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Last post, I talked about work being the fulcrum of our dreams. However, what I did not mention was that we must never work with the similitude of lemmings. Our work must have direction, must be focused!

Joseph gave us a peek into this situation in his dream when he said, “we were all out in the field gathering bundles of wheat.”
The bloke did not see himself dressmaking, fetching water or leading sheep which was the first job we saw him doing before his brothers sold him into slavery.
Joseph was specific in his dream. He was putting sheaves together. He was providing solution to a food problem. He was producing value in the food industry.


This opened my eyes to the fact that our dreams should be focused on problem solving and creating value for a particular niche of life. It is not a surprise that in the future, we later saw him solving a global food issue.

Like a GPS system, the problem solving dream traversed time and space and guided him like a heat seeking missile smack-dab into the middle of a global food crisis where he was the only one with the wherewithal to resolve the conundrum.


Fact : Working on our dreams around the clock alone won’t cut it. Our dreams must be purposeful and precise with a problem solving mission. Working hard with that in mind is what will guarantee hitting the mother-lode no matter how long it takes.

b2ap3_thumbnail_dream.jpg

So question for us is what industry of life are we dreaming of? What problems are we dreaming and thinking of solving in that industry?

All our work has to be geared towards something in the pursuit of our dreams. The greatest dreamers were those who had adding value in mind and value came back to them. They were like bees producing honey in particular areas of life e.g Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Mel Gibson, Muhammed Ali, Sam Adeyemi, etc.

The list is endless and with the passage of the sands of time, more names that we are quite familiar with will be added to the distinguished roll call.


Joseph again reminded me of God. God had a dream for humanity and worked towards it by sending his Son. This was written about the Heir he sent, “For this PURPOSE the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”


What problems would you be remembered for solving? Remember Joseph was still a teenager when he had his problem solving dreams.



Written by Dr. Eze Ekpochinyere undefined
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I did a couple of posts on dreams at the beginning of the year and revisiting the life of the dreamer recently made my eyes pop once again as if I were Alice in wonderland.


It occurred to me that in a world where most would want to be magicians conjuring wealth and success like bunnies out of hats (this really applies to a country like ours riddled with 419 schemes, kidnappings and all kinds of nefarious activities. Youths wanting to become Dangotes in two shakes of a lambs tail) and where people bind and loose at the drop of a hat, most would have quickly denounced and rejected Joseph’s dream.

We would have woken up the next morning shouting tufia, snapping our fingers over our heads, pleaded the blood of Jesus until we were hoarse, visited some charlatans garbed as prophets to cast out the demons behind such invading visions and all sorts of clowning activities.


For most, a dream would be about a cruise, sipping Piña Colada on the beaches of the Caribbean, taking selfies on camels in Dubai, house warming, driving the much coveted Bugatti, having a wedding in Vegas, etc.

Then along comes the poster child of dreams and he poo-poos on everything we hold dear with his dream.


Joseph dreams that he was on a farm, smeared with dirt, grimy, sweaty and stacking food.
WHAT KIND OF A DREAM WAS THAT??????!!!!!
Who wants to see himself slaving away on a farm instead of a boat ride along the Danube???


Dude was working; his dream was built on work. He saw a revelation of himself being industrious.

His dream told us to wake up and smell the coffee; that our dreams won’t mean squat if we are lazy!
That work ethic guided him all his life and took him from slavery and incarceration to the palace.


Every authentic dreamer must see himself engaged in meaningful work!

For any dream to come true the instrumentality of work has to take an upper role, call the shots, and dictate the direction of our deepest desires.


It is actually not farfetched, first time we met God in Genesis, He was in heavenly overalls working and putting a dream he had for the world in place.
He put His back into it so much that he had to go on vacation after it all.


A major malady plaguing our nation from our political to educational systems and more is that most want the vacation without the work and this has resulted in decrepit systems.


For any dream to be actualized, it must be worked at religiously, whether spiritual, professional, financial, and growing older I have come to know that it also applies to marital and parental.


Dreams are bridges that connect our present with our future. What forms the foundations of those dreams is work.

That means lazy people cannot access the future.
That means without work, there is no enduring tomorrow.


It is profound what Jesus said.... MY FATHER WORKETH HITHERTO, AND I WORK!


TO BE CONTINUED.....


Written by Dr. Eze Ekpochinyere

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For us, investing in teenagers is key. Training them to be better adults and leaders.

With the assistance of our financial partners and Daystar Leadership Academy, 22 teenagers were sponsored all expense paid, to attend Daystar Leadership Academy for Teens in July, 2015. We appreciate you all. Because of you our sponsors, 22 teenagers got better.

The training which is done yearly, every July ; is a 5 day event. Yes 5 days seems short, yet long. However, teenagers from the different social starta come together in a conducive environment with seasoned facilitators to learn life, soft and hard skills.

These first set of teenagers sponsored under the umbrella of Better Me Global were drawn from Bariga and Isolo areas of Lagos.

We are thrilled because some teenagers now see that life can get better.

Some teenagers get to use a public toilet in Nigeria for the first time where you are not afraid to eat inside because it's very clean and kept clean.

Some get to sit in an air-conditioned room for the first time to learn.

Others get to the treated and spoken to with respect as a teenager for the very first time at this training. This builds self esteem.

Some gets to be in an environment where it is illegal to throw dirt on the floor for the first time. So they see that cleanliness is possible.

Getting teenagers from different locations to attend helps foster social equality and inclusion.

We believe that our future leaders must be part of the leadership process from now.

The results might not be evident so soon. However, we believe the seeds of greatness, relevance and purpose are being sown.
Setting them up for new positive dreams, disruption, positive mindset, and helping them see they can live above mediocre culture.

July is here again. More teenagers desire to experience learning in a whole new environment.

