Beloved Apostle Bimpe Soriolu who conquered death recently, sleeping in the Lord by divine call remains a great icon of note. As thousands mourn her untimely death across the World, we continue to celebrate he eventful life by giving you this interview which she had last year March. She bravely responded to questions from Tribune Newspapers. She was given a death sentence by her physicians in the United Kingdom when they saw how far cancer cells had eaten deep into a part of her body, particularly her breast region. Beloved Apostle Bimpe in this interview with Monica Taiwo and Tunde Ogunesan speaks. Apostle Bimpe then was convinced then that she was on her journey to recovery even though she had prepared for the worse. Excerpts:
How did you come about the name, Beloved?
IT is a name that was given to me by God. I am a woman who has been through so much in life and I have come to realise my calling with the Lord. At a point, I asked for a new name and he gave me the name Beloved Apostle; a saint and Bimpe which has always been my common identity – a name given by my parents.
Can you describe your immediate reaction when you were told that you have cancer and a short time to live?
I was blank, I went dull; I wouldn’t say dead. No thought, nothing, the only thing I knew was that I wept endlessly for days.
Was there anytime during your childhood, that you ever thought you could have cancer?
No, but the only time that I was near it was when as a teenager my grandmother discovered a little lump in my breast, I was about 15 or 16, she took me to the University College Hospital (UCH) and I had a biopsy. Though I learnt what I had then was called biopsy recently.
I remembered a needle was incised into my breast to take some sample and it was tested.
Can you recall the result that you were given then?
We were told that it was nothing to worry about, that it is was a normal breast tissue. I remember vividly.
When you were told to prepare for your death, how did you feel about leaving your children?
For my children, I just felt grudged. I was worried that they should not depart from all what I have taught them; the word of God and the word of life because they are packed full of words and a peculiar understanding. I brought them up to know that they are peculiar children, I even pasted it on their door way and every morning as they open their eyes, they see it. “I am a peculiar child, I don’t have to be like any other child. I am a role model that other children must copy, as I go to school today, I must not copy anybody but people should copy me”. They have this kind of understanding. During that period, I was just worried about who would mentor them.
Secondly, it is natural for a mother to feel sad. I will not deceive you, I really did not know how God took me through those two weeks and that phase of my life. I would sit in a place, the children would go to school, come back and still meet where they left me. I would not know the time had been far spent because I was deeply lost.
What was in your mind then?
After I recovered from the state of shock, I realised God permitted me to experience this in order to know what people go through when they go to pastors or churches with their problems. They pray for them, give them words of inspiration and they get back home, but find it difficult to hold on to those words. Why? Because their minds are busy on vanity. I thought about vanity, I thought about what will happen to my children. I thought the children who I have raised on my own, if I should die what becomes of them? In us there are three thoughts; thoughts provoked by the spirit of God; thoughts provoked by the evil to take away your peace. And the thought of your own lust after vanities. All these fight within you and it is the one you yield yourself to more that will determine your faith.
My own thoughts and those of the devil combined were prominent in me and they almost killed me. Questions like; these children you raised on your own without their father, so if you die now? Your son is graduating in June, so their father who had never been there would take the glory and reap the works of my hands? These natural thoughts would make you feel bad and before you know it, you are dying before your time. These are death provoking thoughts. But because I have Christ in me, I was able to rebuke them. After all, he is their father and if it is the will of God, then let it be so.
Immediately, I would rebuke it and stand on God’s word; which says His thought for me is not of evil but of good, to give me a future and a hope.
My children and I, are for signs and wonders, definitely I will be at my son’s graduation. Even if his father will be there. Another thought that came to me was; now my enemies will laugh at me. God used me at that period to show me the mindset of man when they are in deep crisis and how the devil uses that to sink them. The reports are there which showed that the cancer is still there, but my body is saying a different thing. There are two different feelings in my body now. When I dealt in the negative spirit man, I was dying; I died in myself. I lost weight, I became haggard looking and grave bound. But the moment I switched into positive thinking; catching the vision, I began to see myself doing a project which I have to deliver. Since I connected to that spirit, there is this quickening spirit that came upon me and I began to feel alive and to move with strength and power and I discovered more strength, happiness and joy. Even if doctors don’t tell me that there is difference in my body.
Is there any of your children who wants to study medicine?
Yes, there is. I want my daughter to be a medical doctor. The doctors are there, God has given them wisdom; it is by their wisdom I got to know that cancer is in my body; we should appreciate them .The fact that I am now a higher being spiritually does not mean I should curse the doctors for making me to know what is in my body. Doctors will not lie to you, they say what they see.
Cancer is a disease that comes in with a lot of pains and makes you extremely uncomfortable. Before you were diagnosed and during the time you were told to prepare for your death, did you feel pains at all?
I told you, the lumps were big. They were quite big and shining, there was temperature around it. It hurts, inflamed, you will see it, it was like an onion, hard, they were sensitive, there was a bit of itching around the area which has all subsided now completely without drugs.
Were you given medications?
No, I was scheduled for chemotherapy, but I had the leading of God not to take it. I had these words in me that I will not have my body corrupted. If I die, let me die in my glory.
You know cancer is a thing that comes with history, has there been any history of cancer in your family?
None that I know.
Aside your belief that you have been healed by God, what other things worked out the miracle?
Natural herbs of course.
So, you believe that natural herbs are better than all those processed ones?
