More Trials, Temptations and Divine Interventions
Introduction to Part 4:
In part 4, I will tell of more challenges, some of which are of grotesque nature, and how God, with another round of miracles, delivered me from the jaws of the enemy, giving me a lease of life.
This is the part where I am going to tell about something I have kept secret for over 11 years. If the reader respects my wish, then I would request him/her not to pick his/her reading from this part. The reader may feel compelled to take a shortcut to the secret I mentioned at the beginning. There is no need to be in a hurry. It is only fair that you come to this point in context. The reader will be able to understand better if he/she follows the story from how it all began.
This far, especially after having resisted the temptations and weathered the trials, one would expect the enemy to give up. As this chapter will show, he doesn’t. Yesterday’s victory doesn’t make us winners of today. We have to determine to overcome on a daily basis. The reason for this is that the devil doesn’t give up on you because you defeated him previously. He keeps on coming back.
ANOTHER ROUND OF THE FORMER HUNTER BEING HUNTED
When I stopped chasing, I thought it was the end of running. But it turned out that I would still run only that I would change the direction. If you aren’t chasing, you will be chased.
Choose What You Are Going to Do!
I had a vision a couple of months before I even knew that my application for further studies in Norway would be successful. I had surrendered for a well-deserved night rest.
Apart from my teaching obligations I also had my hands full with spiritual matters including evening open air meetings; committee meetings, etc. This means that any time I went to bed I would sleep off in a minute.
On this night, sleep didn’t come right away. I kept my eyes closed to trap what had turned out to be an elusive sleep. As I waited for sleep to come, something strange happened. It wasn’t the first time I had such feeling but on this day it was unique. I felt some heaviness and darkness. It was like someone was in the house with me. I had locked the door for sure and as far as I knew I was alone in the house. I had nevertheless become so conscious that someone was in the house. How did the person come in and what was his/her mission? I felt so heavy; it was like my body had become an external weight weighing me down. I couldn’t even move my hand to light the lamp or reach for the spotlight. I felt extremely afraid. That was when I went into a trance.
I was still very conscious of my surrounding but things began to be even more extraordinary. The fear was gone. The darkness was also gone. I could see a very light complexioned lady standing by my bed, naked. She was the most beautiful lady I have ever seen. She jumped into the bed; her mission was clear. I declined the offer but she insisted. We started wrestling. Her part in the wrestle was to force me to do what she wanted me to do. My part was to resist her at all cost.
We wrestled for what could have been five minutes. One strange thing was that the lady had initially looked feminine and fragile but when she started wrestling with me trying to rape me, she became so strong that I wondered if the muscles were really of a lady. After the five minutes, I was gasping for breath, tired and overcome.
After overpowering me, for a moment it looked like she would do whatever she had wanted to do with me. She was at the verge of doing it when I heard a voice saying, “Daniel, choose what you are going to do!”
One strange thing was that the lady had initially looked feminine and fragile but when she started wrestling with me, she became so strong I wondered if the muscles were really of a lady.
I perceived that the voice was the Lord’s. I answered and said: “Lord, I had chosen You and I am not going back to make a different choice!” With that the lady disappeared. When the weight she had exerted on me shifted, it felt like I had been relieved of tons of weight. I felt light like a feather. My body itself was no longer heavy. I lighted the lamp and checked all the rooms just to be sure that she was gone. I went back to bed and slept like a baby.
When I made a decision to follow Christ, for me it was like locking the door of other options and throwing away the key. In other words, not following Christ was no longer an option and being called upon to make a choice of what I would do was irrelevant. But what I learnt is that the devil would always find the key and bring it back to you, saying: You can always change your mind! When the Lord asked me to choose what I was going to do, I realised that deciding to follow Christ is a day-by-day; moment-by-moment affair.
We may think that we can live for Christ on a decision we made in the past but the truth is that we live for Christ by daily refreshing our decision to follow Him. The reason for this is that the devil will not stop tempting us simply because we had decided to follow Christ, or because we had resisted him in the past. He will always come back. Equally, God will not take away our free will gift—we will still have to decide what we want to do, on a daily basis.
I Learnt it from Joseph
The lady in the vision above was so light skinned that a little of more lightness and she would be a White. Was I being prepared for what was coming?
Before going to Europe, I had heard stories that White ladies were not as shy as their African counterparts as far as expressing their feelings were concerned. This entailed the fact that they would tell you when they had fallen in love with you. I have lived in Europe since 1993 and I have had many cases of White ladies giving themselves away to me but I don’t know whether I could use this to confirm what we were being told about their guts to express their romantic intentions to a person they have fallen in love with. The reason is that things changed so radically when I got saved. I have already talked about my becoming so handsome that even our “shy” African women dramatically and literally chased me around—not once; not twice; not thrice, I actually lost the count. The cases I told above were but few examples.