If you wish to sponsor, please subscribe to our feed and send us a mail.
You could also reach us by mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Thank you.

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The One with the outstretched hand

He is able to save
Deliver
Protect
Heal
Rescue
Resuscitate
Redeem
Revive
Re-position
Replace
Return
Restore
Provide

Yes provide for all your needs
He daily loads us with benefits, even the God of our Salvation.
You might be thinking no one cares about you or for you. Trust me Olowogbogboro does care.
He provides what we need per time.

FACT : We may not always get what we want because our needs are totally different from our wants.

A newly born baby needs milk for food, nourishment and growth. No matter how much the mother loves the baby, she must only feed it with milk.
She also even needs to be selective of what she eats as it is passed to the baby through the milk. Amazing!!!!

In similar vein, God is careful to release what we need per time to us so we don’t get chocked, constipated or be in harms way.

This is not to say we can’t aspire or desire. However, our desires and aspirations should be energies that drive us to achieve needs the right way and be able to create a balance.

For instance, as a young person who is in dire need and stranded : in need of affection, food, clothing and basic things. It is easy to think ‘I just need money to fix most of these needs’.

But let me shock you that you don’t even need money at all. I mean in meeting all these needs money might not even be needed by you directly.
Let’s break it down

1. The affection you need comes from people around in small pockets from people who ask simple questions like how are you today?, good morning, Are you okay?, Is anything the matter?, etc.
Some people might even come to visit you or give you a call. Smile at you or bump into you.

2. Feeding and other items can be given to you by sincere people. You will be amazed at how much people want to at least ensure that no one goes to bed hungry.

3. Some people just shows up to sponsor a training or skill acquisition program for you.

The list goes on and on.

Therefore we need to keep our minds open and be quick to balance thoughts.
When we can quickly balance our thoughts to focus less on our needs, we see how much of provision Olowogbogboro has made available for us per time.

God bless you as you enjoy the blessings of Olowogbogboro even beyond the Hallelujah challenge


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This one got me scratching my head furiously....
And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
This is the most paradoxical of statements, if there ever was one. A slave has nada, absolutely nothing! So how could a slave boy be said to be prosperous?


Then I got hit by an eureka moment, not while in the bath though.
If one is bereft of everything and anything but the person is committed to a burning dream, a dream that defies death then the person is not poor, can never be destitute, NEVER!
We know there was a time Harrison Ford was a carpenter.


Secondly....
But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
What would make The One who gave Saturn its colorful rings leave his streets of gold and go dwell with an impoverished immigrant in some squalid slave quarters and also move with him into a dank, gloomy dungeon?
WHAT??!!!


You see, God had a dream. It was to save humanity through a gift, His Son.
The Son was to come through a lineage and if that family tree got uprooted or extirpated, it would affect the dream. Hence the lineage had to stay intact; it had to be totally preserved.
Nothing must disrupt the line. It was imperative that Joseph had to save his father and brothers, it was a must! On the other hand, the people the gift was meant for had to be alive to receive it too.
It was a global dream that included you and me in futuristic aeons to come.


Joseph bought into God’s dream. His dream benefited him quite alright but it was ultimately God’s.
God and Joseph were in a partnership to realize the same goal. Though he was just a teenager.
The dude was carrying something that mattered to heaven, a matter that eternity had interest in. That was why The Almighty had to follow Joseph wherever he went. He had to make sure things panned out good for the lad.


It is good to have dreams of our own but most importantly, it is wonderfully great to tap into God’s dream.
God is a lover and is all about people. He is consumed with blessing humanity and making lives better.
The dreams God will go all out for to make happen will be the ones that carry His heartbeat, passion, selfless ones.

Joseph knew this. He was aware of the fact that he could not make the dream come alive on his own, which was why he turned his back on Potiphar’s wife. He told her the transgression would be against God, he did not even mention his master.


The dream Giver still has dreams, massive ones for the good of humanity and is looking for dream catchers like Joseph who will unite with him to bring them to pass.
Let us all endeavor to get on this train...
I believe it will be a ride more exciting than the Orient Express.....


Written by Dr. Ekpo Ezechinyere
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I HATE STRESS!!!
Every fiber of my being detests it, but recently I am beginning to see it in a new light. However, I still don’t welcome it as a lover’s hug.

If Joseph had accepted Potiphar’s wife offer, it would have been so convenient, extremely so. Hammocks, cushions, dates and stolen kisses along the banks of the Nile would seemingly be a better option than a prison anytime.
Less work and more fun appears to be a better deal but thing was, the road to the palace had to be navigated through prison walls.

It was in the stressful environments of being a slave and a prisoner that Joseph honed his craft, developed capacity, learned administration and acquired managerial skills.
The harsh conditions brought out his very best so much that he became the go-to man.

I would wager that many ladies would swoon over dudes with bulging pecs, rippling beefcakes and six packs (not the beer kind).
That kind of musculature does not fall like ripe cherries over men. If it did, I would have looked more like Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.
It comes by STRESS!
Stress that is laser focused and intentionally deployed. That is what Joseph did with his stress. He did not drag himself around in a catatonic haze moping and weeping, wondering why the deck of life had dealt him a bad hand.

Human beings can be stressful and Joseph encountered many of such people but he never became bitter or petty.
It was human beings that led him to the prison, brothers inclusive. It was also a human being that brought him out.

In it all Joseph still loved people (his dream boiled down to all about saving people), which was why he was able to see that the crestfallen countenance of the Butler and the Baker.
There would have been no shortage of schadenfreude for another in Joseph’s shoes seeing the notable officers of Pharaoh thrown in to share his gloomy quarters.

The most remarkable thing of all was that in those stressful seasons of his life, HE NEVER GAVE UP ON HIS DREAM! This was why he told the Butler, “Mention me unto Pharaoh, tell Pharaoh about me, give my dossier or C.V to the monarch!”
That was crazy audacity of faith and hope.

