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“You…God has given you an amazing vocal ability to tell people of His love. If only you would serve Him wholeheartedly and surrender your will to Him, He will do wonders through you. What you do isn’t showmanship but ministry. May God empower you with His Spirit…” That was when his hand touched her forehead. Charlotte steeled herself as she held her breath.
After some seconds, he took his hand away. She felt that her forehead was wet. He had olive oil on his hands. Should she wipe it or leave it on to glisten so everyone would know that she had been anointed?
Comfort went into another round of turning and twisting when the pastor got to her turn. She glanced at Sandra who held the same ‘what-the-hell-is-she-doing’ look and they both looked away, trying to stifle their laughter.
After the service, as the choristers sat around waiting for Frank for the usual announcements, Charlotte overheard some of the ladies talking about her.
“She’s so not spiritual. No wonder she didn’t fall under the pastor’s anointing! All she knows is dressing, weaves and makeup.”
“Hmm…with time, God will expose all of them! When some of us are receiving revelations on our ministries, others stand there like nothing has happened,” Comfort said. Sandra turned.
“What revelations? God was burning the chaff in you, that’s what! Who are you to say that someone is not spiritual? Who is more carnal than you in this choir?” “Don’t bring yourself, young lady. The pastor didn’t even pray for you. It only shows that you have no business being in the choir. Since you like to dress and put on your fake smile, why not join the ushers?” “You’re so lucky I’m in the spirit today or else I’d have told you something you’ll never forget!”
Charlotte watched them keenly. It was as if they were on a reality TV show. How she wished others would see them for what they really were-flawed and hypocritical and not with their masks on with their pious gestures and greetings. She held Sandra’s hand.
“Don’t mind them. Leave them to bite their tongues.”
Frank walked to them and told them he had to be at a place urgently so any announcements would be posted on their WhatsApp group. The members dispersed.
On their rehearsal day, Frank announced that, per the group’s program, they were to join the Evangelism Team on their evangelistic rounds that Saturday.
“Is it compulsory?” Charlotte asked, taken aback by the announcement.
“Yes, dear. It’s not just us. We are being joined by the Youth as well. It is a collaborative effort.” “Why should it be compulsory?” Sandra asked. “It is not our ministry. Ours is to sing worship and praises in His presence.” “Maybe you should read your Bible well, my sister. Jesus said, go out into the world and make disciples of all men. He didn’t say singers were excluded,” Comfort said.
“I know the mention of evangelism makes some of you nervous because of the idea of walking up to a stranger to talk about Christ…” Frank was saying when Comfort butt in.
“Oh not at all…it’s just those who don’t know even 5 Bible verses and talk of preaching to others about Christ.” “This isn’t about preaching, Comfort. It’s not about who knows how to speak best. It’s about sharing the simple message of the Gospel. God loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son to come and die for us so we may not perish but have eternal life. That’s all. Someone needs to know that God loves him.” “Sandra, do you know where the verse is in the Bible?” Comfort asked teasingly. The others giggled. Sandra glared at her.
“Of course I do. John 3:16. I went to Sunday School, okay?”
“Which John, 1 John or 2John?”
“Will you stop it? We are at an official meeting,” Frank reprimanded her.
“So yes, we all gather here at 9am, we pray for a short while and we set off. We’ll go in groups of two and three so we can cover a lot of ground. We’ll wear the Evangelism Team’s T-shirt. They have made some available for us to purchase. So if you don’t have one, please see James,” he said, pointing to the deputy choir director.
“How much is one?” “Just 15 cedis.” “Saa? Can I get it on credit?” The others laughed. “Be serious.”
“Oh, who says I’m joking?”
“Now, we’ll see who knows God’s Word more.” “No one will see anything. This is not a competition about who knows more Bible verses. This is about soul-winning. We are going to rescue the lost and not to brush our twisted egos.”
Sandra and Charlotte glanced at each other. This was clearly not their comfort zone. Charlotte snapped her fingers when an idea struck her.
“I have an idea!” Charlotte said, raising her hand.
“Let’s hear it, Charlotte.” “In addition to the old version of walking up to people to share the Gospel with them, why not add placards with Bible verses on them to walk around?” Many people will see them and they will get the message too. Especially those in cars passing by.” “Yes, like the ones we see on Facebook and Instagram,” Sandra said, glad that there was another option.
“Lazy Christians! Instead of having a tête-à-tête with people so they will feel the personal connection to Jesus, you want to go around holding placards so you can pose for pictures! We’ve seen you…I told you, they don’t know anything about the Bible!” Comfort bellowed.
“I think it’s a good idea,” James said.
“But the T-shirts we would be wearing have Bible verses on them too. Aren’t they enough? Why should we hold placards too? I don’t think I can do it,” Ama said.
“Not everyone would hold one. Those who want to hold their Bibles should do so, those of us who prefer the placards, will do that. It can work. I’ll talk to the Youth President. Thanks for the idea, Charlotte. God bless you.” “Amen,” Charlotte said with a smile. Sandra gave her a hi-five. She hadn’t posted on Instagram for a while. This would be the perfect opportunity to update her gallery. What better than showing the world that she is a Christian? With white stud earrings and a simple ponytail, on her blue jeans and flat shoes, she would show her good-girl side. This could work, she thought happily.
Saturday arrived and they set off. The sun was shining but was quite gentle on the face.
“Perfect for keeping my makeup intact and it’s the right natural lighting for selfies,” Sandra said, echoing Charlotte’s thoughts.
A man in a passing by car smiled at them as they displayed their placards. They smiled back.
“Oh isn’t it soul-satisfying to serve the Lord!” Charlotte said loudly to Comfort’s hearing. She gave them a brief glare and looked away. They laughed.
They had arrived at a bus station and a couple of them were speaking to the Trotro drivers and mates. Charlotte and Sandra had bought a bottle of Voltic water each and were drinking when a trotro mate got out of his van and sat on the bench, joining Comfort and a few others.
“Ah…haven’t I seen you before?” He said, pointing to Comfort.
“I’m not sure…maybe,” she replied and attempted to continue with her message.
“Oh I remember you. You took my van two days ago. Ei, is it you sharing God’s message? Come and see this girl insulting me in the vehicle all because I hadn’t given her her due 20 pesewas change. Oh wow, so you too go to church? No wonder, the church is not growing!”
Comfort’s face grew hot. Of course she remembered him. Of all places, why did they have to meet here at this time? What was she to do? Deny that she was the one or just ignore him? “So as I was saying…”
“Is that true?” One of the drivers asked Comfort.
“I’m not the one,” Comfort said. Charlotte and Sandra were listening in.
“Look at me. I remember you paa! You were in a green dress and you wearing this wrist-band,” the trotro mate continued, touching the band on her wrist. Comfort pulled her hand away.
Charlotte and Sandra started to giggle.
“Ei, Saint Comfort is sweating,” Sandra teased.
“If you are really a Christian, deny it and let’s all hear you,” the trotro mate challenged.
Comfort looked around for Frank. Perhaps he could come and save the situation before she was totally embarrassed.
“Preach on, Comfort,” Charlotte said. Maybe she should record the event for future reference. Knowing Comfort, she would provoke her soon and this would be her ‘shut-up’ device. She took out her phone.
“Won’t you say anything?” The trotro mate asked again.
© Josephine Amoako 2016
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