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Rated: E · Novel · Religious · #1594803
A group of men seek to save souls in a 'jungle'
The missionaries - the zeal for God’s work sends a group on a mission, to save souls in a jungle!

the Missionaries



A  JUNGLE!    (Part 1)

It is Sunday, and a breezy morning at an apartment in Bay City land where the four disciples prepare to meet their leader, Pastor Fred Awana, a fellow of the Faith. Thomas Goka, Andrews Annan, Liberty Arka and Dennis Rana have just awoken from their double-decker beds in this quite ok place; not really large but enough for them to freely move about; the City’s Apartment, located at the 5th Street; an area of middle-class households, clean environment, and friendly people. Thomas, the eldest of the group, 38 years of age, bows the head for a prayer. The others act accordingly and after some few minutes of silent speaking, they all respond ‘amen’ and then depart the room but not after arranging their beds.

“Ah, how was your sleep?” Thomas heartily intones to the brother standing next to him at the bath, Liberty. “Fine, he responds likewise and adds; just that I felt a little uncomfortable sleeping on the top bed.”

“And why was that? You are scared of heights?”

“No, is that it’s my first time since I returned from the village.”

“Oh, I see, yeah, that’s true. I thought I felt likewise- falling off at one time.”

“Ha, ha, then we better get used to it now.”

“Yes, we can only be grateful to God and pastor for getting us up here.”

“Yes, for that I agree with you.”

“Hey brothers, what are we taking for breakfast today?” Dennis, the youngest and only foreigner amongst them asks, suddenly interrupting the two in his anglo-lucophonian accent. “Bread and tea as usual.” Thomas says wiping the face with a towel. “Bread? Did you say pan? No, but there is no bread here…

“What, you took it all?” Liberty asks sounding quite humorous. Thomas turns, giving him a sharp serious look. He laughs and confesses sorry, quite humorous as well. Dennis is not upset for so he seems. He smiles and pats his shoulder and then leaves the room. A minute after he is left and Liberty receives a scolding: “…yes, but I said I was sorry!”

“…After you hurt his feelings!”

“I just don’t understand you…why you sometimes drag things this way…I was just joking…

“Yeah, just joking…but listen, Dennis isn’t some kind of kid you can just toss about…

“Alright… All right… echoes from a far as their argument exceeds the boundaries set for the brothers to follow. Breakfast is ready.” Adds the voice then walks away.

Five minutes later, the dinning room is set, ready to breakfast. The brothers give thanks led by Thomas and afterwards, begin to break bread. Today’s table appears special for aside from the usual bread and tea, there is the sight of something ‘heavy-like’, Beef lying in a colourless glass bowl, cut into chunks facing the eyes that curiously stare within. Beef? Inquire the brothers, each from his neighbour. “Ah, I knew it! It is Pastor! Pastor Awana is here!”  Liberty exclaims looking down a piece of paper in hand. “What, but, he is…isn’t he supposed to be at church; preparing to conduct service?” One brother asks, Andrews, as he strolls towards the two. “Yes, but he says here: Hello, brothers, I just remembered I haven’t taken anything since I returned from my trip abroad so can I share breakfast with you? Well, yes or no, I am coming. However, please do not hesitate to start. Bye and God bless. Bro. Awana

The brothers conclude the note in one voice then immediately explode into fits of excitement; screaming joyously at one another as if they had just heard an angle speak to them. Indeed, they ought to be happy for Pastor Awana’s trip had been long talked of. Who was going to be the chosen one to embark on such a trip: to go venture into a place of little light… a village whose roots are grounded in Voodoo worship? Who, but their own Pastor Awana could return to meet them in a good whole piece.

“So Pastor, how is the place? How was it? How did they receive you?” Dennis inquires, his tone restless with curiosity. “Fine, very well.” Pastor Awana replies with a smile slowly nodding the head to signify the truth of his statement. “Well, thank God!” Dennis remarks, sounding relieved. “You know, our God does work in many wonderful ways.”

