Angela thanked her for her support and genuine love for her and her daughter. On their way home, Annie repeatedly reminded her mother of her 6th year birthday party with her friends and her mother was prepared to satisfy her. She kept counting days until that day when her friends came to celebrate with her. When the birthday celebration was about to start, someone entered and Angela was shocked.
Mrs Hephzibah, Angela’s elder sister who lived in Italy decided to surprise her and Annie. It was a happy reunion for them as they hugged each other after seven years. Annie was equally happy to welcome her aunt who brought a lot of gifts for her. The birthday celebration had in attendance their parents, some church members and friends. When the celebration ended, Clement praised Angela for coordinating the children maturely and upholding Christian values during the celebration. He prayed for her and left with other church members.
Later in the evening, Mrs Hephzibah challenged Angela for allowing Clement to brainwash her with religious beliefs in regards to celebrating birthday.
“Angela, when did you join these fanatics who aren’t fit to be in this world again? They neither drink alcohol nor enjoy life to the fullness. I wonder what gives them satisfaction.”
“Sister Hephzy, I’m a believer in Christ Jesus. Annie is also enjoying her life with Jesus. In fact, you could see that the children really enjoyed themselves today.”
“You? Angela? So you have joined them. My goodness! For your information, I hate them and avoid them like a plague. They are hypocrites and don’t mingle with people. Holier-than-thou attitude!”
“This isn’t true. Believers in Christ Jesus are lively people full of joy of the Holy Spirit. My sister, ever since I gave my life to Jesus, He has never disappointed or failed me. He is ever faithful.” Angela testified.
“Oh, I see. He is faithful? That’s why you are yet to get married. I know three women who clocked 40 years before they were given husbands in their church. I hope you aren’t planning to get married to Clement or any man from their midst. The fact is, I will never attend your wedding!”
“Sister, are you here to visit us or to taunt me? Please, let’s change the topic.”
“Do you want to chase me away like you did to Mr Dare from Prophet Jerry’s church?”
On hearing this, Angela was dumbfounded. She knew their mother had revealed everything to her. She wondered how her sister would travel down to the Netherlands from Italy to question her personal choices. She decided not to reply her but to ask after her business.
“Sister, how’s your business going? How are the young girls faring in the business?”
“Which business? Angela, mind your utterances.”
“I haven’t forgotten how you almost ruined my life by luring me into prostitution. I escaped and didn’t inform our mother. You came here to challenge me not to marry from certain group of believers. So, you want me to marry one of the men who patronise your girls? Answer me!”
It became tensed as they exchanged words maturely because of Annie who was watching the television. Angela’s sister informed her that she had left that illegal business when she contracted a strange sickness that left some scars on her body.
“It was from one sickness to another for almost two years before I got a relief through a herbalist.”
“Herbalist? Where?” Angela shouted.
“I travelled to our country and visited him in a remote village. But after that…” She burst into tears.
Angela was surprised to see her weeping in her presence. Her sister, also known as Iron lady earned that name for daring anyone who tried to cheat her. Angela remembered how she beat up some boys in their school who booed her because of her oversized gown.
“It was when I returned that I lost my first daughter.”
“Ha! I remember you told me she died mysteriously. My God!” Angela lamented.
“When I later informed the herbalist, he told me that she was the substitute. Ha! It pained me and I couldn’t reveal it to my husband.”
Angela seized the opportunity to present the gospel to her.
“Sister, it really pained me when there’s a perfect substitute already.”
“Angela, I didn’t know. Who’s the substitute? My daughter was innocent. Ha! Had I known this substitute before she died, I would have sought for him.”
“Jesus Christ is our perfect substitute. He had died in our place and bore our sins and punishment. We don’t need to do any sacrifice again. With His stripes, we are healed and made whole.”
Mrs Hephzibah bowed her head in sorrow as she reflected on her struggles and troubles.
“The sickness returned after a year and the herbalist told me to come back next month. Our mother asked me to visit you before travelling home. I’m even scared to visit the herbalist. Who knows the next victim? I don’t want to lose anyone again…” Hephzibah revealed.
Angela was still surprised how her sister kept pouring out her heart.
“Sister, there’s a solution. Just surrender your life to Jesus Christ and He will beautify your life with unlimited blessings. I tried Him and my life isn’t the same again. He loves me and he’s ever with me.” Angela testified again.
Mrs Hephzibah sighed deeply as she looked at her sister radiating the joy of God. She asked if she could think over it but Angela warned her against delaying her salvation. She opened the Bible to her and admonished her to yield her all to Jesus Christ. When she was about to…
To be continued in Episode 29.