Adeola* inspires me. She is a process engineer working at the corporate headquarters of an international chemical firm. She is a tentmaker in the truest sense. She is brilliant and uses her keen mind for the Lord’s purposes. When she leaves work each day, she returns to her apartment to use her skills as a process strategist to organize and structure a team of lay professionals working as tentmakers her home country.
I didn’t know when we first met that I had found live dynamite!
Adeola is a calm, introverted person. She is not especially impressive in her appearance. However, her smile is broad and her eyes penetrating. It only took a few minutes in conversation with her before I realized I was speaking with someone with a deep spiritual interest in Christ’s work. In that first conversation, as I began to talk about tentmaking, I saw her eyes light up.
Adeola is from Nigeria. She is university educated and speaks several languages. She and a group of other Nigerian professionals had decided to use their educational specialties to form an evangelism strategy for the unreached people in their own country. If that weren’t a big enough goal, they also committed temselves to “change the continent of Africa by instilling a missionary volunteer spirit in every African Seventh-day Adventist young adult, to create missionary movements across Africa.” That’s an excerpt from their ministry groups written goals and objectives.
Though she’s quiet, Adeola is ambitious and focused. She dutifully prays daily for each person at her work place. Her passion for Christ activates her to actively watch for the needs of her workmates at the corporate office. After work hours, hands out literature to her neighbors in the European city where she lives as an expat. Those in her city are very secular and, compared to the spiritual openness she knew in her home country, they are a hard audience and, to her, nearly unreachable.
Adeola was surprised when the first person to really openly ask for “spiritual help” at her work place was her boss. He had obviously watched Adeola and decided from her character that she was someone special. He called her to his office one day and asked her if she would consider being the ‘god mother’ of his daughter, a common concept in his faith. It was a great honor and one that told much of shy Adeola’s spiritual aura.
Adeola’s setting may be different than hyours, but there is much to learn from her life of passion. I wish you could hear her raw enthusiasm pressed through her accent! She talks of billboard campaigns and radio work, and evangelistic outreach, follow up teams, prayer schedules, Bible worker coordination, and inner city mission. I sensed she had a gospel-work- universe in her mind that is structured and expanding and rapidly unfolding into a reality she has helped to orchestrate. Yes, quiet Adeola, is a secular engineer on the outside and a global gospel extremist on the inside!
I believe fruitful laity are the razor edge of the church, and people like Adeola make me all the more want to be part of such a movement. –BP
* Adeola is not her real name.