Friday, January 22, 2010
My Father My Faith and My Sexuality Part One
My Father, My Faith and My Sexuality PART ONE;
This short note is to embrace my journey of hope as an African child, a devout Christian, a leader, who also happens to be gay. For many years whilst I struggle to find a place to reconcile my dignity in faith and sexuality, the first dialogue on sexuality and spirituality ignites hope for many in Stellenbosch South Africa, November 2009.
This note finally serves as a beacon of hope for the future and I invite you to share this hope with me and many on this journey.It was the 31st October and yet another trip to South Africa, this time visiting and attending a conference in Stellenbosch. My excitement was multi-fold, first attending a conference on an anticipated dialogue about Christianity and Sexual Orientation with many African people, amongst my joy is also meeting my father whom I was forced to leave behind in Nigeria in September 2008, aftermath of my experience with the Nigerian media’s unethical reporting of our church, House Of Rainbow Nigeria, a mission I lead that welcomes and affirm sexual minorities.
I arrived in Cape Town on the 1st November after a long but interesting overnight direct flight from London Heathrow, the weariness of the flight was less of a concern as all my thoughts and energy focussed on meeting my father. I was met at the airport by John and Telwin both very courteous host of the conference.I had time after I checked in to my hotel in Stellenbosch to make the 1 hour 10 minutes train journey to Cape Town to join my friends, brothers and sisters for worship at Good Hope MCC Cape Town, listening the Rev Greg Andrews a visiting minister, I was reminded of the joy of being part of an inclusive ministry, a mission we take for granted in many parts of the West but extremely essential in Africa, sharing blessings at Communion was a joy.
A ministry that challenges us not just to celebrate the Open and inclusive Holy Communion and love of Christ but to also take that love to the end of the earth, come to the table and be filled with love and take that love to the people out there, echoed Revd Andrews. I took time after the service to reflect on my time in prayers. I was delighted to be amongst friends. Revd Pressley drove me back to my hotel accompanied with three others. What a joy in my soul.After breakfast on the 2nd November, I left a message at reception to call me as soon as possible once my father arrived, my excitement was much as I embraced my father, we spoke unending over a few cups of Rooibos tea, and decaffeinated coffee, retracting our experiences and later had lunch, the conference registration was set about 4pm. Whilst my father arrived with his luggage missing, it wasn’t long before I offered him clothes from my wardrobe and it was just like happy times again, my shirt fitted him like my twin, I unpacked my bags with gifts I had got him from the UK.
I was anxious about the conference as it is about the focus of religion and sexuality, many people arrived from other nations in Africa, I was getting filled with anxiety on the outcome of the conference, I have prayed for this day and I believed firmly that God will guide us, will aid us and provide us with the knowledge to gain and break out of every chain. I am persuaded that nothing can separate us from the love of God and the relevance of our participation will be guided by the Holy Spirit. As the deer panted for the water, so my soul longs after God. This song was in my spirit and I begun to look at the situation for which dialogue was important, the discussion for the liberation of the Holy Scripture, the rescuing the word of God from wordmongers, to share insights from personal experiences and the lack of compassion. At the end of the 2nd November, I was so excited, I have met many people, all fine, all strange, all beautiful, all intellectual, all spiritual, there were some strangeness which exhume my own outlandish approach to life. I felt that since we are here we are determined to take the road and veer on the side that seek to be part of the solution and stop being part of the problem, my views were later shared by many.