I want to be as frank as one could possibly be. Perhaps my case might have been extreme but I know many who were even more extreme than me when it comes to the love of women. Men out there, or in here, let us be honest for a moment, the most principal problem that is making people reject, backslide or compromise their relationship with Christ is sex. If a man like me could be changed, everyone can.
What helped me, I must repeat, was that I pointed the finger at the real problem. I didn’t “hide” my problem by asking God rhetorical questions of things that He could have done differently.
Yes, there are many things I didn’t (and still don’t) know about God just as I didn’t know much about my mother (Chapter 25) but, like Mark Twain admitted that it was not the things he didn’t understand about the Bible that unsettled him, but that it was the things he understood that bothered him, I understood enough to make me know that I couldn’t fool myself and think that I would fool God as well. I couldn’t hide behind asking questions when my problem was obvious.
I knew that my problem was fornication. At one time I even bargained with God. I used to pray even before I got saved. In my regular prayers I would tell God that I was willing to serve Him but He would have to put up with me when it was about women. I told Him that He is the one who created me and He knew very well how it was “impossible” for me to “ignore” women.
So much for digressing!
What I wanted to emphasise here is the fact that when you become honest with God and put the problem on your face and call it what it is, God would take it from there and make your weakness your strength.
Before I got saved, I was supersensitive to any signals that would come from an opposite sex. Sometimes even a no-strings-attached-smile from a lady was enough to send me diving to the wrong side of conclusion. I remembered at the college that sometimes if a lady smiled with me, I would “report” to my friends as we gathered in the evening for “men-talk”. I would tell them of a possible catch. But after getting saved, it was like I had become so naïve that sometimes I would miss to receive the feminine signals. If this wasn’t the case, why didn’t I notice that Kari (not her real name) had fallen in love with me until she got me cornered?
Kari was a neighbour in the students’ hostels. The students in our corridor were friendly and outgoing. Since my experience with Cate, I had come to appreciate ladies’ friendship without any sexual strings attached. Though we were not so close, the proximity and her sociable attributes made Kari someone we occasionally exchanged visitations with.
One day, I casually walked into her room just for a neighbour’s courtesy. I sat and we started talking generally. She stood from her seat and seemed to have been struggling with something on her dress behind her neck. She asked me to help. I stood up moved towards her. “It is the zip, it is stuck!” She explained.
Ooh how I was naïve! I had hardly reached out to it when she pulled the zip all the way down. As I stood there mesmerised and wondering what she was doing, she pulled off the dress and dropped it on the floor.
Wow! How did I get that far without seeing it coming? Again, I am not going to give a graphic description of what I was beholding. Suffice it to say I was hypnotised for about five seconds. I felt the magnet of her beauty drawing me. It was like an insect being drawn to a light whose source emits strong heat enough to roast the insect. If I moved any closer, or if I reached out for the offer, I would be roasted—for sure!
The first impulse was to flee the room. Meanwhile, she was looking at me as if she was taunting me saying: Let’s see if you would pretend that you don’t want to have what you are seeing!
When I made a decision to follow Christ, for me it was like locking the door of other options and throwing away the key.
I don’t know how long it took as I became a battle-field for the flesh and the spirit. My flesh screamed: It is impossible to flee from something like this! The inner voice counselled: YOU STILL HAVE A CHOICE—whatever you do will be the choice you have made! I remembered the episode of the lady who wrestled with me in a vision. When I thought that I had been conquered, I was asked to still make a decision. I quickly remembered the answer I gave in the vision. Again, I felt my spirit assuring me that I must not give in to the flesh. I also remembered the covenant I made with God that I would be willing to depart from this life than go back to this sin. If I had the choice, then I wasn’t making a new one other than the one I made on 22nd Jan 1989. I applied operation Joseph—I fled.
A day later, she came to my room. I was taking supper. Without notice, that is, nothing prepared me about her intentions, she came and sat on my laps and asked me to feed her what I was eating.
One of my nightmares is to hurt a lady. Was I to rebuke her, or push her away? This was the background for which I had asked God not to let a lady ask me to marry her—because I would. For the first, it would be an honour that a lady has loved me so much that she could brave asking me to marry her. For the second, I maintained that it was a terrible thing “disappointing” a lady.
My fear was that, as I understood it then, I might be approached by a “wrong person”. This meant that I’d then marry the wrong person. My perception of “wrong” person has since changed.
