A Gift from God

Lagos, Nigeria

Godgift grew up aspiring to be a priest, but the influence of friends soon led him to a life consumed by alcohol and smoking.

In 2012, there was a series of bombings in churches in his home of Kaduna, leaving many dead and wounded. As a result, some of the Christian youth began protesting. This eventually got out of control and led to the destruction of lives and properties. Godgift, having been one of the people leading the protest, got caught in between the fight, and with his safety compromised, was forced to flee to Lagos State.

Life in Lagos wasn’t easy, but he was fortunate to get employment in a factory, and in 2013 an incident took place there that would alter the course of Godgift’s life.

Three of his colleagues found themselves in a quarrel which turned into a serious fight, with one of the men being stabbed. Godgift happened to be around when the incident occurred and rushed in to call the supervisor. The four of them rushed the wounded colleague to the hospital, but unfortunately, he died on the way. Surprisingly, they were all arrested by the police and charged with murder. After posting bail the supervisor was released but Godgift and his other colleagues were detained for the charges against them. They remained in Ikoyi Prison for 19 months while the murder case was investigated.

In prison, Godgift became sober, started going to chapel, and began to reflect on his life and his childhood dream of becoming a priest. He realised how much he had changed from that young boy to the man currently in prison. He decided to devote himself to chapel and other educational and Christian programs in prison, but he still felt something was missing.

One day Godgift heard about Alpha and decided to go. He said this of his experience, “it was as if I just received my sight, my eyes were opened. I had never been so clear about the person of Jesus. Alpha was about Jesus and I learnt how sinless he lived and decided right there that this sinless man is the one I will follow.” That was the turning point for Godgift. He finished the course with a new sense of hope and joy because of the faith he had in Jesus.

Shortly after he completed Alpha, he went to court to receive his judgement. Just before the judge was about to give his verdict, his two colleagues stood up to testify that Godgift was not part of the fight but rather helped to rescue the wounded colleague. Godgift was discharged and acquitted.

Godgift found life challenging after being released from prison but he continued to hold on to his faith. He currently leads Bible study in his church and works with the youth. He also helped to lead the first Alpha in his church and has planned to run Alpha-Youth as well.

Godgift continues to grow in his love for God and hopes that others will have the same opportunity that he did to hear about Jesus on Alpha. He said, “I hope churches and prisons all over the world will run Alpha because souls need to be saved—people need to know who this Jesus is, why he came, and what he calls us to do. If I hadn’t come to know Jesus on Alpha I might still be in prison. I am so happy about who I am today by the grace of God. I trust that though things are hard sometimes, one day it will be well.”

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