WHY I ABANDONED LAW FOR GOSPEL — LAOLU ADEFARASIN
One of the secret desires of most women in Pentecostal churches these days is to marry a minister of God. This confers on them the title, Pastor-Mrs. irrespective of their spiritual growth, call of God or theological knowledge.
The moment this title is pasted on her, everybody including her mother's age mates in the church respectfully (some say forcefully) call her 'Mummy' with all its attendant physical pecks and material gains. But for Olaoluwa Adefarasin, it iwas the other way round. In a chat recently with Everywoman, the full-time pastor with Guiding Light Assembly (GLA), Parkview, Ikoyi, Lagos, and leader of OASIS Ministry of same church, revealed that for over five years after her husband was ordained and made the General Overseer of the church, she refused to be part of the church's pastoral crew.
I didn't marry my husband as a pastor. He was doing his business and attending the church like everyone else. Along the line, he was gradually drawn to the leadership cadre, ordained a pastor and finally made the General Overseer of the ministry. This wasn't what I bargained for at all. I was not too pleased with the development so, I packed my bag and baggage and went to London to stay with my children. I was there for five years. Here in Nigeria, my husband was busy doing his business and pastoring a church. Later he told me he had dumped business for the gospel. It never bothered me one bit, for I was never interested in any deep involvement in church affair. When I came back to Nigeria having graduated in law, I went into law practice. It was then that I started attending the church with him. I was in active legal practice for over five years before I realized that for my husband to succeed in his ministry, I needed to be by his side. The role of a woman as a help-meet to her husband and the steady growth of the ministry made me to rethink my earlier decision to stay aloof. Again, the women in the church were calling for my motherly spiritual attention and the home-front was crying greater. Gradually I found myself putting aside the wig and the gown and carrying the Bible as expected of me.
Challenges in ministry for women in leadership positions vary. Each profession as in ministry has peculiarities of what confronts those in it. There has been nothing unusual that I have not been able to handle by the grace of God who has placed me where I am today. During interactions with my fellow women, I discovered that a lot of them had one problem or the other to complain about. So many things have gone wrong at home with their children, husbands, etc that they cannot afford to discuss with anyone else but you, their leader. I really thank God for His grace and wisdom that have helped me to be of use to such ladies and women. It has been wonderful.
Regrets in ministry
No, I have no regrets coming into full-time ministry. Really, I enjoy the legal profession but then the years in ministry have been thrilling. Leaving my husband to handle the affairs of the church for up to 10 years, I believe was not 'wickedness' as some want to term it. God has His own plans that He put in place at His own time. I am not crazy about titles or positions in the church and elsewhere. I believe He drew me into the work at His own time. It wasn't my husband who called me, but God.
Role of women
I see women as the secret power of God for the end time. The fact that more women are being called into ministry attests to this. Women in ministry tend to be more faithful and reliable, a ready tool in the hand of God. However, I am not saying that men have failed God or that they are not faithful, far from it.
I started organizing the women ministry in 2002 when we started Morning Glory, an early morning prayer session that holds between 7-8am every Tuesday. This morning prayer meeting really helped to bind us the more. It was also the womb from which OASIS Ministry came forth.
He Oasis Ministry
As I said, the Tuesday women meeting grew and saw the women coming together as a body under the OASIS Ministry. Geographically, OASIS is known as a collection of body of water in a desert. We see ourselves as coming together to discuss issues, rest and share time of refreshment from the Lord, away from the heat of life.
It is a forum for women and mature ladies where we teach, counsel ourselves, organize seminars and workshops to discuss feminine matters that are important to us and our homes. Testimonies of changes in the home have been so encouraging that we have settled for quarterly special programmes of different dimensions to bring forth the beauty of the woman as lover, wife, mother and even mother figure to her husband. Whatever the Bible says, does not in any way stop human emotional feelings. Thus we meet to sort out such issues too. The meetings have been a great eye-opener and a guide to all who are in pursuit of successful marital life. We also encourage women to have friends in the church and not in the market place. This will help them to be emotionally stable and spiritually able in their homes and in life.
Success in marriage
Success in marriage is a function of the woman of the house. The Bible makes it clear that a wise woman builds her house. It means a woman needs wisdom to be successful in her role as a wife and mother, not degrees, official positions or beauty. There is no way a lady will truly submit to her husband that her husband will not love her. Pride of any sort leads to divorce. It is the bitter truth.
A woman needs to know all about her husband's taste and mannerisms and then tailor her behaviours to please him. Even where there are differences, to settle them will not pose a big challenge on this platform of understanding. She must learn to submit to her husband for there can never be two husbands in the home.
The dress sense of a woman should be simple but appealing all the time, so as not to be repulsive to her husband. When it comes to things of ladies, men first 'walk by sight'. What they see greatly appeals to them. Marriage takes patience, wisdom and willingness of both parties to succeed. The woman is, however, the key factor.
The vintage shop
The shop was established to cater for the material needs of church members at very low prices.
Items display for sale include household and kitchen utensils, clothing for children and adults, shoes of all sizes including English wears which are always in stock. Some of the materials are fairly used but are quality materials. Some are also brand new local clothing materials often sewn to taste.
Changing Our World Foundation
Within the first year of operation of the shop, we were able to donate N 2 million to the church's outreach called Changing Our World Foundation at Obalende, Lagos. The foundation is involved in several development projects including education, health care, food and sanitation provisions at Obalende.