I woke up one glorious morning of 11th June 1999 and everything seemed usual except me. I was very hungry for I had not eaten anything the previous day except some two eggs I had eaten in a small hotel in the city of Nairobi, Kenya, Africa. I had spent the night in a friend’s room In Lower Kabete campus of the university of Nairobi situated on the outskirts of Nairobi city where I had graduated as an accountant almost a year that had lasted, on 30th November 1998.
Before graduating, I had got a job in a small firm in Nairobi only to be sacked 6 months later. Since then, I had been looking for a job in the city of Nairobi. I had got saved after graduation. In this particular morning I prepared as usual and left for the city in a Nissan microbus.
We had agreed to meet with another friend of mine, Muriithi, at Odeon cinema hall where maximum miracle centre, a church ministry in the city of Nairobi headed by bishop Muiru, had hired the hall for morning, lunch hour and Sunday sermons. I was delighted to meet him there as agreed. He was a good friend of mine and had been a classmate for four years at lower Kabete campus, was saved as I was and was a source of great encouragement especially during this time when I was waiting upon the lord for a job like himself. Together we never wanted to miss lunch hour services and kesha’s (overnight prayers) at maximum miracle centre.
On this day I had shs.40 (us $0.5) in my pocket and nothing more. During lunch time prayers, I told God that I was to test him as he allows us to test him with giving (tithes) in the book of Malachi (Malachi3:10) I contributed the whole shs40 as offering and asked God to give me lunch and fare in return. I was not expecting money from anybody or was not expecting to meet anyone who could give me money. Yet after lunchtime, as I strolled around the city with my friends, I met my dad searching for me in the streets of Nairobi!
Imagine somebody searching for someone in the busy and crowded streets of Nairobi! We met miraculously in a street where no one expected the other. We greeted each other and then he broke saddening news to me. He informed me that my grandmother was dead.
The saddening fact on my part was that she had died without having accepted Jesus Christ as her personal saviour. I felt like to weep. After absorbing this piece of news the next thing, he did was to offer me lunch even though he was complaining of lack of money. He also gave me money to spend. So I got the financial miracle I had asked from God. But the sadness still remained in me. It was too late for me to do anything about my grandmother. She had died at a good old age but had had not known about salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ throughout her life.
When a person is dead, nothing can be done to save his or her soul except if maybe God decides to bring her or him back to life like the way he brought Lazarus back to life (John 11:43). But it is only God who can do it at his own will, mercies and grace. For my grandmother, it didn’t happen. But dad also told me that my grandpa was seriously sick and was on the point of death. He was suffering from stroke which he had sustained as a result of a fall in his home compound.
For a long time he had also been suffering from the swelling of the scrotum and poor eyesight. For a man of his age, for he was about 100 years old, there was no much hope of his surviving a disease like stroke. It was pretty dangerous for him to be operated on, yet his condition required an operation. I believed in the healing power of Jesus. In the evening of the same day, being a Friday, my friend Muriithi and I went for overnight prayer at cameo cinema hall organized by maximum miracle centre. I narrated the whole story to him and asked him to pray for grandpa.
I asked God to communicate to me whether he would heal my grandpa. Throughout the night, I prayed for healing and salvation of my grandfather. By morning I was assured that at least my grandfather would be saved. I must admit that I was about only 7 months old in salvation and hadn’t known much about faith as yet. But still I prayed and believed that grandpa would be healed. All I needed was encouragement from the Holy Spirit so that I could go and pray for my grandpa. But while the Holy Spirit could not communicate to me about the healing of grandpa, he did assure me that he (grandpa) was going to accept Jesus as his personal savior.
So, on 12th June 1999, I left the city of Nairobi and bade goodbye to my friend Muriithi for Muthithi village, Maragua district in central province of Kenya where I was born and brought up and where I was to meet my grandpa. It is about a one and a half hours journey in a minibus ride.
The journey was nice and I alighted at my village shopping centre called Muthithi. From there, I walked a few metres, about 300m, across a river and up a ridge, to reach the remotely situated home of grandpa and late grandmother. It was an old three roomed mabati(iron sheets) roofed mud walled house and perhaps the most valuable asset that my grandparents had ever possessed in their lives apart from their less-than-two-acre piece of land.
