1 Samuel 2:8 – “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.” (KJV)
As captured in the scripture above, this segment encapsulates the life-transforming encounters some of our church members have had with God. It chronicles incredible, jaw-dropping stories of how God changed seemingly hopeless situations from the back side to the front side. What’s your story?
I lost my mother quite early and I was molested by my 12-year-old step brother when I was only about 8 years old. Consequently, I was left with an insatiable urge for sex. This urge grew with me as I matured in age and this made me go wild with sex. I started out with lesbianism at about age 12 but I wanted more – so I went for the opposite sex.
I would entice and seduce any man I wanted. I would sleep with anyone, regardless of age and status. At 15, I had slept with over 20 men. My target were my teachers and different men along with their siblings etc. I became a sex addict and had sex every day of the week apart from Sundays. Meanwhile, I was very involved in church and sang in the choir. I practically lived a fake life, deceiving people by my simple ‘SU’ dressing.
One day, I decided to seduce a Pastor, whom I deceived into thinking I needed a counseling session. At the point of leaving, I hugged him tightly, and when I decided to advance my seduction with him, I heard a voice that warned that if I did it, I will regret this all the days of my life.
Much later, when I came to The King’s Heritage, I saw lots of very cute guys. I spoke with Pastor and for the first time, I was real and open with him. From day one, I wanted him to accept me for all I was, I didn’t want to pretend anymore. He said to me:
“Ife, you are no longer who you used to be, you have been redeemed”.
He blessed me and I walked out of his office that day, feeling free.
Today, by God’s special grace, I am in perfect control of my hormones and relate with the opposite sex freely unlike before, Glory to God!
I was addicted to smoking cannabis. The addiction started when was in Delta state where my father sent me to school, since my step mother branded stubborn and hard to deal with. Even though she maltreated me severely, my father was blind to that. My closest friend in Delta was very supportive of me and helped me settle in properly.
Along the line, she confessed to having marine spirits and often warned me of others that might want to harm me, but in a twist of fate, I soon began to experience heavy oppressions at night, like a heavy weight placed over me as I slept. This continued for months, I was always sad when night drew near.
My uncle advised that the only way to keep them away would be by smoking cannabis, as they could not stand the smell. So I started using it, and gradually became an addict. Although I seemed to sleep through the night, I woke up with severe wounds and scratches all over my body – it truly never stopped.
Years later, I returned to Lagos and I would live in a ghetto named Idi-agbon and from morning till evening, I would smoke cannabis. I had no real job and so the ghetto became my daily hang-out destination. From being a regular smoker, I quickly graduated to wrapping and selling the substance to other people within the community. Everyone knew me for this.
One fateful day, The King’s Heritage Church came by to the ghetto to organise a massive evangelism invasion in form of a gig. I remember, specifically, the engaging activities of the day. I watched as a number of people turned their lives over to Christ that day. Pastor himself spoke to me and told me about living a clean life but I deliberately turned deaf ears and puffed away as the programme went on, I was defiant. Although I promised I would come to church just to get these people off my back, I knew that was far from the truth.
For me, life continued after the crusade and it was business as usual. My sale of cannabis continued, so did my rough life. A few weeks after, I began to experience some unusual but serious discomfort in my body, I was falling sick every now and then. It was like my body was literally shutting down. About that same time, a group of guys who ordered some cannabis of about N25,000 began to search for me, following the fact that I couldn’t deliver their supply as at when due. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t and still cannot explain what happened to the N25,000 they gave me. Everything began to look scary and ugly. At some point I had to steal my sister’s laptop to make up for their money, but that didn’t suffice. I knew I wasn’t safe anymore around the ghetto. I had to find my way out of there.
There was nowhere to run or hide – the only place that kept coming to me was to go to the same church I had refused to go a few weeks back. So, I traced the church address and although I couldn’t meet with any pastor that evening. One of the church members I met accommodated me in his apartment for the night. The next day, I met with the senior Pastor who prayed for me and led me to Christ. For the first time in years, I felt some absolute peace in my heart.
Pastor assured me that I was saved and now safe. He also advised that when the urge to smoke comes, I should take a lot of water.
It’s been several weeks since I took refuge in Christ and I can testify boldly that my life is completely turned around and I am now a drug-free, brand new person in Christ. Glory to God.
My three siblings and I grew up in a very healthy and rich family. We had all we could have wished for. My parents were very supportive until my dad lost his job and sold all we had – including the house we lived in. Instantly, we went from being very rich to being poor.
My parents later moved to our home town due to the apparent financial challenges we had but I decided to stay back in Lagos to become something. I started to live with my aunt who showed me love for the first three months, after which she totally abandoned me – no food, no money and no school. No care from her at all.