“Amen”, the brothers jointly respond. “I arrived in Bero, the capital not knowing exactly where and who I was going to ask directions from. Nevertheless, see what God did: He had already placed in my convenience a friend, a fellow of the Faith; one Pastor Peace Kayode, a Nigerian who saw me wandering about at the airport and offered to help. “So, you lived with him? Not in the village?” Liberty asks.

“Well, you can say so. I actually did go to the village, preach to the people, healed some of them but did not spend more than two nights there.”

“Ah, then you were lucky!” Dennis exclaims suddenly, causing all there to panic. “Ah, Brother Dennis, lucky you say?” Thomas remarks surprised at what he has just heard him say. “Yes, I was, because the place was full of mosquitoes and I had no mosquito net to keep me completely covered. For the two nights that I spent in Ciba town, I prayed and fasted before the evenings came. I constantly asked God to fight those tiny but piercing creatures on my behalf. Moreover, he did. So I was lucky.” Pastor Awana concludes with a full smile and then continue to breakfast. After the meal, the brothers clear the table and the plates at the little kitchen within the house. Now, it is time for their meeting with their Pastor for he promised to speak to them after breakfast on a matter that neither of the four knows of.  However, there are guesses; guesses based on speculations that his trip to Ciba was illegal. That the head pastor, Timothy Ampah did not agree on his decision to open a branch of the church in Ciba. “So, would he be fired?” Liberty asks as they walk on through the entrance heading the ‘Grand Hall’, a large open outside their residence, quite close by. “I don’t know.”

“We all don’t know.” Brother Andrews quickly interrupts Thomas saying. “But, I believe, nothing would happen to him. I really feel it here in my heart.” Dennis says in a soft, contemplating tone, pressing the chest with his right fist. He walks behind the three and has his head slightly bent, the arms folded before him. He appears disturbed as if something bothered him. However, that is his nature, whenever there seem to be something wrong somewhere. Some minutes later, the brothers arrive at the site and there sitting waiting are two men, one whom they readily recognize as their Pastor Awana and the other whom they do not seem to know. “Ah, here they come.” Pastor Awana says as his eyes meet the four men walking through the long stretch of cemented paths that leads to the seat before them. The man besides him turns the head to see them then softly smiles. “So, Brother Kayode, these are my sons; this is Thomas; Thomas Arka, then is Dennis Rana, the youngest and there is Liberty and then the last but not the least being Brother Andrews Annan. “Nice to meet you…nice to meet you…” The man in blue shirt says rising to greet them. They respond with full smiles when they realize that he had been the Brother Kayode who had hosted their pastor back in Ciba, New Guinea. Then after some little talk with the ‘Saviour’, they move into seriousness. “Now, the reason why I desire to see you: Ah, Brothers, as we all know, the work of God CANNOT and MUST NOT be hindered. I told you of how I met our good Brother here, and now what I am about to tell you is even more special. He, Brother Kayode is a pastor. In fact, he is the overseer of the Weapons of the Cross Chapel in Kano State, Nigeria and he, after telling him my story, has decided to help us in the opening of a branch of the church in New Guinea.  New Guinea? The obvious look on the faces of the four tells it all. “But, how? Brother Liberty asks sounding loud from anxiety. The church would not agree…even the head pastor is against it…”

“I know. However, that is why we need to be united, to be focused on achieving our aim of sending God’s word to  those in the jungle. “Amen!” Pastor Kayode strongly remarks and begins with his speech. “Yes, brothers, just as Pastor Awana has said, the word of God must be preached everywhere as the Bible rightfully quotes; ‘even to the ends of the earth’. Therefore, as for those who would stand in our way, we can only pray that God would make them understand that our zeal is for Him alone and not for having unnecessary arguments with others. Therefore, Pastor Awana and I have decided to merge; to be together as one body with the aim of taking God’s word to New Guinea.”

