The six years I spent as a student at Calvary Arrows College were the most definitive years of my life. As a student of Calvary Arrows College, under the discipleship of Uncle Seun Olufolaji, I was privileged to represent the school in several state, national, and international competitions. In May 2012, at the climax of preparation for what would be the most challenging of all competitions I ever participated in, uncle Seun made a statement that drastically reconfigured my heart's priority and has formed the basis for all my pursuits ever since. He said, "If you win the competition, but you do not win a soul, you have lost; but even if you do not win the competition, if you at least win a soul, you have won."
That statement was only an extrapolation of the Biblical injunction in Matthew 6:33 to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. That single statement turned me from being a competitor into a missionary. My colleagues and I responded by turning our competition venue into a mission field. During the day, we participated in the required quizzes and project defense, and late in the afternoon, we looked for small groups of students we could talk to about Jesus. That competition turned out to be our most significant success, and we were eventually selected to represent Nigeria in the Eskom International Science Fair in Johannesburg later that year.
I have shared this experience not as a way of announcing a past victory, but because for me, it has continued to remain a reference point. I truly believe God took me through Calvary Arrows College just to hear that one statement: "If you win the competition, but you do not win a soul, you have lost; but even if you do not win the competition, if you at least win a soul, you have won." I have hardly needed to struggle to be noticed. I have been selected to participate in international forums. I have been given platforms to lead and speak to dozens of students from different points on the globe. I never count it to be an achievement; I rather see every promotion the Lord brings me as a platform to showcase Christ among men.
The devotedness of the teachers at Calvary Arrows College is also noteworthy. They opened their homes to some of us during the mid-term breaks and sustained us completely without requesting money from our parents. Some of them paid their way to school at odd hours to be with students they felt needed more attention and training to succeed in external exams. Others walked us right into the examination hall, said a prayer to God on our behalf, and left to continue praying privately in a secret room all through the duration of the examination. As students, we were always fond of the non-teaching staff that worked in the kitchen, sitting under the heat of the sun and in the discomfort of smoke, laboring despite the weather so that we could have our proper meals at their appropriate times. Some of the kitchen staff members were old enough to be our grandparents. That level of sacrifice from a body of teachers who receive no monthly salary for their work baffles all who hear about it. It is an incredible feat, clear evidence of the hand of God upon Calvary Arrows College.
My teachers at Calvary Arrows College also showed interest in our personal lives beyond the classroom. I recall the day the topic of Reproduction was introduced during one of our Biology classes. My classmates and I had waited with anticipation for this ‘exciting’ topic. I recall that we settled in the Biology lab where we had lessons hurriedly and excitedly, but returned to our classrooms soberly. Somewhere in the middle of this exciting topic of Reproduction, our teacher, who noticed our unholy interest in the topic, had skillfully changed the focus of the class from Reproduction and entered into a long talk on sexual purity. As expected, some of us repented, and that particular lesson ended with a prayer. On that day, a number of us took decisions of chastity that has preserved us through the craze for sex that has bedeviled our generation.
Currently, I am pursuing a master's degree in Energy Systems at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow. God's grace enabled me to scale through the rigorous qualification tests and interviews and be one of the 291 students admitted last year out of over 11,000 applications. I have found that the principles I learned casually as a student of Calvary Arrows College under discipleship are eternal and will always work irrespective of location. Calvary Arrows College was for me a quarry site in every sense of the word. I am always grateful to God for passing me through Calvary Arrows College.
Fater Akuha(CACAF SET 3)