Onyewuchi "Endy" Echefu

Onyewuchi Endy Echefu

   My name is Onyewuchi “Endy” Echefu. I am an attorney, admitted to the Nigeria Bar, New York Bar, and United States District Court of Northern District of Texas. I am also a licensed Realtor in the State of Texas. I was an active member of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International in Port Harcourt, (Oyigbo Inland Chapter), Nigeria before relocating to the United States. I am a former President of the African Christian Fellowship DFW chapter. I currently serve as an Associate Pastor with the responsibilities of Christian education and Family ministries at Rescue Sanctuary Assembly of God, using God’s word to impact lives. I am married to Dr/Mrs. Nkechi Echefu and we are blessed with four boys.

   My name is Onyewuchi "Endy" Echefu, and now I'm going to give a testimony about my life. This is the first time I am giving my testimony to a larger open gathering, and you know sometimes when you want to talk about the testimony of how you were before you came to Christ, there’s always that shyness and shame of what you did before, that was so bad and you're coming back to let the world know about them."I was such a bad person, but Christ has turned me around." So the essence of coming here today is for you to know that no matter where you find yourself, Christ is able to turn you around. Amen.

   For my background, I was raised in a strict family. My father was a teacher. I'm from Nigeria. He was a teacher and to his hard work pays, he said he trained himself by deed of hard work. He trained himself and got to what they call "higher elementary" in those days, and with that kind of training he brought up his kids.  He wasn't such a good Christian, he wasn't going to church always, but my mother was an ardent Anglican Church member. She had all their confirmations in those days, and she brought us all into the Anglican Church system until he joined Assemblies of God Church in the early 1970s. I was born in the '60s. Those of you who were there before the Nigerian civil war started will understand. I could see my family going through the Nigerian/Biafran war.  God kept us under that siege. I saw some other kids of my age; I was about 4 then, who were dying out of hunger. There was what we call Kwashiorkor, malnutrition then, we survived that.

   My father was even being transferred at the time of the war. He was transferred from one city to the other where he was teaching, and I could still remember the fighter bombers, all types of planes, jets flying and shooting their bullets, and we were hiding under plantain shrubs. God preserved me. I would say that the biblical connotation of my testimony is based on Jeremiah 29:11. "God said, "I know the plans I have for you, plans of good and not of evil. To give you hope and expectation." I'm a replica of that provision. God was preserving me from one angle to the other.

   After the war, we came back to the city where I was born. I was born and raised in a small city called Aba in the Southeastern part of Nigeria. This is a commercial city. After high school, I relocated and stayed with my sister in Port Harcourt, an oil City, and I would say that is the SIN city of Nigeria like they have the SIN city here, and I was exposed to something that I never wanted to live in.

   Being a free teenager, I felt I could do what others are doing. I'm an adventurer. I will not forget the particular night, I was 18 years old. I came to a kiosk. When we were growing up we were not allowed to smoke, you want to [indigenous language] now I felt that I was free. Nobody could control me. I tried to go and smoke. So I bought three different cigarettes. It's so funny. There's one they call Sweet Menthol, those who were in Nigeria will remember. There's one they call Sweet Menthol, there’s one they called Saint Morris and another, they called Benson & Hedges. I still remember those names... I took one - the Sweet Menthol and smoked it. I don't know if you can give me that pen; let me show you, please. Thank you, sir. I smoked it. To me, it was like pulling out things inside this pen, blowing air in and blowing out air. That was my impression of cigarettes as a teenager. I thought it was because of the brand. I threw that one away and I went for Saint Morris cigarette, it had the same feeling, and threw it away. I went for a Benson & Hedges and did the same thing. I then ask this question, "Why will I get hooked on this crap? I did that because, to me, it was like growing up, we could not smoke for fear of our parents. But after that experience, I said - "What have I got to do with these?" So I decided to do away with cigarettes. That was all I knew about cigarettes.