“Yes, in deed, this is what our meeting is all about; I…have decided to take a new route. I quit from my position as assistant pastor of Glorious Jesus Congregation Chapel.”

“What? Pastor, but you…you can’t just quit? At least you should give Pastor Ambah some time…yes, time would solve matters…” Brother Thomas exclaims rising suddenly to his feet, with a pleading look he stares into the face of his beloved pastor. The other brothers do likewise, all petitioning for their pastor’s understanding. “…I have heard all of you and I understand that it is a hard decision I have just taken. However, I want you all to know that it wasn’t something of mere human reasoning but of divine influence.” Pastor Awana says, quietly clears the throat and begins. “I have been having dreams these days, dreams that could only be from God, dreams of I walking in an unknown land, a desert, preaching to people…people of very low esteem, some of whom looked scarcely covered…and this I can only interpret as the people of the jungle…of the town of Ciba, New Guinea.” Pastor Awana concludes in a firm tone, confident of what he has just said.

That evening as the brothers go to bed; so, is our church actually going to be torn apart? Thomas wonders lying in bed above Brother Dennis. He keeps his eyes open as in thought and does not respond ‘Amen’ as the brothers do so. “Amen”, Dennis softly says to him, standing beside his bed. “Ah, amen, Brother Dennis. I’m sorry…I did not hear you.” Thomas says sounding apologetic. “Oh, no, it’s ok. I just do not like you thinking so much. You understand what I mean don’t you?” He asks in a voice slightly filled with humour. “Yes, I understand.” Thomas smiles saying. “Alright, then, good night.” Brother Dennis says after giving him a playful tap on the shoulder and turns to go. “Alright, same to you, good dreaming.” Thomas says and lies back in bed. Meanwhile, in the head pastor’s quarters beside the church, two men are having a discussion, the head pastor, Pastor Ampah and his assistant, Pastor Awana. They both speak undertone although their faces tell differently on the subject under discussion. “…So, why not tomorrow? Why didn’t you wait for the morning to come so you could tell the whole world…announce to everyone your zeal for God’s work in New Guinea.”

“Because, I don’t wish to create confusion amongst the brethren…

“Aha, that’s it! Because you ARE WRONG and this you simply don’t want to accept!” Pastor Ampah intones in a furious tone sparking up the quite serene room. “No, I am not. I am sorry if I may sound disrespectful but pastor, I am afraid that you are the one in the wrong. That is why you cannot and do not want anyone near Ciba. You are afraid because you lack faith; because you probably doubt the fact that God can protect his children even if they are in the jungle.”

“Ha, ha, you, talking to me about fear? Ha, ha, ha, listen to this…newly found faith- boy preaching to me on faith. What did you do when your wife died? Did you not drink, getting yourself soaked up in liquor just as any unbeliever would have done?”

“Timo, please leave my WIFE out of this! She died a death which I could not accept!” Pastor Awana thunders, awakening the night. “Shh, there is no need for that Pastor Awana, the night has just begun.” Pastor Ampah softly says, and then pats his shoulder, more like a friendly one, and turns to go. “So, I have made my decision. I am quitting sir. I hope you understand.” Pastor Awana says all of a sudden making him stop at the entrance. He does not say a word or look back he continues through the door after a peculiar grunt, indicating his approval or otherwise. Pastor Awana still stands five minutes after he is gone, unable to move due to the numbness in his feet. He however manages to move after trying some painful steps, which get him closer to the sofa behind him into which he sinks. Now, his problem has been solved. He can now go and spread the message to the people of Ciba without interference from anyone. Yet, he would need to say good-bye; at least to his sons for they alone could understand his zeal for God’s work. Subsequently, he rises and departs the room to the Brothers’ place.          

