Children not most important
He does not raise his voice while in conversation. Even when he attempts to raise it; the pitch does not reach the roof top. Since April 1976 when he surrendered his life to Jesus, Folahan Olusanya who comes from Ijebu part of Ogun State Nigeria, has remained in God’s vineyard as a bond servant.
He has been bond to the cross of Christ and everything about him seems defined by his commitment to the cross. But he wasn’t a bad person in the first place. “I was not really the rough type right from the start. We were brought up in a religious setting. We went to church just like any other person and we lived a quiet life. I did not smoke and I did not womanise.”
His religious background notwithstanding, he soon realized that he was empty. He was living in ignorance of the truth of God’s word. That disposition however changed when he heard the good news of Jesus Christ “I heard a simple gospel message and realized that I was living in ignorance. The light of the word of God shone around me. And that was it. I became born again. I became a new creature because the word of God came to me with so much light. That was the turning point for me” he said.
Then, Olusanya who is the Pastor in charge of the Ikorodu Province of the Lagos Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria; was a student at the Federal Government College, Odogbolu doing his Advanced Level course. By the time he got to the University of Ibadan to study Agric. Economics, his zeal for God had doubled. He was actively involved with the Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students and the Ibadan Varsity Christian Union.
He was doing all these until he graduated, did his NYSC ( compulsory national service) and later took up teaching job at Saint Andrew’s College of Education while also pursuing postgraduate programmes at the University of Ibadan.
But he loved banking. When he moved to Lagos in 1985 he secured lecturing job with the Lagos State Polytechnic, while also eyeing the banking sector. His initial attempts at securing a job in that sector failed.
While lecturing he was also pastor of the chapel on the polytechnic ground. It was while pastoring that the word of the Lord came to him that he was in the polytechnic for a purpose and until that purpose was fulfilled he would not leave the place.
After putting 13 years as pastor of the college chapel now known as Christ Full Glory Ministry; the Lord called him to start a fresh work in the Ikorodu environ. He obeyed promptly. But before then he had secured a job with the then Afri Bank and later Chattered Bank in circumstances that he never bargained for. He then spent the most of his working life in Chartered Bank and served as the pioneer head of the cash management unit of the bank before he had to leave in 2006.
While in the bank, he was also pastoring the Living Stone Builders Ministries which the Lord had enabled him to start. “The Lord called us to build people of integrity. For me, the life of integrity has to be experienced before it is preached. Having worked in the banking sector and having handled so much money without being tempted by it, such experience gives us the basis to be able to preach and teach integrity.”
But the banking job had to stop. “The day I left banking was the happiest day in my life. The Lord had already told me I would leave. So when I finally had to leave, I felt a great deal of freedom and I saw the need to concentrate on the assignment the Lord gave me.”
Did he have any challenge leaving where the money is to pursue ministry? Olusanya who has also been married for 30 years affirms, “God has been faithful. He has been supplying our needs. I won’t say it was tough. The truth is that when God wants to raise a man in the ministry He will first bring him to ground zero so that in the future he won’t say it was by his power that he got to where he is.
“The bulk of the money about N7 million I got from the bank was invested in piggery but the money was lost within two months because of a disease that hit the pigs. So we were left with no other choice but to trust God. And that is what has been happening. God has not failed. He has been meeting our needs.”
The PFN provincial pastor has known no other life apart from the church life. His generation at the University of Ibadan included people like Dr. Moses Aransiola of the Gethsemane Praying Ministry and Brother Gbile Akanni of the Peace House.
Is it by coincidence that many of them in the then IVCU ended up in ministry? “I won’t say it is coincidence. I think it is just God’s design. Many of us then were just enjoying ourselves serving God. But as God would have it we are in ministry today.” Olusanya remarked.
Making a comparison of then and now he says, “The soundness of the teaching. The cohesion among the brethren and the love among brethren helped a lot and made the difference in those days. We had joint programmes across campuses. During our own time it was purely interdenominational. It’s not the best for us to have too many fellowships on campus as we now have.
“Something has been lost. While we were in school irrespective of denomination we were busy for the kingdom. We had programmes and crusades and handed over converts to existing churches. The orientation then was that while on Campus and NYSC serve the lord and come back to your local church to make impact.” He enthused.
What then is missing today? He observes, “Commitment to God has reduced. When you are committed to God you will want to please Him. In those days you don’t want to offend God. We did not take things for granted. People now concentrate more on the gift of God than the giver of the gift.”
He described his marriage to his wife who is also an alumnus of the University of Ibadan as God’s doing. “I saw my wife for the first time during Ash Wednesday at the Chapel of Resurrection. Immediately I saw her I had a conviction that she was my wife.
“Rather than settle with God I began binding the spirit of lust. I thought I had been seized by lust. The following day I saw her at the faculty building and the same thought came. I had to engage some people to pray along with me. They confirmed to me that the Lord was in it. So I summed courage and made the move. And that was it.”
He believes marriage is about commitment. “These past years I have learnt commitment, patience and endurance. The word of God does not allow for divorce. A Christian should not even contemplate it.
“People quit marriage because they take the word of God lightly. God hates divorce. It is not an issue. In the case of violence or threat to life either of the couple can quit for a while. Secure your life first while you give room for reconciliation.
“If one is entering into a relationship you have to work to make it work. There are three people involved in marriage: God, husband, wife. If the man understands that he is not the head of the home but the head of the wife he would take things easy.
“If God is in your home you can’t be the head of the home. God is the head of the man and the man is the head of the woman. That should checkmate the man. As a man you need to ask your head whether you have permission to do whatever you do.
Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you. But when you don’t recognize the presence of the Lord bad things will happen in the home. Some pastors have problem with their wives because they don’t have regard for the word. If a spouse is being accused of immorality and it is true then there can be a consideration for divorce but where then lies forgiveness and when you quit can you stay alone? So the issue of divorce is tough and challenging. I will rather take the Bible. But these days’ people listen to processed messages from the Bible.”
Olusanya who has five children (all girls) reasons that children are not the most important thing in marriage. The primary basis for marriage is companionship and not procreation. “I am the only man in my house and I am enjoying my home. My girls are taking good care of me. And I believe they will take good care of me in the future. So it does not bother me that I don’t have a male child. It is sad that some people would do anything to get a male child.
“What do people who don’t have any child then do? As a matter of fact, whether a couple has children or they don’t have is secondary. We teach companionship in our ministry. Children are the least in terms of importance in marriage. In the desperation to have children we have Christians who now impregnate their fiancé. What if they have the child before marriage and the child dies and they don’t have another one what then happens?
“Many homes have been tormented because of Children or no children. While we believe and pray that God blesses every marriage with children, people who are still waiting should be encouraged to adopt children. Not having children should be an opportunity to care of abandoned children. And that does not mean God will not still bless the couple with their own children. Instead of waiting and agonizing and inviting trouble in the name of looking for children; waiting couples should feel free to adopt. The important thing in marriage is to raise godly children and those children don’t have to be children from the couples’ loins. I don’t think we should be desperate for anything. Whatever God can’t give, I believe we don’t need it.” He concluded.