Recently the news of the sudden death of Ezekiel Atang, the Senior Pastor and founder of God’s House of Refuge, a Christian denomination located in the southern part of Nigeria left so many questions on the lips of his followers, but with few answers, according to reports and reactions.
In the face of all these, Pastor Dara Atang, wife of the deceased have taken to social media to script a very touching story regarding her spouse.
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A Truly Great General
Even when tired, you kept going. You worked as if being driven. “Faint, yet pursuing You never even slept on the bed anymore. You slept on the floor! I begged you, at least on your weekly day of rest, please, please, sleep on the bed. It was still too hard for you. You wanted to make sure you didn’t oversleep so can be up to pray.
You said I was doing too many things and insisted I was a workaholic. Eh? Who was more? You were, of course.
“We will live to a good old age and travel the world and serve God together So, we needed to keep healthy. That was our plan. Not this. But God’s will be done.
It’s kind of like a roller coaster now. Ups and downs, highs and lows. When we remember your funny jokes, we are high and will laugh and laugh. Then we remember you’ve gone, and it feels so sad. But we’re getting stronger.
The other day, I imagined you banging on the mortuary door, “Open o! I’m alive o!” (cause we’ve prayed!). You will just jump out and we would ask you, “What happened?” or “What happen?” (in our usual pidgin gist). And you would say, “I just wanted to visit and see how heaven looked like, then came back.” But that never happened. You saw a glimpse of the glory and refused to come back.
When they brought you home and I touched you and asked you to return to your body, I thought, “If you’ve seen heaven, you certainly won’t want to come back to the body that had the painful knee and limp, and other such like.” I understand. But it’s quite hard for us here, you know.
Your last words to me before I traveled (and I didn’t get it!) “Thank you for all you do for me.” And I asked, “For which one exactly?” And you said, “Just for everything.” I smiled and felt excited. I thought, “When I come back, I’ll do some more. But alas! I came back but you didn’t.
The most painful for me was that I was not by your side. You won’t have gone had I been there. No. I would have made too much noise. We would have returned together.
So many questions. We will only understand better by and by, and fully when we come to you when our times come.
Thank you for the many things you taught us; “In everything, give thanks” being among them. It’s so helpful in a time like this. You said, “It’s not ‘ _For_ everything, give thanks, but _in_ everything, give thanks.’”
So, though, not too easy, we give thanks in this season – a real sacrifice of praise.
Thank you for giving me great, loving Godfearing children. Thank you for being a great husband and father even with your busy schedule. Thank you for being a loving and caring provider to us.
Thank you for the many relationships you’ve left me with through your massive impact – family, friends, spiritual parents, colleagues, members – so numerous.
You’ve left so many, grieving, confused, questioning. Only the Holy Ghost will console the many who mourn your departure – your family, your friends, your church members, your protégés and mentees, your counsellees, followers and fans.
People you have blessed right from your teen age are so numerous. I am blessed to have been married to such a great and impactful man!
Your shoes are big. I won’t try to fill them. Not at all. But the baton has been passed. We will take it and run with it to finish our race.
We receive grace, unction and wisdom to fulfil the mandate. The mandate must continue. God is on our side. He is with us. He is for us. He will be our help.
It’s still like a dream. But it feels great to know that you’re fine and with our Father in heaven (the one who sent you here and who’s also taken you back home).
I will keep loving you, Pastor Ezekiel Atang, till we meet again on the other side.
Your beloved Jewel.