Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tribute to my grandpa, an advocate in his own right

Tribute to my grandpa, an advocate in his own right

(From Morénike)

Advocacy is in my blood! My grandfather, Titus (rest in peace!) was known for going against the grain. He was extremely literal, completely blunt, and always considered to be very different from his other relatives; I suspect that he was probably on the spectrum  

But aside from that, he followed his heart. Though he came from a family with a long history of traditional indigenous religious beliefs (what we know today as Yorùbá and/or Lucumí), he caused quite a controversy when he converted to Christianity. He was practically disowned.

Then, he pursued another idea that was even more radical. Rather than pursue a "real" career, he decided to go into ministry--specifically missions. In the rural part of West Africa that he lived in, a formal education was considered to be THE ticket out of poverty. Selecting any other option was seen as risky. But this felt like the right choice for him, so he jumped in--and never looked back. And when he died in 2007, he left behind a legacy that stretched back several decades: churches planted, disciples mentored, numerous communities and lives transformed by his work.

Did he remain "poor" as a result of his decision? Yes, unfortunately--at least in finances.

Did he become well-known? No, not outside the areas where he ministered.

But was he fulfilled, was he happy? From everything I know, he was. Not every day was a happy one, and not every moment of his life was celebratory. But I know that he lived--and he died--being true to himself. What more can one ask of themselves than that?