Pastor Zacheus Ogunmola is a pastor of many years based in Ketu, Lagos. He and his wife waited for 28 years to have their first child. In this encounter, Ogunmola who had gone through various experiences in life recounts the long journey to their much desired miracle. Below are excerpts from the about two hour interview
I was born into idol worshiping family. But my own father did not pay any attention to the Ogun idol which the whole family worshipped. My father was a lay reader in the Anglican Church and he discouraged us from worshipping the idol. But I came to Lagos in 1968 and got born again at a crusade at St. Peter’s Primary School in Oke-Koto area of Agege. I continued in faith. We had an association called Christian Fellowship Association where I was very active. In those days we went round the whole of the west, east and southern parts of Nigeria holding crusades.
How I met my wife
I met my wife in a crusade ground. It happened that while I was preaching at a crusade my eyes stumbled on her and the Holy Spirit spoke to me that she was going to be my wife. I thought it was the devil ministering to me because I could not imagine thinking of a woman while preaching.
Rather that accept what God has said I began to rebuke and reject Satan. I began to pray and said words like, Satan go away o! because I did not come to marry but to preach the gospel. But the spirit of God kept telling me that she was my wife. I had to go and discuss with the pastor of the church where we were holding the crusade what God was telling me. He encouraged me to tell her, that he was sure God was leading me.
By then I did not know what to tell her. I summoned courage and called her but I was hesitating. I first told her, that I would like to pray for her and as well tell her something. She knew where I was going. But I was struggling to tell her. I summoned courage and told her that I would want her to be my wife she just laughed and said I should allow her to tell her pastor. She went to the pastor and told him what I said but the amazing thing is that God also had told her I was going to be her husband. The pastor then encouraged her to agree to the relationship since she also had a confirmation. I must confess that the Lord helped me to keep myself before marriage. We got married in the church eventually.
After the marriage
We were serving the Lord faithfully. Things were going on well and we were not even worried that we had not had children in the first two years of our marriage. It was during the third year of our marriage that we began to realize that people who had married after us were having children. That was when it dawned on us that we had a challenge on our hand.
At the initial stage I began to doubt if God really asked me to marry my wife. I began to question my choice but immediately the Spirit of God came to me and said, “Do you doubt me? I said no sir! So we continued with our relationship. But when she was not getting pregnant I began to suspect that something must have gone wrong medically. So we began to seek medical attention.
Medical trips and endless spending
Thank God for medicine and for doctors but we were victims of trial and error. Doctors only try when it comes to conception, it is only God that can do it because it is possible to use all the drugs and not get result and the fact that the drugs work does not mean they got the solution it is simply God’s grace that many people are enjoying.
We spent millions. In the process of doing medical tests we got conflicting outcomes. . The outcome of a test could say the fallopian tubes of my wife were blocked and another would give contrary results. Some will tell us outright that my wife had no ovaries. There are cases they said I had a low sperm count and another test will negate it. So you don’t really know what to believe. We met a gynecologist who was working in a government hospital who told us that the type of treatment we needed was not in government hospital. Invariably he directed us to his own personal hospital. We went there and he was just collecting money and giving us drugs. Nothing happened. We also spent a lot of money buying natural medicine all to no avail.
My father died
It was in the midst of this problem my father died. He did not see his grandchild and I was his only surviving child. Before then, he was always praying for us and was really concerned. He called me before he died and told me he was certain that I would give birth to a child that will continue God’s work in our family. After he died we continued searching for solution.
We got tired of taking drugs
At a point I called my wife and had to counsel her. She had become so worried because all the people around her who were like children to her had given birth to children. We thank God for those who had children and really rejoiced with them but the flesh sometimes will make us wonder why God did not answer us.
So I called my wife and told her I was not going to take any drug again but was going to hold unto God in prayers. We both agreed not to visit any doctor again. We went to RCCG camp ground and prayed for three days with dry fasting. God spoke to me and told me he had answered us. He gave me the name of the child and encouraged us to go and buy baby things. We were happy but we had to wait for another three years after that promise. It got to a point that that we had to relocate from where we were living. The baby things we bought were getting bad and my wife advised that we throw them. I refused and said God’s word for us must come to pass.
She became pregant
We continued to wait on God and nothing seems to be happening. But as God would have it the Lord surprised us when we least expected. She just started complaining one day about pain and after medical examination we found out that she was a few months pregnant. When she became pregnant I was so excited but at the same time the devil started visiting me with fear. I said “somebody who had never been pregnant; now that she is pregnant hope the forces of darkness will not suck the pregnancy”. I then prayed and God spoke to me and told me to take her away from the vicinity we were living and seek another place. God gave me an address and we followed the direction which I did. We rented another apartment where we lived with believers who were able to pray along with us. Honestly I was afraid but God encouraged me and we prayed throughout the pregnancy that God would sustain it.