   As I grew up, it came to the issue of sexual relationships. I got stuck in that. By the grace of God, I'm still living here today because God allowed me to stay. But you know the irony; I was still going to the church, taking prominent roles in the church. As a young man, you look at me, very young, good;  parents were using me as an example for their children, but within me, I knew I wasn't doing what they're saying I do. I'm telling you, parents were using me as an example. Even in high school, my fellow students were using me as an example of a good boy.

   By the time I came out of high school, I was still living that kind of life. Somehow, I was making some little money because I was in business with my in-laws and I was staying with my sister and her husband. I was managing their business as a teenager in Port Harcourt doing supplies to companies because he was still working. He didn't want to come out as the owner of the business, so, I took on that responsibility. I was doing the business of supplies of building materials to the University of Port Harcourt, University of Science and Technology Port Harcourt. I supplied building materials and oil tools. I was getting a little money, and what else can a young man do with the money? “Go for girls” and I was still going to church. I was still under my in-law’s Sunday school class, seen as such a serene young man, but within me, there was something that was holding me down. How do I come out from that? I continued that life and until entering college. In the process of doing that business, I came to see Nigeria my country the way it was. I was exposed to Nigerian business. I was exposed to the Nigerian economy as a young boy. About 1983, when you look at the economy there was a kind of problem and the government introduced what they called the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP). I still remember that thing.

   All the places I was getting contracts dried up, none was coming up. The University of Port Harcourt, University of Science and Technology, none. The latter owed me N7, 000 for almost two years in 1982. Nothing was coming in because of the economy. No business was coming from the companies, Nigerian Engineering Works, Elf, and Shell nothing was coming up. There was this place know as Trans-Amadi Industrial layout in Port Harcourt where companies are located. Each time I go there for canvassing, I see a line of people at the gates looking for employment. A very long line. Maybe they announced it on television. "United Global Fishing will be employing people today." You see almost 500 people on the line. They might employ only five. I told myself, "Do I go to college and come out and queue up like this?" I said no. I said I will now study a course that will make me professional and independent. I was about 19. I'm sorry, maybe about 20 years and the Lord brought that into my mind. I said, "Let me go and study law" because I wouldn't want to come and queue up on that line.

   In as much as I am trying to expose my country, but that was the kind of environment I found myself in.

   By the grace of God, I got that admission to study law at Imo State University in 1983. I went into college and I saw life become wider. The freedom became bigger. But there was something in me that was telling me, "You don't belong to this life you are living. Those things you are doing, you don't belong to them."   I started going to college fellowships. I was in one college fellowship, in school I was a good boy. After school on holidays, I come back to my double standard life. I got to the level of holding a post as a secretary of Campus Fellowship. They call it Christ's Ambassadors Students Outreach. If you know about Assemblies of God church, that's the student arm of their Fellowship. I originated that Fellowship with some friends. We started and we're about five. Now there are almost 300 members in that place, but I was still living my clandestine life. What am I trying to say this afternoon? Of course, I had been in church and getting lost in the church. Until we have an encounter with Christ in your heart, church attendance will help you to have an opportunity to accept Christ, but if you have not accepted Christ, it's a waste of time.

   After those four years in college, let me retract a little. When we were still in college I became an evangelist, so to say. I started preaching to my classmates. That Christ's  Ambassadors Students Outreach, I said has the acronym CASOR but there was a pen name I was answering in school. My first name is Onyewuchi. I use the O and called myself OSCAR. It's like a pen name in college, my classmates knew me as that. So when they looked at all the alphabets in Oscar, that they are the same alphabets in CASOR. They said, "Wow" that I use my name to join a religious group. I said, "No, this is Assemblies of God Church’s Students Outreach. They knew me as a child of God.  I was in the drama group - a religious campus drama group. A Christian Drama group that we moved from city to city and to college campuses to perform. We went to Alvan College of Education to act drama. In colleges, they publish it on campuses, they call my name, but within me, something was missing.

