52 ways cover stripWhen I saw my brother walk in through the entrance, I knew something had changed on the inside. Physically, he was lean but I could see a glow all over him. It was truly amazing. It reminded me of the scripture about ‘the light’ so shinning that men would see and glorify God.

Etteyen’s light so shone, I could jump and sing praises to God. It was tremendous. He had just gotten a job in Calabar, and moved over. It wasn’t a fantastic offer but he now saw me as his spiritual mentor and he wanted to be closer to me at the early stage of his spiritual growth. It humbled me a great deal and also challenged me to greater heights.

More than ever, the pressure was on me, for myself but more so for Etteyen, I needed to live right.

As though the devil just discovered that Jesus was the Son of God, my proof of faith came faster than I had envisaged. The first shot woke me up. Etteyen was asleep on the couch in the sitting room. I froze on my bed and listened for any movements. He had also heard. He tiptoed to my door and called quietly.

Another gunshot rent the quiet night air as I made to leave the bed. This time, I grabbed hold of Adaora and pushed her under the bed. She groaned and called my name.

“Sshh,” I whispered. Etteyen came in and crawled over to where we were.

“They are in the compound,” he whispered. “I counted four of them but there are others.”

There were eight apartments in our compound. Four twin flats, all bungalows. One like mine was one-bedroom while the others were two- three- and four-bedrooms. I heard someone scream as a third gunshot went, and then a horrid silence. I began to speak in tongues softly, in fear. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I had lived in this compound for over five years without incidence.

“Do you believe they will pass us?” I heard Etteyen ask as though from a distance.

His voice was bold and strange. Something like a car windscreen crashed, smashing the stillness. I burst into tears, sure it was my car. Where would I get the money to replace it? I thought, ‘That is my car. They will steal my car radio.’

“Keep your voice low,” I snapped at Etteyen, trembling, when I was actually just as guilty.

“They will not come here or destroy anything that belongs to us in Jesus’ name,” Etteyen said again, his voice even.

Then I understood. He was challenging God to help us. His eyes shone in the darkness. I shivered, not because I was cold or afraid. This was a test of my foundation. Someone started to bang on our door.

Etteyen said quietly, “We won’t open to them.”

“Better we open up than they break in.” My teeth vibrated as I spoke.

“Come here, little sister.” Etteyen reached for me and held me in his arms.

A male voice outside said, “They’re so scared, they can’t move their legs. Come and look at them.” Two men stood at our window and burst into laughter. Someone called out, “Let’s go.”

Suddenly there was no sound and no movements again. Someone outside shouted “They’ve gone.”

rose crop 2

My eyes had been tightly shut. It was when the person shouted again, I realized it was Etteyen. He’d left me and now stood in front of our flat. I pulled Adaora out from under the bed and tried to calm her. She had been awake the whole time, and sobbing softly. It was 3.30a.m.

At dawn, we discovered the thieves had visited every other flat except ours. Nothing that belonged to us had been touched. It was a major booster to Etteyen’s faith in God. And mine too.

Published as 52 Ways to Provoke God. Get your copy here