Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hold On To The Faith

I know a number of Christians who went home to be with the Lord this year.

The first person is Pastor Philip K. I wrote about him and the legacy he left behind in - A Legacy Of A Good Testimony. He went home to be with the Lord in February after a brief illness, and after fulfilling a long-term desire to hold a crusade in the Philippines. Many testified of how his life touched their lives for good.

The second person was my dear friend of almost 30 years, Funmi Adewole nee Salami. We fondly called her Sally. She was afflicted with colon cancer for about six months, and was called home to heaven on April 17th. I was in coma at this time and only learnt about her going home two months later. My family and friends kept the news from me.  Sally touched lives while she was here and she is sorely missed. I will share more about her later on in this post.

Then in June, we heard of the home-call of Dr. Tayo Adeyemi, Pastor of the New Wine Church, Woolwich, UK. I knew Pastor Adeyemi at the UCH Christian Fellowship in Ibadan, Nigeria. We have a number of mutual friends. From what I learnt about him, he called many to pursue excellence and high standards in all their endeavours and exemplified this. He impacted lives through service to the people in his local community and in other countries.

A couple of months ago, our dear Sister in the Lord asked my husband and I to pray along with her for her friend who was very ill and had been evacuated from Abuja to South Africa. We prayed. Last Sunday, we learnt that Sis. Phebean went home to be with the Lord on Saturday night. Our Sister testified that Sis. Phebean held on to her faith until the end.

Olorun mi, gba adura mi (My God, hear my prayer)
When you take all the ones we love
We’ll carry on and it won’t be long
I pray to be strong
Olorun mi, gba adura mi (My God, hear my prayer)

All these who have gone on before us, it caused our hearts to grief, then I realize that it could have been me. But God kept me living on. In His infinite unsearchable wisdom, and by His act of sovereign will, He chooses to call some home and He also choose to keep others living on irrespective of the severity of their afflictions and suffering. He does this for a purpose and a reason.

Some commonalities among these four mentioned above:
·        They knew Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour
·        They held on to the faith until the end. They did not give up on God despite the severity of what they suffered.
·        They left behind a legacy, having touched lives of many for good.

They have gone ahead of us to join the cloud of witnesses in heavenly places, and are cheering us on in our own race here on earth. Having received the goal of their faith, which is the salvation of their soul, they could be at peace and full of joy at their home call.

Their lives amplified one truth for me and that is, our residence here on earth is temporary, whether short or long, at God's appointed time, we will leave this world for our eternal home. It is written, if only in this world we have a hope, then we are of all men, most miserable.

Ijoba orun, l'ere onigbagbo o (2ce). (Heaven is the believer's reward)
Ma je'n ku'na Baba, mu mi de'le o.  (Father, don't let me miss it, Lead me home)
Ki n ma ku s'ajo, bii eefin. (That I would not die like smoke in its path)
Mu mi de'le. (Lead me home)
Aye l'oja, orun n'ile.  (The earth is just a passing through, Heaven is home)
Mu mi de'le. (Lead me home)

Our Faith And Hope Are In God:

Each day brings us closer to that final day. We must therefore live each day circumspectly, holding fast and firmly to the confession of our faith without wavering or swerving. What then is faith? According to Roy Lessin: "Faith is seeing the sunshine of God's face when there are dark clouds around" ( Such faith is based on the Word of God.

We are filled with irrepressible and triumphant joy because we love God and we believe in Him though we have not seen Him (1Pet. 1:8). Imagine what greater joy shall fill our hearts when we see Him face to face. Just as gold that is perishable is tested, the genuineness of our faith, which is far more precious than gold, will be tested by fire (1Pet. 1:7).

"God tests us because He wants to establish our value" - Derek Prince

As Christians, we are assured that we have a living hope. Our hope must be set wholly and firmly on the grace to be bestowed on us when Jesus Christ is revealed (1Pet 1:13).
The Legacy Of a Godly Woman - Funmilayo Adewole (Sally):

I met Sally at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1983. We later became part of the same circle of friends after I gave my life to Christ in 1984 and started attending the Ibadan Varsity Christian Union Fellowship.

Sally got married to Bro Bayo (as we called him then) in 1990 and they later moved to Chicago in US. They became Pastors of the RCCG Jesus House, Chicago until her death in April. She left behind an aged mother and three children.

I listened to her last sermon on a YouTube video made by her church media to celebrate her life. It was in September 2012, just before she was diagnosed to have colon cancer. It was moving and illuminating. It was a preparation for her home-going. Here are some snippets:
"Have faith towards God."

"It is appointed for man once to die, then after that judgment."

"There will be a rising from the dead. There will be a resurrection of the dead."

"I hope you are assured that there is life after death"

Funmi imparted lives in many ways. She was an exemplary wife and mother, an educator, a mentor and an encourager to name a few. She believed strongly in the institution of marriage and counseled many. My Best Lady who was very close to her told me that she was at peace at the end of her life. She had the assurance of eternal life in Jesus Christ, who she served faithfully since she got born again at the age of 14 years. She left behind a legacy of love and zeal for God.

"Are you  going to leave behind a legacy
that will continue to inspire lives after you are gone?"

Watch this video made by Femi Usikalu to celebrate Funmi's life - The Legacy Of A Woman

Do know this one thing for sure - THERE IS LIFE AFTER DEATH. There is coming a glorious day when we will exchange this physical body that is subject to disease, pain and affliction for a glorious incorruptible body.

Therefore, friends, we need to make assurance doubly sure that we hold on to the faith and hope we profess until the end, and that we are ready to meet our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ when He comes for His own.

I started writing this post on Tuesday and earlier today, just before I finalized it, I got a text message that a very dear sister, who was a part of our family while we were in Ibadan, went home to be with the Lord on July 25th.  My family had been waiting for the right time to tell me, having just heard about Sally's death at that time.

When I got the leading to start decorating our church in 1993/4, Louisa was the first to joined me. She learnt all the rudiments and soon we were decorating halls for wedding receptions. She continued this activity long after I left Ibadan. She was also the church's typist for years. It was a rude shock to learn today that she is gone. Louisa was a blessing to me and to my family in many more ways than I can describe here. I could always count on her to get things done for me. I still don’t understand what happened but God knows it all and knows it best. She was in the faith at the end and that’s all that matters. Adieu, dear gal.

No matter how dire your situation may be, hold on to the faith, hold on to hope, don’t give up on God. He will not give up on you. Ultimately, heaven is the reward of those who hold on to the faith to the end. Don’t miss it.

There is nothing worth missing heaven for.

This post is dedicated to the loving memory of these friends who have gone on home. They live on in our hearts.


  1. very touching post. I teared up watching the video. May Pastor Funmi rest in peace

    1. Amen. She is in the bosom of the Lord resting peacefully. Oh, so did I, teared so many times. Blessings to you. Enjoyed your Haiku on Holy. So well done.


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