“TRUST in my grace; it is sufficient.” Alice knelt down. She knew she might die soon. “What sort of grace, God?” she asked.
Alice Gaiya was born in a village called Gantan in Kaduna State in Nigeria. Her family embraced Christianity when a group of Christians visited their village.
“My mother tells me that my birth was horrible. She had had seven children who had all died and I was very poorly at birth; everyone expected I would die. As a child, too, I was very sickly; I could not go out and play with the other children and I couldn’t work on the family farm.
“This pushed me to find God. I learned to talk to Him. I saw all the other children laughing and playing as I lay on my bed. I spoke to God, ‘Why me, God?’”
When Alice was 12, she began attending the Evangelical West African Church and here she found peace. Then, when she was 17, her family moved from the village to the town. One day she saw, out in the hot sun, a group of Christians clapping and singing. One of them approached her and said, “Do you want to be born again?”
The man who had approached Alice prayed for her and invited her to a church cell group.
“I gave my life to Jesus and that very day the sickness I had suffered from all my life disappeared. I was full of joy and happiness.”
A while later she had an experience of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous way. In her sleep, she dreamt she was reading the book of Philemon in the New Testament (something she had never read) and woke up to find herself speaking in tongues. She was trembling and tears were falling from her eyes.
“I’d never heard of speaking in tongues and I went to talk to our church leaders. They didn’t know what had happened to me! Then one of them looked at me and said, ‘This girl could be an instrument in God’s hand. Maybe God is preparing her for the future.’ A few months later, I had a second experience. I was filled with joy. My brother was alarmed but I said, ‘this is the Holy Spirit’.”
In 1986, Alice moved to the city of Zaria and began attending the Christian Teaching Centre. Here they understood and experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. In this church she matured as a Christian and was ordained as a deaconess, organising the cleaning and decorating and looking after people.
In 2006 she discovered she was sick:
“I was losing lots of blood and weight. The doctor said I might die; he also looked at me and said, ‘You are a woman of faith!’
“I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, ‘Trust in my grace; it is sufficient’.”
Alice’s sister was a nurse and lived in England and she invited her over to attend a clinic. She came to England for a month, attended the clinic and then went home. Later, she returned and stayed in Coventry where her brother lived. She felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “I’m going to show you My people!”
“A while later, walking around Coventry at night, I passed the Coventry Jesus Centre. Is this really a Jesus Centre? I wondered.
“I felt God telling me to go there and when I did, I was invited to take part in events there – cookery classes and an outdoor walk. Later, I was invited to a meeting in the Jesus Fellowship’s Golden Marquee and there I sensed God say, ‘These are my people’. I was crying. I felt peace, I felt at home.”
Alice believes God has told her, “I’ve brought you to the mission field – in England!”
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