I remember an incident that happened when I was in my former church. It came to pass sometimes in 2012 that the urge to enter into full time pastoral work became very heavy in my spirit.

By the special grace of God, at that time I was already pastoring a parish(as a part timer) of the RCCG and I was doing well. The church was growing numerically, spiritually and financially. 

In my secular office too as a civil servant, i was doing the little i knew I could do.

In fact, I was feeling like a main man. I had a good job, a loving wife and a growing church. What a perfect combination or so it seemed. Then once in a while, Joy would tell me, "Sweetheart, when are you going to obey the call of God to go into full time pastoral work? You know you can't afford to disobey God in that aspect o"

Within me, I would say things like , "Look at this woman o. What kind of strange woman is this? I am even expecting you to be discouraging me from resigning from my secular job and going into full time ministry. But here you are, urging me to obey."

But I would simply smile and tell her, "Don't worry, baby girl, when it is time, I'll do the needful"

"Are you sure?" She would ask.

"Kuku kill me" I would say within me.

It then came to pass that the pressure on my spirit became very strong and I knew I just had to obey. 

Immediately I discussed it with my mentor and spiritual father who also was my Zonal Pastor then. 

Fortunately, he encouraged me and said, "Well, Tunde, to be candid, I have always known there is a call of God upon your life and I have always known that you carry grace. The grace upon you was so obvious while you were here with me in the zonal headquarters serving as zonal youth pastor and Sunday school superintendent. The same grace is still evident in your life as a parish pastor. At least we can see what God is using you to do in your parish"

I heaved a deep sigh of relief on hearing those words.

He continued, "So if you feel it's time. Write your application to the province and I'll submit it on your behalf. That's the procedure"

I did not delay in writing my application to the Province. 

After a while, I received a message on my phone inviting me for an interview at the province. I was also instructed in the message to come along with my wife for the interview.

Due to the problems that had erupted in the homes of some full-time pastors because of the refusal of their wives to support them in the work. The province then came up with a policy to ensure that the wife of any prospective fulltime pastor is in support of the husband's decision to go into fulltime ministry so as to avert future crisis in the home.

On the day fixed for the interview, I arrived at the venue with Joy and we were called in to be drilled by a panel comprising of the three most senior pastors in the province. 

That day, my mouth was opened in amazement at the way Joy was speaking on my behalf and assuring the men of God that she was ready to go all the way with me.

One of the interviewers asked, "Madam, are you in support of your husband becoming a full-time pastor?"

"I'm in full support " Joy answered.

"But he's already trying his best as a part-time pastor. Don't you think that's enough?" One of the interviewers said

"Doing well as a part-time pastor is okay, but in the eyes of God he is a failure if what God actually wants him to do is full-time pastoral work"  she said.

It became obvious from the look on the faces of the interviewers that they were impressed by the answer she gave them.

"Madam, do you know the province will not be paying your husband as much as the Ekiti State government is paying him?" One of the interviewers asked.

"Yes sir" she answered.

"So, as a woman, what do you have to say to that? Consider the fact that there may be a drop in the food allowance etc" One of the interviewers said.

"For every vision, there is a provision. If truly God has called us, He will take care of us, salary or no salary" Joy answered.

At a stage, the interviewers forgot about me and concentrated on her.

I was just watching the drama and most especially Joy's mouth and radiant look as she spoke to the interviewers with so much passion and conviction. She practically convinced them that she knew what she was going into with me.

In my mind, I was just saying, "Truly, this girl is factory fitted for ministry."

Immediately right there, the next thing I heard from the head of the interview panel was, "Congratulations, you are employed. When will you like to start work?"

I was surprised and excited at the same time.

"Sirs, you will have to give me a month. The policy of the Civil service is that I have to give a month's notice if I'm leaving the service" I struggled to answer.

"No problem, Pastor, See the Administrative Secretary. Your letter of employment will show next month as the date of your commencement of duty" the head of the interview panel said.

"Congratulations" They all said. They shook hands with me and my wife.

Months later after I had assumed duty as a full-time pastor in the mission, one of the interviewers of that day said to me, "Pastor, you are indeed blessed with that woman. Do your best to appreciate her. Wives like that are rare. In our several years of experience, what we have always seen is the case of women reluctantly supporting the decision of their husbands to go into full time ministry. But your wife surprised us that day. Pastor, I'm telling you once again that you are a blessed man."

It's been more than seven years of full-time pastoral work now, (five of those years in RCCG and remaiming two in WICCC) and I can say it truly that I'm blessed. There is no regret going into full time pastoral work.

Joy, thank you very much for being supportive. I don't know if i could have gone this far without you in my life and by my side. So much battles that we've fought together(some even life threatening) and yet you are never tired or discouraged.

She will be even saying, " Baby boy, fire on; God is on your side! No evil power can harm you"

This girl can ginger a man's ministerial swagger.

Joy, I love you to the moon and back.

The next forty years of your life will be full of great success, accomplishments, bountiful harvest of blessings and ease.

Rev. Akinola Tunde

#celebratingasupportivewife
#factoryfittedforministry
#joyat40
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