One beautiful Sunday morning in the early 90s, I woke up not sure where I wanted to worship. I was tired of hearing things that weren’t adding value, so I asked my cousin if there was any church around Ikot Ekpene road where one can go and hear some soul-lifting words.
My cousin just smiled and said, “just go up this road, you’ll find one Dr. Ukafia. That guy is good!”
I went. I saw, and I was wowed by the encounter!
I went back the following Sunday only to see his boss announcing his transfer to Calabar… the congregants cried openly.
It didn’t really hit home then why they cried like deprived babies. Now I understand.
There was a long break!
Then in 1997, Dr. Margaret Gregory, a very dear sister came to me and asked, “Have you heard that Dr. Ukafia is back in Uyo and has started church on Aka road?”
My eyes lit up!
The following Sunday I was at Insight Bible Church, 177 Aka Road. I saw my long lost “man of God”.
I was excited!
I sat on the front row as I didn’t want to miss anything from his mouth. He took over the service and there was this sudden assurance and calmness in my spirit because of the enveloping presence that came with him.
He taught us from the book of Matthew 20: 1-11 that day, I heard that scripture like I’ve never heard or read it before.
He concluded by declaring, “every minute you have stood in faith will be paid in full by God”
I knew I had found home!
I joined the choir, not because I could sing, (most times I spoilt the song by singing off-key), but I was just excited to serve God where this amazing man was serving! I served until other responsibilities in the church took over.
Dr. Ukafia, I’ve not regretted being around you these 24 years. You have been patient with me. You have loved me like a big brother would. You have cared for me like only a good shepherd would.
Dr. Ukafia, you are phenomenal!
I’m a better Christian today because I met you.
You have held my hands through very low moments of my life.
Thank you for being my pastor
Thank you for being my big brother
Thank you for being my friend
Thank you being my boss.
Happy birthday my QUINTESSENTIAL pastor
Pst. Iboro Ikpeme
(Programme Manager, Insight Gospel Aid Initiative)