Tap here to read episode 4
“Temi was betrothed to Baba Osa since she was 7. Baba Osa is the chief priest in our town
“After Temi’s father death 15 years ago, a lot of bad things began to happen to me. Three of my children died and the two I had left were very ill. I went to our chief priest and it was discovered that my husband made a covenant with a deity they worship in his family but didn’t fulfill his part until he died. The covenant was going to continue to haunt us if we didn’t do something.
Baba Osa said the only acceptable atonement was that Temi be given to him as wife when she gets of age, so that she can live around the temple of the gods and offer sacrifices regularly. This way, she would have paid the debt for her family. So we betrothed her to the chief priest and immediately, she and her brother became well” Temi’s mother explained. She was gently stroking her daughter’s hair.
“Jesus Christ!” Mary exclaimed.
“But I don’t understand. When you all knew she was going to be the wife of a chief priest, why did you allow her come to the university? It doesn’t make sense.” Francis asked, looking sternly at Temi’s mother, his fist under his chin.
“My daughter is very smart and she loves education. She pleaded with us to allow her go to the university and promised to be of good conduct. Baba Osa consented because the thought of having an educated wife thrilled the old man.
But he warned that any breech in agreement would attract severe consequences. Temi was supposed to come back after her first year for her wedding.”
“So Temi is betrothed to a chief priest? Does this explain why the men who had sexual relationship with her mysteriously lost their lives?”
“Yes. If they had not died, they would have run mad.”
That night, Mary slept in a small room with Temi and her mom, while Francis slept in the living room. Temi’s mom had administered some herbal medicines to Temi and she had slept peacefully. They were to visit the chief priest the next day.
Lots of thoughts clouded Mary’s mind. She could not find sleep so she walked out of the room while Temi and her mother were fast asleep.
It was 12am and she tiptoed quietly, trying to avoid waking Francis but she met him wide awake in the sitting room.
“I couldn’t sleep”
“Neither could I” Francis was sitting on on the cushion chair, holding his Bible.
“A part of me just wants to leave this town as fast as I can and allow Temi to go back to her husband.”
“But you told me that she has accepted Jesus” Francis said.
Mary didn’t like how the conversation was going. Francis was about to suggest something she was trying to avoid.
“She now belongs to Jesus. She can not be married to a idol worshipping chief priest”
“Sir Francis. Don’t you think we should just leave this town in peace. Our plan was to bring her home to her family and we have done that” Mary was pacing anxiously round the small living room. She struggled in her heart. She loved Temi but she wasn’t ready to get herself muddled up in some sort of diabolical mess. She wanted to leave this house and this town as soon as possible.
I am the good shepherd. I don’t leave my sheep. Not even one.
Mary ignored the words that had continuously rang in her heart since she got to Temi’s hometown. She hadn’t understood what those words meant initially. But now she did. And she wasn’t very comfortable.
“If it were Jesus, would He leave Temi here?” Francis asked shattering every argument in her heart.
Mary looked down.
“No, He wouldn’t”
“This is not going to be easy but it’ll be worth it.”
They spoke for about an hour and prayed together, then Mary went back and could finally sleep.
In her dream, Mary sat down with an old Man wearing a white cloak at a sea shore. The old Man held an old scroll and read words from it to her. Mary couldn’t make out what He was reading but when she tried to complain, He stopped her.
“You don’t have to understand what I’m saying now. Your spirit is receiving everything I’m saying. These Words that I read to you will prepare you for the task ahead. The Word is all you need for this fight”
Mary woke up. It was 6am.
She saw Temi folding some clothes. Her mom was nowhere in sight.
“Good morning dear. How do you feel today?”
“A little stronger. Thank you for everything Mary. I really appreciate all you’ve done”
“It’s okay. I’m glad you’re better. Why didn’t you tell me about the chief priest Temi?”
Just then Temi’s mom walked in.
“Good morning ma.”
“Good morning my daughter. How are you?” She was wearing an ankara blouse and wrapper. Both of different patterns. The blouse and the wrapper were both of different patterns.
“I’m fine ma”
“Thank you for yesterday. Thank you for bringing my daughter home”
“You’re welcome ma”
“Temi, you need to have your bath, we’re leaving for Baba Osa’s house now”
Temi looked down. Mary saw a drop of tear fall from her eyes.
“If you don’t mind ma, we’d like to go with you and Temi to see the chief priest” Mary spoke up.
“Okay, you can go with us but you must be respectful and very careful with your words, he’s a revered man”
“Okay ma. Thank you ma”
Mary had her bath too and the four of them set out to the house of the chief priest.
It was a big house in the outskirts of the town. It looked desolate because there were no houses around it.
Baba Osa had 3 wives and 15 children. He was an old man with two thick trial marks that ran down his cheeks and a bald head.
When they got there, Baba Osa was grinding a black substance on a grinding stone outside. His three wives were washing and some of his children ran around the house.
“Ekaro Baba” Temi’s mother greeted in Yoruba dialect.
The old man looked up and on seeing Mary and Francis, his countenance changed. He looked very angry.
“What have you brought these people to do in my house? What guts have you woman to desecrate this altar with the presence of these people?”
Temi’s mother was confused.
“They’re Temi’s friends from school. They brought her back home yesterday”
“Get out of this place. These people have no business being here. I don’t want to see them”
Temi’s mother became even more confused. Did Baba Osa know these people?
“Did you people offend Baba?” She asked Mary and Francis innocently.
Then Francis spoke up.
“We have come in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and we have come to peacefully announce to you that Temi now belongs to Jesus so she can not be your wife”
A deafening silence accompanied the end of his statement. Temi’s mom stood transfixed and speechless. Temi held unto Mary as if something was about to grab her.
The women in the house had stopped washing and watched Francis with awe. Who dared come into the den of a Tiger and challenge him?
The old man walked slowly back and forth 3 times then whispered some words that were not audible. He looked up at Francis; his eyes bloodshot and full of anger.
“I’m only going to say this once. Leave this place before you regret coming to this town.” Immediately, Temi’s mom fell on the ground and began rolling as if her body were on fire.
“Help me please, there’s fire all over my body”
To be continued...