Several years ago, a group of college boys showed up at the door of our Church.  They had been invited by a young lady from their college to come and worship with her at her Church.  So, they showed up and it was obvious that coming to Church was not their forte.  Many of them had tattoos on their bodies and the typical Christian would have written them off as non-starters.  Fast forward to the end of the Service, some of them had already given their lives to God and were open enough for a deliverance prayer to be performed on them.  Fast forward yet again many years down the line, at least two, and I believe three, have become ministers of the Gospel.  One of them became an Associate Pastor in our Church, the same Church where he gave his life to Christ.  God has marked us for His service. We may not know it, but God knows and at the appropriate time He will recruit us into that service.  When that time comes, we want to be ready by eschewing all traits of fear, selfishness, and mindlessness. When God calls, He does not call the prepared, but He prepares those He calls.  Today we say farewell to Pastor Farooq Busari and his family as they go to take on the world after many years of service to our Church. Pastor Farooq came here seemingly unprepared, but the Lord who calls, found him ready and prepared him. He also provided a mate, Nana Esi, who is a perfect match for him.

Pastor Farooq has been a delight to work with and I have decided to write this piece here not only to honor him, but to put on record my feelings about his service here at CICC.  Pastor Farooq came to CICC as a happenstance, at least as far as we are concerned. Today as he prepares to leave, I see God’s plan perfectly orchestrated. He came as one searching for God, but He is leaving after not only having found God, a wife (Nana Esi was raised in this Church), and three children here, but has also been recruited into God’s service.  He came to CICC not knowing the strength he has in Christ having come from a Moslem background, but is leaving CICC today, just like Gideon of the Judges, as a mighty warrior for Christ. He is leaving after having been selected for service by the Lord himself.  Throughout this period, I have observed his fearlessness in the things of God, I have observed his selflessness, and I have observed his alertness and agility when it comes to the things of God.  These are qualities that the Lord Himself holds very dear.

In Judges 7:1-8, we read about how God chose the soldiers that went to war against the Midianites with Joshua.  God employed a defined process to choose the few that He needs to get the job done.  I think we can learn a lesson in the way this selection was made when it comes to being selected for God’s service.  The first thing we learn is that God wants us to be fearless in doing His work.  In verse 3, God asked that Gideon should dismiss all those who were afraid to take on the task ahead.  Out of the 32,000 soldiers that Gideon had amassed, 22,000 left the camp.  Several things will lead to being fearful when God calls.  Feelings of inadequacy, financial commitments, peer pressures, and the fear of the things we will need to forgo are real sources of fear when we are called for service.  So, when God calls, He needs us to leave all fears behind.  He is God and He is able to take care of all our needs and inadequacies. 

We also find that as much as God desires that we be fearless, He also wants us to be selfless.  God instituted a unique test by asking the remaining 10,000 to drink water from a water source. Here, he disqualified those who knelt to drink the water and retained those who bent down to lap the water like a dog will do.  The idea is that those who knelt to drink the water are too taken by their own desire to drink that they forgot about the needs of those around them.  When we go to service for God a big part of our service is to look out for the poor, the downtrodden, and the lost.  When we are too taken by our own needs and desires, we lose sight of the people that the Lord wants us to pay attention to.  In this same drinking test, the drinker’s stance also seems to suggest how alert they are.  Those who knelt down may not be as alert as those who just lapped the water.  God wants us to be alert and agile with things of God.  The devil is always prowling looking for who to devour.

As you leave CICC Ohio today, Pastor Farooq and Sister Nana Esi, we urge that you always remember you have been marked for service and as such always remain fearless in that call, remain selfless in that call, and always be on guard.  May the Lord expand your coast and increase your Ministry in Jesus’ name.

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