How Attending Deeper Life Campus Fellowship Changed The Trajectory Of My Life
God bless the day I picked up the first book to ever read. Whatever was in that book (which I can’t remember), and whatever spirit was behind that book, I must say that the fire it kindled from then has become a forest.
Yet, there is a part of this story that I tell less often. I believe my story will be absolutely incomplete without telling it.
It is what the place of faith and being a member of the Deeper Life Campus Fellowship (DLCF) Community has to do with that. Let me tell you a story you’ve not heard before.
When I resumed into the university in 2012 as a new student, I was utterly clueless about a lot of things. No dream (how could I even when I don’t what to dream about), no expectations (how could I have one when gaining admission alone seemed like a peak) but with the possibility of doing all things possible within my chosen boundary.
One thing was clear though, I was going to study Accounting.
Another thing was clear. Even though I may attend other christian denominations, DLCF was going to be the church I identify with. My parents attended it and I was brought up in the church.
Those two things that were clear from the beginning despite a lot of cluelessness is probably the best thing that happened to me in that period of my life.
Because I was clear about Accounting, I was ready to give my best to it. This is however not about my course of study so I will hold that for another day.
The decision to attend DLCF on the other hand turns out to be the beginning of a lot of things in growth and self discovery.✓
My 1st Semester in the university went as I liked and I got a result that I wasn’t proud of. However, towards the end of that semester, I decided to join the workforce of the church partly because that was what those I moved around with was doing that and partly because I knew I could do it after getting fired up by the newest commitment I made to Christ.
I called it newest because I could remember going for a crusade when I was much younger and when it was time to “give your life to Jesus”, I went out.
When I returned, my mum made a remark, “you have been giving your life to Christ all the time when there is an alter call…” (Thinking about it now, maybe because I like Jesus). Well the newest of this time was one of such again except with more understanding. Then I decided I should give Jesus more attention by giving him my time as a worker in the Deeper Life workforce. And the journey began.
Something required of every DLCF workforce (OAU) is commitment. You can’t toy with it. Commitment to church, to your academics and other things between those two.
And I was ready to be committed. Second semester came and I started the workforce training. I had no friend per se during the training of about 30 people or more, that’s a typical me. But I finished the training. One thing I noticed during the training though, facilitators often reference one book or another, someone’s biography or another, and like that.
It didn’t stop there, some even come to class with books packed together with their bible and notepad. If my memory serve me well, I think I almost thought it was the norm (to carry books with bible here and there) if you are a leader in the church.
Then, some facilitators will come and recommend one book or another. Books of William Booth , Watchman Nee and specific ones like Why Revival Tarries, The Holy Spirit by Smith Wigglesworth and so on.
Important from this part of the episode was the impression such display of command of knowledge of biblical history, church history and so on left me. I was in absolute awe.
How can I know all these was my next line of questioning. I must mention that prior to this I had taken History 101 class detailing Africa story from 1500 BC and I was absolutely fascinated by that class as well (I didn’t pass the course well, but I enjoyed the stories).
So even before we ended the workers training, I started buying books (my bad I can’t recollect the first I bought).
Well, training ended and I’m sure I would have bought about 4 books. Note though, bought is different from reading.✓
I mentioned earlier that a minimum requirement of commitment is expected of Deeper Life Campus Fellowship (DLCF) workforce. Such commitment for me now means I don’t have the time to do all I may want to do including adventuring as a student.
The 24 hours I have is now so well divided between my academics and church expectations. Church takes a lot of time (because I committed to a lot), the implication of that for my academics was limited time.
That air of limited time was what I need to turn my academics around that ended in a way I wasn’t so proud of in the first semester. Because I knew I only had limited time for academics, I utilized the little time I had efficiently. That semester was one of the best throughout my time at the university (4.2/5.0).
The commitment I gave to church pushed me to become more thirsty for such knowledge as I saw displayed during and after my training by the leadership of the church. So I started picking up Christian books to read.
Reading those books was really enjoyable and it enlightened me about what is expected of a Christian from the eyes of different authors. One I won’t forget was Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. Great book.
Then as we were getting towards the close of 200L first semester exam, we heard about an upcoming ASUU strike. Because I could tell that I will be having a lot of free time at home, I bought more books. Quite a number of them actually.
The strike I was preparing for lasted 6 months. That was 6 solid months of “free time”. Oh boy.
You don’t need anyone to tell you that I finished (if my memory serve me well) all the books I bought including God’s Generals (1 of the editions).
I learnt a couple of things about books, learning and inquisitiveness in that year (2013) that in retrospect became clear:
- How to be focus on a book and get the maximum from it. That period set the foundation of independent learning for me.
- That you don’t understand a book is not enough a reason to drop it.
- That you don’t see a knowledge adding up is not enough a reason to discard such knowledge.
- (This may be the most important) I learnt how to search the internet for specific information. Searching the internet became an imperative because I couldn’t be possibly reading books for the whole of 6 months.
Also, one of the things that we do as workers in DLCF was to play sermons on our phone and listen to it. Before the strike, I have collected as many as I could find as well. From all I collected, I became fascinated with the simplicity of Zac Poonen’s sermon (A Preacher from Bangalore, India). Sooner that expected, I finished listening to all the sermons I got from co-workers.
My fascination with Zac Poonen means I had to search for many more of his sermons. So I began searching. And I learned along the way. That time, I discovered Sermonindex and then Zac’s main website. From there I was able to download his books as well.
Downloading his book formally introduced me to reading soft copy books.
And I never stopped afterwards.
At a point, I got way too much of Christian materials and when I returned back to school, I started experimenting with motivational books. Those books were 100% needed at the time. It shaped my thinking about many things. Call those books whatever name you will (I kinda do too now), but I can not deny their effect in my development.
I told you I had no dream when I started university, right? Those books were the beginning of dreams for me. “Think And Grow Rich”, “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, “All You Can Do Is All You Can Do…” & more. I read all voraciously. Picking up another after one until I got to where I am today.
But all these, I mean all my adventures would’ve been absolutely either different or damning if Deeper Life hasn’t come into the equation. The environment set the fire ablaze. The expectations kindled a fire that wouldn’t have been otherwise possible. And today, I am who I am where I am because DLCF OAU was part of my story. Not despite the system in this regard but because of the system.
And even though today Deeper Life isn’t the church I frequent again, I am grateful for her influence in my journey.
Every young mind needs an example, exposure and a hero to shape their mind. That was what DLCF was to me unconsciously. First, was a standard to live up to, then a fascination to emulate and as in any mind ready to dream, a dream emerged.
In the absence of what the mind needs, life of such may end up being useless and waisted. What I got from DLCF others got from their parents, uncle/aunt, superhero in a movie or book and many more. I am glad my siblings are getting theirs from me. Wherever you get yours from, it’s okay.