“Lord, do something…do something…do something…in Jesus’ name, Amen”, a solemn voice has just ended a prayer that others are yet to begin. The Brothers’ apartment is now an abode of solemn tones, all asking for one thing; that Pastor Awana stays…that the Head Pastor understands…that the church moves on undivided and that the dream of extending the church to New Guinea remains a dream- for the sake of peace. Some minutes later, Pastor Awana arrives at the apartment but does not or better said cannot go inside because the door is obviously under lock; a few minutes to midnight would leave no door otherwise. Therefore, he bends to reach his target, the front door, to place beneath it the white envelope in hand. He is successful, it fits perfectly; no wind can blow it off and none would recognize it except for those within, when they awake tomorrow morning. Then, after a glance of the area, he walks away, going to his home, to pack and depart early the next morning. The hour is six, the day, Monday, and it is morning. The Brothers awake, one by one, rubbing eyes and letting out air from their mouths, they yawn. It seems they have had a good night’s sleep for it tells from the freshness on their faces. They appear ‘ok’, probably forgotten all about the events of the previous night. However, not for everyone…  “Pastor!” Brother Dennis suddenly exclaims jerking out of his bed, almost falling off it! “Dennis, Brother, are you ok?” Thomas quickly inquires rushing to his side. “Yes, yes, I am”, Dennis, says yet not sounding so convincing. He appears worried for so it tells his face. “Dennis, is there a problem? A bad dream perhaps?” Thomas asks assisting him to get down the lower bed. “Yes, I …I think I dreamt…yes I …I did dream…I dreamt that Pastor was gone! Pastor Awana is gone!” He exclaims and abruptly rushes out of the room, in his pyjamas racing for the entrance. “Dennis! Dennis!” The shouts fully awaken the drowsy fellows; Andrews and Liberty who half-consciously descend their beds to follow in the chase. “Pastor…Father…wait!” A cry resounds in the hall and then it stops, abruptly. “What is it?” Thomas asks stopping behind the man on the floor, Dennis, squatting before the front door. In his hand is a paper, the envelope that Pastor Awana had left beneath the door the night before. “What is it Dennis?” Thomas asks the second time going down on his knees beside him. “It’s an envelope”, he asks trying to open it. “What is it?!” The others appearing there all of a sudden ask. “An envelope”, Thomas responds his eyes fixed on what Dennis is doing. “Ah, it is a letter! A letter from Pastor!” Dennis exclaims on reading the first line of it. The others join him and subsequently, all four begin to read: Dear Brothers, it is me, your own Pastor Awana. I was here yester night but of course, I couldn’t see you because you know why; you were all asleep! Anyway, as you already know I took a decision and my decision is to set up a congregation in you already know where, Ciba. I know you may disagree with me for several reasons unknown or ignored by me but, believe me, this is what God wants; that we spread his word across the globe, to the ends of the world. Well, by the time you receive this letter, I may be on my way leaving the shores… “Ah! Pastor!” Brother Dennis exclaims and abruptly the letter falls from the hand onto the floor. He runs out of the place just as a hare in a race will do heading for the dormitory. “Oh, no, Pastor is gone…” Brother Thomas says, holding the head in his right palm and abruptly slips onto the floor and then begins to shed some silent tears. The others have now left; Brothers Andrews and Liberty, all for the purpose of going after Pastor Awana.

Fifteen minutes later and Dennis is at his Pastor’s place. He comes running into the open house, open because the door stands ajar, something unusual but Dennis takes no notice of this for he can’t see. He begins to call out his Pastor’s name as he inspects the rooms, three in number; the kitchen, the bedroom and the living room yet sees no one, not even a piece of article that would suggest that Pastor Awana is at home. So, he is gone? He left. Dennis muses then slowly collapses into the sofa behind him. He begins to sob silently yet, he cannot hold it in, and he bursts into a fearful, sudden cry that alerts the men close by. “Dennis! What is wrong? What happened? Why are you in tears?” Liberty asks, rushing in with Andrews. He does not answer. He sobs uncontrollably just like a baby. “It is Pastor Awana. He left…left though we needed him to stay. He left.” Andrews says in a tone suggesting a bit of contempt. “No, Andrews, you don’t have to say that. He left because he had to not because he does not care. How could you say something like that knowing well the kind of person that Pastor is?” Liberty says confidently to Pastor Awana’s defence. “Yes, a man who listens solely to himself. Ciba is hell and New Guinea is its mother. How could anyone in the right sense risk his life just for a bunch of animals?”

