The next day, an assembly was called at the Chapel to pray for David. Temi could not go. She couldn’t even go anywhere. She had been mute since she heard the news; not talking to anyone at all, even Mary.
At the chapel, they broke the news of David’s death to everyone and the reaction was expected; cries and shouts were heard everywhere. Some people didn’t even believe.
The young man whose book David had gone to bring the previous day just sat on the ground, transfixed. After he had waited for David for hours the day before and didn’t see him, he left for his hostel. Now he wondered what had killed him. Could there have been an accident on his way back? The young man wondered. Hot tears falling down his face.
The fellowship pastor, Pastor Moses, told them that David died of a sickness that was not addressed on time, then he said some words of encouragement and reminded them that they all would leave someday too. He further asked them not to cry but to pray for David and learn from his life. It was obvious as he spoke that he was in severe pains and trying hard not to cry himself.
David had been his mentee. He had traveled for some weeks for a project and gotten back only few days back. He hadn’t even had the opportunity to sit down and talk with David.
He dismissed the gathering telling them that more information about his funeral would be communicated duly.
Pastor Moses stood, watching everyone leave. Bitter tears stung his eyes. He felt strongly in his spirit that David’s death had something to do with fornication. David has whispered a few words to him before he gave up the ghost and although, they were not very clear words, he had been able to put two together and got an idea of what had happened.
He had noticed David’s closeness with a new girl when he came back from his trip days back. He had watched them for a while and whenever he came close to the lady, he discerned that there was something unusual about her.
He had planned to call David to warn him about her but he was too late.
The girl carried a curse and David had been victim of it most likely because he had sexual relations with her.
David had been struggling with sexual sin for a while and had even made several mistakes in the past with ladies.
Pastor Moses remembered how David had shared his problem with him one morning when he came to visit him at his house.
He had admonished him to avoid having unnecessarily close relationships with ladies, pending when he would completely overcome the struggle. David adhered to his counsel and stayed away from love relationships with ladies even when it was obvious that he could have almost any lady he wanted in the fellowship.
Mary’s friend must have seduced him and since he wasn’t so strong he fell.
Pastor Moses wished that the young people he led would realize that sexual sin was deeper than they saw it. Apart from it being a sin, it’s a clear access for the devil. Every time they fell for it, they gave the devil legal access into their lives. David had fallen and unfortunately, he got involved with a very wrong person.
Pastor Moses nodded his head painfully as he walked out of the Chapel.
As days went by, Temi finally came around and she told Mary everything that had happened between her and David but to her surprise, Mary did not condemn or judge her like she expected. Instead Mary began to speak to her from scripture.
“Your life is worth more than this Temi. Jesus paid for your life with His blood and still you have not accepted Him into your life” Mary said as they walked to the tap to fetch water one evening.
“What else should I do? I follow you to church, isn’t that enough?” Temi asked.
“You have been to church with me several times but you have not accepted Jesus. I didn’t talk to you about it before because I didn’t want to scare you away. Temi, Jesus Christ loves you and He died for your sake. He died to redeem and deliver you from sin, death and eternal damnation but unless you willfully accept Him into your life, you can not have access to any of these things”
“How do I accept Him? What do I need to do?”
“All you need to do is believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord over your life. Renounce your loyalty to any other god and pledge your allegiance to Jesus Christ.” Mary said. They had gotten to the tap and thankfully, no one was there.
“Mary, I don’t know so much but I believe in what you believe. I see the peace you have and I want it too. But trust me, if Jesus knew half of the things I do and the thoughts in my heart, He wouldn’t want me to give Him my life. My life is a mess.” Temi said, looking down in pain.
Mary turned off the tap as their buckets were full. “It’s His job to fix that mess Temi. You can not fix everything broken in you by yourself and that’s why You need Him. If you believe in Him and surrender your life to Him, He will fix you, one crack at a time. He loves You, very much and He does not condemn You. The Bible teaches us in the Book of Romans chapter 10 verse 12 and 13 that faith eliminates the distinction between people, for Jesus is the same Lord for all. And He has enough treasures to lavish generously upon all who call on him. And it’s true: ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be rescued and experience new life’. Temi, if you believe and call upon Him, you will be saved.”