The dreams he had were dreams of leadership, of being first amongst equals and to him that meant he could stand in the same court with Pharaoh.
His brothers could take away his colorful robe but negative, stressful conditions and people could not strip him of his total belief and commitment to his dreams.
HE REMAINED EXPECTANT THROUGH IT ALL!

Stressful conditions and peeps abound but how we fare in such situations is dependent on us. Would we allow them break us, lose faith and hate people or would we use them to increase our capacity, skills and love?
IT IS A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE!

b2ap3_thumbnail_Stress-2.png

Use stress and distress to your advantage as you hold on to your dream.
NEVER WASTE YOUR STRESSFUL MOMENTS!

I trust that very soon, your phone will ring off the hook and you will pick up to hear Pharoah’s chief of Staff calling you to the palace.
When the time comes, will you be the man or woman for the job????
I believe we have everything it takes to be......BE EXPECTANT....

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Our dreams determine the boundaries of our lives.
For example, if you have a dream of living quite long to the point of seeing your grandchildren, that dream should inform the decisions of your diet.
It might make you decide not to eat anything beyond a certain time, or not to eat some certain kinds of food (for me this is quite pertinent cause of my sweet-tooth).

Sleeping with Potiphar’s wife would have seemed like a great choice for a teenage slave boy.
Dipping his hands like Winnie the pooh into the honeypot belonging to his master would have been a high, massive infusion for the self esteem of the lad.

Being asked to dine on such delectable Egyptian dish oozing with fragrances was enough to blow up his senses. Madam would have also ensured he never ran out of cash.
His wardrobe would have being upgraded. His value would have increased. It was a mouth offering offer!
I mean taking up the status of Egypt's first lady's boyfriend sounds dope.

However, dude ran for dear life.
He fled like a deer being hounded by a lioness. As inviting as the proposal was, it was nothing compared to the DREAM!
The proposition would have killed the dream. The future was at stake.

b2ap3_thumbnail_choice-2.jpg

Paul said that beside the knowledge of knowing God, all his attainments were dung, meaningless.

At the very end, it all boils down to what matters most to us.
What weighs most on the scales of our destinies...
It boils down to CHOICE....⁠⁠⁠⁠

What choices are you making today?

b2ap3_thumbnail_choice-1.jpg

Written by Dr. Ekpo Ezechinyere
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In a deprivation riddled society like ours, it helps to dream.

Dreams take us on magical carpet rides beyond the harsh realities of the present. However, most times, we get to dream about things, the latest Escalade, designer wears, towering towers, millions in the account, positions, titles, etc.
As wonderful as these things are, dreaming about them is like longing for golden eggs when we can have the goose that lays them.

It was recorded that when Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, his own dreams came true. Concomitant to the realization of his dreams were an enviable position, the second best chariot in the land, a wife, kids, monetary rewards and all the luxury Egypt could afford then.

The actualization of Joseph’s dream came by creating value, solving problems; by saving a generation.
Every other thing was jara like we popularly say.
Though his brothers could not see it at that time, his dreams were not selfish; they did not revolve around him.

Henry Ford had a dream to provide cars that most Americans could afford and through that he created a legacy. He had a dream beyond himself and his immediate needs.

Joseph’s dream of having other sheaves bowing before his and heavenly bodies paying obeisance to him was a dream of leadership.
The dreams showed that he was going to stand out and he would be a luminary. His was not the kind of leadership that oppressed but the type that provided relief for an ailing world.
In the same vein, Henry Ford’s dream made him a leading force in the automobile industry of the world by meeting a need in his generation.

I dare say that to take the lead we might have to tweak our dreams a bit, you and I...
We must become dreamers of big dreams. When our dreams are so large that they are not limited to us, other things will certainly follow....

Written by Dr. Ekpo Ezechinyere.undefined
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⁠⁠⁠Thing is sometimes we have a little dream...minuscule dream ooo...

Then life knocks the stuffing out of us so much that we become undertakers and bury our dreams.

However, at such times that is when we should show our mettle, and dream even bigger dreams.



Joseph had a dream where his sheaves stood out amongst that of his brothers.

Small farmland dream and he faced opposition for it.



Instead of scampering away like a kicked spaniel, he went rough and dreamed again. What an audacity.

This time, he took it way higher, cranked up the amplitude by notches.



Joseph went extraterrestrial, celestial. In this technicolor dream, the sun, moon and stars paid obeisance to him. We all know how the story ended.

A page from this dude's book is worth borrowing in my opinion.

I kinda think you will agree though.



FACT: Despite all odds, it is not too late to have dreams. Start dreaming great dreams.



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Chapter 19



"BJ! What are you doing here?
I couldn't believe he travelled down for my dinner.
" You don't want me around?"
"No-not that. Just that I was wondering how you got the information.”
He laughed.
"Tola is till my little brother you know.”
“Oh that!”
"You look gorgeous in this dress.”
"Thank you" I said shyly.
He paused for a while, looking distracted.

"Well, I won't be able to attend your wedding. I could have a heart attack.
(He laughed a bit) so I decided to come and say my wishes.
"Thanks BJ. Don't worry, you will be fine..."
"But don't worry. My family will be represented. Toriola will come".
"BJ, you are punishing that woman."
"We are in this together. She dares not disobey me.”
Besides, she said she doesn't mind coming"
"OK. (I sighed) Your call".
I turned to leave.

"Racheal"
Oh dear, Banji needed to let go.
"Doctor says we are having a baby girl”
" Wow! Congrats."
"I'm naming her Rachael"
"Banjjiiiiii" Now, I was getting emotional.
"If you ever wake up one day and feel like quitting this marriage, even if it’s after your 5th child, I will be waiting to take you back and..."
" Stop this talk"

"Racheal, I've been looking for you all over the place" That was Taiwo.