“Andrews, they are humans; even if you don’t think them as so. They are and God loves them…

“Then, why don’t you go along with him? Why didn’t you join him in this glorious, spirit-divined trip? Why? Why are you still here?”

“Because, he couldn’t make it today; because he decided to stay- for today.”  A voice sounding exactly as Pastor Awana’s suddenly fills the air interrupting them. “Pastor?!” Liberty asks aloud and at once rushes out of the place. “Yes, it is me your Pastor Awana.” The voice sounds coming with a face this time around. “Oh, Pastor, it is you!” Liberty screams rushing to meet him at the door. They hug, Liberty holding on tightly to him just the way a baby clenches to its mother’s teat. “Father, I miss you.” He says solemnly, his tone half-filled with sorrow. “I know son and I’m sorry I chose to leave this way without saying a proper good bye…”

“Pastor! Father!” The jubilant cry of the weeping Dennis abruptly parts the two. “Dennis, my son, come.” Pastor Awana says beckoning with the hand. He obeys and immediately they clasp.

In the evening after the Brothers have taken supper, there is a meeting with Pastor Awana at his place. “Please, come in I have been expecting you soon.” Pastor Awana says ushering in the four and then closes the door after all have entered. “Good evening to everybody. I hope all is fine and thank you for responding positively to my request.” He says with a smile. “We did so because we had no choice.” Brother Andrews says quite tenderly but to the hearing of all there. Immediately, faces turn to look into his. Yet, he does not blink. He does not need to for he has said his mind, so he believes. The silence caused by that remark is now gone as Pastor Awana cuts in with a joke. “Well, it’s true you had no choice for what choice could a bunch of little boys have than to run up to their father for a pack of toffee?” He says and chuckles, solely. “You didn’t like my joke, did you?” He asks friendly not looking into their faces. “No, it’s nothing like that Pastor…

“It’s just that we want to hear you talk; we know you called us here to tell us something we do not already know.” Thomas says interrupting the fellow, Dennis. “Yes, I called you here not to recount to you a joke, or to condemn anyone for the way he feels towards me; because I left without a proper goodbye to you. The list of my faults may be long but I chose to stay for today so I could meet you all to bid you a proper good bye.” He concludes. “But, Pastor, can I say something please?” Dennis asks calmly. “Yes, son, you may go on.” Pastor Awana says, drawing his attention onto his beloved. “Pastor, may I go with you?” He asks with his eyes, looking pleadingly into his. Pastor Awana smiles gently and says. “Son that is something we have already talked about… He says but is interrupted. “But, Pastor, you said the word of God must be preached. You said it yourself, remember? And in order to build a branch of God’s word in a place like Ciba, it is necessary that you have people; people who are willing to work, like myself!” Dennis confesses feeling satisfied with his argument. “Yes, Pastor, I agree with Brother Dennis. If you are going to Ciba, New Guinea, then I’m also going with you.” Liberty says and purses his lips, with the look of content over the face. Pastor Awana is speechless. He heaves, having the head slightly bent, his palms clutched into each other, resting on the table by which they sit. He remains in that position for about a minute, contemplating on what to say, once he lifts the head. Finally, after a long wait, he resurfaces and says: “I believe I cannot dictate to you your wishes. So, whatever they may be now, all I can say is that, make them come true; I accept.” He says and afterwards, smiles. “Oh, Pastor, you did it! I can’t believe we will all be going to Ciba, New Guinea, I just can’t believe it!” Thomas says screaming for joy. “Yes, Pastor, I almost thought that it was all a dream. I can’t believe it.” Liberty adds, joining in the cry. “What about you Andrews? Are you not going with us?” Pastor Awana inquires of the quiet, man seated at his right side who seems to be in a pensive mood.  “No, Pastor, it is not so. I…I’m just thinking; it is about my mother, I don’t know if I can leave her all by herself.”

