A Memorable Encounter with A Man who has gone to Heaven and Hell...
A Memorable Encounter with A Man who has gone to Heaven And Hell...
On most long inter-state journeys in Nigeria lasting for more than two hours or so, you are bound to observe or witness the following: someone could suggest a prayer and others in the bus/vehicles will then join by singing praises and choruses to the Almighty God while praying for His protection over us His children and for our safety in the journey and for no incidence of road accident or waylays by highway armed bandits and also for our safe arrival in the end and things of that nature.
I always look forward to these prayers and chanting. To tell you the truth, sometimes I even go as far as recording some of these loud prayers and cries I hear in the bus. Believe me; it makes a wonderful playback later! It is usually funny and memorable. You will hear people saying that they cover the steering wheels, the tires of the vehicles, the road where the vehicle will pass through, the head and hands of the driver and that of every other person inside the bus and even the boot of the vehicle with the precious blood of Jesus!
It is not surprising and it is expected after all most Nigerians are highly religious!
I vividly remember one day in the church when a very funny priest made a joke that the problem with "covering" everyone and everything in a journey with the blood of Jesus is that the blood may become so much that it will cause the roads to become so slippery which may eventually cause all the vehicles on the road to easily slip off the road and you know what next…wham!
That priest could be right…who knows!
So on this very journey I was on, it happened again. There was this man sitting in front of me who suggested that we pray for God’s guidance and protection for this journey we are embarking upon and at the same time, cover our vehicle with the precious blood of Jesus Christ...as usual. This man led in the prayers and chants so comfortably well. This very man wasn’t in anyway ostentatiously over-dressed; he was not wearing any strange or remarkable perfume neither was he in anyway looking so special or extraordinary or anything like that. In fact, there was nothing about him that will trigger a special second look at him simply because he was so normal.
That was until the prayers ended!
The man now greeted everybody in the bus. Then he introduced himself as Ikechukwu Chukwugbo from Anambra State. He told us that we are all blessed because today, the Almighty have granted us the opportunity to be on this same bus with him. This raised the level of curiosity into my ever-curious mind instantly!
Who is this man? What is he about? What is he trying to say? From where is he coming from? What is he trying to sell?
The man answered to my unspoken questions by telling us that he was the man who had died and went to heaven and later to hell before being brought back to this earth! That was when I added in my already growing question list – is this man sane? I brought up my caution level instantly.
If not for the fact that the man led in prayers so well and also for the fact that the man spoke Igbo which is my mother tongue too, I would have seriously started questioning what I was still doing in the bus. You may not understand this, but then anything is possible in Nigeria…including travelling a very long journey all the way from to Lagos to Enugu with a complete nutcase!
You know like the saying goes…anything can happen...in Nigeria!
And did it happen!
The man went on an unstoppable narration about how he had a motor accident and ‘died’. He narrated about how he saw himself being taking away from his earthly body and his subsequent being taken up to the world beyond here. He told us about the wonderful ‘flight’ about he was transported out of this world to heaven.
I tell you…it was such a bombardment…especially to someone like me who finds such tales so so hard to believe! But as a lover of good story and story telling, I must say my interest was so much keenly stoked.
As the man ran through his incredible though interesting tale, I was busy compiling some questions for him. Soon I discovered it wasn’t only me because other people in the bus soon opened up and started to dish out their questions to this man. It was as if many curious people were on the same bus with me!
Do you blame them? Come to think of it, you will also be if you were on that bus and you heard what he heard that same day!
I lined up many question for him. Just like me, the people in that very bus wanted to know many things. They wanted to know if heaven and hell really existed. They wanted to know what really happened to people when they die. They wanted to know what God really looked like. They wanted to know what the mission of the man was. They also wanted to know the type of activities that go on in heaven. Me, I also wanted to ask the man what type of activities that is going on in hell going by the fact that he said he was there too…
The man was very patient. He tried to answer most of these questions. The man described the surprising manner in which angels in heaven move about without bumping into each other even though they are so many in numbers. The man told us some predictions of his which have come to pass; predictions which he said were revealed to him by the angels in heaven. He also told us about the cries and wails going on in hell which he said are enough to make every sinner in the world to repent immediately - today!
Then he told us that he had compiled his story in a book which he brought out and showed and gave to us. The name of the book is Fortify Yourself: The Man who saw Heaven and Hell.
Even though that very journey lasted for more than nine hours or so, it was never boring because of the many things the man said and did while he was with us and it was indeed it was a sad moment when he finally reached his own destination point. He then bid us farewell.
Fortify Yourself: The Man who saw Heaven and Hell
A book narrating the experiences of one man who had the 'priviledge' to peep into the world beyond here...
The journey continued but in my mind, I had these disturbing thoughts. Was the man for real? What if all what the man said was indeed the truth…or possibly all lies too? What if this…what if that…what ifs? How possible is it for someone to ‘die’ and go to heaven and hell and later returned to earth?
But why am I telling you all these? You see, something like two weeks ago, I was in another journey with a friend this time. I was now the one recounting the story to him about the man I met in a bus in Lagos who said he died and went to heaven and hell. This my friend is just like me: he finds these things so so unbelievable!
My friend told me, point blank, that he had so much wished he was on that my bus from Lagos so that he would have had the opportunity to tell that very man who claimed he has gone to heaven and earth to stop fooling people with such incredible tales and concentrate on how to put food on the table in his house by getting a job that will keep him meaningfully occupied.
It was such a lambasting but my friend was suddenly cut short by the man sitting in his front! This man turned around and faced my friend and told him to be careful and mindful of whatever he is saying. It was then that he told us that he had the same experience! He told us that the same thing happened to him and he would have been trapped and locked up in the hot fires of hell if not for the fact that he mentioned the blessed name of Jesus Christ!
What is really going on…in this world…with all these people? Are these people for real? Is there really a possibility that someone can ‘die’ before his actual death and taken up to heaven and then to hell and finally returned to this earth? So there’s really life after death?
You just have to find out for yourself!