I think that was a very good time.
"Taiwo, guess who we have here?"
"Who?"
"Banji"
"Oh!The famous Bj?'
BJ managed a smile. They both shook hands and talked briefly. Men!
" Taiwo, please take care of Rachael for me"
"By God's grace. I will bro"
" I could Kill anyone who tries to hurt her you know"
''Luckily, there won't be a need to kill." Taiwo laughed.
''You guys have fun and a happy life ahead."

Taiwo stood by me till BJ left.
"Are you alright?"
"Yeah" I was shaky; Maybe because I felt nothing for him anymore.
I closed my eyes to say a little prayer.
"Lord, please send your peace to BJ. He has suffered too much."
"Let's go sweetheart. Some guests are waiting to see us" Taiwo said.

I got home that evening, tired and weak.
Mum was laughing so hard that I could hear from outside.
Tinu was around already. She came to meet me at the gate.
"Sister, be ready for the rudest shock of your life!"
"Please my wedding is in 3days.No energy for shocks. What is it?"

Dad came home.
Mummy agreed to move back with him.
Jesus Christ!
"Sorry Tinu, I wasn't shocked. I knew this before you" I laughed as I went to hug mummy.
We were celebrating all over .Mum couldn't contain her joy.

"Where is Tola? I noticed I didn't see him.
" Tola! Tola!" Everyone started looking for Tola.
I went outside. Saw him at the back of the building all alone.
"Tola, are you alright?"
For the first time in a very long time, Tola was crying.
"Tola, what's wrong?"
He held my hand.
"Sis, today is the happiest day of my life. Everything is overwhelming to me.
Dad is here...Really? God!!!"
"Hey, it’s okay, come in.”
"Will God accept me again? I've said so many wrong things..."
"Just come in..."

Wedding was fabulous. Everyone was happy. Those who ran things in the fashion and arts industry were in attendance.
A woman came to greet me while I was dancing with some guests.
Something tells me she must be Toriola.
" Hello Madam, congrats!"
"Thank you so much madam"
She paused.
"Errr, you mind if I whisper something?"
"Go ahead"
"Thank you for not ruining my home...I know BJ tried hard to win you back".
Oh dear, her eyes were reddish already.
" Hey, common, stop this talk.."
"Thank you so much Rachael...It’s been a real battle.
“So tough a life I swear.”
I held her hands.

" Toriola, BJ is a good man. Take over his heart in the place of prayer.
Don't allow the devil torture you with a loveless life and if you need any help, this is my card. Call me.
She wiped a tear.
"Thank you Rachael. You don't know how much this talk means to me".
"It’s okay ...come, dance with me. No crying at my wedding".

Ten months later...
Another colour of His Rainbow...
"Congrats Madam, It’s a baby boy!"
...And here am I today, saying my story.
The Colours of His promises, like a rainbow are Beautiful!

-The End-

The Arc is purely an imagination of the writer. All names, places and events are purely fictional.
We hereby apologize if a part or the whole of the story coincides with the true story of any person or group of persons.
Thank you for reading the Arc.
May His Promises, like a rainbow rise with many colours in our lives.
Amen.

- Temitope Ogunjuyigbe

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Chapter 18



So, so, so,
That was how I became not an artist, not a fashion designer but an instructor!
Sometimes, I just don't understand how God decided to make my job fantastic in the eyes of the learned and intelligent.
My designs were overrated.
Every big name wanted to buy designs from Rachael Arts!
Of course, Family has to be carried along.
Mum's dresses made waves as I could afford to draw and supervise her designs.
Tola, he just kept signing modeling contracts.
The naughty boy capitalized on my sudden popularity to broker some deals for himself.

About a year into all this changed status, my personal assistant came to me one day.
"Aunty Rachael, there is something I want to discuss with you"
"Go ahead"
She sat down.
"Aunty, my brother likes you"
I almost tripped over with laughter.
"Ok. Tell your brother I like him too even if I don't know him. Don't kill me"

"Aunty, I'm serious. He asked me to give him your number and I will give him"
"Folake, what is this?
Did I tell you I believe in all these blind dates and matchmaking thing?
Oya, get back to work quickly!"
"His name is Taiwo, he will call you.
Aunty Racheal, go and marry"
"If I open my eyes and you are still here!"

Just how my team kept taunting me with the issue of marriage.

I dropped what I was drafting.
"God, if you really have sent your rainbow…its been over three years now.
Please send a good man.
A man that will love me more than Banji."
Then He spoke to me.
"God has spoken once, twice I have heard, all power belongs to God"

The following day as Folake said, her brother called.
I wasn't just the type to follow all these none-stereotypical rules.
I didn't know why Folake was trying to match make me with her brother.
Yet, I decided to just let him be.

If someone had told me I would be able to love a man more than BJ, if someone had told me a man would lavish so much love on me more than BJ...I would never have believed it!

"Make sure you take care of this my daughter oh".
That was dad.
I had taken Taiwo to see him.
Dad was comfortable with the dates we chose for the introduction and the wedding.
Then I noticed aunty Franca's shop was locked.

" What of mummy twins? I didn't even notice I didn't see her"
"She no longer lives here"
I was confused.
"Taiwo, please can I talk to Dad alone"
"Alright dear"
"Dad, what's the problem?"
"I don't want her in my life anymore. I told her to leave the boys and go. She comes to check on them once in a while.
Oops!

He paused for a few seconds.
"Racheal, do you think your mum will take me back?
Even if that is the last thing I will do before I die do you really think my wife will take me back after all these years?

