*ENEMIES OF THE CHURCH:*
Reverend Leo sits in his office lost in thoughts, his wife alre-ady wrote the cheque of seven million naira from the church account and gave it to him to sign. He placed the cheque in front of him looking at it over and over again not knowing whether to sign or not.
While he was there contemplating on what to do, the door opens and Pastor Jim comes into the office. Reverend Leo quic-kly hides the cheque inside his Bible.
Pastor Jim greeted him and they shook hands before Jim took his seat.
*Pastor Jim:* Reverend Leo what happened? It’s been long we saw you. Hope all is well? How is Mummy?
Reverend Leo managed to put on a fake smile as he answered that everyone was fine and okay.
*Leo:* Pastor, I heard about the wedding or marriage in church, why didn’t you inform me about it?
*Jim:* I tried to do that, but you didn’t pick calls and there was no way to reach you and Chief Ike wanted the wedding urgently.
*Leo:* Are you aware that it was his sixth wife that he got married to?
*Jim:* I am aware Pastor.
*Leo:* And you went ahead to wed him in the church? You know it’s against the word of God and people may get the wrong impression that the church supports polygamy.
*Jim:* Pastor are you really going to start listening to side talks? These persons talking and complaining what have they contributed to the church. Who are they in the church. Relevant people don’t have time for gossips, those poor church rats are the ones grumbling and complaining.
*Leo:* Why are you talking like this?
*Jim:* Pastor listen to me, we don’t need those church rats in the church. The likes of Chief Ike and rich capable men are the types we need in the church. Persons that can support the church in times of need. Pastor imagine that I turned Chief Ike down and refused to go ahead with the marriage. He would have gone to another church and another Pastor would have gladly do it for him. Do you know how much we got from that marriage? We got almost a million naira from it because of the calibre of persons that c@m£ for the marriage. Those persons complaining now can they give kobo in the church?
*Leo:* Almost a million naira?
*Jim:* Yes o, nine hundred and thirty eight thousand naira. How many Sundays do you think we will use in gathering the fifty kobos and nairas from these self acclaimed grumblers. They have nothing to offer. I don’t want anything to offend Chief Ike o, which was why I went ahead with the marriage o. The Bible says wisdom is profitable to direct. The church has needs and I just used wisdom to handle the situation.
Leo was silent as he didn’t know what else to say to Pastor Jim.
*Jim:* In fact Pastor, I c@m£ to suggest to you that it is high time we make Chief Ike a deacon in this church.
*Jim:* Yes o Pastor, gone are the days when we put poor men in position, simply because they can pray. Their prayers cannot build the church or raise money for the church, we need men who are rich and capable like Chief Ike to be in position of things, their money commands respect.
*Leo:* But you and I know that Chief is not duly committed to the work of God. He is polygamous and drinks alcohol, he is a womaniser how can we make that kind of person a Deacon in God’s house.
*Jim:* Reverend, it’s God that is the judge and not you or I. The ways of God is not the ways of man. God said we should build His house, it’s an @ssignment to us and Chief Ike can help us do that.
*Leo:* Honestly, Pastor, my head is not really clear at the moment and I can’t think clearly, I have a lot in my heart bothering me, but I believe you will be able to make the right decisions when it comes to this church. And so for now, I will leave everything in your hands. But plea-se make sure you pray and hear from God before you act plea-se.
*Jim:* (smiling big) it’s okay Pastor, trust me God is in support of everything I’m doing and I will not do anything to jeopardize His work. You can trust me my Reverend.
Leo tells him he wants to be alone to think and have a quiet time. And Jim gladly leaves him. He was happy that he was able to convince Reverend Leo with the money the church made from the marriage. The actual money he got was three million and some hundred of thousands. Together he and the treasurer had collected more than two million naira for themselves before bringing in the balance. He smiled again, satisfied with himself as he walks out of the office.
Leo who didn’t even really think on whatever Jim had said, quietly re-moves the seven million naira cheque from the Bible where he had hidden it, took another look at it with tears gathering in his eyes as he signs it.
