Jonathan and Matthew walked behind their father as he led the white man to the proposed church site. The once muddy road was baked by the scorching sun. The excitement in the boys made them walk barefoot without feeling the heat from the ground. Reverend Mcfields was the typical clergy man they had read about or seen in their textbooks. He wasn’t in a cassock. He had a white T-shirt on a blue faded jeans, complimented by his white canvas. It was his outfit to the epoch making event.
Elewele village which was a few miles from present day Port Harcourt had finally encountered Christianity. Its surrounding villages had already given up on traditional religion but Elewele was resistant until Rev. Mcfields. He had made giant strides in achieving this feat. The desecration of shrines. The building of a missionary school. The practice of communal living and care, which is an integral part of Christianity. He was loved by the people. He made them see the light and exposed the Evil doings of the priestess/village witch, Agbani.
Agbani exploited her people. She requested outrageous items as sacrifices for things as minor as common flu. Mcfields was able to cure strange illnesses which Agbani couldn’t. A man whom Agbani had pronounced dead was brought back to life and it changed everything for good. The people began to sing of Mcfields great power but he was quick to acknowledge the One with the power, Almighty God.
Ebele Okaro who had witnessed the new wave of things decided to follow Mcfields in his great works. He confessed that Jesus Christ is lord and was baptized with his two sons at the stream. Mcfields christened his family, Landings. He told them that Landings was a priest who served during world war 1 and did good deeds. He said Landings was committed to the things of God. Every morning after the christening, Ebele would say to his boys.
‘what is your name boy?’
‘I am Jonathan Landings, first son of Ebele Okaro who is committed to the things of God’, the elder of the boys would say.
‘what is your name boy?’
‘I am Matthew Landings, second son of Ebele Okaro who is committed to the things of God’
Indeed, Ebele Okaro was committed to the things of God. He gave up his land close to the deity of Elewele to show his commitment, a decision his wife, Ijeadie, frowned at. She had never been in support of, according to her, ‘the white man who is here to cause trouble’.
Ebele concluded that Ijeadie was scared for her childhood friend, Agbani whose business had been ruined by the light. The light Mcfields brought.
She told Ebele to tread with caution as she fellowshipped with the white man and other believers. She refused to be baptized in solidarity to Agbani. Ijeadie was neither for or against the white man.
Mcfields and the Landings men got to the site just in time to witness Agbani begin a ritual. Agbani was dressed in red and black. Colours Mcfields felt she should change if she desperately needed a man. She was married to the gods, what does she need a man for? He often thought. She had a flaming calabash in her hands and backed them.
‘you will do no more havoc white man!’ Agbani shouted ‘go back to your people. Elewele was fine till you came’.
‘I disagree Agbani. The people have seen the light and there is no going back. Jesus Christ I s here to stay!’
Agbani faced them slowly. She had a big frown and was breathing fast.
‘Ebele Okaro! Ebele Okaro! Ebele Okaro! I curse you and your generation. No good thing shall happen when two or more Landings gather! The Earth, sun, moon and stars curse you and bear me witness. The great Agbani has cursed!’