Rev. Josiah Musa is a missionary in Nasarrawa, and also Nasarrawa state coordinator of Peace House Revival Labour. Speaking at the recent 4-day ministers conference on Recovery & Restoration organized by Redemption Truth Assembly, Ikorodu, Lagos, Bro. Musa’s penetrating and piercing sermons of repentance tore lots of ministers in total brokenness with tears just like he experienced when he surrendered his life to Christ from a pagan family to becoming a missionary, as he shares with Christian Benefits in this interview. Excerpts.
Please, can we meet you sir?
I’m Bro. Josiah Musa from Nasarrawa state. I am a missionary with mission fields in Nasarawa. I am also the coordinator, Peace House Revival Labour, Nasarrawa state.
Let’s have a look at your background and upbringing
I was born into a pagan family. My father was a military officer. He got married to my mother, but later married two other wives; meaning I came up from a pagan and polygamous family. My background was very hopeless spiritually. I was born completely into a dark world. I continued in such kind of life that I grew up seeing my parents living. My mother was a drunkard. She produced local alcohols called burukutu and pinto among other local alcoholic drinks. So, I also grew up drinking alcohol because we considered that as part of a normal life in such a society.
How did you later come to know and accept Christ from such a society?
In August 1984, a group of missionary evangelists staged an open air crusade in our area with a film show titled The Burning Hell where I saw the real hell. I saw people who refused to give their lives to Christ burning in hell. A particular scene in that film struck me and led me to Christ on that day. I saw a certain rich man celebrating, and saw another man, Lazarus, standing at the gate of the rich man’s house languishing in starvation. Suddenly, the rich man died and found himself in hell. Lazarus also died and found himself at the bosom of father Abraham. It was the torment of that rich man in the burning hell that converted me in that film, particularly when the rich man was asking father Abraham to just allow Lazarus to dip his finger inside water and put it on his lips to cool his tongue in the burning hell. Father Abraham told him, remember, while you were on earth you lived lavishly and now it is Lazarus’ time. He further told him that there was no way Lazarus could cross over to him because there was a gulf between heaven and hell. The rich man then asked father Abraham, can you send Lazarus to the earth to go preach to his five other brothers? Father Abraham said, no, they have Moses and other prophets. The rich man said it is when someone is raised from death to preach to them that they would listen. Father Abraham replied him, if your brothers would not listen to the other prophets, even if Lazarus is raised from death to preach to them; still they would not listen. This response sunk deep in my heart that if I do not want to go to hell I must listen to these missionary evangelists now. Instantly, I asked the organizers, what should a person who doesn’t want to go to hell do? They said the person must confess his sin and repent. At that time I didn’t know what repentance is. The missionaries explained repentance to me, and I confessed all my sins. They said I should also release all the protective charms on me. After I confessed my sins and released all the charms on me, they burned the charms and prayed for me. That was how I received my salvation that August 1984 through the Burning Hell film at that open air crusade in our area.
What exactly happened to you shortly after giving your life to Christ?
I discovered something happened to me. I felt something left me and a bright light entered me. I was then an alcohol addict. But after that bright light of salvation entered me, I started feeling irritated by the smell of alcohol and cigarettes. Since then I left a sinful life, got a new life and started walking with Christ till now. My joy of salvation was overwhelming. I found sound peace that we drank alcohol to find whenever we were overwhelmed by problems. Unfortunately, the kind of peace we received from drinking alcohol was temporal.
Share with us your Christian growth in the midst of your pagan community
I was the first person in my village that became born again. I was a little light surrounded by darkness. I used to visit a neighboring village for Bible study with the few Christians in that village. That was how I started receiving help to survive; otherwise maybe I could have collapsed in the face of persecutions and pressure. It was while visiting that neighboring village for fellowship and Bible study with the few brethren there that I understood the scripture iron sharpens iron. I received a lot of help, support, encouragement and teachings from the fellowship with the few believers in that village. I will say that was where I received my discipleship.
Can we have a look at the educational aspect of your background?
It was salvation that made me attend school. I didn’t value school despise that my father was an educated military officer. School had no meaning to me because farming was the major occupation in my environment until salvation removed the veil of ignorance and made western education interesting to us. I repeated class one as a drunkard. I attended primary school, secondary school and advanced teachers’ training college affiliated to the University of Ibadan. It was here my passion for Christ became so strong that I proceeded right from the school straight to the mission fields.
