It was a thanksgiving Sunday, and the pastor thought it would be a very wise decision to ask every member of his congregation including the youth of the church who all had one reason or the other to thank God for assistance on behalf of a member.
In a church of approximately 1,110 congregations, while the service was going on, the pastor was encouraging his congregation on the blessings accompanied with the act of giving especially where and when necessary.
All his preaching was so he could convince those present, to help a regular member of the church whose son was hit by a car and had survived the accident miraculously, but was still being hospitalized receiving series of treatment and needed money for a surgical operation to be carried out on him. The family had spent all they had up to this stage.
IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO BEING CHARITABLE AS EXPECTED OF A GOOD CHRISTIAN!!!
During thanksgiving Sundays, every family is expected to invite their friends/family members from either their place of work or from other churches to come celebrate with them while they bring whatever gifts they want to use to thank God.
Of course, there is time for that during the service.
On the side of the preacher, it was a good idea to preach in-depth on what he hoped to achieve.
No doubt, the church was at a full capacity and the pastor ministered to his congregation, then there was praise and worship and almost everyone in the church was singing along with the choir and dancing to the melodious instrumentals that were being played.
Then the music paused and the preacher reminded the congregation of this member who they all knew what had happened to his son, he went further to explain the current state of treatment.
The congregation showed their sympathy and with the look on their faces the pastor was convinced he had done a very good job.
A fund raising donation was then suggested and collection baskets were placed at different corners of the church.
People came out to drop money into the basket that was close to each person and the pastor felt relieved as a result of the response he was seeing.
After the donation, the service continued while the elders of the church counted the money from the different collection basket, the pastor wanted the money counted before the end of the service so he could tell the congregation the total sum and appreciate them.
The total amount counted was 30,000 naira?
The pastor was disappointed by this figure, he expected more.
Although, he understood the harsh situation of things in the country affecting everyone, he still showed his appreciation.
Of course, it was expected of him to say “thank you”.
After the service, there ought to be get-together/party that would be hosted by families who danced forward to the altar with their gifts- a way to show their appreciation including families who will come for child dedication and those who will come for wedding thanksgiving-I mean, every Saturday, there is always at least 10 weddings in a particular city here in Nigeria, I stand to be corrected if you think otherwise though (smiles).
So I was narrating an incident that happened in my church …
While the service was going on, intruders entered the church from every corner where there was door, they were all dressed in black with mask on their faces.
Most people in the church did not notice when they entered because the instrumentals were being played and everyone was busy dancing to the melody of the song being played at the time.
Until a gun shot was heard, which brought confusion and fear, everyone was trembling and those who could hide under the church bench did.
Then one of them spoke!!!
Could he be the Boss? Maybe.
Each of these intruders looked built with muscles (just the ones I saw though) and I can’t say if there were women among them since I was too scared to start looking at all of them.
After making sure everyone was seated facing up and looking at him, he started by issuing a warning against anyone who would want to play smart by trying to call/text for help ,there were so many of them each assigned themselves to at most five rows to watch the people seated on those rows.
They came well prepared.
The instructions given were simple, there were bags going round each assigned to each row being watched by these intruders.
All we had to do was to drop all the money each one of us had brought to church.
ALL OF IT!!!
TO ME THIS WAS LIKE ULTIMATE ROUND-UP CHURCH OFFERING.
Those who can relate will know that there are some churches who do at least 5 offerings before the service is over. In some other churches 10. Now if these men are collecting all the money that was brought to church then…
I am not expecting them to collect any significantly high amount. The trick most people use before going to church is to breakdown any amount they have to the last denomination.
Oh well that’s what I do.
You don’t expect me to withdraw say 1,000 naira note and just go to church like that, nooo. I make sure I break it down to the smaller amount.
Hey guys, I learnt the trick while growing up, so…
The boss at the pulpit also emphasized that if everyone has dropped the money and while searching purses they find even the least amount, then they would be forced to mercilessly handle whoever owns the purse.
After an hour, the intruders gathered all they had collected and mehn!!! It was unbelievable because the bag they used to put all the money was full to the brim and wasn’t even enough as they had to use a small school bag to put the rest of the money that wasn’t able to fit into the big bag that was intended for it.
I am not sure why they didn’t put the rest in one of the bags used for collecting the money but my guess is either they saw the remaining money wasn’t worth putting into the bag or they wanted to put it in a bag with zipper. Yes, the big bag they used to put all the money gathered had a zipper.
Seeing they had done what they came for which clearly was to steal, they handed over the money to the pastor in the presence of the entire congregation and told the pastor to use it for the church development/evangelization ministry and they all left.
Everywhere was still silent and it was as if all babies in the church cooperated while the operation lasted until when I heard the sound of one, then came murmuring and some people ran away from the church, entered their respective cars and zoomed off, those without cars fled the church premises on foot.
Am sure while the running, most people forgot the things they brought to church including the tubers of yams, goats, bags of rice and the likes they were supposed to use for thanksgiving, and yeah that was how the service came to an end.
The pastor not knowing what to do asked the few people remaining in church and the security man in the church compound to lock down the premises.
Confused as to what to do with the money and knowing the consequences that might follow if something went wrong with, I had no idea what the pastor did with it.
After 2 Sundays have passed, the pastor explained the situation on ground concerning the incident that happened to those who came to church, stating that the total sum that was handed over to him was 2,567,925 naira and that the number of people coming to him ever since then requesting for their money has put him in a confused state since the total money calculated from those saying they want their money back some stating that it was a borrowed money and some saying it wasn’t theirs and the likes of such explanation was estimated to be more than what is in the possession of the pastor.
Explaining all these, the pastor made it clear that he has not spent a dime out of the money and that he doesn’t know what to do since he cannot give each one of those coming to him the amount they were requesting they dropped.
The matter was taken to court. The judge decided to hand over the money to the pastor to help the poor within his congregation and community and develop his church after listening to all that happened that day. He went further to urge those who wanted their money back to practise what is being preached to them stating that they should always try and assist those who need their help for if they refuse give cheerfully, it would be forcefully taken from them.
HAVE BEEN THINKING WAS THAT A FAIR JUDGEMENT?
Am sure to the pastor, it was an understandable judgement, so yeah, if he is drunk in love for God its very understandable, knowing that his intention was just simply to help someone in need, and all of these happened, I mean this is when some people will agree with me that the lord works in mysterious way…
Question now is: who really were those intruders? Was that their intention for the mission? Or did something else happen that made them give all the money to the pastor in the first place? How am I sure the pastor didn’t set this up?
There are so many questions going through my mind …
If you were presented with this case, what will be your judgement?