Later on, she sent me out of her home. I was left to sleep and fend for myself on the streets of Lagos. I later decided to join people who hawk in traffic. I sold rat killer and a few other things just to be able to feed myself.
On the streets, I met seemingly caring friends who took me in to stay at their rented apartment. They would usually go out late at night till the next morning, leaving just me in the house. During this time, I gathered some money from my ‘little business venture’ to sit for WAEC.
Meanwhile, there were series of armed robbery cases often being reported in the neighborhood but I never knew the perpetrators were my roommates. One day, the police came around and arrested everyone found in the room.
For nine months, I was locked away in the prison, without being checked on by any relative. At this time, I was 14 years old. Regardless of the pathetic condition of the prison cell, I kept on praying throughout and God eventually intervened.
The DPO sent for me, and for the first time, he listened to my story which he, miraculously, believed and asked that I be released immediately. I was free but I was psychologically bound. I couldn’t relate well with people and so I didn’t speak much. I often kept to myself.
After my release, I roamed the streets for about three years until someone gave me a flier to Discovery for Youths Conference with a promise that I would gain something by attending. I attended and was highly overwhelmed. From there, I attended the High Impact Summer Camp organized by The King’s Heritage. This further transformed my life tremendously.
When I came out of prison, I discovered I made all of my papers which I sat for before I went to prison.
Today, to the glory of God, I have put my past behind me and I am living a brand new life in Christ. I now have a decent accommodation and I am preparing to go back to school. Praise God.
It all started when I was about 5. I had just returned from school when an older neighbor invited some children, including myself, over to his room and we naively followed. He gave the other kids N5 each and asked them to leave. I asked for mine and he replied it was special. He locked the door and threw me on the bed.
He caressed every part of my body, removed my undies and tried to force himself inside me. The more I struggled with him, the weaker I became. After several attempts to no avail, he said “you are too tight sef” and hissed disappointedly. He threw me down from the bed, asked me to put on my undies and sent me out of his room without giving me the 5naira that took me to his place.
I could not relate the event to anyone, not even my parents. That day marked the beginning of my sexual urge. He had awaken a part of me that I never knew existed.
As I grew older, I craved attention from the opposite sex and more of what he exposed me to which led me to masturbation at a very early age. I would secretly hide myself in the bathroom and fondle myself. Relationship was the only way to completely satisfy this innate sexual urge. I dated a couple of guys, had sex with all and broke up with them. I was void.
I cried several times and asked God for mercy but I always found myself in the same act after a few days. I didn’t know what I wanted – even the sex and masturbation could not fill the vacuum. This continued till I got pregnant.
I was at a dilemma. A part of me wanted to keep the pregnancy, but the other part asked many questions… What would my mom say? What would my dad say? Haven’t I let my family down?
I could not bring myself to face my dad nor my mom – she would kill herself! I could imagine what would happen when I break the news to them. Abortion! That was the only way out. I discussed with the guy responsible and he agreed.
He took me to where it would be carried out. He made the payment. I was ushered into the room like a lamb to the slaughter. The sight of other young girls in pain after the experience further compounded my fears. I almost discontinued but the thought of my parents crossed my mind and I cried.
The doctor and nurses were mean. They spoke unruly to every girl that was present.
“Who send you message?” “Na we say make you carry belle?” These were the words of the nurses.
The doctor walked up to me with all his weapons-of-unborn-child-destruction. I almost passed out at the sight of them. Hot tears ran down my cheeks as I laid on the bed. He inserted an object inside me and extracted every fabric from my womb. The pain was excruciating.
I screamed. He pulled. I cried. He pulled.
Few minutes later, he was done and asked me to leave. I was terribly weak when I got home and slept the rest of the day. I felt worthless and insignificant afterwards. I felt I was the worse sinner ever. I felt unworthy to be in God’s presence and intentionally stayed away from church. I felt a sense of guilt and condemnation. So much so that I stayed away from every church activities. It was the worst period of my life. The devil messed my mind and I contemplated suicide a few times.
God began his ‘surgical operation’ on me when I Joined The King’s Heritage. I began to see myself in the light of His word. I’m not completely messed up. I collected one of pastor’s message “Damaged but chosen” which transformed my life completely. I began to see myself not as a mess but a message to lives. Not as the broken but the master at mending.
My life is radically transformed and now I can square my shoulders and boldly say that God loves me regardless of my past mistakes. I’m still work-in-progress. I’m not where I want to be but I’m not where I used to be. All thanks to God.
I am the first daughter and only girl in a family of 5. My parents were in a troubled marriage and things weren’t smooth with them. I had to take care of my siblings from age 8. My father wasn’t understanding and not as caring. He would leave only about N500 for me and my siblings to feed for the entire day.
