I heard the front door opened. I heard her call out from downstairs, “Where is she?” and the sound of her footsteps running up the staircase followed. I stood at the top of the staircase and waited for her to appear as she turned round the spiral. In a moment, I beheld her and then she was in my arms. We hugged (at last), we shouted, “Hallelujah!” and we hugged some more. It was a dream come true. That was Tuesday, November 11, 2013, and it had taken 2 years and 7 months of waiting with expectation. She is Bidemi Mark-Mordi, the Author of Sistapower and Publisher of Effectual Magazine.
Looking back today, I can testify that my first contact with Effectual Magazine in October, 2010 was divinely orchestrated. That was when a dear brother in church blessed me with an enveloped gift after the Sunday service. I opened the envelop and found in it a copy of Effectual, a Magazine for women and those who love them. It was of high quality both in content and presentation. The colors were vibrant and inviting. The message was richly inspiring. I was deeply impressed, specially noting that it was published in my dear country, Nigeria.
I shared the Readers’ Digest-styled magazine with my husband, since it is also for those who love women. He encouraged me to write to the editor and acknowledged the job well done. I promised to do so but that slipped through the cracks. Six months later, I had a very strong nudging in my spirit to keep the promise I made earlier. I searched for the magazine but could not find it. One day, while searching through a pile of books on my husband’s bedside table, the magazine fell out. That was on April 19, 2011. This time, I immediately went to my laptop and I sent an email to the Editor of the magazine. I wrote about my impressions of the magazine. More than that, I asked her if I could support them by distributing it in Geneva as I was sure that there would be many more women who would be blessed by it, and also that I would like to contribute to the magazine if possible.
She replied instantaneously and included her telephone number. Soon we were on the phone chatting as if we had known each other for ever. We simply clicked in the spirit. I later found out that my mail came at a time she was at her lowest point and unsure of the directions to which the magazine was heading. According to a well-respected Sister and Pastor, the message was timely. Though I thought I had sent it late, it got to Bidemi when she needed it the most. It was a divinely engineered connection.
I invited Bidemi to Geneva earlier in this year and during the planned visit, she was to launch her book, Sistapower and facilitate the Women Empowerment Seminar in my church on April 27. She came. She and her husband, Pastor Mark met my husband. They stayed in my house but I was not there. I was in the hospital, in the intensive care unit (ICU), in coma. She was not allowed to see me. By the time I woke up some weeks after, I found that she had come and gone. I missed the opportunity of meeting with her in person. But she left a message that she would be back in Geneva, and we will dance and give praise to God together.
That day came last week on Tuesday. For over two years, we talked for hours over the phone; we praised God and prayed together; we had times of crying and laughing over the phone, and we encouraged each other through difficult moments. But I got to know more about Bidemi, the fine details, during the week-long stay with me than I knew about her in the last two and half years.
Our relationship deepened. And it confirmed to me again that when we dwell in close proximity with those we are in relationship with and we give attention to one another, our relationship deepens and becomes richer. This has application for all our relationships especially in marriage. When couples spend time together and give undivided attention to each other, their relationship and intimacy deepens. Even more important is our fellowship with God. Enoch walked in habitual fellowship with God. They were such great friends that God just took Enoch to heaven with Him. God did not allow him to taste death (Gen. 5:24).
I watched her ministering during two separate gatherings of ladies. Each one was unique and different. As we learnt later, there were specific persons who needed to hear the message God led her to share at each event. For these ladies, it was the confirmation of what God had spoken to them.
As the visit drew to an end, I began to reflect again on how it all started and the impact this connection has had on me, Bidemi and on the lives of the many ladies, and men too, who have become connected and reached through our connection.
One man’s response to God’s leading to give me a gift of a magazine became like the branching of a lightning bolt reaching far beyond its starting point. The rippling effects of that singular act of kindness is still being felt up till today. Our families have become connected together. Bidemi and her husband are now linked with many more families here in Geneva. As Pastor Mark said, he could never have imagined this happening a few years ago. Through Bidemi, I have become connected to a network of Sistas pursuing God's purpose for their lives.
There are many more ripples of this relationship. Sistapower and Effectual are circulating in Geneva and beyond. Sistapower was translated into French by a young lady in my church and is ready for publication. Many ladies are being motivated to be relentless in the pursuit of their God-ordained purpose and to fulfill their dreams. Lives are being connected and touched for good. Windows of opportunities are being opened to many at personal and professional levels.
I am simply amazed and overwhelmed at what God can do with one act of kindness, one act of obedience and one man’s willingness to share. It has gone far beyond my or Bidemi’s wildest dream. A seemingly ordinary gift and become an extraordinary powerful connector of many lives.
Last night while preparing this blog post, and in search of a document, I came across the first draft of the article I wrote in July 2009. It was titled “Divine Connections.” Three years later, I was amazed when Bidemi told me the theme for the September issue of Effectual would be “Connections.” I told her I had an article related to the theme. That article was published in October 2012. I never knew at the time I wrote the article that God had prepared a place ready for it ahead of time. At the appointed time, He connected me with that opportunity.
I concluded that God is constantly speaking and His Holy Spirit is always nudging us. But, the question is, are we taking time to pay attention to Him and listen to His voice? When we do so, and we obey Him and follow His instructions, He will add the EXTRA to our ordinary and turn it into EXTRAORDINARY. He is able to connect us with the information and the helper already designated to facilitate the process of this transformation. Because He sees and knows the potentials of our ordinariness. I will share more on this in my next blog post.
Dear Friends, God is speaking to your heart today. Do pay attention to Him, dwell in His presence, listen actively to His voice and take steps to obey Him. He will surely lead you to your Promise Land – to the place of fulfillment where dreams come true.