In 2009 I was offered a scholarship to study in a school in Jos. It was a full scholarship, all tuition covered for 6 years. The school was enchanting and really cool. It would have been fun in a remarkable way. Even before the school sessions started, the Principal loved me. My family were all excited about the prospects and Mother wore it as a badge.
But it was not to be.
As one of the requirements for entrance, I was to submit my medical checkup. While in the hospital undergoing the checkups, the man at the counter got into a mild conversation with me. We chatted briefly (I don’t even remember what the chat was about), he then asked Mother why we were in the hospital, she explained. He asked for my results and she gave it to him. He glanced over the pages and told her “That’s not the kind of school for your boy.”
And with that short sentence, he altered my secondary school career.
He suggested that Mother take me to a school in Bokkos, called All Nations Academy. As though under some spell, there was a smooth redirection of my entire secondary career. Mother contacted Mr. Mathew, courtesy of Dad, and the next Thursday I was in Bokkos for common entrance and interview. For the next six years, I was in Bokkos.
I was not very pleased at first. I had fallen in love with the school which had offered me the scholarship, and it looked very much like I would have had a lot of fun if I had gone there.
Of course as a teen, almost anything could be enchanting, especially traveling far, which was the only novelty about going to All Nations Academy.
This story is still being written, but I can say for certain that 2009-2015 at All Nations Academy were the most important years of my life. I have not fully grasped all that it means, but it taught me that God has a plan.
While Joseph was struggling with his brothers for his life, with Potiphar’s wife for his job, and with the prison warders for his freedom, God was executing a plan. No one knew that the same boy who was sold as a slave would become the saviour of the world. While the whole story was getting messy, God had a plan.
Esther, a young girl whose parents had died, was staying with her uncle whose only job was sitting in the King’s court and being honest. She didn’t have the right to be anything in a generation where women were not highly appreciated and where she was a slave. All Esther had was her beauty and virginity. That was all that was needed to save an entire nation, for God had a plan.
Moses leading the children of Israel knew that he had just two routes, and the one he was using had a Red Sea in its path, yet he went on, for he knew God had a plan.
When the twelve spies returned from spying Canaan, 10 of them were downcast and were unwilling to encourage an attack on Canaan. But Joshua and Caleb knew that God had a plan. They were the only two in a whole generation that entered Canaan.
When Joseph had the dream that he would be king nothing around him pointed to that. The direction of his life went directly opposite to that dream. From being hated at home to being sold, from being sold to being a slave, from being a slave to being a prisoner. But somehow, this brother knew that God had a plan.
Before attending All Nations Academy, I did not know Christ in the way that I did after graduation, let alone about giving my life to Christ. All Nations Academy was my place of encounter, where all the good passions that I express today were formed. It was there that I decided to cling to the old rugged cross, to chase God, and to do many of the things I’m currently doing. Without All Nations Academy, you would probably not know me, or would know me as some spoiled kid on the street. God was working behind the scenes, He had a plan.
Many times my depression does not come from suffering, or pain, it comes from being uncertain as to how the future will unfold. Being pragmatic and sure of results have always been my patience-testing points.
The future lies ahead over there, unplowed and uncertain. Sometimes I’m doubtful that it will be as promising as Jeremiah 1:5 says. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
As I’ve discovered, my problem is that I’m not sure if His plan will happen in my own way. But as a child of God, that should not be my concern, my concern should be if I am still in His plan, for He always has a plan.
God has a plan.
Photo of All Nations Academy staff and guests by Philip Dimka.
The author, Lengdung Tungchamma, is kneeling in the center.