Christian Missionary Society (CMS)
Christian missionary society with the acronym (CMS) is the name of the missionary evangelists that invaded my community with the gospel of Christ. Prior to the invasion of the Christian missionary society my community was an idol worshipping community. There were several idols and in their categories. The chief priests of these idols and their servants dictate the pace of things then. The life of the people was at their mercy. The people rally around them to seek for their service in the area of spiritual empowerment.
Also they do come to them to seek for the wellbeing of their crops and good harvest. Just like I said the fall into categories and as a result some idols were regarded as more powerful than others. In all, one of them was regarded as the supreme and in order to obtain sound judgment it was the resort. However, the invasion of the Christian missionary society into my community changed this narrative to what is obtainable today.
Christian Missionary Society – Papa Onuka’s Story:
It was a cool Saturday evening, I have gone to see Bato and as I got to their house he told me he planned to go see his uncle. His uncle’s name is Onuka. He is a very aged, tall and elegant blind man. He has an appealing appearance that creates an aura which draws fixated attention. Stories have it that he used to be a very rich man, he was into fabric trading and he made much money from the business. He is the first man from our community to own a house in the city. All his children are in the city doing well in the business he taught them. Papa Onuka, as we fondly call him, lives now in our community with his last and the only surviving wife.
They live in their well-designed mud house with zinc roof. A rare kind in my community and this speaks volume about his riches. Though, presently, not as rich as he used to be however, one can still sense relics of old wealth around him. As we approached his house we saw him sitting under a mango tree taking cool fresh air. We exchanged pleasantries and he asked us to sit down. Bato rushed to bring two Ekwes and we sat on them.
Sweet Story From Papa Onuka:
Though a blind man, there is no gloomy moment around him; he has a golden voice that sweetens the ear. And that is why listening to Papa Onuka’s story is always a delight among us. And here we are to hear from him, the last time we met him, he promised to tell us about the Christian missionary society invasion. Papa Onuka is among the surviving elders in my community that knows how the Christian missionary society invaded my community because he has firsthand experience.
This moment is an interesting moment and I don’t want to lose anything he wants to say because is part of my life. So I became very keen and focus to every utterances of his mouth. I was about seven years old says Papa Onuka, when some group of people invaded our community. They are called the agents of the whiteman’s God. The elders of our community immediately summon for a meeting with the chief priest of the biggest deity in the land. The biggest deity is called Onu Okwara the owner of the onu mmiri Okwara. The name of Onu Okwara sends fear through the spines of people.
It kills a defaulter with ease and the property of the person in question is confiscated. The life span of anyone Onu Okwara attacked is just four days. However, at the meeting, the chief priest assures the people that there was no cause for alarm. He strongly assures them that soon Onu Okwara will deal with the intruders. The intruders here are the Christian missionary society group that came to evangelize our community.
Christian Missionary Society The Suspense:
At this point in time, Papa Onuka paused and took a small clay jar by his side and gulped some water from it, and then he cleared his throat. In those days, as he continued, Onu Okwara used to have plenty properties including goats, sheep, and even monkeys. The interesting thing is that nobody touches any of these things except the chief priest and his servants. The monkeys were dangerous and stubborn as well, they invade people’s houses and eat up their yams and go freely.
You beg them to leave, and don’t attack them, if you do, the deity will attack any of your child. And sometimes such attack results to death. And because of the fear of this deity, there were monkeys everywhere in our community. Then he paused again. I interjected at this point and said Papa, what happened to the Christian missionary society group? Bato, elbowed me and said in my ear, Kensi, don’t put words in his mouth, you don’t talk while the elders are talking, you just listen. Papa, I am sorry please continue I said. Never mind my son is okay he replied.
No, they didn’t die; meanwhile, they were violating many traditions of the land and they were getting away with it. They have started preaching to some people and they are yielding to their voices.
The Eating Of Goats And Monkeys:
The last straw that broke the camel’s back was that they started gathering all the children and begin to teach us their songs. And for us the children it was fun and delightful. But something strange happened, and then he paused again and waited for some moments. As I looked at his face, though his eyes not opened, I could sense some mixed feelings from him. As he bowed his head down, my heart tells me that something negative could be the next line. Then he raised his head and chuckled as he continued.
At the end of each session with them, the Christian missionary society group cooked food for us. The food was salivary and tasty as the aroma indicates, we ate it delightfully. Thereafter, we were allowed to rest for about one hour, and then they asked us to go home. This very day they told us that they food they have been cooking and giving to us for the past four days were cooked with goats and monkeys of Onu Okwara. Many of us couldn’t stand it. We started crying, they encouraged us not to cry and ask us to go home and tell our parents. They told us not to fear because Onu Okwara has no power to kill.
Onu Okwara Is Powerless:
That day, became the mourning day in our community because it seems every one of us has been sentenced to death. Our parents couldn’t stand it. They went to the chief priest that evening to complain and the anger of the chief was furious. He went after them and when he got to their place, they told him not to bother. They made it known to him that if Onu Okwara is powerful it should fight for itself. The man conjured lots of things and pronounced death on the Christian missionary society group and left in anger.
Well, the good news is that I didn’t die and no one among us died because of that. The Christian missionary society group outlived the death sentence from the chief priest. Through them the weakness of Onu Okwara was exposed. And the people of the land started eating the goats, sheep and monkeys freely. The land was liberated from deities and that is why you cannot find any deity in this community. I and all my age mates including your late father (referring to me) were the pioneers of Christianity in this community. Then he paused and gulped some water from his clay jar, he then drop the clay jar slowly by his side.
Christian Missionary Society Brought The Light:
He gazed straight as if he’s looking at something. Bato couldn’t say anything and I was speechless also but somehow, we were able to garner the strength to say to him Papa thank you for the sorry. As we gently took our leave, we went straight to our homes without uttering any word to each other.
The story was heavy; we never knew such deities existed in community before. The Christian missionary society group did great job, they brought the light of the gospel of Jesus and it shined in the hearts of our people. Today, the spot the Christian missionary society group camped is the present day Anglican Church in my community.
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