Someone needed to wake me from this dream.
"Dad, have you spoken with her?"
"Not yet. May-maybe after your wedding"
"Well, I think you should be positive about it"
I was trying hard to play hard to get on behalf of mummy (Lol).
"That woman suffered much You know...anyway, don't tell her anything yet.
Tell Tola to try see me next week. I must talk to him"

Taiwo couldn't understand why I was crying in the car.
Its been 9 years already!
It was too overwhelming.
I just hope I could seal my lips when I got home.

My wedding was three days away. Team Rachael Arts decided to host myself and Taiwo to a fabulous surprise dinner.
It was a real surprise dinner for Taiwo and I.
My phone rang while I was greeting the guests.
Banji
"Hello BJ"
"Racheal, You look beautiful..."
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Chapter 17


“What are you talking about?"
"Church' talk!" Mum said.
"Not interested. Bye!" He shut the door and left.
Mum and I laughed.
"I won't force him. He is definitely in my ark and your ark. No escape route!"
Then, I paused!

"Mum, do you think BJ was right? He said I should have stopped Him from that Marriage"
Mum held my hand.
"He wasn't right. He wasn’t.
He should have voiced his mother's concerns from inception. How could he be talking to you every day without voicing such?
He kept a secret till it consumed him.
How were you supposed to fight a battle you knew nothing about?

Mum was right.
" I don't think I can get over him"
"Have you talked to God about it?"
"Hahaha. About love?"
"Rachael, when your flood ceases, God sends an Arc!"
"What is that?"
"An Arc of many colors- A rainbow!.What you need now is a rainbow"

I was laughing really hard.
"But before you leave the Ark, you must send your 'dove' to the world.
Exactly what I needed.
That night I prayed and received so much peace!
I took my drawing book and drew a beautiful dress. I decided to post it online.
By morning, the picture of the dress had gone viral!
'God! What is this? It’s just a dress!'
Well, whatever.

I went about my job seeking business as usual.
About 2 weeks later, something happened.
One of my friends, Nikky called.
" Racheal, whatz up now? How did it go?"
"Hi Nikky, I’m fine oh. How did what go?"
"Hahan, you think we will not know Abi?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Wait? You mean you didn't go for the fashion show?"
"Which fashion show?"
"What? Why are you like this? Don't tell me you didn't know Genes has been looking for you?"
"Genes the designer?"
"He said anyone who knows you should tell you to meet him by 10:00am today at his Lagos Fashion show"
Seriously?

My phone rang again.
Banji...
"Rachael, why didn't you show up?"
"Where?"
"Art awards"
"Where?"
"Rachael, just don't tell me you didn't come to Abuja because of me!"
"What are you talking about BJ?"
He sighed.
"You keep forgetting things. Why this?"

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Chapter 16



The whole world was quiet as he drove me home.
"Good night BJ. Safe Trip to Abuja tomorrow."

"Rachael”
" Yeah?"
"If you ever change your mind, If you ever decide to take me back...I'd sort the divorce in less than two months.
Toriola knows this already.

I am a very emotional person.
I wanted to cry.
" Stop this Jargons BJ! Toriola is a good woman. Don't hurt her!"
"Let me worry about that.
She is not happy with me. So, what's the point?"
"Goodnight Banji"

I rushed to the verandah while he drove off speedily.
I couldn't deal with the frustration in his voice.
Mum was at the door.
"Are you okay? I wanted to call you but..."
"I'm fine ma"

I walked into the room. My emotions were at the peak.
I began to draw.
My eyes were soaked.
I drew a picture of what we would have looked like on our wedding day.
It was a very beautiful one.

'You didn't even see me come in"
"Sorry Ma" I quickly tried to hide the picture."
"Let me see what you're hiding"
"Haba. Mummy, no o"
She sat on the Bed.
"Don't you think you should stay away from BJ?"
"Of course I will."
She sighed deeply.

"You know, there is this story of Noah's ark in the Bible.
Sometimes, I think the life of a believer is like that Ark.
There is a stage in your life where it feels like you are the only one serving God.
Yet, you are the one God promises a flood.
Then, He gives you an Ark and keeps you in there---He shuts you in that ark and you can't even escape!

You know how Noah must have felt when He was following God's instruction, building an ark of salvation...yet the flood destroyed everything in his World?
It-it almost makes no sense!
Then even the ark must have been tossed by the flood, hitting rocks...Noah didn't know how long this 'Flood’ was going to last!
But then, guess what the Bible says?.
"God remembered Noah"

"Wait!"
That was the first time I would be having a real conversation with my mum. It seemed so unreal!
"Mummy wait!", I picked my Bible from my reading table, opened it quickly to Genesis 7-8 to search for Noah's ark.
"Mummy, I have never seen this story from this perspective!"
She smiled.
"You know, the flood- the flood moved the Ark to the top of the Earth!"
"Good girl!
This same flood has taken you to the top where people will see you!"
"Mummy! Even when the flood was subsiding, the ark landed on a mountain top!!!"
"That's my girl!"

Then she was silent and thoughtful.
"Mum are you okay?"
"Rachael, if I could turn back the hands of time, there is just one thing I would have done.
I would never have allowed Franca take your father away from me.
All the people in Noah's ark were saved.

I was too emotional and angry at that time.
I should have fought for my marriage and not let that strange woman bewitch your father.
Your dad is a good man. He loves you all.
He was my husband when we had nothing. He was my husband when he was nobody.
I let the devil ruin my marriage.
Now see how Tola is growing. He doesn't even know how to be a man. He is just living his life trying to prove a point.
I'm not going to lose Tola. Never! My son is coming back to the Lord.
Your father is coming back home...

"What have you both been talking about since?"
Tola was at the door...

