I woke up in the morning and walked down to our guest room. There on the bed was lying our guest with towels wrapped around his head and with almost all his clothes on and the big blanket covering him. He was shivering and cold. Oh my goodness! I had totally forgotten that our Nigerian guest was not used to the Polish Spring. It was May and temperatures were about 20 degrees Celcius in the day and about 14 degrees Celcius at night. I was used to it but He was not. I forgot to put on the heater for him.
That guest was Brother Gbile Akanni and it was the month of May the year 2000.
I met Bro Gbile while I was a student on Campus. I had listened to his messages on cassette. Each time he spoke – I felt so touched and fire burned within. The first time I heard him live was during the “GO FEST” in 1988. He confronted us with the question:
– What are you living for? If what you are living for is not worth dying for, then it is not worth living for.
That singular question changed the trajectory of my life and made me decide to become a missionary.
That same year – during our visit to Nigeria, we visited Brother Gbile and stayed in his home in Gboko, Benue state. Bro Gbile visited us about 4 more times to speak in our churches and conferences. We also translated and published his book “Closed Heavens” into Polish language.
What qualities attracted me to Bro Gbile Akanni?
1. First, it was the message he preached. The Word of God from him was poignant and touching. You cannot sit under his ministry and not cry out to God for mercy. You cannot listen to him and not have more hunger for God.
2. His simplicity is phenomenal. Despite the crowd he commands – Bro Gbile will not take any other title. He is simply Bro Gbile! No one would have issues if he called himself Apostle Gbile Akanni. But no! He was Bro Gbile!
3. He has a heart for missions and mission work the remotest areas where missionaries are laboring for the Gospel.
4. He is not greedy. I am sure if he wanted to live in a palatial accommodation, He could afford it. But he chose to live in a simple bungalow with all simplicity you can think of. He receives many gifts- cars, money etc but he chooses to give them away or sow it into the Gospel. Such men are rare.
5. He and his wife – Sister Sade were very hospitable. The time we spent in their home- we were treated as his own family. His wife took so very good care of us.
As you enter this week- I pray that you will not take for granted the destiny men and women God is placing on your way; Men who God has equipped to help you achieve your purpose in destiny. It may seem to you now that they will always be there. No they will not. Make the most of the time you have with them because God has more assignments for them and for you.
Who are these men and women that God has gifted you in this phase of your life? Pray and thank God for them- for they also are men of like passion.
God bless you.
John Abraham Godson