Featured post

About Radiant's blog

The blogging sphere has crowded up very quickly in the past decade and it even looks like YouTube is taking over. Starting a blog in 2021 se...

Thursday 30 September 2021

Time and Life

Sunrise, sunset
Tick tock, tick tock
Day dies, lights out
Time waits for no man

Days go, days come
Weeks run, weeks fly
Month's up, months gone
Life passes one by

Chidiogo Nwosu (Radiant) 
September 2021

Sunday 12 September 2021

Overcoming Fear and Anxiety - A Stammerer's Testimony

During my maternity leave which coincided with the start of lock down last year, I had time to reflect and take actions on my life. One aspect I thought I needed to work on was my speech. 

I prayed about it. My mom would lay hands on me and speak to my tongue daily while she was with us. Up until she left after six months, there was no visible result. I still stammered as bad. During that time, I began listening to Dr. Sunday Adelaja. I discovered that life is governed by rules and success in life is predictable. It can be achieved by anyone willing to study the rules and obey it. So I decided to quit the blame game and take charge of my life.  I wanted to learn about this thing that caused me so much fear, this thing that had held me down, shied me away from reaching my full potentials. (To read about the impact stammering had on my life, click here.)

But the first step to having a problem solved is acknowledging that there is one and finding information already available on the subject. I had to first acknowledge that I stammered and then seek out information on the topic. My journey with stammering had involved lots of denial in the guise of positive confession. I think Christians are particularly at risk of this. In bid to be seen to have faith, sometimes we deny the existence of problems hence do not seek solutions, rather we pray and hope they go away.

I read research papers, listened to TED talks, joined online support groups, attended online conferences where I met fellow stammerers, and read books and blog posts on the subject. I was consumed by it. I needed to know all there was to know. I started learning several concepts including the social model of disability, stammering iceberg, stammering pride. I discovered that "it is okay to stammer" and that I had the responsibility of educating the public to accept this way of speech. Rather than trying to fix me to adapt to the majority, they needed to adapt to this equally valid way of speech. The problem with using advanced speech techniques to formulate a fluent speech pattern was that it only dealt with the tip of the iceberg. Underneath the faked fluency still lay fear, anxiety, feeling of helplessness, lack of control, dissatisfaction for not being able to fully express ourselves the way we want to. The freedom to stammer deals with the bulk of the iceberg.

When I permitted myself to stammer, instead of trying to hide it, I discovered that the fear and anxiety left and so most of the stammer actually left because fear and anxiety had exaggerated it. I no longer feel helpless, hopeless or angry about not being in control of my life and how I want it lived. I have since resumed work after the maternity leave and my work life has completely changed from what it was before I went on leave. I speak fluently, without fear of my speech tripping up on me, I say what I want to say (not having to substitute problem words), I take up teaching opportunties, I meet new people, and I am no longer in dread of the job. I am rather fulfilled. Now I am living free. Free to be myself, free to live out my full potential.

This is my testimony.

I guess the lesson for others is that while we pray, we should also take corresponding action for faith without works is dead (James 2:17). If you are waiting on God for something, pray about it, and also educate yourself regarding the matter. Learn the laws and principles that govern that aspect of life and obey them. The answer to your prayer may just lie in a book, a video or in discussing with someone whose gone through the same. My people perish for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)

May your deliverance come speedily.

Radiant ~ September 2021

PS: I came across speech therapy. In 2019, I paid a private speech therapist and drove 1hr to keep my 1hr appointments. She taught me several techniques to avoid stammering or minimise the stammer, including breathing exercises and speech techniques. I did not get better with these. I stopped after 5 sessions.

Last year, I engaged with the adult dysfluency service via the National Health Service and by then I had already started accepting the stammer and was now familiar with the stammering iceberg. So I told them I did not want to focus on speech techniques but rather on the negative emotions that accompanied the stammer. So it was more of a talking therapy. I had 3 virtual sessions. It was helpful as it got me looking inwards and reflecting but I had already done most of the work with all my research. 

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Is Street Evangelism Outdated?

Hey you. Long time no see. I have been off the radar, doing lots of work on personal growth. Today, I will like to talk about street evangelism and hear your take on it.

I visited London last weekend. On two separate days, while walking on the streets of the shopping malls, I was confronted by black Africans doing evangelism. First, I saw a white guy preaching with his microphone in front of the mall while black Africans were scattered across the street serving tracts. The next day I heard a man preaching with African accent through a microphone and was offered tracts by people who looked like Nigerians.

On the first day, I had passed 2 people who attempted to give me a tract. But in order to encourage them, I received from the third person. When I got home, I barely glanced at the tract before it was tossed in the bin. 

The second day I didn't bother taking the tract. But I still wanted to encourage them so I told them why I wasn't taking it. "I'm a Christian", I said, "I'm born again". I added that bit 'cause in Nigeria when we did street evangelism, we found out that almost everyone was a Christian. So we would rather ask "Are you born again? " Whether that approach to street evangelism was right is another topic to debate.

But it all got me thinking. How effective is this kind of street evangelism in the UK?

When I was in Nigeria, I participated in evangelism a few times. I would accompany my mom to hospital visits where she would preach to patients. I joined school fellowship groups to preach in prison, villages and on the streets. And I have preached to friends one-on-one. Street evangelism was very popular. In fact, when I was little, I woke up daily to the sound of street evangelists shouting through their megaphone at 5am in our local language beckoning us to repent.

I have personally participated in street evangelism in the UK. First, while studying for my Masters degree. We shared tracts on the streets while some of us sang to draw attention. Not many people took our tracts. Who knows whether the very few that did only did so because they were already Christians and wanted to encourage us? Who knows if the tracts ended up in the bins as soon as they were collected? 

Just before COVID-19 hit, I participated in street evangelism again a few times with my local church and an independent evangelism group in my community. Our method was to sing songs while some of us went to engage with people on the park. I think many liked the music, some stopped to watch. Some were open to be prayed for. I think very little said the sinners prayer. But when it came to getting contacts so as to follow up, they were very hesitant.

So lately I have been thinking:

Is street evangelism outdated?

The model of evangelism of shouting via megaphones in the marketplace, people going about the street handing out tracts and confronting passersby to ask "Are you born again?" may work in African villages but I think it may not be the most effective use of time here. I have observed very little results going by this model that it behooves one to ask "Isn't there a better way?".

And now I will show you the most excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:31

Theodore Roosevelt said "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care ".

Until people can see the impact we have made in their lives, they may not willfully submit themselves to listen to us, less so (and a painful truth) listen to blacks. 

How does Pastor Sunday Adelaja, a black Nigerian man, lead one of the largest churches in Europe with white folks making up over 90% of his congregation? His church engages in so many social projects that the community cannot deny her impact. People come seeking for solutions to their social problems which the church addresses. Along the line they are interested in hearing the message of the church. 

Even Jesus went about doing good. Acts 10:38. He was solving their problems by healing their sick, casting out demons and multitudes came to hear him.

I believe that Christians can be more effective soul winners by serving people, meeting needs, solving problems. Then they will be the ones asking like they did to Jesus, "How can I be saved? "

Hence Christians should not take their jobs lightly. That is an avenue for service. Christians should look around their environment to discover problem areas and proffer solutions to them. Love is the most excellent way, even to soul winning. 

Is street evangelism outdated? 

How do you respond when you meet street evangelists? Is there a better way to do street evangelism beyond preaching or singing through a microphone and serving tracts?

Kindly share your thoughts below.

Radiant ~ September 2021