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Chapter 15



I was still at the balcony trying to figure out what exactly to ask for like I had only one chance when Banji's call came in.
"Hi BJ" I couldn't even contain my excitement!.
"Wow! You seem to be happy about something".
"Yes I am. Never mind”.
What's up?"
"I have been in IB for about three days now"
"Oh...well. So?"
"Would you be kind enough to see me for a few minutes? I need to talk to you"
"Okay.I'm actually indoor today so, you could drive down"
"I'd call you in an hour"

Mum came around.
"Were you talking to BJ?
For the first time, I didn't feel any hurt much.
" Mummy, trust me, I'd be fine."
Banji came right on time. He picked me from the front of our house and drove off to a quiet restaurant.

He didn't talk.
"Banji, what is the problem? Is Toriaola okay?"
I tried to break the silence.
He didn't respond.
"See, you are a married man, I don't want..."
"Rachael, Why didn't you stop me?"
I was confused.
"Stop you from doing what?"
"You didn't even try to stop me Rachael!"
"What is this about?"
"Just look at me. I'm a miserable man"
Now, I knew I had to keep quiet and listen.

"BJ, is your wife hurting you? You are just less than 2 years in your marriage"
"Rachael, it feels like 20years already! I can't go on like this!"
'Calm down BJ. What exactly is the issue?'
He put his hands on his face as if to pray.

"Toriola is a good woman…She is a good woman, hardworking, prayerful...
Whatever. But, Rachael, I can't connect with her.
I don't feel a thing for her.
I think of you everyday. This is crazy!

I kept quiet for a while. I could see the grief in his eyes.
" BJ, I can't help you". I said.
"Is there anything I can do? I haven't spoken with my mum for over a year now."
"I don't know sincerely" I replied.
I took my drink in a rush. I needed to leave.

"Rachael, wait! What if I divorce Toriola?
" BJ, God hates divorce".
"So, I'm going to live the rest of my life like this? Rachael, I can't!!!"
I stood to leave this last time.
"I don't think I could live above this error ever!
I'm punishing Tori. She cries almost every night.
She is tired of trying to please me.
My heart is somewhere else and she knows it!

That night, I felt pity for him...

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Chapter 14

True to his words, Tola became hardened- almost like a blasphemer.
He kept late nights more often and almost became wayward when he returned to school.

Service year passed in silence. I rarely made friends and kept to myself most times.
I saw BJ's wedding pictures all over the internet.His wife Toriola was a beautiful sight.
The truth was, I couldn't get over BJ so easily.
I was like a widow in mourning.
Sadly, because of my 'spiritual' status,most people thought I was 'holier than they were'.
BJ used to say, never wait for people to encourage you.Do it yourself because people fail.

Now, I didn't know where to start.
So I started by drawing.
Art gave me some sense of relief. I took so much interest in drawing and painting.
By the end of service year, I had drawn over 300 perfect pictures.
How time flew easily.

Now I'm in a locked room.
Sixth interview, no luck.
"Knock knock" ‘Tinu needs to know I don't feel like eating today’, I thought.
She had come to greet mum with her baby.
"Tinu I don't feel like eating ooooooh" I had to scream from the room.
"Then open the door!"
"Tinu, when are you returning to your husband's house?"
I laughed. Tinu knew better than to worry me.
I needed to do something.I couldn't afford to be a burden to mum.
That day,I opened my Bible and began to pray.
"Lord, My name is Rachael. I need a miracle"

"What do you need?"
I felt I heard that question in my heart.
'Excuse me?"
"What do you need?"
"A miracle!"
"Well that is general answer"
Oh my God! I was having a conversation in my spirit!
"Lord, I need a miracle!"

I would never forget that day!
I jumped out of my bed, straight to the balcony.
I couldn't ask for anything. I was excited.
"Lord, a miracleeeeeeee!"
"You haven't asked for anything Rachael"

We hold our readers in high esteem . Hence we sincerely apologise for not posting this chapter about this time last week.
Thank you for staying with us.

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Chapter 13



I locked myself in the room for days.
I couldn't deal.
Banji kept calling my line and sending text messages.
I neither picked the calls nor read the messages.
I avoided everyone as much as possible. Most people thought I was sad because Tinu got married before me.
Well, I didn't owe no one any explanation.

It was a weekend, I went to church, sang in the choir as Banji taught me.
Every sound of music, every tall and dark man reminded me of him.

I was leaving the Church premises when I saw a man standing by a car.
Looked so much like Banji's new car.
"Hello"
I turned to respond.
It was Banji, I wasn't wrong.
I wanted to walk away.
"Rachael, Please for once, talk to me"
I was about walking away when Tola saw us from afar.
"Egbon! What are you doing in IB?"
"I came to see your sis of course"
They exchanged greetings. Tola adored him.
I couldn't talk.

I know Banji was trying to do some damage control.
"I'd see you both at home. I need to run. Church is over, boys have to hang out"
"Tola, make sure I meet you at home" I ordered.
"Sister, follow your husband. Me too need to hustle so I can marry a fine babe. Hahahaha"
I wasn't in that kind of mood.

As soon as he left, I was left alone with BJ.
"You know I can't stand here all day"
"Rachael, can we go somewhere...?"
"No!"
"Ok. Can you at least sit in my car?
I got in. I was actually tired after the service.
"Banji, I don't need an apology. I just want to know where I wronged you. Tell me why you did..."

"You didn't do nothing"
He couldn't look at me.
"Mum, Mum says I can't marry someone from a broken home"

I don't think I had been so devastated in my life.
"So, I'm not good because my parents are separated. Really?"
"I'm sorry"
I laughed so I could hold back tears.
"One more thing BJ, why didn't you tell me all the while?"
"I didn't know how to put it to you--I wanted a convenient time"

The worst thing about my breakup was I couldn't even hate him.
BJ used to say, hating someone is like carrying a burden whereas the person who offended you is allowed to walk free.
I used to tell people, its not the length of a relationship that makes you broken.
Its the quality of life chunked out from you.
My life was like a shadow. I became lean very fast.