Instead of pushing her away or rebuking her, I asked her to raise herself so that I could go get a spoon to feed her. She complied. When I came back, I sat in a way that there was no way she could sit on my laps again. I scooped a spoonful, put in her mouth then asked her to continue from there. She gave up on me.
You’ll Fall Asleep in the Wrong Place
On another occasion, we had an academic tour to the UK. Again I never knew that a Chinese classmate had fallen in love with me. At the hotel where we were boarding, we were to share rooms. It turned out that I was given a room without getting a room-mate. For me sharing a room would not have been a problem but when I found myself alone, it was equally alright with me. On the second night, the Chinese classmate came visiting. We had been talking for a while about how we had experienced London that far when she indicated that she was tired.
She casually stood up from her chair and went and lied on the bed. I advised her to go and rest for the night in her room. The interesting this was that no sooner had she lied on the bed than she was fast asleep. I kindly tried talking to her that she would fall asleep for real and that it would happen at the wrong place. She was so fast asleep already that she made me know that she was too deep asleep to hear what I was saying.
I gave up! I decided to coil myself on the chair and let her ‘sleep’. When she waited long enough to realise that I was not joining her, she couldn’t hide her frustrations. She “woke up”, fuming: “What do you think you are doing? Why do you pretend?”
I tenderly responded that I was not pretending, she was the one who was pretending to be asleep. She went away cursing. The following day, she came and apologised. She told me that she respected my integrity and envious of the woman that would win me. I wish she knew that I was what I was because of Christ. If it wasn’t for Christ I was bankrupt of integrity when it was about women. We remained friends. I later witnessed to her about Christ. She was a pure hearted lady. Even when I got married, she became such a close family friend.
The enemy was not giving up. I had just bought foodstuff from a store. As I walked out of the mall, a lady—a stranger at that—was passing by. When she saw me she stopped abruptly and excused herself as she drew my attention. She came straight to me, stretched her hand to greet me. I responded. She introduced herself. I never retained her name. The funny thing was that she was holding tight to my hand.
I had never been in an awkward situation. She looked me in the eyes and told me: “You are a handsome man!” This is exactly the opposite of what a lady had told me as I described earlier.
I returned the compliment: “You are also a beautiful lady!” I was getting more nervous. How can one meet a complete stranger who just clings on him just like that? I wondered. She arduously sought eye contact with me. And when she got it, I sensed danger. She was still holding my hand. She was silent for a moment, trying to hypnotise me with her feminine gestures.
She asked: “Are you feeling anything—and what are you going to do about it?”
At this point I thought the lady was going too far. How could I feel what was irrelevant? Was I being kidnapped? Was I to try to be kind to her or just tear off and go my way? Even during my days of hunting, this one would have scared me. She was too fast. I was relieved yet shocked when a man appeared who seemed to know the lady and just pulled her away.
When you become honest with God and put the problem on your face and call it what it is, God would take it from there and make your weakness your strength.
Another case was a workmate in a Chinese restaurant. The young lady had been so kind and pleasant. Little did I know that she had wanted to capture my attention. Because of my policy of not even thinking about it, she had to take her moves a notch higher to make sure that I got the message. She cornered me in the kitchen one day; stood in front of me; composed me a song; sang how she loved me as she femininely and tantalizingly contorted her body. She posed for a kiss. I looked at her blankly and played my new man innocence that God had graciously granted me.
These were not just mere temptations. There were many other things that made these temptations trickier than I am allowed to talk about at this point. In fact, they were related to what the “angel” told me by the road.
In all these God has proved faithful!
COMMITMENT: A TOOL FOR PRE-EMPTING GUILT AND SELF-PITY
First, the devil would try to fell you by manipulating your weakness through temptation. If this fails, he would make life unbearable through trials.
1997: A Challenging Year Indeed!
After resisting the best shots that the enemy could put my way, aiming at what had been my weakest point, it was time for him to “punish” me. If the enemy couldn’t get me through women, it was like he ran short of ideas. He would try to make life extremely difficult, ranging from betrayals to threats of death.
What was happening to me after resisting the enemy’s best schemes was like what happened to Joseph. If the enemy fails to get you through enticements and manipulation of the cravings of the flesh, capitalising on what used to be your weakness, his next scheming would be to try to reach you through proxy—that is, trying to reach you through people. People around you; people you cherish and trust may reject, betray or falsely accuse you in ways that would hurt you deeply. If you take offence the devil shall have gotten you (see chapter 7 of The Pursuit of Commitment). The devil only needs a foot hold in your life.
