Articles



"Why I’m Still a Christian"

by Peter Opa


 

As a young boy growing up in a small village in Africa, I was intrigued by the presence of visitors in our home all year round – missionaries form Europe, Canada and the United States. Their message? Jesus was the son of God who died for us, rose from the dead and is now sitting at the right hand of God in heaven; we should accept him as Lord and Savior to avoid going to hell. My parents fell in love with Jesus and started working with the missionaries to spread the Gospel. Enthusiastic and passionate about their new religion, they gladly opened our home to the foreign evangelists.

The missionaries demonstrated the love of Jesus in the community. They ate with us, slept in our beds, played with us. We sang together, worshipped together, and prayed together. They felt our pains, shared our joys, christened our babies and mourned our dead. The relationship of my parents with the missionary guests taught me what true love really meant: service and sacrifice. My mother served them with joy. Because they couldn’t or wouldn’t go to the river like the natives, my mom would go to the well several times to get water for them to wash in the makeshift bathroom in our backyard. My dad would treat them to fresh fruits and vegetables form his farm. No one loved bananas more than the white man when I was a little boy.

Little Peter Opa

Church of God, Ajara Vetho

But how shocked I was when I came to the U.S. years later to realize that the same churches that came to preach the love of Jesus in Africa are separated along racial and economic divides. I could not reconcile segregation of churches with the Bible.

However,in spite of my unpleasant experiences at certain churches, I’m convinced there are believers out there who try to walk the walk as much as they talk the talk. It is my desire to humbly work, worship, and grow with fellow Christians who not only care for the poor, but who are passionate about social justice.

Peter Opa, a native of Ajara in Benin Republic, schooled in Nigeria . He has lived in the U.S. for many years and is currently working as a writer. Peter is a person who combines a deep life of prayer with a passionate commitment to social justice.





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