About a week later, mum called me.
"Rachael, what is wrong with you--and don't tell me ‘nothing’!"
For the first time in a long time, I burst into tears.
"Mummy, Banji is getting married"
"Jesus Christ!"
"He can't marry me because my parents are separated…
Mummy, is it my fault?"

Mum was a typical African woman. But that day, she allowed me to cry.
She didn't say a word. She just let me cry.
Tola was at the door all the while. I didn't know.
"Sister, where was God again today?"
"Tola!" Mum screamed.

"The two most important men in my life hurt my sister.
Mummy, why didn't God tell them to stop?
I don't feel like going to church again.
I don't think I will go again till I know why God makes the people who serve Him well suffer.

Tola shut the door and walked away...

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Chapter 12



As expected, Chima came to talk with me.
I guess I had to let her go.
Both of them knew I was the only one to convince our parents.
God was on our side.
Our parents gave their consent after a few hurdles.
So we began the wedding plans. Marriage was fixed for two months later.

Tinu's wedding was spectacular. Mum was the happiest woman on earth.
I always wished I got married before her but then, I was very happy for my girl.
Banji was there to give so much support -morally and financially.
All was beautiful. Well-except for Tola who bought so much alcohol for his friends!
That boy never listens.
"Sister, you can't impose this your SU thing on me jor.Its Tinu's wedding and my friends have to be spoilt!"

And of course Banji would say "Leave him, God has him covered."

Banji's sister, Ireti called me few days after the wedding.
"Racheal, I need to speak with you when you are free"
"Is Banji okay?"
"Yeah- Yeah.But, I must talk to you...

That day, I wasn't at peace.
That was very unlike Ireti.
I had spoken with Banji earlier in the day.He didn't seem to be in any sort of trouble.

The following day, I decided to call her.
"Rachael, how are you?"
"Iya oko Mi , I'm as fine as ever.Thanks for attending Tinu's wedding. I'm so grateful"
Then she paused.
"Racheal, you are a good person and I love you so much.But there is a truth I must tell you because you are a woman like me"
Now, my heart was beating fast. What could this be?
"Rachael, Banji is getting married"

"What? Which Banji?"
"I know you don't know.That is why I'm telling you.
The introduction was done three weeks ago and he is tieing the knots in four months from now"
“Apparently, this was some joke of the century” .I thought.
Ireti would not lie to me.
Banji was at Tinu's wedding two weeks ago. We spoke everyday.
Where was this coming from?
"Thank you sister Ireti.I don't know what to say. But, thank you".
"Just be cool girl.I-I really wished I could tell you this earlier but- but I didn't know how to do it."
"Ok ma."

I walked to the balcony feeling like a living dead.
I dialed Banji's number.
"Beejay,how are you?"
"Sweet heart, how far?"
"Banji, is it true you are getting married?"

Banji was quiet.
"Did Ireti call you?"
"Answer my question BJ"
Then he was quiet again.
"I will be coming to Ibadan this weekend. Let's talk in person"
"BJ, just say Yes or No. Don't torment me"
"Yes...”

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Chapter 11



I have never been so shocked in my entire life.
How could Banji go that far?
"Just don't tell your mum anything till she is completely ok...and you Tolaaaaaa, don't you ever do this again. Ever!""
Yes bro".

Tola had so much respect for Banji.
" So, let's use some money to eat some good food today!"
We went from the police station to my place.
Tola rested for a while and Tinu made some food.

We were eating and joking when Banji paused.
"Guys, I've got a question to ask you all"
Everyone was quiet.
"Oya oooo"
"Rachael, if I asked you to marry me, what would you say?"

Tola spilled his drink and burst into laughter.
"Woooooow!" Tinu was screaming and jumping all over the room!
"Banji, what kind of thing is this now?"

I was so embarrassed.
"Rachael, please marry me"

My life was never happier!
I was so excited.
Mum was happy.
"I've always wished you marry Banji.
He is such a good young man. Do his parents like you?
" Yes oooooo. His mum is so adorable"

"My girl is happy. So, when are you getting married?"
"Ha! Mummy, he just got a job now. He has to settle down... Soon Sha"

Life went on good.
Banji assisted with my final year project and Tola's fees.
I couldn't go with my batch for service. Thanks to my missed exam.
Extra-semester was sorted.
We all had it 'coded' so mum didn't know. I applied to be a sales girl at a supermarket so I wouldn't ask her for fees.

For the first time in a long time, Tola was sorry.
"At least you know I'm having an extra-semester because of you"
"Sister, you don't have to remind me all the time". He would say.
Such grown kids. I love them both so much.

I returned from Shop one afternoon. Tinu was already in her third year.
"Sister, I want us to talk o"
"About what?"
I was dishing my food and tired as usual.
"I want to get married"
This one will not kill me with laughter. I thought.
"What is that about?"
"Chima has asked me to marry him and --and I said Yes"

"Ha! Tinu! How old are you? Why the hurry?"
"Sister, what am I waiting for? Am I not 20 already?"
"You know your father will break your head and your mother will Lynch you.
Count me out please. I did not hear this"

She came to me. I could feel her worry.
"Sister, please now. I don't see any reason why I shouldn't go ahead.
Besides, I've prayed about it oh"
Of course she knew that was the way to convince me.

So that night, I decided to pray.
Tinu and Tola are just grown kids like I always say.
I didn't want her getting into any husky marriage.

"Dear Lord, please send your peace to us on this matter"

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Chapter 10



That night, I couldn't sleep.
I felt like a living ghost. How was I to tell mum this?
Tinu was sobbing beside me. She couldn't sleep.
"Hey, its ok. Come here"
I held her in my arms.
I needed to be strong for them all. We all were just grown up kids!

Phone had been ringing.
-18missed calls from Banji.
“Oh dear, I'm going to hear a real sermon this night.” I thought.