Leo was tired and exhausted from crying all throu-gh the hours in his office. When he got home he fell on the couch not bothering to check on Rachael whom he believes would be in their room.
He had signed the cheque and kept it in his bag. He was waiting for Rachael to come out so he can give it to her. He was not re-ady to look for her. She had been calling and texting him just to remind him not to forget to come home with the cheque. And when her calls was becoming unbearable he had texted her that the cheque was alre-ady signed and in his bag. He tries to take his mind off Rachael and rest a bit before she will come down with her troubles. And just as he was about to doze off, the gateman knocked and c@m£ inside the house.
*Rev. Leo:* Yes Usman, what is it?
*Usman:* Oga sorry, Aunty Alex bin dey ask for you.
*Rev. Leo:* Oh Alex, let her in.
(Rev. Leo tries to adjust himself on the seat.)
Alex is a member of the prayer band in the church. Quiet and reserved and referred to as the fire br@nd kind of sister. It didn’t take long before Alex stepped in.
*Rev. Leo:* Sister Alex!
*Alex:* Reverend, good afternoon sir. How are you sir? And Mummy?
*Rev. Leo:* We are very fine dear. plea-se take your seat. And tell me what I can offer you.
*Alex:* Oh thank you sir, I don’t really want anything. I am on a seven days fast program and this is just the fourth day sir.
*Rev. Leo:* Oh beautiful, that’s a nice one. May our good Lord answer every of your heart request in Jesus name. Amen!
Alex answered “Amen!”
*Alex:* Reverend, there is something our Lord Jesus Christ asked me to tell you.
*Leo:* Really? (Sitting up) And what might that be. Hope there is no problem?
Just then Rachael who was woken up by the sound of people talking and was coming out to join them st©pped half way and listened to whatever Sister Alex was about to say.
*Alex:* Daddy, the Lord said I should tell you not to do it?
*Leo:* Not to do what? (Leo asked surprised)
*Alex:* I don’t know sir, The message was to tell you, NOT TO DO IT! that in His time he will make things beautiful.
Leo put his head down as he quic-kly un-derstood the message. He managed to smile as he knelt down and prayed thanking God for putting Him in his heart and then promising that he will do nothing to hurt the Lord.
Alex was very happy with the way Rev. Leo responded and even though she knew nothing of what the Reverend was going throu-gh, she prayed in her heart for God to see him throu-gh.
After the prayers she decided to leave and Rev. Leo stood up to see her to the gate. Rachael un-derstood all that was happening because she heard every of the conversation they had. She quic-kly rushes to Leo’s bag and searched for the cheque. Luckily for her she found it and quietly took it. Then, she sits waiting for Leo to return. Finally he c@m£ in.
*Leo:* Ah Honey, am glad you are awake, I was about coming to the room to get you.
*Rachael:* Well, I wasn’t asleep and here I am. What is it you want to tell me.
*Leo:* Honey you remember Sister Alex from church, she was here and she just left. God gave her a message for us. He said we shouldn’t do it and in his own time he will make things beautiful for us. Honey do you know what that means? It means God is answering us soon and we don’t have to pay Alfred or collect church money for anything.
*Rachael:* What do you mean by that?
*Leo:* Honey listen to me, Alex c@m£ with a message from God. He said we shouldn’t do it. God is not in support of this. He said we should wait on him. Do you know what it means? It means our waiting is over.
*Leo:* Honey, it means we don’t have to do anything. I will return the money back to church. I will have to tear off that cheque that I wrote for you and we will call Mr. Alfred and let him know we don’t want anything from him.
Rachael looks at Leo from head to toe, and without saying a word, she steps out of the house with one of their car keys and drives off.
Leo was wondering why she didn’t react or say anything. But he really didn’t care. He knelt down and prayed for God to forgive him for almost falling to sin. He was at peace with himself for the first time in a long while. Tomorrow he was going to tear off the cheque and then try to find the family of that girl and confess the truth to them. He picks up his bag and walks into his room to catch some rest.
WATCHOUT FOR EPISODE 6
plea-sE COMMENT IF YOU ENJOYED THE STORY
Enemies of the church Episode 5
*ENEMIES OF THE CHURCH:*