   In 1987 I went to Lagos to do my law school. I was so much involved in my law school that I didn't have time for any other thing. Fortunately, when I left law school in 1988, we went for what we call National Youth Service. I served in Kaduna. That was where freedom became evil. I was alone, but one thing was that I was still in the church helping the youth, even conducting dramas with them but I was living a very bad life behind. There was this girl in church who came to my house and one day she looked at me and said, "This thing you are doing, is it not sin?" That statement threw me back. Within me, that kept troubling me. It's like an addiction. Who will deliver me from this?

   I started practicing as a lawyer in Kaduna. Kaduna is the northern part of Nigeria. It's the administrative center of Nigeria’s north. It was a beautiful place to stay in. I traveled all over the place there. Even my senior lawyer, the way he spoke with me, he said, "Those of you that are good Christians." He was referring to me as a good Christian because he wasn't, but if you had heard that this is what the so-called good Christian he does, that would have been a disaster. I'm not trying to come and praise myself, I'm trying to tell you that you can remain in the church and the devil can still be cheating you and making you do things that he wants you to do and you think you're in the church. But at a stage in my life, I looked up and said, "How long shall I live like this?"

   I left Kaduna and came back home because of the religious Islamic problem in the northern part of Nigeria. There was a time there was a riot in the city of Kaduna. The churches were even burnt down. I told myself I wouldn't stay here; I don't want to be killed by any religious bigot. So I left Kaduna and came back to Aba, the city where I was brought up. I opened up my practice, joined some senior lawyers. I joined a Christian lawyer - a preacher, Emeka Nwankpa. If you have heard about him. He was a coordinator of Intercessors for Africa. I managed his office while he was busy traveling, preaching everywhere, in Moscow and other countries, and I was in the office. He said “Echefu, 20% of what we do in this office is law practice, 80% is ministry work, but I want to tell you that God will bless you from this 20%. Each time I go to preach I tell them that they're lawyers in my office managing my office”. That was where I got my first car. But I was still living a bad life.

   One day, a girl came to the office to look for me. My boss looked at the girl, went to his office and called me, and said, "Echefu who is this girl?" I said," She's a member of my church." He said, "No, tell her to leave." I said, "What?" He said, "Tell her to leave." There was a day a call came to the office, that he picked up the call and said: “Who this is?" The person said, "I want to speak to Endy" He asked, "What's your name?" The person dropped the phone. He said that this was the girl that did that. I said, "How come you know she is the one?" He said that "This girl was the person that made that call." I said, "How come you knew?" He said, "Echefu, tell this girl to leave this office, please." I asked the girl to leave. Do you know why it touched me? This was a man that I respected his spiritual standard, and I believed he perceived something.  In my stupidity, I still affiliated with people who were of spiritual integrity. That was the saving grace; they helped me to keep my faith. Then in 1994, I left the man's office because I left the city - Aba. I came over to Port Harcourt again and I was still living a very bad life.

   At a stage, I was a Full Gospel Vice President and I was still living my bad life. I bought this book in 1996; Freedom from Sin of Adultery and Fornication. I bought the book at the Port Harcourt post office. You know how they display books on the floor... It's written by a Cameroonian, Zacharias Forum. I started reading this book. It's like the man was writing to me. Each time I read the book I'd be crying or shedding tears. He talks about fornication. It's like, "Man, you're killing yourself; like you are committing yourself into the hands of the devil." So after reading this, the author of the book said, "For you to be saved and delivered from this, go to your church and confess to your pastor." I looked at that and said, "Wow." But something in me said, "Do that."

   I was in Port Harcourt then, but our family church was in Aba. My younger sister was in Port Harcourt. I talked to her and said, "Look at what's going on," and I had to confess to her about my life, and she was shocked about what I said. She is my younger sister. I respect her, she is a children's evangelist and I respect her spiritual status. She said, "What? Have you been living this way?" I said, "That's right”.    I said, "From this book I read, and God has spoken to me to go and confess to the pastor." She said, "Where do you want to go?" I said, "I want to go to Aba, to our family church (Assemblies of God) in Aba." She said, "What?”.  If you have known Assemblies of God Church Nigeria you will know what that means. They don't care who you are. Once they hear such a thing about you, they’ll suspend you. It will be announced to the whole church. You come to church and they give you what they call the "back seat."