What particularly informed your decision to go on mission fields right from school?
God actually called me to mission fields. I was the President of NIFEST fellowship on the camp. When I was about graduating from the campus, I spent three days on the mountain, asking God for direction after leaving the campus. And the Lord told me I was going nowhere except mission fields. So, instead of returning home after graduation, I proceeded to a mission field where I lived among half naked people in Nasarawa from 1993 until 1998 when an outbreak of war drove us away, and I came to Abuja. So, starting from Nasarrawa to Abuja I have been on mission fields in several other places within and outside Nigeria reaching out to souls for Christ.
As a missionary, are you being sponsored by any church or mission agency?
When I started out as a missionary I was not under any church or mission agency though some churches visited us. I had my own team which was more of harvesting souls for churches until 1996 when a brother introduced me to Peace House of Bro. Gbile Akanni. Later, God told me he preserved me for a place like this (Peace House). That was when I realized why I didn’t join any church or mission agency.
Please, share with us your experience as a missionary since 1993 till now?
My experience as a missionary is giving oneself completely to the call of God. God is not a person you come to, or serve partially. You have to come to Him or serve Him with the whole of your heart, according to the scriptures. The calling of God is not for pleasure but for services that would demand lots of sacrifices. As missionaries, we go to where God wants us to be and serve Him; laying down our lives as sacrifices. In my 30 years as a missionary, I never had the mindset of having possessions. My passion from the beginning is to see that I satisfy my creator by bringing souls to His kingdom as He demands of us, and also written in His word.
What is sustaining your focus on the missionary work these past 30 years?
A mission field is a place of training. If you don’t clearly know and understand the call of God over your life, you will be distracted. There are times when there are no provisions or nothing whatsoever as sustenance, except the grace of God but we watch the farmers doing their farming and bringing some of their harvests to us because we pray for their farms. Sometimes, the harvests they bring to us are more than what we can consume. We live by the scriptures going out taking nothing with us. And anywhere we go if there is a son of peace there, they will welcome us, and whatever they give to us we accept. You don’t have to look for what is not exactly from God like fame and other earthly things that lots of people are pursuing.
How then do you sustain your family from whatever people give to you?
When my wife wanted to join me in the mission fields I told her if you want to join me you must resign from your job because you are not coming to sponsor me. I don’t want a failed marriage. I believe in what God has called me to do. So, God meets our basic needs; including getting a bicycle, later motor bike and finally car for our mission activities. I never knew my wife could ride a bicycle until the day I got tired riding and she took over from me and asked me to sit in the bicycle carrier. When the villagers saw us they trooped out watching my wife riding the bicycle while I sat in the carrier. When you know and value your call you will be happy with it. Don’t be carried away or get distracted by what God called someone else to do. As a family we never lack the basic needs and necessities, includin raising and training all our children up to the university level; even outside Nigeria in the Philippines.
How much are you fulfilled as a missionary?
I am fulfilled physically and financially. All our children went to private universities. Two of them are presently in the Philippine; children of a local and forest missionary studying in universities overseas, so, what will I say God has not done for me? Also, spiritually our level has grown tremendously. God will never forget where he put his anointing. No matter where you are, he will locate you.
Your four-day ministrations at the ministers’ conference on recovery and restoration organized by Redemption Truth Assembly broke down quite a lot of ministers in tears unto repentance. What exactly is repentance?
Repentance is turning away from sinful habits or attractions completely into the hands of your creator, who created you with a vision and purpose. It also takes effort for follow up to sustain after you are repented.
How can believers who are still struggling with some sinful habits overcome this challenge?
During the meeting I used my experience as a case study. For many years after I became a believer I struggled with anger. The spirit of anger in me was so terrible that one day God just allowed it to disgrace me publicly when I was put behind the counter in a police station that I felt ashamed at that moment to tell people I’m a pastor. At that point I locked up myself in my room for days and cried to God to deliver me from anger. I told God, if you don’t deliver me from anger, then, I won’t serve you anymore because it (anger) is now causing me public embarrassment and shame. That was how God delivered me totally from anger. I left my comfort zone to seek for it. So, any believer still struggling with one sinful habit or the other must leave their comfort zone for their deliverance. They must thirst for their deliverance from that sinful habits that refuse to let go.
Thank you for your audience sir
You are welcome.