Our fellowship president became my mentor and role model. Bro Ishaku was sentenced to life imprisonment and had spent twenty years already in prison. His faith and trust in God despite his condition, was a motivation to all of us who were his disciples. It really takes strong faith in Christ for a condemned inmate to talk about God the way bro Ishaku did when he gave us exhortations.
Pastor Lanre was not able to contact my people until a month to my freedom from prison. When my father was worried for not hearing from me for such a long time, he sent one of my uncles to trace me to Jocelyn’s family house where we held our traditional wedding but he was shut out on hearing he was from my kindred. When my father and mother finally visited me in prison, we all wept together when they saw my suffering. I assured them I will be fine knowing I would be out of prison soon.
Even though I stayed beyond six months in prison, I was released on the 21st of August.
I, who was thrown into prison as a backsliding Christian, came out as a fire brand. I learnt my lessons well with hunger and hard labour.
Upon my release, I was warned never to step into Jocelyn’s house or anybody close to her ever, else I will be sent back to prison. I came out of prison without a place to go. All my things were still in Jocelyn’s house but I was told never to step there again. Thanks to pastor Lanre, a man with a good heart. He admitted me into the church mission house. He gave me hope and a new life.
My faith in Christ waxed stronger by the day seeing how pastor Lanre and the church rallied round me to give me shelter when I had no one, food when I was hungry and clothes when I was naked. Pastor Lanre tried to get me a job but that wasn’t realistic without my credentials. He begged Jocelyn to release my credentials to me but she refused. She had since stopped attending our church, after I was thrown into prison.
Pastor Lanre engaged me as one of the staff of the church even when there wasn’t vacancy. I was engaged to do special duties. As special duty officer, my job was nothing more than running errands for the church and staff of the church. This time, I ran those errands not just because they were my official duties but I did them as a service unto God.
All my efforts to hear from Kauna proved abortive as I learnt she later relocated to the UK to cover the shame our action had caused the family. I was reliably informed also that she gave birth to a baby girl and may never come back to Nigeria again. Mrs Kalu became my informant, she was a member of our church and a staff of NNPC. She was the one who informed me that Jocelyn in annoyance had burnt all my things in her house, including my credentials.
Pastor Lanre began to talk about reconciling with my wife and her family but I saw this as a dream that may never come true. The damage done to Jocelyn’s family by my action can never be repaired. The scar of the the wound will also be there and will cause the seed of bitterness and hatred to ever bear fruit anytime they see me. I know Jocelyn will never forgive me, if for everything, not for impregnating her younger sister. Even though I knew I needed Jocelyn’s forgiveness and that of her family, getting it seemed elusive.