Oko and Emmanuel rushed up on the wooden school desks and stood on them. They clapped their hands, then Oko said with his recently adolescent broken voice, “Jesus is giving us an opportunity to speak to you about the gospel!”

Just a handful of students remained in the classroom because school had ended for the day at least half an hour ago. The bell had rang and majority of the class had rushed out, like birds flying out of a cage to freedom.

But Oko was not deterred by the number. He wanted to speak to whoever he could because he cared about the salvation of souls. From the day he had given his life to Christ, this subtle burden had been placed on his heart. He could remember that day clearly, like a movie he had watched too many times, he had played over that scene in his head several times. He had raised his hand up when the minister asked for those who would like to take a decision to be born again. But when those who raised their hands were asked to walk to the front of the church, he hadn’t wanted to. His father had nudged him right then. He had seen him raise his hand and he was expected to do what was right. So with heavy feet and a repentant heart, he made his way to the front of the congregation. Repeating words after the minister seemed so simple, but what was really taking place? Now he knew the sinner’s prayer for what it really was. It was the signing of a marriage; it was consent to his adoption; it was the purchase of a one way ticket on the flight to eternity; it was the unlocking of prison doors; it was the tearing of the veil that kept him blind and unable to see God. The sinner’s prayer seemed really simple in the physical but spiritually it could be compared to an earthquake. His whole world would rumble and shake one day because of what he uttered that day.

“Please, give your life to Christ,” were his last words. Emmanuel jumped down from the desk but Oko remained. Standing from that height he could see the students he was addressing. They were his age, he played with them in class, he got in trouble and they knew it. The desk was the same one he drew on, stuck his old chewing gum under and slept on when his class lessons ceased to interest him. But in that moment, he envisioned the desk a preacher’s pulpit.

He couldn’t tell if his words had registered with his audience from the look of their faces. But he had done his job. A tear fell out of the side of his eye. “Save them Lord!” he silently prayed.

Then he stepped down. And being far from in the mood to speak to anyone, he stepped out of the classroom. It was time to go home.


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