One day, my brother was so hungry that he cried out so loud that my neighbour, who was an usher at a nearby church, came by and promised to give him food if I would come to his apartment. I, innocently, went over but noticed he locked the door behind me as soon as I entered.
He asked me to remove my clothes. I didn’t understand and kept pointing to my brother who needed food very badly, but he didn’t care. So I took off my clothes and he threw me to the floor. He tried to force himself inside me but after trying unsuccessfully, he decided to get some cream from the inner room.
I seized this golden opportunity to jump up, opened the door and ran out, leaving my brother back in his room. Another female neighbour later went to get my brother from his room. I couldn’t tell anyone, other than my friend whom I told that my neighbour kissed me. She later told her mother, who then told my mother.
Consequently, a meeting was called and he came. They asked if he indeed kissed me, and he said yes, and all they did was tap his head, for what he did. At that point, everything left me, my pride, dignity etc. I was filled with so much hatred and rage.
Over time, my parents separated so I became fully involved in taking care of the home. My father seem to be getting hostile with me by the day. He would treat me badly and accuse me of following in my mother’s footsteps. One day, he sent me out of the house at night, not caring what would happen to me as a girl.
The next morning, I went back to the house but he asked me to get out. He rained curses and abuses on me. I begged him to allow me take my bath, at least, but he came over to the kitchen where I was with a curtain pole and a wooden board to hit me. I had to crawl out from under his attack and fled.
To cut the long story short, when I stepped into the The King’s Heritage church, my life took a turn for the best with the warm atmosphere, love, care, support and the undiluted word of God being preached here.
Today, I am a brand new being in Christ. I no longer feel any form of insecurity or inferiority complex which emanated as a result of my father’s animosity towards me. I am emotionally and mentally healed. I give all the glory to God!
I LOST EVERYTHING BUT GOD RESTORD ME
I was born in Kwara state. My parents were separated when I was about 13 years old and so I was made to live with my father who had several wives and several children. He didn’t care about education.
All the children were made to work hard, day and night, on his farm. Any child, like me, who didn’t have his/her mother around needed to work harder than the other children to find favour with our father. He was a very strict man. I desired to go to school like any normal child and so I woke up as early as 3am every day to work hard on the farm. When he eventually sent me to school, he made me wake up as early as 3am each day to work at his farm before I went to school, which he allowed only thrice a week.
With my uncaring father and distant mother, I was practically an orphan. Life was so hard but I knew I had to keep going. At some point, my father began to molest me. He would threaten me not to tell anyone. This continued for some time. One day I decided I could not take his abuses anymore, so with the help of my grandmother, I left for Lagos in search of my mother.
Although my mother was indifferent about my coming, I was happy I was in Lagos. We lived in a small room at Mushin with her three other children from three different men. I started hawking soft drinks at Idumota in Lagos Island. I would trek miles with about seven crates and ice on my head. I had the stamina and energy; after all, I could work for long hours tilling hard soil for my father in Kwara state. Soon enough, my mother insisted I joined her business if we must make more money, as the soft drink business was no longer sustaining us. She was working as a prostitute! But I refused to join her.
Later on, I got a shop attendant job with a lace dealer at Idumota. I was so efficient and trustworthy, she entrusted large sums of money in my care. We simply had a good relationship until one day when some men came to the shop to ask for her. They wanted her to clear her goods that had just arrived.
My boss never informed me of any goods but they were so convincing. They called someone on the phone that sounded like my boss, but I wasn’t convinced so I decided to go with them to see the goods. Eventually, we came to a very remote area at Ojuelegba where I met another man who told me a lot about my life story – from Kwara to Lagos. They showed me a liquid that could change paper into money. But they said if I wanted to be rich and end my life struggles, I must give them the money with me (N700, 000) which I did. As part of the requirements to be rich, the men asked me to trek to Agege to get some sand from a T-junction and take it to a man at Abeokuta.
Although it was a hot day, I walked all the way to get the sand. I was so exhausted and thirsty when I got on the bus to Abeokuta. When I got there, there was no man to give the sand to and it dawned on me that I had been duped. I wept uncontrollably, clinging to the bag of sand I had got. Later on, a pastor saw me and after narrating my ordeal, he confirmed I had, in deed, been duped.
Back in Lagos, my mother had been arrested by my boss. When I returned home, I was immediately arrested and awaited trial for 3 months. At some point, I went without food for days and one of the prison workers offered to give me food to sustain me, but at a cost. I would have to sleep with him. I knew I had no choice, so I agreed. This went on for several nights in exchange for bread and egg. Eventually, I was sent to Kirikiri maximum prison, with hard labour, for 9 torturous months. No one came to visit, not even my mother. I was hopeless. At this time, I was just nineteen.
