Pastors’ Pearls- Rosemond Anaba (Part 2)

Be sure to read the following portion of Rosemond Anaba’s interview with Pastor Gayla. Many of you will be interested in this next part of Rosemond’s testimony as we experienced a mighty move of God here at Word of Life Christian Center with Rosemond’s husband, Bishop Eastwood Anaba. Read how God sustained and kept her through the tragic loss of both her daughters. Rosemond Anaba is a beautiful living example of faith, power, poise, and perseverance in ministry through tremendous and heartbreaking loss. I pray that it encourages you!

SHINE:  So how did you meet Eastwood?

RA:  Eastwood and I met in college at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. We were both leaders in the Christian Fellowship at the university, and we were very much involved in the fellowship activities. We started out as very good friends, which led to our engagement and marriage on September 4, 1988.

SHINE:  Then when did you start having children?

RA:  I started having children very soon after we got married. Our first child Amanda was born in May 1989. We then had Archibald Rodney in May 1991. Audrey Zenia was the next to follow in July 1994, and the last was Angus Arnold in August 1998.

SHINE:  In addition to your own children, we understand that you have served as a surrogate mother to many young people who have lived with you. How many have lived with you over the years?

RA:  For the first two years of our marriage, we lived alone as a traditional newlywed couple. But over the years, we have invited seven young ladies and six young men to come live with us at various times. We saw it as an opportunity God had given us to help mold and shape young people in our church. They usually stay with us for a varied number of years until they marry. Many of them have entered the ministry, and four of the young men are now pastors of various branches of the Fountain Gate Chapel.

Gayla:  I really admire that. Not too many Americans are that gracious.

It makes me sad to reflect on this, but recently you lost your two daughters and four key church members in a terrible car wreck. Even though the sorrow in your life has been life-altering, you have amazing peace and glory that surrounds you. It touches our lives more than you realize. Can you tell us a little about how you navigated your way through this horrific loss?

RA:  I could not have gone through this “valley of the shadow of death” alone, without the massive support I had from my husband and the brethren. It came as such a shock because they had been away in school for four months, and we had so looked forward to their homecoming. We had missed them.

A few things really rocked my faith. I had so many questions going through my mind because

I sowed seed on behalf of my children’s preservation and quoted Psalm 121 frequently. The last seed I sowed was the day before the incident. My children also gave their tithe regularly. As a matter of fact, Audrey had just sent her tithe ahead. So a question I had is, if God rebukes the devourer when we sow our tithe, then why wasn’t the devourer rebuked?

There were so many questions. One of the six who passed into glory had embarked on a three-day dry fast. So if prayer always brings deliverance, how come he wasn’t delivered from this? Another one, who was a pastor, had just ended a crusade to open a branch of the church.

Many things seemed contradictory – except for the fact that God is sovereign. Can the clay say to the Potter, “What doest thou?”  I trust daily in His sovereignty. I speak a lot to myself when doubts and thoughts invade my mind that make me feel like saying with Job’s wife, “Curse God and die.” But I know there is no unrighteousness in Him. In Him there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, and no temptation has overtaken us but such as is common to man. Others have gone through worse things and survived, and I believe I will also pull through this.

I still cry, especially when I see their friends and schoolmates. But I have learned to lift up my hands unto the Lord in worship in the midst of the tears, and it brings me much strength. I’ve come to the place where it’s not so much about what we are doing. The prayer is good, and the seed-sowing is good, but I lean more on His mercies for daily strength.

I have become more conscious of heaven. I have also come to appreciate my salvation so much more. I know that because He lives I will see the children again one day. But the important thing now is that life still goes on, and it is all about Jesus and nothing else. One day we shall meet to part no more. I hold on to Jeremiah 10:23: “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his path.”

Eastwood said to me, “Fire is a refiner or destroyer, depending on what material it meets. We must choose to be refined instead of being destroyed.”

Be sure to read part three of this four-part series of Pastor Rosemond’s incredible story next week on SHINE blog.

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