Tega pulled his mini truck in front of our office as I looked from my window. I couldn’t pick the face of the other guy in the front seat but his form looked quite familiar.
Tega or Mr. T as we fondly called him was our Human resource manager who worked with our head office in Abuja. Anytime he visited meant there was either a new project work or a new staff. I remembered how he had brought me to the office on my first day at work after our week long training program last year, telling me how lucky I was to be taken into the organization as the Monitoring & Evaluation officer, a position he considered enviable. He also urged me to work hard at giving it my best shot.
He was really a nice guy whose dedication and poise was unmistakable. I remembered with excitement how he had assured me that I would do perfectly well as an M&E officer even when I didn’t think I deserved the job. He personally put me through the rudiments and was a big source of encouragement to me.
“It looks like we are having a new intake” Titi, my colleague broke into my thoughts.
“Yea, I guess so, thank God we will have one more hand to assist in this cumbersome Ford project. I am almost going nuts with all these figures and reports.”
“As in eh… God has answered our prayers especially now that Fati is rounding up her service year in few months. Hmmm, work would have killed both of us.”
“We thank the Lord” I replied
“We really thank the Lord my sister”
With that we gave out a good laugh as Mr. T walked in with a handsome young man behind him.
“Hello ladies, nice to see you again. I can barely recognize you two, wow! This change is wonderful o” Mr. T greeted
“Good day sir” we echoed.
“Good day Titi and Nnenna, it’s been like ages; I am sure you have forgotten me. Look how you girls are bubbling, you both look amazing. I should apply to be transferred here, it seems this is where the money is.”
“Hahahaha” we all laughed.
“Haba Mr. T, you that is even closer to Buhari and the money. We can only get the remnant that you send to us.” Titi teased
They both roared with more laughter, but my laughter waned when I saw who Mr. Tega brought, I couldn’t believe my eyes. “I hope this is a joke or something, it just had to be.” I thought
“You girls will not finish me with laughter this morning. But I am really serious, you girls are looking good. Well, I guess Mr. Olakunle is in his office.”
“Thank you. Yes he is in” Titi replied.
“Ok, I will go straight to see him. Meanwhile, let me introduce our new staff here with me. Titi and Nnenna, please meet Frank, our new Program officer. Frank meet Miss Titi and Miss Nnenna, they are both Monitoring and evaluation officers and they are wonderful ladies, I am certain you will enjoy working with them.”
I managed to stretch my hands for a handshake with Frank who behaved like he had never seen me before. I secretly wondered how he managed to get here and even maintain his composure. A thousand thoughts flashed through my head; did he come to get back at me for leaving him? Was he here to get rid of me finally? Was this a revenge mission or a normal job offer? I tried to wrap my head around it but couldn’t. Frank will never cease to amaze me.
“Let’s proceed to meet your Executive Director”, Mr. T said turning to Frank. “He must be waiting to receive you.”
Knowing too well that my two legs couldn’t carry me any longer, I slumped into my seat.
“Nnenna, what is it?” Titi rushed towards me.
“Oh no, not again!”
That was all I could mutter.
* * *
After we concluded the prayers for the day, Pastor Emeka encouraged us not to relent in our private intercession as God was set to do a new thing. He reminded us to pray earnestly before each service and look forward to it with great expectation.
I still couldn’t believe that Frank and I were working together in the same office, on the same project. I had continuously denied it but it was time to face the hard reality and accept it.
He had come to stay!
* * *
The Sunday service began in a spontaneous manner, we didn’t follow the routine, no protocols, no order of service, everyone just seemed hungry and expectant. It was rather unusual.
While we waited for the moderator to mount the podium, I saw one woman kneeling at one corner of the hall crying and praying. I couldn’t pick what she said, but whatever it was, her soul was in deep distress.
Another lady seated in the middle row was talking to her neighbour with tears in her eyes, she looked so distressed and burdened I felt like going to listen to her. She continued talking as the tears flowed and soon her bible was drenched. I didn’t understand what was going on and silently prayed that all was well. I wondered if it was another family conflict or was it another court case or choir members tussle, it had better not be, I prayed.
As the choir began their ministration, there was so much stillness in the room that a pin drop would sound like a bomb blast, only their angelic voices could be heard soaring. The change in the atmosphere was so obvious that almost everyone knew there was something unusual about the service. I looked towards the pulpit and noticed Pastor Jerry was on his knees praying.
The choir was lost in their Kim Walker’s “Spirit Break out” and seemed not to find a way to bring the rendition to a close. It was more than a rendition, it was a timely ministration and as they sang their hearts out, the congregation couldn’t hold it back anymore; I too was caught up in the heart-rending worship. By the time they were done, almost everyone was already praying.
The last thing I remembered was how I sank into my seat and with my head bowed and heart aflame, I prayed like never before. There was no prayer point or prayer leader, yet everyone was praying their hearts out; this continued for what seemed like eternity. It was as though God’s Spirit caught hold of everyone, His presence was palpable. The song continued for so long that even when they left the stage, many people were still lost in the Spirit.
It was like God was dealing with everyone individually at their own level and addressing personal issues. Many laid themselves at the altar and rededicated their lives to God. Others literarily stood up to go and make peace with someone they were at loggerheads with. It was a service like never before and I knew God was doing a great work in our midst. I didn’t want it to end.
Oh, what an answered prayer!