After about 9 months in jail, I had a retrial due to my age and was immediately released into a rehabilitation centre for another 4 months. I was isolated and was not allowed to mix with other children due to my offense. By this time, I was really determined to go to school and spoke with visiting Christians that came to the centre. Someone at the rehab decided to take me into her home. She sent me to a very good school where I prepared for my WAEC and passed. Just when I was arranging for my admission, my host parents accused me of stealing their money and being a witch. Because of this, I was sent away.
I had nowhere else to go, other than my mother’s place. By now, she had moved house and was nursing her 4th child. Because she insisted I follow her into prostitution coupled with her verbal and physical abuse, I knew I couldn’t live with her. Her situation became quite worrisome – she sent out her other children to be domestic helps for people and collected money for their services. I didn’t have a place to go, but I had to leave. I was lucky to find help again as someone from the church I attended took me in and I became a part of his family. Later on, there was another case of missing money in the house and they insisted on meeting my mother but I refused because I didn’t want to be identified with her. They insisted and I yielded. But after she came and the scene she created, I had to leave and went back to stay with her. By this time, she had started drinking.
Prior to this time, I had encountered someone who invited me for Xtreme Youths meeting (a youth ministry at The King’s Heritage). The person who invited me assured me that I would feel a sense of belonging and love. At Xtreme Youth and The King’s Heritage, I found perfect acceptance and I quickly made friends who became my family. They took me in and we share everything together.
Once here, I have been able to pick my life pieces together. I have found my identity. I am still work-in-progress. I know who I am and I am moving towards God’s ordained destiny for my life. By the special grace of God, I just secured admission into a higher institution. Praise God!
I came from a poor family and grew up in a morally degenerated environment which influenced me negatively and birthed in me the desire to be powerful. I joined a cult group called supreme Vikings. I was taken to the Iceland on the day of initiation, called ICC day, where all kinds of unimaginable things and rituals were performed on me. My left thumb was punctured and my blood mixed with a concoction which I was then asked to drink and swear an oath. Instantly, a spirit came upon me and eyes were bloodshot. The aura and atmosphere around me changed from that moment. I became fearsome. I was enraged and unruly each time my mom quizzed about my demeanor.
I left the house and didn’t return home for many years. I swore to be a cultist till I dropped dead. I anticipated gaining admission into the university and joining a more powerful group in school. I anticipated the chaos, conflicts and battles with other cult groups.
I enrolled for JAMB and, unfortunately, I was not admitted but I ‘resumed’ school at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture anyway. I joined another group of my cult in school and was staying on campus even though I was not a student. I was very young but I was feared and revered. We tormented, terrorized, robbed and committed all kinds of atrocities on campus.
There was no relative nor friends to fund my education but I was determined to go to school at all cost. I enrolled for JAMB and post-UTME a second time but was denied admission again which further compounded my rage for the school and I vowed to make the school unbearable for everyone. I unleashed my anger on anyone who crossed my path.
As the ADC 1 at the time, I was always behind the executioner. We clashed with another group, there were exchange of bullets. Some innocent students lost their lives in the process and I was happy. We became wanted dead or alive and we had to abscond from the school and relocated to Lagos. All these happened when I was sixteen years old.
I passed the night on every corner of the streets. Our identification is the same everywhere so it was easy to detect I was a ‘frat’ – another name for a cultist. But I turned down an opportunity to join another fraternity. Although I was willing to pay the price for not belonging anymore but fear and trepidation of being killed enveloped me. I threaded with extreme care and caution which eventually did not prevent me from being attacked by the ‘frats’ in Lagos. I was beaten blue black.
I was broken and shattered inside but put up an unperturbed appearance. I sought answers to the misery and emptiness that had engulfed my entire being. I sought for freedom. I sought for love. The type that transcends the natural – the type I never experienced all my life.
So it was that on this faithful day, I was alone lost in thought when a young man approached me and said “My friend, how are you?” The word “friend” melted the burden I carried and the heaviness I carried disappeared. He ministered Jesus to me and for the first time in my life I became sober. His words pierced my heart and broke me to pieces. I made a decision to turn a new leaf and follow Christ come what may.
That was the turning point in my life. I asked God for an encounter and he showed himself strong. I got a job immediately and I was able to get an apartment. I then asked God to order my steps to a church where I could be groomed and grow in the knowledge of His word and He divinely ordered me to The king’s Heritage. My life has taken a tremendous turn-around ever since I started worshipping here. I have found a purpose for my life and I have decided to go back to school but this time, as a student and a minister of reconciliation.