Paul Galinje Story

My name is Paul Galinje. I was born and brought up in a tiny village called Gadubi.

Just like many African villages of its type, things were erected with temporary materials. The village was connected to other villages by footpaths. There was no pipe borne water, wells or electricity. Our source of water was a stagnant pond while moonlight at night and the sun in the day provided light.  There was neither a clinic nor a church to offer divine healing. Whenever there was malaria attack, treatment was carried out by administering herbal preparations. 

My parents were pagans, and yet the Lord protected me and kept death away from me. In January 1959 my elder brother Danmagana Galinje, who had left the village to pursue trading in  Didan, a more urbanized village, came to the village and took me to Baissa Primary School established  by the Sudan United Christian Organization.  I was taken to school because some Hausa traders who  frequented my village at that time had told my parents that I would do well if I was taken to school. By December 1959 I was through with Class One.  In 1960 when I was supposed to be in Class Two, I was  promoted to Class Three and baptized in December 1961 when I was in Class Four.  In 1963, while in  Class Six, I was among the six pupils selected to sit for the common entrance examination with the pupils  in Class Seven.  Finally I was the only one from class six that was admitted to Class One in secondary I attended Ganye Provisional Secondary School which later became Government Secondary School  Ganye.  It was when I got to secondary school when my problems began.  I made friends with several students who came from various locations in Sardauna Province.  These friends introduced me to  drinking alcohol and later to womanizing. 

The grace that God gave me during my primary school days  and the early part of my secondary school life was gradually being eroded.  I was no longer reading as my  other colleagues.  I was really involved in all the habits that are associated with bad boys. Notwithstanding my new lifestyle, the Lord did not desert me.  I finished my secondary school in  1968 in Division Two in the West African School Certificate Examination.  This grade cemented my  admission which I had gained earlier into the HSC at Yola Government Secondary School now General  Murtala Mohammed Secondary School, Yola.  In this school my escapades into the devil’s camp became intensified especially with more advancement with age.  I threw away my Bible, turned my back to the church and campaigned aggressively against the spirit being of our Lord, Jesus Christ. At the end of the HSC course I failed all the subjects, and the hand of the clock was set back for me. All the years I gained in primary school became wasted as those I left behind were now poised to overtake me.  This certainly would have been a turning point in my life, but the voice of the devil became louder and sweeter.  I felt there was no turning back.

While in secondary school there were two outstanding friends out of the many I had who I cannot conclude this testimony without mentioning.  The first one always called me “Bob,” and I also called him the same name, although “Bob” was not our real name.  The other one I called “Shakisman.”  They also addressed me by the same name.  The three of us, after our initial setback, found ourselves at the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University.  Bob and I read Law while Shakisman read Education.  We graduated in 1977.  After the law school Bob and I became “Magistrates” while Shakisman went to teach.  All of us were from the defunct Gongola State.  We rose steadily in our respective employments.  Each time we went drinking, its accompaniments were always there for our comfort.  Even though we were all married, we never respected our marriages. By the early nineties Shakisman was elevated from the position of Principal to Inspector of Schools while Bob and I were elevated to the high court bench. 

Bob became a Federal High Court Judge while I became a Judge of the State High Court.One day I received a phone call that Bob suddenly collapsed and died and that his death was alcohol related.  That death sent fear into my nerves.  At that stage I took a decision to drink only stout since it was “Blood Tonic.”  I also took a decision to reduce the volume of alcohol I consumed daily.  While I was still trying to come to terms with the sudden death of Bob, sometime in 1994 news came again that Shakisman suffered a stroke and that he was in a pitiful condition.  The anxiety and shock in me increased.  I managed to travel to Ganye where I met Shakisman who was a shadow of himself.  After commiserating with him I returned to my base in Jalingo.  Some months later Shakisman also passed on.

While in Jalingo it was not too long I started having occasional pains in my feet.  Each time I had that pain it was always excessive, and I had to be helped into a vehicle in order to be driven to a hospital for treatment.  Apart from the pains in my legs, I also suffered heartburns continuously.  I got to a stage where Feldene, Oruvail and Gelusil were no longer helpful to me.  At this stage I traveled to Jos for proper diagnosis and treatment.  At that Jos University Teaching Hospital various tests were carried out, including scanning to see what went wrong with me.  The pains in my legs were diagnosed as gout arthritis.  The result of the scanning was so frightening.  The doctor told me that my liver had lost its architecturewhich suggested chronic liver disease.  The two results quickly brought back the thoughts of  my two friends, and I thought the game was up for me also. 

I asked the doctor, a renowned professor of medicine, how he would help me overcome the problem.  He said he was going to prescribe Allopurinol to bring down the uric acid, but as for my liver I should go and reconcile with my Lord, Jesus Christ. I left Jos and arrived at Jalingo.  I did not tell wife about the result of the scanning because I knew she would be worried.  Liver diseases were known to be absolute killers.  I, however, told some few friends who were committed prayer warriors.  One of such friends is an engineer and a permanent secretary in Taraba State Government who previously had invited me several times to FGBMFI meetings, and I turned down the invitations.

Some days later he brought another invitation for a dinner outreach.  I not only accepted the card, but I attended.  That night he was the MC, and his performance on stage captivated me.  After the meeting I called him aside and reminded him how he and I were into drinking and womanizing together and then asked him why he left me to join FGBMFI.  This is what he told me: “Paul, I have invited you severally to come so that we may serve the Lord together, but you have refused. For me I have made a decision to serve the Lord, and there is no going back.” I could see the contentment and happiness on his face.  At that stage the thought of my liver and the professor’s advice that I should seek the Lord’s face began to resonate in my mind.  That evening when I came home, I went down on my knees and invited my wife to a prayer session.  My wife, Zipporah Galinje, who I married on the 30th of July 1977, had worked on me to receive Christ to no avail. Because I was not going to church, she attempted worshiping in several churches but failed to remain permanently in one of them.  She asked men of God to pray for me to give my life to Christ. 

On my own part I attempted to co-opt her into drinking alcohol without success.  She was therefore surprised when I invited her to pray with me. That evening was the turning point in my life. At the next meeting of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International, in answer to an altar call I received Jesus Christ and Lord and personal Savior in July 1997.  From then, brethren set up prayer clinics for me.  Instead of my health diminishing I was becoming stronger.  In 2001 I went back to Jos University Teaching Hospital for scanning.  The scan result revealed that the Lord had carried out surgery in me and had planted a new liver to replace the ailing one. 

The professor was pleased that my liver had recovered its architecture. By this time I had become the Vice President of the Jalingo Executive Chapter of the FGBMFI.  With this happy news I returned to Jalingo.  At the next meeting of Officers of the Chapter, as I tried to tell my Chapter President the happy news, I burst into a real cry, a cry of joy at the Lord’s mercy upon me.  Since then, apart from the healing the Lord bestowed upon my liver, the arthritis has also gone.  I have come to learn from my experience that the Lord has a plan for every person irrespective of their background.  He can pick a person from the dust and cause him to eat with kings.  Secondly, that the Lord is the great physician. 

Men and doctors may  say what they know about you, but only what God says will come to pass.  Finally I have learned that only righteous living, the fear of  God and daily walk with Him is the only solution to perfect health. I beliethat the Lord who did all these things for me will do it for you also.
Honorable Justice Paul A. Galinje, JCA

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