When he ended the call, he passed the phone to him. Pastor led the way and Peter followed him. When they reached the building, Lisa opened the door with a smile to welcome them. When they entered, Charlie ran to hug his father who couldn’t hide his tears. Charlie held onto him crying,
“Dad, where have you been since? I miss you, Dad!”
Anne, who stood beside her mother was watching them when her father called her to come over. He embraced both of them with tears of joy. Pastor Matthew looked at the joy of a reunited family and signalled to Lisa to join them. Pastor Matthew whispered in prayer to thank God for His faithfulness. Lisa had already prepared food for them and went to set the table while Charlie asked him questions upon questions. He sat beside his father looking at his big body frame and admiring his deep voice. Anne sat at the opposite Armchair watching her father who had changed within some months. The troubled look and unkempt hairs had given way to a more handsome father radiating the glory of God.
“Dad, why did you run away? Mum has been crying and waiting for you.” Charlie asked his smiling father.
“I went to look for money and God has brought me back. Get ready to enjoy God’s blessings.” Peter assured him.
“I didn’t see your bags. Don’t keep them outside because Ben will steal your wine.”
“He is a drunkard. He’s a dirty man. I saw him sleeping on the road sometimes.” Charlie said.
“Don’t worry. My bags are not here. Cuantos años tienes?” (How old are you?).
“Tengo ocho años.” (I’m eight years old.). Charlie replied.
“Wow! You are a big boy! What’s your favourite sport?”
He pointed to his jersey on one of the dining chairs.
“Wow! You are a Barcelona FC fan! We are in the same club!”
Charlie hugged his father and gave him a fist bump. Pastor Matthew joined in their conversation and shared his first experience at a football stadium in Madrid.
“I went with a friend some years ago to the stadium. When we alighted from the metro and walked towards the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium here in Madrid, many fans were in high spirits with their club jerseys. It was my first experience seeing the big names in football live and direct.”
“Did you see Messi?” Charlie interjected.
“No! I saw Ronaldo and other footballers. My friend was an ardent fan of Ronaldo and he was on top of the world shouting and refreeing at the same time. It was a nice experience.”
“Dad, we will go to the stadium and watch Messi playing. Promise?” Charlie asked his father.
“It is enough! Please, come and eat. The table is set! Lisa called them.
Pastor Matthew sat at the far right leaving the whole family to sit facing one another. He prayed over the food and they all descended on the delicious Nigerian Jollof rice with assorted meats, non-alcoholic wines, orange and apple juices, fried plantains, salads, both gaseous and mineral water and Moin-Moin (steamed bean pudding made from a mixture of washed and peeled black-eyed peas, onions and ground red peppers)
“Who prepared these foods?” Pastor asked her.
Lisa stretched her hand to show them.
“Wow! The Plaster of Paris has been removed. The healing shall be permanent in Jesus name.”
“Amen! Anne also helped me.”
Peter and Pastor appreciated her. Lisa sat beside her husband after serving him and continued eating until Peter observed that Anne wasn’t in good mood.
“Anne, is everything Ok?”
“Dad, don’t mind her. She is jealous because you are sitting beside Mum.” Charlie said jokingly.
Pastor Matthew had equally observed her and asked her,
“Anne, you aren’t cheerful. Are you alright?”
“Yes Pastor!” She replied.
Lisa whispered to her husband that she’s having a menstrual pain. When Pastor Matthew saw them, he decided not to ask further. He has four beautiful daughters doing great in the Lord. They had nice time together discussing the wonders of God. Pastor Matthew, Peter and Anne later went to the living room to relax leaving Charlie who helped her mother to clear the table. Lisa had taken it upon herself to train her son by participating in the household chores. She took that decision long before she got married when she saw how some men couldn’t do simple work at home. One of her maternal uncles helped his wife a lot in the house. When Lisa asked him how he learnt it, he praised his mother for instilling the values into his life. Her slogan was always, “Train the boys!”
Peter thanked Pastor Matthew for his kind gestures and for his good admonitions. Pastor Matthew in turn thanked Anne for her courage and loyalty to her father during those years. He further asked,
“Anne, do you know most teenagers tend to break loose and fulfill whatever that comes to their minds?”
“When our last daughter celebrated her 18th birthday, she asked me a vital question I will never forget.”
Anne wanted to know and asked him to mention it.
“Dad, what’s the most important question in life? I thought for a while because it came to me as a surprise. She sat in front of me just the same way you sit and I told her, ‘What are you living for?’ and she gave me a ready answer.”
“What did she answer?”
“I want you to answer me first.” Pastor asked her.
Anne thought for some seconds and replied, “I’m living for God.”
“Hmnn, well, it’s good to live for God. How do you live for God?”
“To serve God and love Him.” Anne replied.
“Is that all? Are you sure of your answer?”
“Yes!” She replied doubtfully.
“My daughter said she wanted to fulfil her purpose in life.”
“Purpose? Is it different from living for God?” Anne asked.
“You said it casually. Living for God may mean different things to different people. Every believer is expected to live for God, serve and love Him. That’s our primary goal in life. But what is your purpose in life? Have you found out the reason for your existence? What’s the assignment God has committee into your hands? Do you remember the parable of the talents?”
Lisa joined them and listened to their conversation.
“Yes! One received 5 talents, another received 2 talents and other 1 talent.” Anne answered discreetly.
“That’s great! What can you say about them?”
“Two of them received commendation while the one with one talent refused to use it and was condemned.”
“Exactly! That’s purpose! What’s the talent or assignment you have received from the Lord which must be used for His glory and the expansion of His kingdom? You must know it and run with the vision. Paul talked about his purpose in Acts 26:16 – 18. He opened his Bible to read it.
‘But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17) Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18) To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Paul knew his purpose and ran with it. No wonder he was able to say he has kept the faith, finished his course and fought a good fight. What are you living for? In summary, to fulfil God’s purpose for your life.” Pastor Matthew explained.
“Pastor, how can I know God’s purpose for my life?”
“Good! You must be His child. Then pray to know his purpose, dig into the Word of God, discover your talents, gifts and strength. Determine your passions and put your trust in God. He will surely reveal His mind and guide you.”
“Thank you Pastor! I will also find my purpose by God’s grace. Did your daughter finally find hers?” Anne asked.
“Yes! She loves singing right from her childhood. She took pleasure in learning keyboard and guitar. She also loves drama and taking care of children but her primary focus is in music. She went for voice training and started writing songs to the glory of God. By God’s grace, her first album will be released in December. She found joy in singing and God gave her favour and guidance. That’s purpose!”
“Does it mean we can only use one talent? She asked.
“No! It can be more than one talent as God gives grace. My wife is a Pastor, a children teacher, involves in Prison ministry. Also, a mother, wife, event planner and my special barber!”
They burst into laughter. Later, he prayed for the family and took Peter back to the hotel. Pastor Matthew told him he would come on the following day and take him to his house finally. When Pastor was about to leave, Peter received a distress call from…
To be continued in Episode 49.