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From Darkness To Light

One lovely Thursday morning in August 1992, the Almighty God displayed His wonderful work of grace when my Dad, Wellington Agbebakun Imoukhuede, was born again. He was about 75 years old when this great event took place. The change was real and the difference was clear.

What led up to this change in his life?

It all started when I was informed about his ill-health. I rushed to his home where I met one of my sisters who is a Christian. She had come as a nurse to check his condition. After carrying out the necessary tests, she told my dad that the results were not good for his high blood pressure and his diabetic condition.

How did you respond when you heard the bad news?

By this time I had already been speaking to him about the consequences if his condition should deteriorate further. I shared with him the Bible verse from Hebrews 9:27: It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement. My sister then began to sing a song about the love of God. My dad listened attentively, and then he was in tears. This was quite unlike him. I felt the power of the Holy Spirit moving in my dad's room where this 'drama' was unfolding. Now empowered by the Holy Spirit, I went on to challenge my dad about the goodness and mercies of God in his life. 'What would you say to God when you leave this world?' I asked. 'Surely you will have no-one to blame but yourself,' I added.

What kind of man was your father?

Perhaps it would be necessary to say that my dad had been an idolater, a witchdoctor and a leader of a secret cult. He was the power of darkness personified! For this reason many people who came in contact with him feared him greatly. Some of us, his children, had accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour. Over a period of 27 years, as believers in the Lord Jesus, we had prayed for his conversion, we lived out the Christian life as much as we could, and we spoke to him of the love of God in salvation through Jesus Christ, His only Son, as often as the opportunity opened to us. This lovely day in August 1992 was one of such opportunities. But this was different as this was going to be 'D-Day'.

It's not always easy to witness to a close relative. How did you know what to say to your father?

I was very sure of the leading of the Holy Spirit as I spoke to my dad of the need to give his life to Christ. He had heard the gospel many times, so without repeating what I thought he already knew, I asked him if he would give his life to Christ. He answered, 'Yes!' Not satisfied with his answer, I challenged him about when he would take this step. To my amazement, he said, 'Today.' 'Why not now?' I pressed. That was it. He knelt down, eyes closed, and prayed to God, asking for the forgiveness of his sins and that God should make him His 'child like my other children'. My dad knew that some of his children were saved. After this prayer I showed him some verses from the Bible to give him the assurance of salvation.

You mentioned earlier that many people feared your father. How did he show that he had changed and that there was no longer any reason for fear?

To show evidence of this new life, he burnt up all the 'articles of trade' in the witchcraft business. He withdrew from the leadership of the secret cult. His words to the cult members were: 'I have now been reborn' (2 Cor. 5:17). Tough days were ahead of him, but the Lord was with him. Not long after, he was also publicly baptised (Rom. 6:4) and added to the Church of God at Surulere. Two-and-a-half years later, he died and went to be with Christ. Amazing grace!

What do you think we can learn from your father's experience?

The worst of sinners is saved when they come to God in true repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus (Acts 17:30; 20:21). If Wellington Agbebakun Imoukhuede could be saved, 'whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved' (Rom. 10:13).