It’s time to serve my country Nigeria.
As I write this, I’m sitting in the bus, on my way to the state I was deployed to for the NYSC orientation camp. I’m taking roads I’ve never plied before, and I’m wondering what camp would be like.
I got deployed to Delta state, yes Delta state. Wait, let me start from the beginning.
So NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) is a compulsory service year for every Nigerian graduate less than 30 years at the time of graduation and it’s my time.
As a doctor however, it’s not immediately after graduation as I had to complete my internship year first before being called up to serve.
To be honest, I initially wasn’t excited about this service year because I’m a doctor and most of my friends who did four or five year courses in the university have served years ago, let me just do it and be going. But then the Holy Spirit told me this is your time, do not despise it.
The entire process so far has been a test of patience for me. Scripture says:
“But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing”James 1:4 (AMPC)
Registration was the first step and that was an ordeal. I couldn’t register early due to circumstances beyond my control. I eventually got automatically registered.
Then the wait for call up letter began. People usually want the popular states like Lagos or Abuja, so they’re always in high demand. Eventually I saw that I’m in stream two so I had to wait again for stream one to be done before I could see my deployed state and print it.
Imagine my surprise when I opened it and saw Delta state. Delta state ke? I jumped up from my bed when I saw it. I felt like I’d been slapped. How could this have happened to me God. How? Is it because I forgot you and didn’t pray for a while? Couldn’t you just have put me in a South Western state, you know it’s dangerous to travel to far distances in Nigeria. I have no idea of the language or the territory. Why God, whyyyyy I lamented? I was so angry I almost cried. My friends had been posted to Lagos so why not me.
I immediately began worrying about transporting myself to the camp as I knew flights would be very expensive on such short notice and stories of horrible experiences traveling interstate by road also ran through my mind. God what am I going to do? I thought.
That night as I sat in worship I released everything to God and told him to take control, he reminded me of what Jesus said:
“Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all. But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.”Matthew 6:31-33
I told my mum and she began cheering me up (see why mothers are amazing), calling me Urhobo wayo and teasing me that I’d fit right in, since I look like them 😂 (people are usually surprised when they find out I’m not from Eastern or Southern Nigeria).
I decided to be joyful about it because that’s what Jesus would like me to do, that’s his own way way of doing and being right. Plus who knows, I may just meet wonderful new people. I repacked my luggage (I was ready for stream one) determined to enjoy the experience to the utmost even though it’s not what I wanted.
At different points during the journey, I thought and prayed about the entire experience. The Holy Spirit reminded me of the vision he showed me in 2017 of being called out of my shell, basically my comfort zone. This was part of it.
Leaving the known meant I’d have to cling to the One who knows everything before I even knew it existed by trusting that he has a plan, bigger and greater than what I could ever come up with for my life. That’s what I signed up for in this Christian race and I’m totally here for it because I know that he who started a good work in me will definitely bring it to completion.