“I believe.” Temi said, tears rolling down her face. “I’ve done so many wrong and evil things but it’s not my fault, something always pushes me to do wrong even against my will. If accepting Jesus will take that thing away, then I’m ready to accept Him as my Lord.”
“Jesus will fix you. I’m glad you’re ready to accept Him and I’m honored to lead you to Him, just repeat these words after me, you can add your own words to it, just express everything you feel to Jesus, He’s listening to you.”
That evening, Mary led Temi to Jesus and they prayed together. Temi was full of joy, she excitedly listened as Mary told her more about God, Jesus, His death and even the Holy Spirit. Mary told her that the Holy Spirit could dwell in her and direct her. Temi was too excited to even have dinner, she went to bed smiling.
But her joy seemed short lived as she was attacked in her dream that same night. She woke up with a shout, someone was running after her in her dream and had almost caught up with her when she woke up.
“What is it?” Mary asked as she rushed to her bedside.
“I had a bad dream” Temi replied and began to cough. And that marked the beginning of another battle for Temi. She fell terribly sick and Mary became scared. She attempted taking her to the sickbay but Temi refused and begged her to call her mother instead.
Mary called her mother and the woman begged her to bring Temi home.
Temi’s hometown was far in the South, about 6 hours drive from school. Mary called the prayer secretary of the fellowship and informed him and he agreed to go with them.
So early, the next morning, they set out to Temi’s hometown. It was a Friday and Mary hoped to get back to school before the weekend was over.
The journey was long and uneventful. They got to Temi’s hometown after 7 hours. It was a small town with small houses. They got a cab and described Temi’s house to him. The Taxi was so old that it looked like it could fall apart any minute.
“Your money is 300 naira o” The cab driver said in a very thick Yoruba coated English.
“We’ll pay 200 naira please” Francis, the prayer secretary pleaded.
“Make una bring 250” The man switched to pidgin.
They agreed and got into the cab.
Temi’s mother was sitting outside the house, washing clothes when they arrived. The house was a little flat that looked like it was built centuries ago, but it was better than the surrounding houses which were all built with mud. Litters of papers were everywhere and little children ran about naked. A smell oozed out from a gutter nearby. Mary looked around and took everything in. She was becoming uncomfortable already but she couldn’t leave.
“Welcome my children” Temi’s mother shouted as she saw them drop from the taxi that brought them. Cleaning her hands on her wrapper, she ran towards them. She was a small woman that had a very striking resemblance with Temi. She was dark but very beautiful. She had two thick tribal marks running down each of her cheek.
“Thank you ma” Mary answered. She and Francis supported Temi as they climbed down from the Taxi.
On seeing her daughter, Temi’s mother began to wail. “You this child! I warned you o. I told you several times. Now see what you have done. You have given your father’s family a cause to laugh at me. After everything I suffered”
“Ma, how do you know what’s wrong with her?” Mary asked, surprised at the woman’s outburst.
“How won’t I know? Only one thing can cause this for Temi and it’s having sexual relationship with a man.”
“I don’t understand ma” Mary said looking confused. Her arms were beginning to hurt from supporting Temi’s weight. Seeing her distress, Temi’s mother came to help her.
“Let us go inside, I’ll explain”
They all walked inside the house, which was worse inside than it was, outside. The living room was very small with sparse furniture; an old wooden table, a big worn out cushion chair and two white plastic chairs. They laid Temi on the cushion chair and her mother went to sit beside her while Mary and Francis sat each on a plastic chair.
“Should I bring food for you? We have eba and ewedu soup” Temi’s mother said, trying to stand up.
“No, thank you ma” Mary answered almost immediately. She couldn’t imagine eating in a house like this.
“You said you know what Temi’s sickness is, please ma, share it with us” Mary said looking at Temi’s mother closely.
“She breeched an agreement and this is the repercussion” Temi’s mother said, looking down.
“Agreement? What agreement?” Francis asked, speaking up for the first time.
“Yes. The agreement she had with her husband. She was supposed to go to school and stay away from men but obviously, she didn’t”
“Husband?” Mary and Francis looked at each other stunned.
To be continued next week Friday…
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