If he fails to reach you through people, his final tool would be to torture you—through trials. The devil had wanted to reach Joseph through Potiphar’s wife. Because he never fell for this trap, Joseph was punished for his integrity.
Since I arrived in Norway, I worked very hard. The idea was that after my studies I would go back to my home country, and probably go back to my job. I had taken a study leave. I wanted to accumulate enough money to start a business.
The works that were available for us foreign students included being newspaper messenger and or cleaning. These were the jobs we commonly referred to as “odd jobs”. We could get such jobs because they were poorly paid and were not popular with the natives. Though they were “odd jobs” the money we used to earn would be little, yes, but it wouldn’t be “odd”.
Because they were not paying well, one had to work his back to breaking point to get something substantial. As someone who had spent all his life working, this wasn’t a problem. It was gruelling but I had enough motivation to do it. My routine was in this wise: I would wake up at 3:30 am, distribute papers until 7 am. I would come to the apartment, sleep for an hour or two; wake up at 9 am; take a shower followed by breakfast. I would then go to school around 11 am. Three times a week I would be at China palace washing utensils from 4 pm up to 9 pm. From there I would go to a mall and clean from around 9:30 to 11:30. From there I would go to the apartment take supper and sleep around midnight.
For people who have never had an experience of winter: the snow; the cold and the slippery ground, no picture can sufficiently explain how challenging it was doing all those things I was doing, especially distribution of papers in the morning hours.
By 1995, my wife and I had accumulated enough money to buy a van. We wired the money to a company called Jaba in Japan to buy a Toyota Hiace. After sometime, the company told us that they had failed to acquire a Toyota Hiace. They would sell us a Mazda Bongo if we added some money because the latter was a better quality and relatively less used. We added the money and the vehicle was to be delivered immediately. Two years later and the vehicle had not been delivered.
January 1997, I travelled back to Kenya to collect data for my thesis. In the process, I would receive the vehicle, clear it and launch it. When the vehicle finally arrived at the port of Mombasa my time was almost up. I tried my best to get it cleared but faced enormous obstacle. First was the slow process; second corruption traps; third exorbitant taxation levied on the vehicle.
I had spared Kshs. 500, 000 (a half a million) thinking that such amount would be enough to clear the vehicle. That was not to be. The taxation placed the figure at Kshs. 800,000.
Robbed in Nairobi
We had been with my pastor friend Amollo walking in and out of customs offices in Nairobi. Pastor Amollo was travelling back to Siaya where he was based as I was travelling to the port in Mombasa.
It was evening around 9 pm. I had booked a bus and was waiting. The bus would be leaving at 11 pm. Because I didn’t have enough money to clear the vehicle, as I was waiting I decided to call Fredrick Makosir, a friend back in Norway. He was someone I could always count on to come to my rescue in such cases. I would ask him to loan me the money so that I could be able to clear the car before travelling back to Norway.
I would make the call from Telcom House where they offered international calling services. As I walked towards the place, I was intercepted by three policemen. Nobody had alerted me that some of the Kenya Police had become rogues and thieves.
“Hey you!”, one of them began, speaking in Kiswahili, “You are the one we were calling and instead you just run away from us, you thought we wouldn’t catch you”.
Though they were “odd jobs” the money we used to earn would be little, yes, but it wouldn’t be “odd”.
I sincerely didn’t know what they were talking about. I hadn’t seen them earlier and I hadn’t been running. They accused me of being a suspect and, at the same time, made a curious statement: “You think we are thieves!”
When they said the above, I didn’t know that they had just introduced what they were. They frog-matched me towards a dark corner where the street lights were not working. I was sandwiched by two of them as the third one walked behind me pointing a gun at me. They told me they were taking me to the police station. The one with the gun told me that if I talked well with the officers—his comrades—they would release me.
“Talking well” is a lingo they use for asking for a bribe. I told them that I was an innocent man going about his business and I didn’t have any “talking well” to do with them. As they were frog-matching me, they were ransacking my pockets and pulling out all the contents. They also snatched the bag that I was having and in the dim light coming from a distance, they investigated the content. They found a Bible and my passport. They realised that there was no way they could defend any false accusation they could have wanted to place on me. They started talking friendly. Then what I was praying not to happen happened—they found the money, the half a million Kenya shillings.
When they found the Bible, they asked me why I was carrying it with me. I told them that I was saved. When they also found the money, they were shocked. They asked where I got the money from. This was not difficult to establish because they had seen my passport and for most people anyone residing abroad must be rich. I explained to them that I was going to Mombasa to clear a vehicle from the port. I even showed them the documents to the effect of the vehicle that was awaiting clearance.
