Ndidi Olamide-Adekunle: How I met my husband on the missions’ field
When many of her colleagues were bothered about who to marry and the fact that nobody had proposed to them, Ndidi Olamide-Adekunle was yet to understand why there was so much of a fuss around the marriage issue.
Perhaps because in her own social environment at that time there were still many ladies older than her, who were yet unmarried.
Besides she was still on the path of self-discovery, inquiring of God what exactly it is He wanted her to do with her life. Though age seemed not to be on her side, marriage was not exactly on her mind.
So when she was posted to do her youth service in Zamfara State, she saw it as an opportunity to self-isolate and draw closer to her maker. It was also an opportunity to find answers to some issues of life.
That has always been her desire. Since she gave her to Christ at the age of 13, she has had an unquenchable appetite for answers to some disturbing questions of life. Some of her seeking were on the issues of Once Saved Forever Saved and the concept of exercising Faith in God for all issues of life.
For the latter she had packed a big bag of books along with two Bible versions for her journey to Zamfara. For the former, she was determined to comb the Bible until she found truth by herself.
She says, “that’s the good thing about the Youth Service Year. It affords you precious time to relatively isolate and soul search or plan the next 5, 10, 20 years of your life or at least what you would like to do in terms of vocation and the likes.”
By the time she got to Zamfara it didn’t take her long to discard the Once Saved Forever Saved teaching. She began to embrace teachings along the lines of being circumspect and watchful lest ye be led astray.
She figured, if she was wrong in embracing Once Saved, then she was doomed. But if she was wrong in embracing Holiness, there was nothing to lose. That’s not even mentioning the negative fruits she constantly witnessed in many Once Saved forever saved adherents. In short, it was just not the way to go for people who wanted to work out their salvation with fear and trembling, she said.
So being in Zamfara for her was thus a great opportunity to eat more from the table of the Lord and be strengthened in faith. That was in the early year 2006
“While in Zamfara, I sought the Lord without any distraction”. When I got there I knew I had come to stay. It was like God saying to me, “Come hither. This is going to be a time of retreat, for you, Ndidi”.
Unlike many of her youth corps colleagues who had become so desperate about finding a marriage partner, she was not. “I just felt I shouldn’t have problems getting married because I was desirable and that when the time came, it would take its natural course. So it wasn’t a thing for me to worry about.”
The story however was not the same for some Christians she met at the NYSC. “When I got to Zamfara some sisters were crying and really seeking the face of God concerning marriage. Some were so desperate and went as far as consulting all kinds of occultic mediums for some form of spiritual intervention to help them get married quickly. It came to me as a shock because I never thought a believer could be that desperate.
“But I knew if I had a desire, the way to go is to God in prayer, and that He would answer. I used to think “God will do what he will do”. But the more I learnt about Faith, the more I realized that we don’t get our desires met by wishing or by mere chance, or even by ” what will be will be” rather, we have our desires met, by committed prayer.
“Somehow though, watching all these young ladies so desirous of marriage all at a time, I guess I too began to take it more seriously. So I took it to God seriously in prayer also.
“At a point I’d exhausted all the books I took with me and really needed to be ministered to. I wanted some live “preaching and Word ministration because I wasn’t getting enough Word from the local church where I worshipped.
“So as usual, I took the matter to God praying that the Lord would send me His word. I said Lord, If it pleases you, please come minister to me in this dead end”
It was that hunger that brought her to the man she later married.
She recalled, “It wasn’t long, the Pastor at my local church, out of the blues, decided to plan a programme. A guest minister was invited and it happened to be the man I would marry. The preacher’s topic was, The Faith of God. The message meant so much to me that it seemed I was the only one excited about what I was hearing in that gathering. God had brought me His Word in season, right at the dead end where I was”
Though she was not thinking of marriage, something did play in her head. “In all fairness I was not attracted to the man in any way at first. I would say I was still too steeped in gratitude that God would come through for me and send me a preacher to answer all my questions in the secret place, right in the thick of nowhere that I was.
“I remember hearing though, even before I knew he was the preacher for the day, “what if this is your husband? It sounded like a strange thought and I rebuked the thought.”
Two weeks after that “strange thought”, her present husband came to minister in the church again and this time, he was asking the corps members in the church, “what is love”. I remember my answer to the question had been the most satisfactory to him. I had said something akin to, “Love is not a Feeling, but a Commitment”. I don’t know if he was thinking about marriage at the time. We never saw or spoke again until about three months after he gave that message on Love.
“I had returned to Lagos briefly. At midnight one day, I received an odd call. Nothing at all was inferred in the call, he just asked how I was, where I was, when I was returning, we exchanged pleasantries, and just as suddenly as the call came, it ended. That was the first of his soon to be constant calls.
“I returned to Zamfara and got an MTN line just launched in the area, and that afforded us free midnight calls. We would talk for long hours on the phone, go into praise and worship and interject the conversation with some love songs. We became quite intimate on the phone. We will praise and cry and it was an awesome time.
“Soon the calls became a regular thing. We talked every night and sometimes till 5 am. Somehow we met again and he asked the question if I would marry him (in tears). I wondered why he was crying. So I had to quickly say yes to settle the matter for that time. My thinking was that I could always change my mind since the marriage hadn’t happened yet.
“I ran to my friend and shared the experience asking her what she felt about the proposal. This my friend, who is usually very careful about such things, said to me ‘that is your husband’.”
That was the beginning for Ndidi and Olamide Adekunle. All her relatives just played along and accepted Olamide who has been a missionary since he left the University and was always traversing rural areas preaching the gospel.
Ndidi recalled, “He walked in faith and fixed the date for the wedding. I was rounding off my NYSC and that same month he proposed to me. I called one or two other people and they all seemed to like him and approved of him. We did not have money. We had to go to the village to see my father. He had retired from work. He saw my sister and her husband. When they heard they were excited. My brother in-law shouted, “praise the Lord!”
“He is charming. Everybody just came to like him. I am from the East he is from the West. His whole extended family fell in love with the relationship. So we got married. There was no money. And no hope of any supply from anywhere but to depend on God because he was a missionary”
The game changer
The game changer for Ndidi Olamide-Adekunle who read Education Management at the University of Portharcourt, is her love for God and penchant for the adventure of life in the life of her husband to be.
She saw in him a Jesus loving, highly passionate, hardworking, well educated, skilful at his work, terribly charming, pure hearted, man of solid character. He was the kind of man she had imagined she could spend her life with. That he was working with the Redeemed Christian Church of God at the time and earned a minimal salary, was dwarfed by who he was.
“For me, this man had a solid understanding of life and how to live it, by God. And I could trust him with the leadership of my home; I could submit easily to such a man.” She affirmed adding, “In the village of Mada, Zamfara, where I was doing my NYSC camels were the major means of transportation. Yet I stayed. But I still cooked up some level of excitement for myself, my friends, and colleagues. So marrying a missionary was for me, another adventure.”
Today, her husband, Olamide Adekunle has become so entrenched on the missions’ field, traversing villages both within and outside Nigeria with the gospel of Jesus. She too has since bought into missions; supporting her husband in the background. She takes care of the home front and has developed a whole industry around education. She trains teachers and consults for schools.
“I love the life we live in my home. Impacting lives with our different strengths and supporting each other to fulfil destiny, my husband’s destiny and work are critical. We have three awesome gifted children whom we both feel utterly blessed, nurturing them to the utmost pleasure of God who gave them to us. Together we live busy lives working out daily, this awesome adventure of a life the Father has gifted us with.” Said Ndidi Olamide-Adekunle
Story By Gbenga Osinaike