I arrived when dusk was setting in and found women sitting outside the house seemingly gloomy and sad. They were chatting away stories in low tones expressing grieve. There was also the funeral committee gathered for the burial arrangements of my late grandma. There were also some other few men, apart from the committee members, and a few young men and ladies. The atmosphere itself was dismal. It was as if death lurked in the locality for to say the least, everyone had no hope of grandpa ever recovering from his disease and indeed he never did. Many of my relatives were there. As for my grandpa, I met him in his bed, in an inner room which was his bedroom.
One thing that impressed me was that he was perfectly conscious. This I discovered because he didn’t struggle to recognize me through my voice as he had always done before for he could not see properly as his eyesight was poor. God had given me enough grace to talk about Jesus Christ to my grandfather who by then had not gone to any church for five years that had lasted. I had never known my grandpa to be a regular churchgoer throughout my life.
“Grandfather, Jesus can save you. Without getting saved through the blood he shed, and without accepting the salvation that he brought into this world through his crucifixion on the cross, you can’t see the kingdom of God.” I told him. Apparently, it seemed to be unexpected news to my grandfather. He flatly refused to listen saying that he was already saved. “Ever since I were a small boy, I got saved when I were baptized.” He said.
However, I pressed on but finally when I found out that he was not willing to get saved, I left him in the bedroom to rest. During the same night, I preached to the people who had gathered there. This became the very first time that I preached to a congregation of people numbering more than ten.
On the morning of 15.6.1999, my grandfather’s health deteriorated. We took him to a nearby health clinic and he was treated and discharged. Back at home, I gave him the word of God again. Apparently, he was not prepared to get saved at all. I asked God, “Didn’t you tell me that grandfather is going to get saved?”
Somehow, I felt that I needed the encouragement of another born-again person so that at least we could pray for my grandpa. I cried to God and said, “if only there is another saved person here”
As I were wishing for another person, a born again man, a street preacher who used to preach in the streets of Nairobi (Muhia) came along on his way home from Nairobi.
I praised God that he had answered my prayer within such a short time. “Muhia, please come here that we may pray for my grandpa” I said to him.
He refused, excusing himself by saying that he first had to go home. For a time then, I had been discussing with my grandpa outside his house about the word of God. I pitied him. If only he knew what I was asking him to do, he couldn’t have resisted even the least to take heed of it.
Here, he was with little hope of surviving his disease yet resisting salvation. Somehow, I felt that there was nothing more I could do, and I handed over the rest to God, never giving up. As my grandfather was taken to his bedroom to rest I called out to God and said “God, I have never seen Satan triumph.”
I had faith that God was going to save grandpa because he had told me so and he is not a man that he should lie. I was left sitting on a bench outside the grandpa’s house, helpless and without knowing what to do next. Yet, as I sat there, God brought another saved person- a lady who was my relative (Wanjiru).
I praised God because although the street preacher had been unable to assist me here was another lady sent by God. There also came a man (Mustii) who was not saved and a habitual drunkard although not drunk then, who joined the two of us on the bench. We were therefore three in all. Looking at the lady and the man I said, “do you know that my grandfather is going to get saved?”
The lady said “yes, if it is God’s will, he can”. But the man said “Sammy, there is no need of telling your grandpa to get saved when he is such ill and old. Now it will bring complications to change his religion for he has been a catholic in most of his life. Moreover, he is too ill and can’t know anything about getting saved. He won’t understand when you tell him to get saved.”
Immediately I knew that this was the devil’s side of the story. I reminded him that religion will take no man to the kingdom of God. The man himself was a catholic but a habitual drunkard. What matters is whether you have received Jesus Christ as your saviour and whether you believe in his name and whether you have confessed about it (John 1:12 and Romans 10:9-10).
Believe it or not, God intervened at this crucial point and a miracle occurred. We were still discussing about the possibility of grandpa getting saved when suddenly, my aunt who was in the house cooking, called out my name loudly saying, “your grandpa wants you to come to his bedroom so that you can complete what you have been telling him”.