A baby boy at last
She eventually gave birth on May 2, 2008. When she put to bed, I phoned the church to tell them. Incidentally it was during a vigil. When they heard the whole church erupted. There was outburst of joy. People stopped praying and started thanking God. On the naming ceremony, the crowd was enormous. The whole place was jammed. The people outside the church were more than people inside.
How we managed reproach
When we were waiting on God, my extended family called me and said they knew my wife is an acada woman because we had a white wedding and she was the first person that would do white wedding in her family. They tried to encourage me to take another wife in the village since I could not divorce my wife. I got annoyed and warned then never to bring up the issue again and went away. Her own biological father called her and advised her to leave me and marry another person.
There was a close pastor to us. He was very supportive and would always come to pray. He had a sincere heart and he promised he would pray with us until something happens. So we fixed a day we used to come together to pray. We prayed and prayed for several months. When he discovered that my wife was not getting pregnant, he called me and said he was tired of praying. He advised me to go and marry another person.
He said he was not going to come for the prayer again. My wife was wondering because it was the pastor who initiated the prayers. On the naming ceremony the pastor came and I saw him in the crowd. The Lord directed my eyes to see him that day. When I was giving testimony I mentioned it that people advised me to marry another wife but I did not because of our vision and what the word of God says. Our vision is to disciple people, train leaders and to build family.
When someone is waiting for the fruit of the womb people are open to saying all kinds of things. There was a time somebody prayed for me innocently that God would make me happy and I warned him never to pray that prayer again. I wondered where he got the impression that I was not happy.
It got to a point that my wife pleaded with me that I should pray for her the way I prayed for others who were trusting God for the fruit of the womb and God answered them. I told her that I was praying. I told her if we had children we will go to heaven and if we did not have we will still go to heaven.
God did not allow me to give up hope. But as a human being I was tired. I was wondering why I had to be the victim of childlessness. I had prayed for someone who confessed to me that she had committed abortions about seven times yet she had children after prayers so why us. Ironically many people in the church did not know we were childless because there were always people living with us. When we had our son, somebody wondered why we were still having babies. He thought we were the parents of those who lived with us. When he got to know that the child was our first he could not stand the shock.
What was the problem with us?
I cannot really say exactly what the problem was because medicine could not help in this regard. They gave conflicting verdicts. But I think from my own understanding it has to do with God’s timing. It’s like when the Bible records that God sealed the womb of Hannah. I think God did that because a child of destiny was coming our way. I don’t think the devil has any power over a born again child of God. It is true there are forces of darkness especially for those of us who come from idol worshipping family but I think that problem for us had been solved long time ago.
Why I did not change my name
I went through all kinds of deliverance and I remember going to Evangelist Ibeneme the deliverance minister in Ibadan before he died. I told him about changing my name and he advised me to go and pray. God actually gave me another name but he told me it was not time to bear the name because he wanted to prove Himself through the name Ogunmola. He told me that He would do His work despite the name. If we change our name now, it won’t be because of challenges. I had prayed and delivered the name from oppression. I was the one who uprooted the Ogun idol in our village. God also used me to preach the gospel to people in my village. Some of them have now embraced the gospel.
Lessons I learnt from my experience
When you are facing such problem the important thing is to pray to God and find out the source of the problem. Is it from God, the devil or yourself. The battle against the devil does not take long to win. In the course of our waiting, we went to the General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye. Pastor Kumuyi also prayed for us. The Christian Pentecostal Ministry overseer, Pastor Ezekiel also prayed for us and many other great men of God. I was always going to PrayerMountains. It was God that was holding us. He allowed the joy of the ministry to keep us going. I told my wife that if we died without children we had no reason to worry about who will bury us because we had many children in the Lord.
The name of our son that God gave us is Benanaih, which means the mighty God. I read a portion in the Bible where Benaiah led the warriors that went to get water from the camp of the enemy for David. The child has been exhibiting some traits that show that he is God sent. He already sees himself as a pastor. After the miracle of the child birth people literally turned this place to a prayer place for fruit of the womb and God has been answering them. The problem has turned to a blessing.
God once gave me a lecture on what it means to have problems. He said the P in problems means a prediction. Problem predicts that a miracle is on the way. The R stands to remind the person that God is with him in the midst of the problem. The O stands for opportunity to pray personally.
In my case it is true I prayed but Jesus said we should pray until our joy is full. The B stands for blessing. The problem I had has been a blessing. It has solved many problems. Many have received their miracles through our testimony. The L stands for a lesson. I know what it feels to wait on God for the fruit of the womb. The E stands for everywhere. By marrying another wife will not solve the problem of childlessness because it is everywhere. M stands for message for all. It is a message to the world. The S stands for solution and success at last. When you pray and appreciate that God is with you it will be a blessing at last.