THE FINAL EPISODE OF THE PRIEST VOW.
Without wasting any more time I packed up my belongings few months later after informing the bishop and father Patrick that I was returning.
They were happy and started planning a welcome back party which father Patrick told me even though it was supposed to be a surprise.
I laughed when he said everyone was looking forward to seeing me again even church members who heard of it are looking forward to my arrival.
I was also looking forward to returning back after my main work was done in my mother’s city.
Anna said she was coming with me, she couldn’t keep up with the house expenses and also Joel with her little pay.
I told her not to worry about Joel, I will take care of my brother’s son as if he was mine.
Even before knowing I had a brother I have already adopted Joel like my child and we had a greatrbond.
Anna said she will return to her family instead of staying back in the city.
It was a great news and I encouraged her to do so.
We all got set, I had time to say goodbye to all my people in the Church, the grocery store, the coffee shop and many others who I have come to know within the years of living in that City.
It was a long ride which last for a day and half before we finally arrived.
Father Patrick was the first to meet us before other reverends fathers came out to welcome me.
Almost everyone was aware of who Joel’s real father was and they all heard he was my brother who died during his prison sentence.
We had a little gathering of people living around my old apartment which was still kept for me.
Since we arrived on a Saturday Anna have to stay over with me until Sunday.
We both went to church together and news has gotten to the bishop about our arrival
It was after service that the welcome party commence.
I got to meet and greet with my old parishioners, we had a glorious time as the bishop started with a welcoming message.
I met with Tagbo, he was very happy to see me again and I also introduced him to Anna.
Their were singing, dancing and merriment for everyone as I mounted on the pulpit again, wearing my priesthood apparel and address the wh0le congregation.
I told them of my encounter in brief which also led to meeting a brother who I never thought existed until his death.
It was a long sermon, a message filled with hope for everyone present. they all listened and we glorified God who revealed all the secret things during the period I was away.
Anna later return to her people, I resumed my usual routine again. My block rosary meetings wasn’t left out.
I continued my outreaches to prisons, hospitals, orphanage homes and several other places.
I was back to doing same thing I love as usual.
Anna came back with Joel at my request and stayed over at the Reverend sisters quarters.
I got Joel into school and took up paying both school fees and upkeep.
I still create time to sit with Tagbo and few others who are eager to hear the word.
Tagbo enquires about Anna and I gave him my assurance that she was good woman.
Anna and Tagbo got talking, they also went out on several dates.
Anna and Tagbo came to me seeking for my approval for their union which they intend to take to another level.
I gave them my blessings and their love life kicked up and in no time marriage preparations set in.
I showed them a great support and also officiated during their wedding.
After their marriage they moved to a nearby city with a better accommodation.
After two years Anna conceived and brought fort a daughter.
They brought the child for christening and baptism and I was glad to baptise her.
Years went by and Joel remained in my care. Anna and Tagbo had another child, a boy.
God blessed their home and I was happy to witness the goddess of the Lord in their lives.
I wasn’t going to train Joel to follow my step of priesthood, I will watch and guide him grow into a man after God’s heart.
He can chose whatever he plans to become in future, nobody will make that decision for him.
The bishop became old and couldn’t do much anymore, the mantle was thrown at my feet.
After he stepped down, I traveled out for a course and spent over two years.
When I returned I was made the bishop.
It was a great honour.
serving God and humanity in whatever position I find myself was my calling and I find Joy in what I do.
Joel grew into handsome man, he was a perfect picture of his father, Benjamin Cole also known as Gumi.
Let say he had my almost same features as a young man and little if his mother.
He was studying to become a medical doctor.
Joel was God fearing and followed every of my teaching.
I have watched him grow from childhood and feel blessed that he did not follow worldly step or like my late brother who was a drug Lord but God saved him at the end.
The hairs on my body has turned gray yet I feel energize everyday to carry on even after the bishop later passed on to glory.
I’m going to my heavenly someday but I will keep pasturing God’s own people right here on earth, guiding them to the light.
God has blessed me with so much blessing.
when I was a priest I vow to serve with my life and when I was made a bishop I did not forget my priest vow.
I will serve until my last breath on earth.
Joel finished with Medica school and became a doctor, I was very proud of him.
Anna couldn’t hide her Joy watching her son grow into a man.
Tagbo and Joel’s step siblings celebrated him too.
Joel was a kind man who put God first in all his dealing, I’m not worried of what the future holds for him.
If God can save him during his early stage, when Anna, his mother was in coma after the accident, I have nothing to worry about because he belongs to God.
I knew within me that Joel was a special child and he has proven to be so.
Joel introduced a lady who he intend to marry.
She was also a medical doctor.
I prayed for them and seek the face of God on their behalf before giving out my blessings.
Within the following year they both got married and after a year of their marriage she gave birth to twins, two healthy boys.
It was a wonderful news and beautiful to behold.
Joel and his wife gave one Benjamin and the second one James.
I laughed during the christening, indeed God has restored and multiplied us through different means.
I know Joel and his wife will be a great parents to the boys and none will go astray.
I’m enjoying my old age and few years from now I will retire so another active soul can take over.
I may retire but not totally, I still hold my priest vow dearly and I will continue to serve until I draw my last breath.
Me and father Patrick still sit out and talk about our youthful days, glorifying God for how far we have come.
I never knew the journey of Life will take me to where I am but if God did not approve any of the things that happened to me none of it would have been possible.
I’m called to serve and I have served and still serving.
I’m nothing without God who gave me grace to forge ahead
I overcome several temptation through God’s help and never by my ability.
As I sat in my office today, I began to count my millions blessing, I name them one by one and I’m surprised of what the Lord has done.
Our lives may not always go as planned, disappointment may kicks in and make you loose hope but with patients, faith, prayer, supplication unto God and humility, our lives will turn into a testimony.
Just like mine and many others.
I’m a living prove of God’s graciousness.
Call me a priest, a bishop or by my name… James. I was a servant to God and man.
I kept my vow of celibacy, my vow was my bond. I do not boast of anything because I have nothing on earth to boast in but I’m glad I allowed God to lead.
It brings fulfilment and joy to me in this my old age.
I was active in my youth not just now when my hair has turned gray.
May we all find our calling and serve well whenever we are called to do so.
As I signed out I leave you all with this prayer
!Let the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of holy spirit abide with us all… now and forever!
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