“I have rest. I have the peace of God. Am I upset by certain events? Of course! But I have peace.”
Those were the words of the Senior Pastor of The Fountain of Life Church, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, at the unusual Sunday service held on November 14, 2021.
The Senior Pastor’s comments came days after the passing of his wife, Pastor Nomthi Odukoya. In a move to answer the many questions on the congregation’s minds, Pastor Taiwo assured Fountaineers that God is still being glorified regardless of what may have happened or is happening.
According to him, “I am here for two reasons- You deserve an explanation; which is secondary, and (singing) I have come to glorify His name.”
The clergyman thereafter went on to inform the church about the incident that led to the passing of his wife, explaining that she had been ill from January 2020 and had been receiving a series of treatments from the best medical facilities available. He noted that some people were aware of her health status, and they never stopped praying along all through the battle.
Pastor Taiwo further acknowledged the support he received from the fathers of faith, such as Pastor E.A. Adeboye and his wife, Bishop Mike Okonkwo and others.
“It started like the flu, and we did all we could.” He said. “In terms of treatment, she received the best. But I am telling you this, so you know that she fulfilled her time.”
He further pointed out whilst she was undergoing a series of treatments, their faith that she would come out healed and strong remained unflinching, adding that she (Pastor Nomthi) showed incredible strength through it all.
“But, despite it all, she left because it was her time. So, that’s the story. She left, and she left very well.”
He explained that there were times she had had to officiate even while in great pains, without anyone noticing.
“She would minister and would not be able to lift her arm, but nobody would know. The illness was trying to paralyse her, but that never happened by the grace of God,” he recalled.
In a tribute for his late wife, Pastor Taiwo shared how Pastor Nomthi was an incredibly awesome woman, always looking to see the good in everyone even when it was apparent that some people were doing terrible and hurtful things.
“She believed that somehow, they would come around. She also touched lives positively too. That was the kind of person Nomthi was. She connected unusually and incredibly. The amazing thing is she was quiet about it.”
Admonishing the congregation not to be sad or mourn like those who don’t have hope, Pastor Taiwo read from 2 Samuel 12:19-20 to show that eternity awaits everyone when they die; more so believers in Christ whom he said are the light.
Referring to Stephen’s persecution and martyrdom as recorded in Acts 7:54-60, he also stated that Stephen’s death still led to more souls coming into the Kingdom of God.
According to him, “If you are a Christian, you are a light. Nothing is more important in life than the glory of God. So, every time the devil moves for an evil cause, God will always take the glory; it will always result in an unusual blessing in the Kingdom. I am expecting an unusual blessing in the Kingdom.”
He encouraged the church that even when in the midst of chaos or trouble, Jesus sees and is always there to help. He backed this with Matthew 14:22-30 when the disciples encountered a storm in the middle of the sea all by themselves. Jesus saw their predicament from where He was on the land and walked on waters to help them.
“In the middle of the sea, you are left with two options. You either end up at the other side, or you sink.” He declared, “The only way you can make it to the other side is to keep your focus on Jesus and not the storm. Jesus sees you and what you are going through. He is walking towards you to help you. He is our ever-present help. You are either walking with Him or reaching out for His help. The storm and the darkness will be there.”
Pastor Taiwo called on every believer to be more Kingdom conscious and put more effort into soul winning.
“If you have never evangelised before, this is the time to start. If you have ever brought souls to the Kingdom, this is a new level. God must be glorified. God’s glory is at stake as long as your life is concerned. Our attitude, no matter the case, should be to glorify God. No incident or occurrence can stop God from being glorified,” he said.
In conclusion, Pastor Taiwo urged his listeners to decide how to spend their eternity after they die. He compared the totality of man’s life on earth, no matter how long he lives, to a drop of water in the ocean, the ocean being eternity.
“While we still have our breath, while we still walk the face of the earth, we still have the best opportunity to define our tomorrow. So don’t be deceived by lies, envy, jealousy.
“Stay focused and run your race so that when you leave, Heaven will be glad to receive you, and the earth will never forget you. Whether in life or death, you are preaching, you are teaching, you are encouraging, you are sanctifying, you are helping people for the great beyond,” he concluded.