   That was what my spirit was telling me to go and do. My sister said, "Why"?  I said, "I think that's the way God wants me to do it." She said, "Why not go to any church in Port Harcourt here and ask a pastor to pray for you." I said, but my spirit tells me “go to your roots and tell them this is the life you have lived."

   After much struggle, I decided to go. So I drove down to that city. I went to the pastor's house and said to him," Look at the kind of life I've been living." The man looked at me. While I was saying that I was shedding tears. He looked at me, he was shocked! I do the church legal documents. I was their legal adviser. At the stage, I was even registrar of the break-away church from Anglican Church. The Pastor looked at me in surprise." I said, "Whatever thing you decide to do to me, I'm ready to accept". While I was kneeling down, he tapped me. He took me by hand and went to the upper room on the third floor of the house. He said I should kneel down, I knelt down. He prayed and said, "I'm not going to report you to the church board”. It’s like the repentance the man was expecting was already being manifested there, he said, “but go home and don't do it again." I said, "Wow." My brother, my sister, it was like a burden was taken away from me. That's when I started thinking about marriage, "Let me just get married." I told myself that if I don't kill this lust, marriage may not be able to kill it.

   I was in my early 30s. I said if I don' kill this thing now, marriage won't kill it. I started praying to God for a wife. I said, "God please give me a wife that will take me to heaven."

   God answered that prayer. The sister is here, Sister Nkechi. I called her Sister Nkechi. There was a brother in their church. I was telling him about another sister. The brother said, "Why do you go for that sister? Have you seen this particular sister? She's more of a mother." I said, "Get out of here!"
So, it was about four years after that discussion that the thought came back to my mind and I said, "Go for her." As God would have it, this is 23 years of marriage.

   I had killed this lust already.

   See what Jesus could do in your life. That lust was killed. I know people who are in marriage and also doing some useless things. After marriage, it’s like God turned my life around. It's like I started having a purpose in life. All the money I was making before then was being wasted, but when my wife came in, she said, "This city is small. Can we open up an office?" We opened up a law office. It was the said office that I sold out to another lawyer when I got the lottery visa to come to the United States. That was the Lawyer that visited here with other Full Gospel members from Nigeria.

   Although I was just jumping from one place to the other, because the devil wouldn't want me to get a purpose. God said, "I know the plans I have for you, plans of good and not of evil to give you hope and expectation." It was like God was just guiding me to where He wants me to be.

   After marriage, it was like the whole world was a breeze, but we didn't have kids for five years! The devil started working, I said forget it. My wife was getting worried. I said forget it. When God plans anything, He does what He wants to do. By 2000, I got an American visa through the Diversity Visa Lottery to come to America. So we came in 2001, by 2003 we started having children. We have 4 boys. God gave them to us here in America. God decided for them to become American citizens. We could see the struggle of a family that comes with little kids. By the time we came here, we were sleeping on somebody else’s couch. Imagine if we had come with our children at that point that would have been a disaster. God designed our life for us.

   By the grace of God, I have my New York law license. I have been admitted to the Federal court here in Texas. I also have my Nigerian law license. My wife came here with her Bachelor's in Education Physics. Now she has her RN, Masters in Nursing Education, and Doctorate of Nurse Practitioner. If I had remained in the hands of the devil I would have ‘messed’ up; sorry to use such a word.

    I don't know what you're going through. I don't know whether it's an addiction. I don't know whether it's just that you are living your life double standard the way I was living mine. Today, the Bible says when you hear the word of God today, don't harden your heart. There is always an opportunity for you to accept the Lord Jesus Christ and He's able to keep you. He said, "As many as received him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God." He gave me that power. I told my wife when we got married; I said I'm making this promise to you. I will never have an affair with any other woman. It’s been 23 years since our marriage and that vow has not been broken. It is by His grace and that grace is also available as we're talking.

