“FROM THE GARBAGE DUMP TO BECOMING A GLOBAL INFLUENCE”
“Africa’s greatest ambassador of apostolic Christian faith to the world.”
Do you have a root of rejection plaguing your soul? Are you starved of the approval from people that matters most to you which you desperately seek? Are your dreams battered and shattered without the knowledge of how you will live your dreams? Does life seem unfair and deals you with injustice? Do you feel belittled, devalued, rejected and labeled by others because of your supposed weakness which is not of your own making?
The narrative of this life story takes us back to a typical African traditional society where husbands married more than one wife and dominated their wives and their wives were subservient to their husbands with little or no influence over the decision making of the home and they practiced the worship of deities.
I present to you a story of one of the greatest heroes of faith that Africa has ever known who had left his thumbprint on the document of destiny.
THE BIRTH OF A CHILD DECLARED UNWORTHY TO LIVE BY HIS FATHER
Every child conceived and birthed into the world is meant to bring happiness to both parents as they nurture and shower affection on the child. However, this wasn’t the case of a baby who was delivered into a family in Benin, Nigeria, in 1938. Due to the baby’s sickly and fainting nature, his stern, hard-hearted father told his mother to dump him on a garbage heap and leave him there to die. “The baby is a curse to my household” John had exclaimed spitting on the floor. “He refuses to die-yet he refuses to live. The next time he faints, you put him on the rubbish heap and leave him there. I’m tired of your calling me home from my work, crying over a sickly baby.” “He is not worthy to be my son. And if you don’t obey me and throw him away, you will no longer be a part of my household.”
After about three hours, there was a downpour of rain, the mother could take it no longer and rushed out of her home to snatch up her child from the piles of garbage. When she arrived at the scene, she was very excited to find that her son was yet alive, although soaked with water and passionately wailing; and she returned quickly to her home.
She fed her child but shook with fright as she thought about her husband’s reaction when he would arrive home. Later that day, upon seeing the child, there was the expected outburst of anger. “Just as I thought!” her husband shouted. “You’ve brought that worthless baby back from the rubbish heap—that’s the crying I heard in the night!” With tears running down the wife’s cheeks, she responded, “He is going to live! How can you throw away your own son?”
But her husband’s mind was made up, and he said, “I am going away for a few days to visit my timber stations, and when I come back, I better not find this baby in the house.”
The wife, sensing the note of finality in her husband’s words, left with the child to go to her grandparents’ home. She said to herself, “I know I’m doing the right thing, but it won’t be easy to ask my family to take me and the child into their household; they have so many mouths to feed already. But I’ll help with farming—I’ll sell produce in the market—whatever I have to do to provide for my son. I don’t know what it is, but this son seems special somehow—he is different from others.”
The years went by, and the child grew stronger. The wife and her husband reconciled, but the father’s hatred and rejection of his son remained.
LOVE FOR EDUCATION
Benson was thrilled at learning the English language and was excited about books in general. Hence, attending school became a great delight to the youngster. He attended school for only two years when at the age of 11 his father who hardly ever speaks to him categorically informed him that he will be living with his uncle in order to practice farming while his siblings attended school. Benson became out rightly disappointed as his dream of gaining formal education seems shattered. He longed for the closeness of his father but what he received was rejection, disdain, and hatred. His separation from his mother who was the only person that truly loved him was painful to bear.
At his uncle’s house, the youngster was a servant and performed overwhelming tasks meant for a fully grown adult. Even though the boy worked tirelessly, his efforts were never appreciated. His childhood and adolescence were filled with rejection, torture, and poverty. He did not wear his first pair of shoes until the age of eighteen when he bought them with his hard-earned money. But despite the ill-treatment that engulfed him daily, he never became bitter, upset, or resentful. Instead, he grew up caring for his father and showering him with gifts.
