages and then things were not working well at all. I got robbed and I was sick and the doctors could not diagnose anything. They kept telling me I was okay because they couldn’t find anything but I was not. I had to go back to God and confess my sins. Mercifully, He took me back.
Don’t you for once think that those things were just circumstantial?
No they weren’t circumstantial. It was because I refused to serve God and if I had not turned back when I did. I probably would have died in my problems.
So how did you get rid of the sicknesses that could not be diagnosed?
As I entered into CAC seminary school, without any medicine or treatment, the whole thing just left as if I had never been sick.
Do you have challenges serving God?
There is no way you won’t have challenges but as a true servant of God, He will be there to see you through. The bible says the people we are waging war with are unseen. They are princes of Persia. We are involved in invisible war. There are also environmental challenges in that people don’t want the ministry again. They don’t want to hear the gospel. Nowadays their hearts are hardened but through prayers, by showing them love and leaving them to the conviction of their hearts to God while we do the preaching, we would not relent.
Has God been faithful to you in serving Him?
He’s been more than faithful. For eight years, my wife and I were looking up to God for the fruit of the womb. Two years ago, He gave us a boy. I can’t mention it all.
Was the barrenness before you heeded God’s call or after?
It was after God’s call. I got married in 2006.
How were you able to cope with pressures from families and friend during those years?
There was no pressure from my family because I am from a Christian home. My mother is a deaconess while my father works in the ministry. Neither were there pressures from my wife’s family as well.
Rather they joined us in prayer believing with us that God is going to do it at the appropriate time.
What about concerned well meaning friends? Were there no suggestions from them?
People around me know that I won’t do anything contrary to God’s words, though there was this elderly woman in my former house who said she had gone through that state before. She said when she was tired of waiting, she went to Mama Osun where she became fruitful.
Whenever I was ready, she promised to take me there. Though she knew that I won’t go but I felt she just had to say something. And some of my neighbors that knew that we are awaiting would sometimes knock on my door and say ‘pastor there is this drug that does wonders, if your wife tries it, she will conceive’. But I just told them thank you.
Do church members that look unto God for fruits of the womb seek you for prayers and counseling?
Yes, as a pastor, you pray with church members irrespective of whatever their challenges are.
Were there positive responses from God in cases of those who looked for children?
While their prayers were being answered and you were waiting, how did you feel?
I have conducted a lot of naming ceremonies and whenever I do such, I am happy. So through their testimonies and joyous moments, I have been able to bless God and I have the faith that God was going to do it. I so much believe in His unfailing power.
Does your wife have down moments during those periods?
As human yes but she’s a woman of faith. At those times, I just prayed with her and encouraged her to hold unto God, which she did.
When people come to you for counseling when you are feeling human, how do you cope not knowing when God will answer you?
As a pastor, you don’t place your problem on your face. You drop it with God and face those people. You should be happy to receive them and give them total audience. What’s the point in showing people how dejected or helpless you are when you can’t even solve the problem yourself?
Moreover when there are testimonies in those lives, God is equally working on your case and most people don’t even know we didn’t have a child until God blessed us with one
Were you ever reproached?
Not much in the ministry but there was a time I brought my brother’s son to live with us and I heard from someone that since I don’t have a child, I should release his to come back home. I know they were not God and at the end of everything I give thanks to God.
What was your feeling like when your wife conceived?
It was like let’s wait and see.
Did you feel that the eight years of barrenness was a test from God?
No, it wasn’t a test from God. The root of everything stemmed from the devil because my bible tells me God cannot do evil. Devil can test you, give you tribulations that may want you to turn back to the world.
Do you know that God test people?
Yes, I do. He sometimes does that to know where they stand and their level of faith.
What then convinced you those eight years was not a test from God?
Because of the situation that surrounded the barrenness. My wife got pregnant in 2006 after our wedding, but the child came through operation and somehow the child did not survive. But the doctor told us we should be able to give birth in the next two years again. But four, five, six years down the line nothing happened.
We ran so many tests and they told us we were okay. Thank God for a sister nurse who directed us to a particular hospital and it was there it was detected that my wife’s womb was tied by the doctor that did the Caesarian Section.
There was no way that conception would be possible. So she had to go through a minor operation to untie the womb and we kept praying, two years later we had our child.