   Let's go back to Jeremiah that we're speaking about. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "I know the plans I have for you, plans of good not of evil, to give you hope and expectation." When was that written? In what context? That was when God meted out his own punishment to the Israelites because of their sinfulness. He sent them into the hand of the king of Babylon to be captives there for 70 years. False prophets were telling them, "No, the Lord will deliver you, the Lord will deliver you." Jeremiah said, "I have not sent these people. I, the Lord told you to submit unto the kingdom of Babylon so that you can live. If you want to be rebellious, you'll die." King of Babylon came and took them into captivity and God wrote that letter to the people in captivity and said, "I have my plans for you."

   I want you to think about it, that God the creator of heaven and earth said He has a plan for you. He also made it clear that His plan is not bad for you - it's for good. My brother, my sister, I pray this evening, you align yourself with the plan of the Lord."

   If you have not done that before, we're here to pray for you. Once you align yourself with the plan of the Lord, His plan will come to fulfillment. Even when the Israelites were there in the land of Babylon, the Bible says, he told them, "Pray for the peace of this country where you find yourself." The peace of their enemies. He said to pray for their peace for in their peace you also find your own peace.

   Don't listen to the false prophets who tell you that you shall be delivered. "I, the Lord have purposed it this way." The same way God purposed my life to become what I am today. After I got married its like doors opened, I became involved in the things of the Lord. By the time I came to America before I could know it, I became a Sunday school superintendent in my church. When I moved over to Texas I also became a Sunday School Superintendent. Within a short while, I joined ACF Dallas, I was elected the President. I said, "What? I'm still new!" It's just by the grace of God.

   Who would have ever believed that such a man who was living such a double standard life can now become the person coming to tell you about the testimony of the good works in the Lord? I want to make an opportunity for us this afternoon. If you have not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ, the door is open for you. There's just one thing I want to tell you, the Bible says that God has given us power and authority to drive away demons and to cure all forms of diseases. So if there's any demon that is bothering you: demon of addiction, drug addiction, sexual addiction, whatever it is, Christ can deliver you. If it is any sickness, cancer, whatever it is, our God is able to deliver. So today I want us to pray, and I believe by the grace of God, He will touch us in a different way today. Praise the Lord.

   God bless us all in Jesus' name.

   Let us pray. Father Lord, we thank you this afternoon. We give you all the glory. Lord, we give you all the honor, and we give you all adoration. Lord the entrance of your word gives life. Lord today we commit our lives into your hands. Lord if there's any way the devil has held us down, is there any way we have lived double standard lives, in any way we have fallen from the faith, we pray that Your grace and Your honor might touch us today. Help us to come back to you in the name of Jesus Christ.

   Lord we commit this fellowship into your hands. We pray that You establish it in the world. Lord widen the scope of this fellowship and enlarge our horizon, Lord, each and every member of this place that is found in this place oh Lord today, Lord we pray that You may increase our lives to the glory of your holy name. We pray that our businesses shall be established to Your honor. Lord bless your children beyond measure. Lord Your word says that we shall be lenders and not borrowers. We shall be a lending nation, dear Lord, let Your children be a lending nation and not a borrowing nation. Father, we thank you. Lord, we bring this country we found ourselves into your hands. This United States of America oh Lord will bring it before your presence. We pray oh Lord that Your name shall be exalted in America. In the name of Jesus Christ.

   Lord, we bring the Frisco Chapter into Your hands. We pray that righteousness shall reign over this city. That the influence of this Full Gospel chapter in this city shall be felt in less than no time to the glory of Your holy name in Jesus' name.

   Lord, we thank you for the zeal throughout this fellowship, and we pray that you bless them. Everyone that has planted in your vineyard will also reap from your vineyard. I pray that you bless them, Oh Lord. Have your way in our lives today, for in Jesus' mighty name we pray. Amen.

Endy's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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