THE SCEPTRE OF RESPONSIBILITY
This young man captured his future by taking full responsibility for his life. He never played the blame game. Instead, his statements and thoughts reflected a positive attitude. “If Uncle Joseph won’t let me go to school, I’ll have to find some other way to learn. But I’m determined not to be a farmer for the rest of my days—there’s got to be more to life than picking beans or harvesting yams.” With grit and tenacity, he designed his destiny.
LEGACY OF IMPACT
The “worthless child,” as pronounced by his biological father, grew to become a great asset to his generation. He had strong connections with international gospel ministers like Billy Graham, T. L. Osborn, Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Reinhard Bonnke, Morris Cerullo, Oral Roberts, amongst others. Through his evangelistic ministry, he preached the gospel in 145 nations in his lifetime. He was the first black African evangelist to shake Australia in a massive crusade that received national attention. At the time of his death in 1998, he was reputed as having preached to more whites than any black man, and to more blacks than any white man.
He is reported to have been used by God in performing many miracles, including healing the blind and raising up to twenty-eight people from the dead at different times in his ministry.
He is noted as the revivalist of Pentecostalism in Nigeria. He also founded Christian Faith University and an international Bible school that attracted people from Maurice, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, England, Japan, Europe, the Middle East, and other nations of the world. In addition, he established the Church of God Mission International.
But this would never have happened if he hadn’t let go of the memories of the hurtful past and approached the future with forgiveness and unconditional love.
LIFE LESSONS TO LIVE BY:
- Every child has the right to live with dignity and no adult, not even the parent has the right to abuse, devalue or deliberately seek to destroy any life. Every child is special and has a unique purpose to fulfill irrespective of the circumstances within or without. Therefore, human life must be preserved,
- Love doesn’t give up on anyone and doesn’t give in to opposing forces because love recognizes the inestimable worth of others despite the apparent weakness of the person. Benson’s mother never gave up on her son despite the opposition by her husband.
- Someone’s indifference towards you does not erase the difference you will make in life. Throughout Benson’s childhood to adolescent, his father was indifferent towards him and despised him.
- Rejection is not fatal and acceptance is not final but what you make of your life is crucial. Benson’s rejection by his father did not eject him from becoming all that he was created to be.
- You will never enjoy a lifestyle of progressive success until you enjoy reading and learning from valuable and insightful books as a lifestyle. Benson was a life-long learner in the domain of life.
- Consciously and carefully choose what you believe because your beliefs shape the outcome of your life rather than becoming crowd-driven. Benson refused to believe in idol worship even though his entire household believed in it. In fact, his father was the high priest of idol worship in the Idahosa family.
- “If Uncle Joseph won’t let me go to school, I’ll have to find some other way to learn,” Benson reflected. “But I’m determined not to be a farmer for the rest of my days-there’s got to be more to life than picking beans or harvesting yams.”
People or circumstances may temporarily hinder you from living your dreams but it is only you that can stop yourself permanently from living out your dreams. When there is a will, there will always be a way to your dream living zone.
- To live an amazing life that becomes an inspiring example to the world, you must master evil with good by living to love. Benson forgave his father and showed him love and care despite the history he had with his father. He knew he will never lay hold of his destiny until he lets go of his history.
- Archbishop Benson Idahosa’s life is sterling evidence that when your beliefs are founded on the principles laid out in the Bible you live a life of possibilities and positivity impacting your world. Indeed, the Bible is the blueprint for living an extraordinary life when you live it out.
“Living a daily life of absolute faith in God is the only secret to great success”
-ARCHBISHOP BENSON IDAHOSA.
THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU
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About the Author
Udeme Archibong is a prolific writer, an astute communicator and a model of excellence. Her writings have made profound impact on thousands of lives around the world through her blog: successrecipeblog.com, which has followings in over 70 countries in continents of the world.
She is a Self-Development Expert, who passionately works towards helping people maximize their destinies.
At some point, she was a motivational columnist, writing Success Recipe and Destiny Catalyst, for two Nigerian national newspapers, Vanguard and ThisDay, respectively. She is the initiator of the Revolution Series Seminars