I have never seen a man driven by his passion to see pastors trained and equipped more than Dr. Ukafia. If you could plot his travels over the last 10 years on a map, you will be finding yourself in some of the unlikeliest of places around the world.
When we first met Pastor Ukafia, each time we spoke with him on the phone, he just got back from one very odd location. If it’s not Liberia, or Niamey in Niger, it would be Guinea Bissau or Sierra Leone. Kilode? What is this man looking for in all these places? I wouldn’t find out until I was recruited to join the travels. I just began to find myself in all manner of odd places. Today we are on way to Kafanchan in Kaduna State or Mubi in Adamawa State, the next month we are on a boat to Bonny Island after which we are heading to Bangui in Central Africa Republic or Kampala in Uganda.
No, the man is not an explorer or just obsessed with travels. He believes that one pastor properly trained is an entire city or nation well discipled. When it comes to reaching pastors no matter how remote the place is, budget is never a factor. Pastor Ukafia believes that the Church should be able to spend more resources in training one pastor than they spend putting up a church building.
The only thing you need to say to get pastor on his way to anywhere in the world is to convince him that you can put 50 pastors in a room and he can have them for three days. You just got yourself a deal. It doesn’t matter if this place is Sambisa forest or an Al Shabab controlled region.
If they say passion is contagious, then this is one thing that we have seen him do so many times that all his pastors don’t complain again once it comes to this task, because they know, anywhere there are pastors, Dr. Ukafia will endure any hardship and expend any resources just to reach them and share with them time proven skills and experiences that will help them succeed in ministry.
Today, Dr. Ukafia turns 60. Amazing. You would think this passion will decline. No. It’s as strong as when we first met him. But for the global lockdown, we would be on our way to Abidjan in Ivory Coast two days after the Birthday celebrations.
Pastor, you’re the kind of person I want to be when I become 60. Still pursuing with all vigour the things you know God has asked you to do. The world needs to study you sir, and those of us who have the opportunity to walk alongside you are extremely privileged to experience first hand what it means to be a man of passion, purpose, focus and integrity. Sixty is only the beginning sir. To the ends of the earth and beyond. Happy Birthday Boss.
By David Ogunshola