“Maybe you are a thief and you have stolen this money!”, one of them said, as he threw down the documents I had been showing them and the little money he picked from my pockets. I later realised that he did this in order to distract me. As I scrambled to pick my money and the documents in the dim light, the one who held the half a million, pulled a chunk of the money from the bunch. They gave me back my bag and the money. They then released me, advising me to be careful because there were thieves all over the place.
I couldn’t expose the money in order to count it. I had to wait until I was in a safe place. When I arrived in Mombasa the following day, I counted the money and found that they had robbed me of Kshs. 16,000.
I was to travel back to Nairobi the same day. I travelled overnight arriving in Nairobi around 6 in the morning. After disembarking from the bus, I had hardly walked 10 metres when I was accosted by thugs who robbed me of US$1000, plunging me even deeper into financial woes.
I went to the media, Daily Nation, to be precise, and reported the matter. The person I talked to told me that such cases were so common of late. The way he talked was like it was not even newsworthy. They were not interested in the story.
Foreigner in My Own Country
I had become a real foreigner in my own country. The things that were happening to me were strange indeed but that was because I was a “foreigner”. The locals found them “normal”.
My next stop was at the police station. When I got there, I refused to divulge my case to the police officer manning the OB (Occurance Book). I told him that I had a sensitive matter that I had to talk to the boss. They guided me upstairs where I met a commander: As I was narrating my story, he was struggling to hold his eyes open. Any time I realised he was dozing off, I would pause wait for him to “come back”, then I would repeat what I was saying. I did this because I wanted him to get every detail of what I was telling him.
I told him that I was able to identify the officers who robbed me. I had made sure that I saw their faces before they dragged me to the poorly lit sections of the street. Though the commander took my details and said they would do investigation, and that they would contact me, I never heard from him. I suspect that they knew what was happening and that he might have been party to the police scandal—otherwise, why didn’t he take my proposal to attempt an identification parade of the police officers who were on duty that night?
What I was praying not to happen happened—they found the money, the half a million Kenya shillings.
When I finally finished the arrangements of clearing the vehicle, we travelled to Mombasa with my pastor friend Amollo. There again, corruption was raising its ugly head. For me, like when I was going to Norway for the first time, I don’t bribe. I would rather abandon that vehicle at the port than give a bribe. We attempted to get some concessions through official ways. We managed to reach a very kind and cooperating high ranking customs’ officer who conceded the fact that the tax levied on the vehicle was too much. Nevertheless, his hands were tied by the law and could only act in accordance to the book.
He “accepted” to give us a rebate but on condition that we identify a clause in the custom’s regulations where we could append our case. He gave us the book and told us to take all the time we needed to find out something we could interpret to warrant a tax concession. We failed to get anything. We had just to face the full force of taxation.
Long story short, the vehicle was cleared after I had gone back to Norway. The bitter part of it was that the business never took off. The vehicle, to begin with, was the type that didn’t have spare parts available locally. Anytime something broke down, we had to import it from Japan. This proved to be extremely expensive. By the time my wife and I gave up on that project, we had sent money to have so many things changed including the engine—we had used a total of about US$35,000. That was a time the dollar was still very strong. We got nothing back from all that money we spent on the vehicle—nothing! We tried a photocopying business where we used about Kshs. 300,000 but this also flopped—again we got nothing from that venture! I will not go into the details for reasons I am not allowed to divulge.
That was enough of financial woes. If we thought that was bad enough, the worst was still to come, this time round not in the form of finances but health and life itself.
If I had compromised in any way, guilt and self-condemnation would have consumed me and I would have probably thought that my woes were a result of the compromise. But again, maybe if I compromised, the devil would have spared me the agonies he has put my family and I through. If this is the case, it only confirms to me that salvation is real and that whoever determines to live for Christ will have to contend with the diabolic schemes aimed at disorienting one’s life.
May I give a wrong impression: I am not making any claim that I am perfect in all my dealings as a committed Christian. I struggle a lot. In fact sometimes I catch myself red-handed with retrospective thoughts that seem to hail sin. What I know, however, is that I have not willingly and carelessly given the devil a foothold in my life. I would echo what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:4: “My conscience is clear, but that does not mean that I am innocent. It is the Lord that judges me” (NIV). The last portion of the foregoing scripture is the definition of my name, Daniel. The name means: “God is my judge”.
If there is any innocence, I owe it basically to God’s grace and the spiritual legal righteousness that was bestowed upon me by Christ’s death on the Cross.
In the next chapter, I will tell how the devil took his diabolic schemes a level higher and how Christ raised a standard against him in our life. This is the heritage we got from God’s Word:
So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.
Proceed to Chapter 21 (Part 1)