MY JOURNEY INTO MISSIONS
August 2018, I attended a mission conference organized by INSIGHT BIBLE CHURCH Abak Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Prior to that conference I had never heard or known anything about missions or who a missionary was, but while the guest speaker was sharing his mission work testimonies, I felt a strong impression in my heart that God wanted me to join His Global vision of reaching the unreached with the gospel of hope and salvation. After the conference, I walked up to the guest speaker and inquired of him how I could devote my life to the work of missions. That was the year I rounded off my One year compulsory National Youth Service to my Nation. There were prospects for jobs as well as business openings, however, I sensed that God was about to put me in the center of my purpose on the earth. The guest speaker recommended a School of Mission to me to be trained for a year as a missionary.
The major challenge then reared its head. As a fresh graduate, I was not buoyant enough to foot my bills for the one year program. God, however, had prepared Dr Ukafia to meet my need. Having only been introduced by word of mouth to Him by the guest speaker, Dr Ukafia took it upon himself to foot all my bills throughout my stay in the school. Although I was neither a member of his church nor had he ever set his eyes on me before, Dr Ukafia reached out to me on calls and on WhatsApp messages every single month to check up on me in the school and paid all my bills for twelve months without ever seeing me face to face.
He is a kingdom person for whom denominations mean little or nothing as long as one is pursuing God’s divine agenda. In the school, God transformed my life completely; I rededicated myself to Christ, got trained as a missionary, planted churches, won over fifty Muslims to Christ, went on interior mission trips and got clarity on my call into the ministry. A year later when I finally had the privilege of meeting Ukafia in person for the first time, I was shocked to realize that he could barely be distinguished from the pew members. God expressly told me in visions and Scriptures to submit under his leadership for further mentoring and training in leadership and ministry for which I am today gladly serving as a mentee Pastor under Dr Ukafia.
Words would fail me to count the many leadership trainings and exposures I have gained under his leadership. Currently, I am reading his personal copy of the book by Goerge Muller, Delighted in God, which he gave me in his office as part of my training manuals. I have had the privilege of attending key leadership trainings such as Global Leadership Submit, Empowered to Multiply, Exponential and many others in less than six months of working with him. Indeed, I have found the Apostle Paul of my time, a leader I could be free to eat, laugh, gist and brainstorm with, without any sense of intimidation or manipulation. This is my journey into missions and through the support, encouragement and leadership of Ukafia, today I am a fulfilled Missionary, Pastor, Student and Leader in the making. My name is Effiong, Friday. I am what I am in ministry today because God led me to Sylvanus Ukafia, Happy 60th Birthday sir.