Cynthia was touched. She couldn’t believe it; she saw herself crying, shedding tears profusely. They were tears of sorrow that came from the depth of her heart. The preaching on the saving love of Jesus Christ which she had just heard was overwhelmingly touching. She had never heard it like that before. The preacher had talked about a man who was God and yet so humble to come and die for her sins, a God-man that gave his all, a God that loved her personally not minding her pains, and had empathy for her in every way.
Cynthia was a prostitute, rather an escort, as she loved calling herself and had no business being at the Crusade Today. She only attended the gospel crusade in fulfillment of a bet she had made with her friend , Tonia. “If I can get the preacher or at least one church member to sleep with me first during the crusade, you owe me N35,000”
“Candy!” said Tonia as they usually called her, “sure I owe you N35,000 if you do but I tell you I will be the first to do that.” Cynthia had just sneered and walked towards the large football field being used as the crusade ground. Although only 28 years old, Cynthia already had two Murano jeeps, owned a house at Victoria Island Lagos, two supermarkets in Abuja, some stock investments worth over a Million Naira and was planning to retire in a month’s time. She had planned to recruit other younger girls and start her own harem of prostitutes, here in Nigeria and subsequently in Cameroon and Italy. She had all sorts of men; married men, successful single guys, International businessmen and even Governors and highly placed men of God at her beck and call. Some of them dying, blackmailing each other and falling over themselves just to get her attention.
She seemed to have it all. But now her once beautiful face and body had worn out and lost its suppleness. And not even the best make ups could conceal it. Her eyes were dull and carrying a tinge of pain. Her conscience was long dead and in her soul, she felt destined for hell. It hadn’t been like this before. Cynthia was the only daughter of a wealthy businessman, Mr. Okocha, a staunch Catholic and a knight of the Church. Mr. Okocha had several businesses and spent weeks traveling from Lagos to Abuja to Dubai; to China and Europe. Cynthia and her two elder brothers were left in the care of servants and their paternal aunt, most especially after the tragic and sudden death of their mother. Their Father had no time to bring them up in the ways of the Lord even though she was so pious that she wanted to be a Reverend Sister or a Nurse. Cynthia’s Aunt though living close by was busy with her own family and came once in a while (sometimes with her husband) to see them.
Young and naive, she became the prey of her aunt’s lecherous husband who began to abuse her sexually. Although she complained to her Aunt, her father and her brothers but nobody would believe her. Her aunt’s husband would deny vehemently the allegation. Cynthia became helpless, frustrated, bitter and a rebel. Over time she found it an excuse to indulge in the act, not only with her uncle but also with her brothers’ friends, her father’s boy boys and even the male servants. All Hell was let loose. Cynthia got admission into the University of Benin and became a part time prostitute for money, skipping classes and jumping from one aristos’ bed to another. She was later to abandon schooling and her home and join an elite of high class girls excelling at the very height of sleeping with the mighty and powerful. Who showered her with gifts and took her to exotic places within and outside Nigeria, thus she became rich and well connected.
But Today, she had a choice, a choice between listening to that small still voice in her heart asking her to believe all she had just heard tonight about Jesus or still “gloss” over all the sufferings, humiliation, rejection and abandonment she had been through and disbelieve all she had heard. She battled with several thoughts and questions that surged through her mind. “where was Jesus the first time you were raped by your uncle?” “Where was this so called Saviour the day your mother died tragically in that car accident?” “If Jesus really loved you and is in every family why is it then that your family never believed you, called you a liar and disgrace to womanhood.” “Why did this type of preaching not come 5 years ago when you were thinking of giving up this business?” But there was a different voice, small and still. The voice was reassuring softly, gently, soothingly and was comforting. She made a choice, the right choice.
Cynthia Adaeze Okocha answered the altar call and gave her life to Christ that night. That same night a fire broke out in the Hotel in which most of the Christian pilgrims attending the 3 days crusade were staying. Seven of them die that Night. Cynthia was one of them.