By Gbenga Osinaike
Olufemi Arowaji is perhaps the least person that you would think would embrace missions. Though born to Christian parents, he never had cause to read the Bible in his growing up days. The first time he read the Bible was at the Kirikiri Prison. And that was because the Prison Fellowship of Nigeria came to distribute Bibles at the prison. And that was what ignited his conversion.
But how did he get to the prison? Arowaji who is running a missions programme at the Badeku village in Oyo State began a long shocking narration. “I was at the point of being killed. As a matter of fact, if the police had not come to the scene I would have been burnt to death. I would have died in the hands of the Oodua Peoples Congress”
He told Church Times at the just concluded Global Mandate Conference organized by Agape Generation International Church that he had gone on a mission for the Black Axe Confraternity which he belonged to while on campus but the mission went awry. “The OPC people caught me and I was almost being killed because I was also on a mission to kill.
“When you are in cult, you don’t graduate. When I finished from the university, I graduated into a bigger cult. We were hit met for the big boys outside the university who were politicians and top people in the society. But this particular day while I was on that mission I was caught by the OPC and they attempted to kill me but from nowhere the police came to the scene and rescued me. I was remanded at the Kirikiri Prisons .”
The Prison Fellowship of Nigeria came to preach the gospel to him. And that was the first time he would hear the gospel. That was when he would first read the Bible. Shortly after his conversion, the first story of the Bible that he read was the story of Jonah. It was the story that inspired him to pray and asked God to deliver him from the prison the way Jonah was delivered from the mouth of the fish. He promised that he would serve the Lord if the Lord effect his release. Just a week after that prayers, he was released from prison.
That was the beginning of his sojourn in the missions’ world. By some divine arrangement he saw a publication of the renowned evangelist, Idowu Animashau. He read the publications and called the contact in the publication which happened to be Rev Animashau. He was subsequently invited to a meeting with the evangelist. That meeting changed his life for good. He then embarked on a missions training at the Christ Missionary Foundation which has since enabled him to also reach out to souls in the Badeku community.
For five years now, Arowaji a graduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University has been in the Badeku community reaching out to souls. “What we do basically is to teach children. We are building an end time army and training children who will be used mightily of God to deliver the people from bondage. We hold regular Bible meeting with children on Saturday and the response has been great.”
He noted that the community has been so devastated by the devil that progress is alien to it. “In the community, their young men and women are given to drugs. You can hardly see a graduate in the community. Badeku is an occult environment. It is where many people come to do juju and all kinds of charms. It was in that community that I first saw for the first time the head of human being in a calabash. That is how bad the place is. But God is doing great things to dislodge the power of the occult. We are starting from the children and God is taking all the glory.”
While noting that the challenge has been enormous, he said, “it is an assignment that I am committed to. I derive joy doing what I am doing. I visit the Agodi prison at Ibadan for evangelical work and also train children on Saturday exposing them to the scriptures. We used to use a school compound for the children fellowship. But when a Moslem guard was posted to the school, he stopped us. But God provided a land to build our own property. We are on that property now. But it’s a bare land not roofed. We are exposed to the sun and vagaries of the weather.”
Indeed, working on the Badeku field has been quite challenging. “the last Christmas was nothing to cheer about. I had nothing on me. But God used somebody to send some money for the children party. We used the money for the children. But God glorified himself later when an individual also sent me money for my own personal needs. We have been living by faith. My prayer is that we will get more support because the work is much.”
One of the incidents he would never forget was when he went to preach close to the house of a herbalist in the village. By the time he finished preaching and he got home, he developed a condition that almost left him completely paralised. But God intervened. “I prayed myself out of the situation. That is the kind of thing we face on daily basis at the village.”
Arowayi could be reached on +234-706-1182-986