Hello Beautiful People. I hope you have had a good week so far. ‘Our Stories’ continues today. I told you it’s going to be a Friday affair.
Ayotunde Oyebamiji is someone that I have known for some years now. He is a friend indeed and my Pastor (Ayo, If you like reject the title). He has a heart for men, that is raising the right men because we really need good and Godly men in this generation. I learn alot from AYO and I am confident you will learn a thing or two from this piece. So please, read with an open mind and after you have been blessed, bless someone else by sharing it.
Growing up as a kid, I had this thing for gathering other kids for a good cause. Whether it was to play football, basketball, make good music, run after girls our age or even preach the gospel (ironic right? I know). I just always loved to gather people together to pioneer an event or just for the sake of gathering people. Little did I know that God, the Supreme Being, had plans for me.
I got into the University and continued this way. I can count more than 4 major event planning committees I was on, putting together one event or the other and yes money was involved. But it wasn’t really about the money, I just loved to plan and pioneer ideas, projects and events, whether I was paid for it or not. Coupled with this, I also had a strong passion for educating Nigerian youths, teenagers and kids. Education here doesn’t necessary mean academic education, it’s a definite part of it, but this brand of education is more centered on life, capacity building, character development and God.
I would travel from Ile-Ife where my school is located, to Ibadan and other neighbouring towns just to plan an event that will satisfy this passion of educating the aforementioned category of Nigerians. As a public speaker, I always had a session in all the events to speak to them and share my thoughts about life. During those periods, it never occurred to me that educating the younger generation in Nigeria, and Africa will be my lifetime project and work.
I was in my 4th year in the University when I heard God say to me that after I’m done with school, I was going to leave everything I read and learnt in school, to squarely face “educating the Nigerian youths, teenagers and kids”. Sincerely, I said ‘get thee behind me you devil’ because I surely didn’t believe it was God speaking to me. I mean, I already had plans to further my education by going for a masters degree after which I would start to lecture in a university. Eventually, after a lot of confirmations, I realized it was actually God. He was the one behind the process of thwarting all the plans I had. From this little expository on my life, I want to pick out a couple of lessons
LESSON 1: Before you make and pen down the plans you have for your life, make sure you find out first, God’s plans for you. Doing that will save you a great deal of time that would otherwise be wasted on doing other things. Even when you find out his plans for you, keep an open mind, be flexible, because as you grow older, he might modify them. Basically, be highly sensitive to the leading of the holy spirit.
I perfectly understand what God is saying, but the practicality is what I haven’t fully grasped. I mean, I’m supposed to focus on educating people and probably get a job, start a business or do whatever it is I want to do as long as it won’t get in the way of doing what He said. He said and I quote “educating people is the primary assignment, others are secondary”. I love the idea, it is what I crave to do, I mean I’m down with it but then I’m also down with making a lot of money, doubling as a lecturer and as a builder(I studied building engineering in school) but then how do you make money from educating people for free? I still can’t wrap my head around it so I held back. I couldn’t fathom how that was going to pay my bills, take care of my wife and kids, get me a nice house on a beach *covers face* bla bla bla… you know what I’m talking about.
LESSON 2: If your head is bigger than your dreams or let me say God’s plans for you, then you haven’t found a dream yet i.e. if you can wrap your head around how your dreams or God given plans will be executed or fulfilled, then it is not a dream yet neither was it God speaking to you. Your dreams are meant to be bigger than you and every problem solving and execution skills you have. So DREAM BIG!!!
I held back and from 2012 till November 2014, I never really took any step as to starting what God had called me to do just because I didn’t understand that “if it is not BIG, then it is not GOD”. I really wish I could redeem those two wasted years. After serious consideration and analysis, I decided to take that bold step and start.
On the 4th of November 2014, Strength in Worship Nigeria(SIWN) was born. SIWN is an organisational body made up of people who believe in the dream and want to support with their resources. They are responsible for governing the sub-divisions (NGO’s) under her. These NGO’s by extension achieve the dream of educating people, amongst other things, however It is not necessary that they participate in all the events organised by the various sub-divisions. THE ICE Initiative, is the NGO under SIWN directed towards educating the Nigerian youths, teenagers and kids. As God expands the vision, we’ll establish more NGOs under SIWN to achieve the expansion.
LESSON 3: Put structures in place to help govern and monitor how you want to get the job done. Be detailed about everything. How you plan to get the funds, how you want to spend the funds, how you want to get all hands on deck to help in achieving the goal. Even when it looks like there’s nothing on ground, put structures in place. Structures aid how fast you’ll come by the fulfillment of your dreams. God works with structures, His blessings flow faster on structured works and people.
The work has started and I’ve not had any reason to regret, yeah there have been a lot of ups and downs, I won’t tell you it’s been easy, it hasn’t been easy but I find joy and fulfillment when my works and words touch lives.
Believe me my fears are still there, the fears of how I’m going to take care of myself and meet my needs but I have learn’t to cast all my cares on Him, he gave the dream and vision, He’ll make the provision available. And to that effect, He has been showing me ways as to how to go about it.
My name is Oyebamiji Ayotunde Samuel, I’m a very intelligent building engineer who has so much to offer to the Nigerian construction industry, but I have decided to let it go to follow my God-giving dreams. I sound insane but then I need to be at peace with myself. At the end of my life, I want to be able to say that I did what I was meant to do on Earth. I’m scared too just as you might be scared for me, but then my fears make me see the need for God every time.
Have you learn’t a lesson or two? Kindly share with us :). Looking forward to having you back here next week for the next episode. You can also check this page at other times of the week.
If you are yet to get my book, ‘It’s Your Life to Lead’, you can get it here.
Remain awesome loves!1