God created man in his image and before he created man, he created herbs. He gave us dominion over herbs. Most of the food we eat are dead ones. For example, if a Yoruba women wants to eat vegetable, she will first pour hot water and cook, this is dead food and at the end of the day when this gets into your tommy, it leaves or deposit acid there and sometimes, that is why you see people having big tommy God created food before creating man. The more the natural food you eat, the better for you and when we eat all these fertilised foods, all the chemicals they applied will continue to work in the system.
You said earlier that you were prepared for your death and you had a Christian wake-keep. Can you tell us some of the things you did?
In the Christian world today, restitution is one aspect of Christian faith that has been relegated to the background, rather we hear about prosperity. But the truth of the matter is this, there are certain things that we do against our prosperity, and our well-being. The Bible says the wicked are like the troubled sea whose end is death. But why the wicked will never know they are wicked, they will start pointing hands at who they fought yesterday, or at their rivals, grandmother, the old woman who is having hallucinations, they call her a witch, pointing accusing fingers at different places. Restitution is a point of faith that every believer should have self appraisal and find a way of making up where you have erred, then you will have peace. So, restitution is one of the things I realised that God has given room for me to do with the little time I have left. When I say little time, under10 years, is still little time, five years, two months are still little and as I am today, if I die, I am fulfilled, I know where I am going .I visited my father’s grave who died three years ago because when he died, there were two positions. My father said it to me in church and I heard it; “bury me in Ibadan when I die”, he showed us where he should be buried, but my brother led the team that wanted to bury him in our hometown, I was against it, because I thought I was doing what my father said we should do. As I am speaking, the two parties were right. It is right for you to obey your father’s wish, that is traditional and it is also traditional when a great man dies, even a common man, would want to return to his base to be buried. Now, what informed my father’s position I really do not know. For every male dominated children in the family, it is good for them to have their father buried in the hometown for us to have contact in the village. And truly when I was in Ekiti, I realised that my brother took the best decision when he took him back to be buried at home.
The Christian wake-keep you organised, was a very strange thing. How come?
When you become a Christian, I’m not talking about Christian by mouth, I mean a real born again Christian according to the scriptures. When you become a new being, it means your ways are no longer common. You will begin to do things in a way that will appear strange to the normal sight, to the normal reasoning. Our Lord Jesus had his wake keep and that was when they dined and wined at the upper room.
When the woman washed his feet, he said she was preparing him for his burial...
Yes, Jesus Christ was prepared for his burial. He had his wake keep with his discipleship. In John 17, we have the details of what happened, his last speech, a blueprint of his mind and that was exactly what I did because I had the opportunity of doing it. If so many people have the opportunity of preparing their wake keep, they would have done it. I was fulfilled, I was inspired of the spirit of God to do it and even have a holy ghost husband as well.
Your restitution and reconciliation with everybody, did you extend it to your husband?
You mean to my former husband? Well, it takes two to tango and it takes God to bring about peace. For peace to reign, God would have prepared the two vessels. If one is prepared and the other one is not , the labour will be in vain. But in my spirit, I forgave him a long time ago even when it seemed there were still crises, I mean he is the father of my four children, I cannot help the way I feel because of what I went through. There is every possibility that he looked at me as the devil or people looked at me as if I’m against him. After this diagnosis of cancer, his children had called him, when the story was published in your sister title. I received calls in thousands, but he did not call. It is not about me, but about him. I have nothing against him because as I speak, nobody has offended me. I am praying that someday, he two will come to that level of understanding, thought and knowledge. There is nobody I could give my children to like their father, I will be crazy to say there is a better man than their father even though he has not contributed a dime to their upkeep. Even though my last daughter who will be12 in April shares the same birthday date with him (April 5) doesn’t know her father because the last time they saw was when she was three, when he walked out on us. But despite this, I still teach these children to love him, I still prepare the mind of these children to accept him whenever he chooses to come back for them, but it is his choice, there is nothing I can do about it.
We would like to ask a direct and personal question. This is Bimpe Fayose, Bimpe Oluwayose, Bimpe Shorinnolu, Beloved Apostle Bimpe. Who are you? When did you meet Christ?
I met Christ in July/August 2005 and, interestingly, I received my diagnosis too around that July, so remarkable seven years after. I met Christ in a very unusual way, through people of God that felt rejected like me as well. There are many godly men and women out there in the street; they don’t have churches. They probably have been frustrated out of churches, but they have Christ in them but maybe the pastors over them cannot really accept or live with the truth in them. So, through a process like this, I got to know Christ. The same person who led me to Christ took me to church whereby I connected with the Bible School in 2002 in Abuja and since then, the journey had began.
Are you a fulfilled woman when you weigh the two worlds?
I am not just fulfilled, I am gloriously fulfilled and God is deriving pleasure that He created me and that is the ultimate that God can have on any individual. I have seen different sides of the world. I have been able to dine with the rich and also with the poor, I’ve been able to appreciate life in the lifeless, I’ve been able to be with prostitutes, I have almost been a prostitute myself, I’ve been able to see a life that even when you don’t have a dime in your hand, people think you are rich. I’ve been able to see a life with good virtue where you mean well, but people see you as evil. Now because I’m coming from the street, I’m able to appreciate God and then see the defeat of the church which I will never partake of. It was when I allowed the word of God to anoint and saturate my heart that I had a change of heart, life and thought. The effect of God in you is the impact He has in your spirit that now makes a change in your living. There is a change about myself that I humbled myself to accept, that made me who I am today and I believe that is the faithfulness of God.