HE CHOSE ME AND I’VE NEVER STOPPED LOVING HIM REVEREND RAY OKOCHA.
I grew up in a religious home like most homes are in Nigeria. My parents made sure we all went to church – the Roman Catholic Church. I was very devoted and committed to the church and her activities I even joined the Saint Jude’s Society at an early age. I went through the motions of religion not really knowing God or the reality of His word.
I believe my parents tried to raise us up the best way they knew. They had plans for me as the first child. I was to follow the path of the medical profession as they wanted me to study to become a medical doctor. This may have stemmed from the fact that my mum was a nurse.
As a young boy at this time, I did not know anything about God’s plan for me. I even thought that born again Christians or ‘SU’ (Scripture Union) as we called them, were weird people. My Dad had told us of stories of some of his classmates in the University who were born again and that these ones always failed in their academic works. We were all ignorant of the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
My parents relocated to the oil-rich city of Warri in Delta State, Nigeria. Thus I had to change schools and began to attend Urhobo College, Effurun, a school notorious for having tough and rascally students. In my second year in the school (I was in my fourth form at this time), I noticed a fellow classmate who fitted the description of these weird people – the SUs. He didn’t talk much with the rest of us but seemed a little put off with the way we did things.
We respected Brother Charles (that was his name) but we didn’t relate much to him. One day, Brother Charles invited me to a fellowship during the long break hour. I accepted his invitation and went to the meeting just to be courteous. In the meeting, he told us of his vision he had about the end time – specifically, the coming of the Lord. I wept throughout the message as it dawned on me that I was neither born again nor ready for the Lord’s return. At the end of the message, he gave an altar call for those who were not ready for the Lord’s return. I went out and said the prayers as directed. Suddenly, I felt a heavy load lift off my heart! Things were never going to be the same again.
I was born again; I had received eternal life and God had become my Father. This new relationship with God was far removed from religion. I knew I was a different person. I became very hungry for God’s word and wanted to spend time with Him. My parents began to notice a change in me. Although I was a ‘good boy’ at home before this time (good enough not to go to the drunkard’s hell on a banana peel😀), there was something different about me. I began to tell all my friends about my salvation story and invited them all to join me in this new-found life. As I continued in my Christian walk, I discovered that there was something more.
My new friends in fellowship were always talking about the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. Oh, how I wanted this spiritual experience! I bought books on the Holy Spirit and receiving the Holy Spirit. On a fateful day, while still in the secondary school, having been instructed to spend time fasting, I went with two friends to pray (they are both ministers of the gospel presently). They laid hands on me and I received the infilling of the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues.
Wow! It had finally happened! As I grew in the word, I was no longer satisfied with the spiritual nourishment I was receiving in my church. I stopped attending that church and this action started a ‘war’ at home. I graduated from the secondary school and immediately got admission into the University in November 1984. As I got into school, a classmate of mine who was a brother introduced me to the man of God, Pastor Chris.
The moment I shook hands with him, I knew I was connected to him. He looked like Jesus and everything about him fascinated me. I followed him to his room on campus. And I have been following him ever since…
• As a Team, today we invite you to join us as we celebrate this great general in the Army of the Lord. Reverend sir, we all love you dearly. We join the host of Heaven and the beloved Saints of the Loveworld nation to celebrate you. Happy birthday sir🎁🎉