“Well, I almost doubt that you can.  Think about it; leaving your mother or coming with us. Remember, I am not forcing anyone to come with me.” Pastor Awana says and smiles friendly at him. “Alright, Pastor, I will do that and inform you of the aftermath.” Andrews says and forces a smile at him. He is a little ashamed for what he did earlier on.

Two days later; on the day of his departure, the head Pastor, Timothy Ampah pays him a visit. “So, you have finally had your way; about to embark on an incredible mission that may only lead to your fall.” The head Pastor says in a sardonic tone and heaves, and then says: “Well, should I sit or do I have to stand since I don’t even deserve to be here. He asks looking deeply into the face before his. “Sit, you may sit sir.” Pastor Awana says and moves to seat himself as well, on the other end of the sofa. “Well, that you. I never imagined this sort of attention from you; considering the arguments we have had recently.” Pastor Ampah says, crossing the legs. “Would you mind for some water?” Pastor Awana inquires of his guest as he returns to the room with a tray containing a glass and a bottle of water. “No, but thank you. You truly amaze me Mr. Awana.” He says, revealing a dry smile.  “Alright, then, let me leave it here so we can talk.” He says and places the tray on the table. “Sure. I heard you made some disciples out of the sheep here. You managed to win some hands to help you in Ciba, didn’t you?” He asks sounding friendly. “Ampah, you do not have a case with me, for those boys opted to join me. I did not force them.” Pastor Awana says in a relaxed tone and excuses himself to leave the hall. “Where to Awana?” He asks staring thoughtfully at him. “To pack my things. We are leaving tonight.” He says and away, he goes. ‘Leaving tonight eh…hmm…’ Pastor Ampah thinks and then rises to leave.

The hour is 4pm and as their impending trip is fast approaching, the group of five men meet to discuss the details of their travel. “At 7pm, the ship would be undocking. Therefore, we must all endeavour to be ready by 6, so we can leave for the harbour with the rest of the time.” Their leader says and they respond, “Yes, Pastor.”

“So, it’s two hours from now for us to leave; I hope you all have your bags packed.”

“Yes, Pastor, I’m almost finished with my packing.” Dennis says in a tone evoking laughter from the others. Pastor Awana chuckles as well but quickly returns to seriousness and says; “Ok then, we are leaving at 6, alright?”

“Yes, alright.” They reply and the meeting ends. The brothers leave for their apartment as Pastor Awana escorts them to the door. He waves at them; biding them good bye. They respond likewise and soon are out of sight.

Meanwhile, at the residence of Pastor Timothy Ampah; a man sits in a discussion with him at the hall. “…So, is this what he has decided on doing? Going against even your command?”

“Yes, Pastor. That boy has grown iron wings now. He even claims that his going to Ciba is based on a divine order from above.”

“Divine Order my foot! To sacrifice the lives of innocent men? Is that divine? Is that the righteousness that Christ asked that we exhibit?” The man, the general overseer of the church angrily remarks and unconsciously, he clenches his fist. “Ampah, I want that man brought before me now! He can’t, and has no right in deciding what and what not to be done in my church. No right at all!” He roars and the head pastor grins and calmly says: “Yes, Pastor, he will be before you in an hour’s time.” He says and rises to go but is called back by the man. “Ampah, why in an hour’s time? Where is he now? I need to see that fool right away!” The overseer says, banging the clenched fist on the table before him, the centre table. It squeaks and Pastor Ampah hurries to quieten it. “Sir, I’m sorry but I just received information that Pastor Awana is currently out of town.” The head Pastor says. “Out of this town? Why? And when did he leave?” The overseer asks. “Sir, I was told that it was about this morning that he left. I heard he went on a trip with one of the men he has abducted for the trip to Ciba.”

