As I sat starring at Junior, my first son crying his eyeballs out, there was anger in my heart, hot bottled up anger. It was about 2.00 am that morning and the rest of the world outside was asleep. My wife was helpless, I could read it from her eyes, as she sat on the edge of the bed confused. Junior’s twin sister, Mary, was sound asleep and from all indications she could be less bothered about her twin brother’s wailing. The twins were only six months old! Yes, only six months in this wicked world. If only I had known Junior’s wailing was not ordinary, I probably would have been on my knees with my dear wife praying that night – asking God to deliver my son from the hands of wickedness. But I was an unbeliever – so it really didn’t matter to me at that time. You could talk about anything under the sun, but don’t mention church or Jesus Christ to me – thank you!
Junior and his twin sister Mary, were born on the 23rd of March, 1992. It was barely a year after we moved down to Calabar, a city in the South East Nigeria, from the commercial city of Lagos. While I was employed by the local FM Radio station, my wife was a full time house manager. The twins arrived two years after my relocation to Nigeria from London, England. Their arrival turned us into a family of five; Yvonne, my first born was about two years old at the time. At first Junior’s health was okay, he looked well nourished and was very active. He could stand with my fatherly support. The twins were fed on the same infant formula, so the question of under-nourishment could not have risen. But as it were at about nine to ten months, Junior’s body had lost it freshness, a bulging stomach with skin that cleaved to his bones and light brownish hair with a sunken eye balls. His legs were daggling like a paralytic. The hospital verdict; Junior was suffering from kwashiorkor! Shocked as I was in disbelief when my wife broke the news to me – I then asked, “What about Mary, she looked better nourished?” For whatever reason, Junior’s twin sister was looking robust! The evil powers of darkness were at work.
Tears rolled down my eyes as I helplessly watched the first son of my life wasting right in front of me. There was nothing I could do, but to get angry. Why must it be me, I kept asking? The sight of Junior was so touching we hid him more often than not from the public. How do you explain such a situation to visitors, especially, as a popular Radio presenter – I asked myself. As my wife and I battled to reinvigorate life into Junior with drugs and foods, the situation did not seem to improve. At eleven months, Mary was toddling back and forth in the spacious grounds of the rented house, while Junior was an invalid. His legs could not support the upper weight of his body. Often he’ll throw tantrums seeing his twin sister moving freely all over the grounds of the house.Upon the relocation from Lagos, we were guests of my elder sister who had settled in Calabar from London previous to our arrival. To help with the house chores, she had brought a housemaid from the village to assist her manage the house. Everything about this housemaid was perfect. She carried out her duties with a degree of enthusiasm that won our admiration. Whenever, my wife and I were busy, she would gladly care for the twins. There was nothing suspicious about her , until that faithful day when my sister returned from a revival meeting with some anointing oil. She applied the anointing oil in her side of the house and gave some to me to do same to my family. In the early hours of the next day as everybody got ready for work, the housemaid became unease and starting confessing about their witchcraft activities that had paralyzed the legs of my son. To me it sounded as a scene out of a scary movie that will soon pass away, my London background did not prepare me for it. I thought witchcraft was a make believe story, but here I was on a direct line of attack through my heir apparent, Junior, my first son! The entire scenario showed me my emptiness and without a grip to anything. I felt turned upside down and suspended between the earth and the heavens. My job at the radio station didn’t matter any more, the sense of security it gave me seems false. Here I was unable to fight with whatever it was spirit or demon to protect my innocent child from the vagaries of the earth. As I looked at his babyish body, I could feel how powerless he was in deciding his sojourn on this earth. They said his star was too bright and wanted to darkened it for their glory….but God intervened that day to save the situation.
My own life and earthly pleasure didn’t matter anymore to me – but the life of that son I brought to this world. I wanted to know this Jesus Christ that everybody was talking about to me. The day I found him and surrendered all to him, Junior stood up on his own at one year and nine months and started running not even walking. Today Phillips Eteng, Jnr., is studying Accountancy at a College in Lagos, Nigeria and his full of life all over! Our God is awesome. We who didn’t want to hear about Jesus are now messengers of the restoring gospel he preached on earth.