I hurried into the house telling the sister in Christ to follow behind me. We found the old man awake on the bed. “Sammy, I want you to finish on what you have been telling me”, he said.
We asked him whether he wanted to get saved “yes, I want to get saved”, he said. I felt joy fill my heart. The devil is a liar and will always be a victim rather than the victor. I led the confession prayer which he repeated after me, and he became saved within a short moment. His name was written in the lamb’s book of life.
My grandfather was addicted to tobacco which he had been sniffing (through the nose) for a long time. Even as I led the salvation prayer, the snuff box lay just next to him so that he could take a pinch when need arose. Even when sick, he had been sniffing tobacco! All that a certain man could do to show hospitality to grandpa, though he did it in good faith, was to buy him tobacco (snuff) which he was now sniffing.
“Now that you have gotten saved, you must stop sniffing tobacco” I told him. “In fact, take it and go and bury it as deep as you can under the ground. I don’t want it anymore.” He answered. This pleased me a lot. I thanked God. I took the tobacco and the snuffbox and threw them away in the shamba (piece of land), where he could not reach it. Since that day he never asked for tobacco till his death. The addiction disappeared miraculously.
Then he told me “sammy, check on the calendar and tell me the date on which I have got saved so that I can memorize it.” This came to me as a surprise. It meant that my grandfather had really got saved and was fully aware about it. Had I not just heard the man I had been sitting with outside say that grandpa could not understand anything about salvation?
It was on 15th June 1999, and I told him so. “So, I have got saved on 15th June 1999″ he said. After some more prayers we left him so that he could rest. The next day his health deteriorated, and we took him to Murang’a district hospital where he was admitted. I spent the night in the hospital looking after him. In the few days that followed before his death, I occasionally visited him to comfort and encourage him about salvation telling him “Praise God”, and him answering “Amen”. He could assure me that he was still saved.
Ten days after his admission to Murang’a district hospital, on a fine morning at around 6 AM, the old man passed away when I were at the ablutions washing a container which I was supposed to go and use to fetch some milk for him from a nearby kiosk. I saw it in a short vision while at the ablutions. He passed away when my aunt, her daughter, was standing by his bedside and aunt could not believe it because it was difficult to tell whether he was dead by looking at his face for he had died peacefully and wore an apparent expression of calmness on his face. My aunt had to look for someone else to come and confirm that he was actually dead. As for me, I asked God in a short prayer which I said in the hospital in my heart to show me a vision or otherwise to let me know truly that he had taken my grandpa himself and not the devil.
When in the matatu (commuter vehicle), on our way home, the spirit of God impressed me in my heart that it was in fact not I to see the vision but some other people especially my mother. We (my aunt and I) broke the news about the death of grandpa back in our village. After that, I went into the kitchen room to warm myself as well as wait for tea to get ready. It was still in the morning.
As I sat there beside a traditional three stone cooker, some women also gathered there and started discussing about my late grandfather and late grandmother. One woman who had been their neighbour and relative talked about a vision she had seen the previous night about grandpa. “Yesterday night, I saw Gerald being escorted home by some two very clean men, one on the right and the other one on the left.” She said.
Then my mother said “I also saw a vision. Just the other day, I saw in a dream very bright, gleaming light” my mother added that she felt the gleaning light had something to do with my grandfather. I knew that it was the Glory of God similar to what Stephen of the bible saw before his death. (Acts 7:55) I thanked God that he had answered my prayer for I believe these are the visions he had told me would be seen by some other people and especially my mother.
Funeral arrangements for grandpa were done and a few days later his body was brought from the mortuary and buried. Only very few people really knew about what had happened to Grandpa about salvation. My grandmother had been buried a few days before.
I give glory to almighty God who lives and whose love endures forever for saving grandpa at such an advanced age. In our community, the age of old people like him can only be deduced by looking at the name of their age groups because they do not have official records to show their age. According to the age group to which my grandfather belonged and from views of some people, grandfather was thought to be about 100 years old. I thank God for giving him a sober mind at that age and in sickness. Without Jesus we can’t do anything. May his name be praised forever.