“And why is he out of town?” The overseer asks in a tone dyed in fury. “Sir, I was told he had to say good bye to the mother of one of his abductees.” The head Pastor says. “Had to say good bye?” The overseer says surprised at his news. “So, how are you going to get him to see me if he is out of town?” He asks looking intently into the much smaller man’s face. “Sir, I again received information that, he would be back latest by 6 o’clock.” He says and is quickly commanded, “Ok, get him to see me at church as soon as he returns. Tell him I would like to have a word of prayer with him before he goes.” The overseer says, and then rises to leave. “Ok, Sir, I will do that. Thank you once again for your time.” The head Pastor says heartily and smiles, looking into the overseer’s face. He takes no notice of it, just walks away and leaves the room.

Later in the day, as Pastor Awana meditates in his chamber, a messenger comes to see him; a young man, a member of the flock. He knocks on the entrance door and waits for it to be opened; standing. A minute later, some footsteps approach him. He straightens his shirt and quickly runs the hand through the hair. Seconds afterwards, the door opens to a man. “Good, afternoon, Pastor.” The young man says saluting with the right hand. “Good afternoon, Isaac and how are you?” Pastor Awana asks, smiling heartily at him. “Fine, Pastor, by His grace.” He says. “Sure, but please come in, the sun doesn’t seem pleasant today.” Pastor Awana says, ushering in the visitor. He enters, and the door is shut. “So, what is the occasion?” Pastor Awana asks the young man after he’s seated himself. “A…Pastor, please I do not get your statement.” He says in a tone of uncertainty. “Well, I just wanted to know the root of this sudden but well-appreciated visit of yours.” Pastor Awana says in a friendly tone and chuckles. The man smiles, softly and says; “Well, actually, I came to deliver a message by Pastor Ayimadu… He says and is immediately interrupted by his host; “The overseer?” Pastor Awana asks. “Yes, Pastor. He says he would like to see you at church today. He claims he would like to have a word of prayer with you before you leave for your trip.”

“Before my trip? But how? Who told him I was going on a trip?” “Pastor Awana asks, troubled by the message. “I…don’t know Pastor; I guess he found out somehow.” The man says trying to calm him down. “But, no one knew about it except me and the ones with me. I trust them; they wouldn’t let out my secrets like that…” He laments. The man stares quietly at him; feeling some pity in the heart. Yet, he cannot let that show; else he would have betrayed his sender’s command; ‘to stay away from people who oppose the right.’

“Pastor has sent us a message!” Brother Dennis cries as he runs into the room, having a white sheet in the hand. “What is it?” Thomas asks as he hurries to meet him at the hall of their apartment. “It is a note; telling us that he would be with us by a quarter to six.” Dennis says, reading from the sheet in the hand. “And why is that? Let me see.” Thomas says calmly, taking the paper from his Dennis’s hand. He reads it aloud and afterwards, turns it to see if there is some more written on the back. He finds none. “This sounds funny. Did he …by some chance tell you why he would be joining us at that time?” Thomas asks. “No, he never spoke privately to me on that.” Dennis says sounding a bit disturbed. “Then does that mean that he is in some kind of trouble?” Thomas asks no one. “Trouble?” Dennis inquires, looking wide-eyed at him. “Yes.” Thomas says thoughtfully, looking down at the letter in hand. Suddenly, he asks looking astonished at him: “Dennis, could it be that Pastor is at the church?”

“At the church? For what? That is the last place he would ever be.” Dennis says in an assuring tone. “You think so?” Thomas asks looking into his face. “Yes, I think so.” Dennis remarks, confidently but with uncertainty bound on the face. Thomas says nothing afterwards; he simply walks away with the letter still in the hand.

