After Pastor Annie’s dramatic restoration, nothing could convince Pastor Kent he wasn’t in the middle of a bunch of diabolic believers. He struggled with whether to allow his family return to the Revive the World International Ministries Headquarters. Indeed, he wondered if it was the best thing to do for him to return as well.

But following the excessive wealth of opportunities and luxury his family had enjoyed, he doubted he could return to the life he once knew. A life of lack and penury. Ministry wasn’t meant to be on that extreme end. Neither should it relax on the other.

He sat with his wife in the small village house he built for his mother and pondered on his options. Coupled with the scandal surrounding his birth, he wanted to know who knew what. How come his secretary had the information of his paternity in her purse? What sort of man was Archbishop Nelson?

Judging by his mother’s account, she must have been sixteen or seventeen at the time of his birth, and his father would have been ten years older than her. Would he have followed through and married her if her mother hadn’t done the abominable disappearing act? Why didn’t he come back after many years?

Annie wrapped her arms around her mid-riff. “He did, obviously Kent. Just not for her. Secretly for you.”

Kent scratched his head. “Because he had a family already or what?”

She shrugged. “Look at the woman he married. You think it would have been safe to bring you to his home? Or acknowledge you, even from afar?”

“But why didn’t he show up for Mama? He could have visited her, brought gifts for me, reveal himself.”

“And how would that have looked? A pastor of a church coming to this village to visit his former lover and illegitimate child.” She shook her head. “I won’t advise it either.”

Kent tapped his foot on the cement floor as he did when in deep deliberation. “I guess you are right. He may have dreaded the confrontation or procrastinated it.”

Annie lowered her voice. “His wife. The woman. If you look in her eyes, you’re finished.” She shuddered. “I have never felt like that before. To see everything, hear everything.” She clasped her hand over her chest. “It was as if I was locked inside my body.”

Kent shut his eyes. In all his years of ministry, he had never experienced such too. He had conducted deliverance for people possessed, even people who claimed they were put under a spell by another person.

“I don’t think it is safe to return to that place. Next time it could be any of the children.” Kent opened his eyes. “And it may be worse.”

“She cannot kill all of us. She can’t harm us.” Annie could be stubborn in her faith. “And running will give her the audacity. We must take the battle to her. Back to her house.”

“Are trying to kill yourself or what?” Kent flew to his feet. “I can’t decide if you are to return with me. We could get a house here in Uyo. They don’t have a church here. We start one, and you live here with the children. You said so before that you hate the huge house on the—”

In a ridiculous turn of events, the man of God was now the one running, and his “jazzed” wife pulling him back and forcing him to be strong. It was purely suicidal. Right in the room, with my parents, cuddled beside my little sister, I pondered on their conversation. They assumed we children were all asleep but I hadn’t been able to. The same questions bothered me.

It would be easy and straight forward, to leave the massive camp, and the church in it for the late archbishop’s wife and her sons. But was this the will of God?

What would Jesus do?


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/ready-vicar-church-religion-faith-1153149/


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