A Nigerian-born Pentecostal minister, who is the first black member of Poland’s lower house of parliament (Sejm) in what has been hailed as a landmark in a country where there are just 4,000 black people, recently shared his testimony with fellow Polish MP’s and others at an evangelistic supper in the Polish parliamentary restaurant in Warsaw on the 23rd of April 2014.
John Abraham Godson, who is also a university lecturer, is now a Polish Member of Parliament originally for the Civic Platform conservative liberal party, from which he has since resigned over policy differences. He is presently the Vice President of the Poland Together party which he started together with like-minded MP’s.
Godson moved to Poland in 1993, and in 2001 became a Polish citizen. In 2008, he became a member of the Lodz City Council [Lodz is the third-largest city in Poland, located in the central part of the country], and in 2007, he unsuccessfully ran in the Polish parliamentary election. Then, in 2010, he was re-elected for the City Council with 4736 votes, the second best result out of almost 800 candidates.
As former MP Hanna Zdanowska was elected Mayor of Lodz in the same election, Godson replaced her as a member of the Sejm, and he was sworn in on December 14, 2010. Godson, born into an Igbo [an ethnic group of southeastern Nigeria] family, was re-elected as a member of the Polish parliament on the 9th of October, 2011 with 29,832 votes.
Never one to keep quiet about his Christian faith, Godson is a graduate of the Department of Agronomy at Abia State University in Nigeria, holds three Masters Degrees in international relations, human resource management, professional communication and an MBA in managerial communication. He also did two doctoral studies in human resource management and political science. This unusual Christian is also the president of the African Institute in Poland.
The Hon. Godson began his talk by saying, “If someone had told me 21 years ago when I was coming to Poland, that I would one day be a member of the Polish parliament, I would not have believed them.”
He went on to say, “I was born into the family of a Methodist preacher. Both of my parents were teachers and so I was taught discipline and to work for everything I needed. Despite the efforts of my parents I was very rebellious. Twice I ran away from home for two weeks, and when I was 11, I started smoking and drinking, as I wanted to appear to be ‘grown up.’ I continued in my ‘independent’ and rebellious ways until I finished secondary education.
“I received my first Bible from a young Methodist priest – Samuel Uche – who became Archbishop of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Enugu Diocese, and is now Prelate of the Church in Nigeria – and I began to read it and I discovered, to my surprise, that God loved me. Yes that was a great surprise. He was a loving and caring Father.
“I remember reading in John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.’ But, to me, it was too good to be true. My parents had taught me that I needed to work hard and be good to earn God’s approval, but the Bible told me that it was a free gift. The more I read the Bible, the more I was convinced that I was a sinner. So, in May 1987, I knelt down in my room, and with tears in my eyes, I confessed my sins to God asked Jesus to become my Lord and Savior. I was 17 at the time, and it was a simple boyish prayer, but that was the beginning of the greatest adventure of my life.”
Godson told the assembled group that, after his conversion, he was admitted into university and felt God’s urging to preach the Gospel wherever he went.
“I would preach around the student’s hostel, in the class rooms, in the auditorium, also while traveling in buses, and during visits to a local prison and hospital,” he said. “In 1988, while attending a missions conference called the ‘GO Festival,’ one of the speakers asked us pointed questions such as, ‘What are you living for?’, ‘What will you be remembered for?’, ‘What is the sense of your life?’ and, ‘If what you are living for is not worth dying for, then it is not worth living for.”
He said that Jim Elliot, one of the five murdered American missionaries killed in 1956 by the Auca [now known as the Huaorani] Indians in Ecuador, once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose,” and so Godson revealed that, together with a few other young people, he (and they) decided that they wanted their lives to have “real meaning.”
Godson continued by saying that they each prayed, “Everything that I am, and will ever be, everything that I have, and will ever, have belong to you. Do with me what you will.”
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SOURCE: Crossmap/Assist News – Dan Wooding