The hour now is 5pm and Pastor Awana has just arrived at the church. It seems a century since he came to this place; not because he’s been absent for a while, because Pastor Awana never misses church. However, it is because of the isolation he now feels whenever he sets eyes on this small, block edifice. The isolation of the church; his own brethren from him; for ever since he made up his mind on embarking on that journey to New Guinea, he has walked alone, only accompanied by the four; his beloved sons in Christ. He enters; for the door is open, and walks up to the pulpit which stands empty. He examines it with the eyes and touches it to see if he can still ‘feel it’; if that can remind him of the days he used to stand behind it to preach. Just then, he hears a voice; a recognisable one, greeting him and turns to see the one. “Pastor Ayimadu.” He says in a tone suggesting surprise. “Yes, Awana, it is me.” The man says and begins to approach him. “Oh, Pastor, you don’t have to…” Pastor Awana says, not wanting the man to walk to him. Therefore, he stops, the overseer and lowers himself onto the pew beside me. “Sit down”, he says calmly to Pastor Awana, looking into his face. “Yes, Pastor”, he says, sitting down beside him, maintaining a respectable distance between the two. For the first five seconds, nothing is said. Then, Pastor Awana speaks: “Pastor, you called for me…” he says politely, looking innocently into his face. “Yes, Awana, I did.” Pastor Ayimadu says, with a stare on the face. Pastor Awana is uncomfortable; he tries to look away but then, the man begins to speak again. “Mr. Awana or should I call you Pastor?” He asks, quite sardonically but receives no response. Well, it doesn’t seem like he expected one. “I hear you have decided on embarking on a trip to no other place than New Guinea; Ciba, to be precise. Is that true, Mr. Awana?” He asks looking seriously into the face beside his. “Yes, Pastor”, comes the bold response of Pastor Awana. “And you think you are right in driving others to join you in your so-called divined trip? Is your purpose as a priest of God to help save lives from hell or to drive them into it rather?” He asks, sounding like fuming. Pastor Awana does not respond. It wouldn’t be wise to answer to such a question; so he thinks. “You wouldn’t answer me, would you? Ha! Ha! Ha!! So, the head Pastor was right in saying that you had grown IRON WINGS, isn’t it?”

“No, it isn’t.” Pastor Awana says finally sounding his voice. “Then why, why you?” The overseer asks, erupting from his seat, angry. “Because, I want to do God’s work, because I LOVE HIM AND NO ONE CAN CHANGE THAT!” Pastor Awana says, rising to defend his conviction. The overseer looks at him, tenderly, and then shakes the head. “Awana, Awana; you are my friend. Your father was my friend; therefore, it is only logical that I call you my friend also. I don’t intend to hurt you, I only desire in your safety. Please understand. New Guinea may be a beauty on the outside but the inside…I don’t think you need an angel to tell you that. I would no longer stop you. I would leave you in the care of your own mind; let your conscience guide you, Awana. Let it guide you.” Pastor Ayimadu says and slowly he leaves the room going out through the exit. Pastor Awana is now alone; alone with his conscience. ‘I must go, I must. No matter what others may think, I must…go.’ He thinks and shortly afterwards, is out of the place. He heads home, to the Brothers’ apartment in 5th street; walking briskly for the hour now is ten minutes to six. He is late; he promised to be there at a quarter to six. Soon, he is at the place and rushes to the entrance door. He needs to get his luggage, quietly to leave, without them. It is true, one thing, that he can’t drive people into his unthinkable craze for his Father. They must live, so he dies. Therefore, he is going to leave without them. As he tries opening the door, which is unlocked, something falls down from the side; a paper, a folded white paper. He picks it and quickly opens to read: Dear Pastor Awana, this is Pastor Kayode, your Brother. I write to tell you that your luggage is safe with me here at the harbour. Your ticket has been purchased and it is only you that I am waiting to see. Please come quickly as soon as you receive this note.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Kayode.

“Oh, Brother Kayode, you, did this for me?” He says silently to himself, the hands shaking with joy mixed with surprise. Suddenly, he takes off, forgetting all about the four. However, should he meet them there, there will be very little he can do, for now, they are all as him; filled with the unquenchable flame to do God’s work.


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