"Hello Banji"
"You ehn! What is difficult in using a mobile phone?"
"I'm sorry Banji. I had a situation here"
"Shebi it is you. Anyway, what’s good? I have great news for you!!!"
"Ok"
"I got the HR job today!"

I was supposed to be happy. But I couldn't help my mood.
"Congrats Banji" I answered coldly.
"Rachael, are you OK?”

I guess I couldn't even pretend.
I burst into tears.
" Tola is in trouble..."

I narrated the whole incident to him.
"...500 what? Haba! Did he steal a car?!"
"Banji, I don't know what to do"
"Don't worry dear, God will make a way. Hun?"
Banji and his compelling comforting nature!

"By the way, how was your exam today?
"Exam?"
I completely forgot I had an exam that day.
"Don't tell me you didn't..."
"I forgot!"
"How--how could you? How many times have I told you never to let circumstances push you off control?..."

I just realized, I had single handedly donated an extra semester to myself! Mum would collapse.
"Anyway, I would be coming to your school tomorrow. Let's see if we can talk to that man. There is no way we can raise 500k unless he wants to marry you off on credit."
I laughed for the first time in several hours.

The following day, Banji came as promised. We went to see the man, he insisted he would teach Tola a lesson and make him an example to ‘aspiring thieves’.
Very embarrassing!

As we went home, Banji suggested we took a walk. It was a very long walk.
"Rachael, hope you are going for rehearsals tomorrow?"
"Me? Rehearsals? Why?"
“Why can't you go?”
"I need to think"
He laughed.
"Apparently, your love towards God and His work is dependent on the good times. Right?
" Haba, Banji, don't make me feel bad"
"Go to your place of 'work'. Let the devil be put to shame. Though we walk through the valley..."
"You're right. I would think about it"
"Meanwhile, let's sing, I'm bored"

Music had always been a strong form of connection between us.
He picked a song, I did it in the alto part.
By the time I got home, I was ...lifted!.

The following day, I got to the rehearsals and met them doing a beautiful song.
"I know too much about God.
There is nothing to make me doubt him.
See, I've tried God for myself,
Don't have to ask anybody..."

It was just the song I needed.

As soon as I got home, My phone began to ring.
"Come to the station" Someone called from the police station had called.
I called Banji to please join me.
We got there.
"Baba wants to withdraw the case" The officer said.
That was an absolute miracle!
"But your brother must refund my seventy thousand Naira. It was meant for Deji's phone." Baba said.
"We will return it sir. First thing on Monday, we will"
I really didn't know why Banji was talking like a parrot.
My feelings were mixed. Where do we get N70,000?

On Monday morning, Banji called me to meet him at the station. Tinu and I got there in a rush.
Papers were signed. Banji handed over the Money to the boy. Tola was bailed.
Tinu's joy knew no bounds.
I was happy but then...

"Bj, please let's talk"
"Ok".
" Where did you get 70k in less than 24hours?"
"Am I not a man?".
I didn't want any repeat case.
" Please,tell me"
He paused then pulled me aside.
"I sold my other phone, my watch and donated a pint of blood"
What?!

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Chapter 9



Exams had gone on for two weeks.
Tola had finished his examinations. Tinu has 3 papers left while I still had about seven left.

That afternoon, I was reading for the next paper which would hold in two hours. Tinu was busy cooking.

"Knock,knock"

This is why I like to read in the library- I thought.
"I'm sure someone has come for salt or maggi "
Tinu went to get the door.
Two policemen and a young man.

"Good evening sir"
"Hello ladies. We are here to see Tola"

I stood to my feet.
"Sir, what is the issue? Tola is my brother"
Tola stood to meet them. He looked away from me.
"Tola, what is going on here?" I asked in haste.
"That's him", The young man said.
" Tola, You are under arrest for..."
"I know!" Tola snapped.

Tinu began to cry."Tola, I told you"
Tola turned to me "Sister, I'm sorry"
The officers put a handcuff on his hands. Neighbors came out of their rooms trying to understand what was going on.

"Officer, please I beg you. Just let me know what he did"
"Kids! (He sighed) Tola broke into this young man's room and carted away with N70,000 two weeks ago.
He didn't know someone saw him."
Of course that had to be a joke!
"Can I talk to him sir?"
"At the police station"


I dashed into the room to take my purse.
"Tinu, did you know about this?"
She was crying and nodding.
"I warned him oh---sister, I warned him"
I didn't know what to do or say. Definitely, it had to be a dream!

I got to the station with Tinu. The officer brought him out.
Tola didn't shed a tear.
"Tola, Tola why did you do this?"
"My mum was dying!!!She was dying!!"
"That was not an excuse!"
"I'm not sorry!"
"Well, you shut up Tola! God would still have helped us"
He laughed so hard.
"What is wrong with you?" I was surprised.

"Sister, you talk too much about God.
Where was God when dad turned his back on us? Where was He when my mum was dying?
I was shocked!
" Tola, how dare you?
How dare you talk like this? Tola, God sits in heaven, You are on earth, let your silly words be few!"

"Ok! ok! I've always known you, God is always right to you.
But I couldn't stand it. Tinu wanted to sleep with a man for thirty thousand Naira only.
I couldn't let someone take my sister's pride so cheaply. All I wanted to do was save my mummy"

The police woman looked at us.
She must have overheard all our conversation.
"Time to go Tola" She took him in.
"I'm sorry sis. Please tell mummy I'm sorry"

The woman came back to meet me still at the counter.
"Hello Young woman"
"Ma?"
“Do you believe God can help you through this?”
For once, I didn't know what to believe.
"The boy's father is a rich man. He is threatening to teach your brother a lesson.
He says we should not grant him bail for less than N500,000.If you know how to pray, pray."

...N500,000 ?

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