My name is Bertha Okpara, and I am super excited that I am loved by God. I was born in Nigeria, raised in East London. I enjoy watching murder mysteries, reading, and going to the theatre. I often wonder if God has a favourite fruit. If I could have a superpower, it would be reading the minds of animals.
Before I became a Christian, I think that my life was very much passively engaging with the things of God such as the church community and a practising Christians, they often took us to church I’m read the Bible with us prayed over us and encouraged us to pray in our own personal time. They frequently encouraged me to live my life according to biblical principles and standards, in honour to God.
But there is always a difference in between participating in something because you understand it versus participating in something because that is what you are used to in the environment you find yourself in. I was baptised in 2007 and this aided my journey in walking in faith with God and trusting him. At the age of 16 or 17, my understanding of faith grew even more, and I was able to be reflective on my relationship with God and areas of my life that I was rather passive about seeking and involving him in. I started rowing in understanding of the fact that God desired a active relationship with me, where he would show me that he cared about every area of my life. I started participating in the church community, with a deeper understanding of the idea of roles and responsibilities of a child and servant of God.
My journey after accepting Christ has been growing in what it means to have Jesus as Lord over my life. Using scriptures, wise counsel, and the church family to understand how a life that is surrendered to Christ looks like. Prior to this, I would frequently make decisions and choices without considering God’s view or heart on the matter. I did not understand the fact that God wanted to be involved in every aspect of my life, for his glory and purpose, and for my joy. I am now very aware of the fact that God is concerned about me and desires to use my life in a way that is aligned to his will, to share his light and love to those I meet.
Through my faith journey, one thing that I found quite challenging is being patient with God, learning to understand that his timings may not be like mine. But though our timings may not always align, he is always there with me to continue to walk with him even though I may not understand all that may be happening in a season. I have also learnt that I am not to depend on my emotions and feelings to navigate my walk with him, but in low and high moments, remember that God has also provided the blessing on community, friends, and family in faith to walk with me, encourage me and strengthen me with prayer, the word of God and support. I have greatly benefit from the help and support offered by people in my community as I walk with God.
I desire to be a part of KBC, because I like the emphasis on biblical literacy, prayer, and community to grow in understanding of how to live a life laid out for God. I appreciate that a church family is not just about receiving but also a place to serve and offer my talents, treasures, and time in support of the body of Christ. I am excited to become part of the KBC community as in my short time here, I have learnt to so much and being welcomed with so much love and care.