Telima Olungwe is a medical doctor resident in Lagos. She was raised in a Catholic home and faith has been something sacred and important to her. She shared her journey on Alpha and how it brought new light to her faith.
I was brought up in a Christian home, I was raised a Catholic. I had my basic education in Nigeria, then proceeded to the USA for my first degree in biological science. I later went to the Caribbean for my medical school.
I came back to Nigeria immediately I finished my studies.
Faith, to me is sacred, I had the sacrament of Confirmation when I was 15 years old and since then I have become conscious of my walk with God.
How I knew about Alpha
A friend of mine, Charles, had just gone through Alpha and he told me about it.He said I would love it.
So, he informed me of a course going on at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Victoria Island and simply invited me to attend. It was a long distance from my house but it was on Saturdays and I was free at the time, so I decided to try it out but not really sure of always attending.
First Day on Alpha
I was expecting the usual church lectures, where a priest will preach and then we pray and leave, but I was surprised when I got there, we started with a meal.
The course was already in the fourth week when I joined and the discussion was around ‘why and how should I read the bible’. “What an interesting topic,” I thought.
What I love about Alpha
I really liked how the Film series took this question to the streets and collected a sample of answers from what seemed a wide variety of people. it was interesting to note that some people say the bible is just a storybook or some ancient book their grandmother told them about. More interesting though were the testimonies given in honour of the Bible. This started me on a journey to rekindle my relationship with God through scriptures.
Week after week I found myself returning to the course even though I lived at least 35 mins away (if there's no traffic) from the venue. I was really enjoying the topics and the food was also impressive.
Transformation on Alpha
When I came into Alpha, I was at a point in my life where I was heartbroken. A month earlier, I had been abandoned in a relationship which I thought was heading towards marriage for no apparently substantial reason so needless to say, I had many questions about God and life in general. However, looking back, I believe this was God's invitation for me to enter into a deeper relationship with him and Alpha serves the purpose of starting me into the journey of a deeper walk with God.
I also think it was divine providence that let me begin Alpha during the Lenten season because this was a solemn period of prayer and fasting and I was able to use scriptures to pray myself out of brokenness, unforgiveness, despair and just the general feeling of hurt and abandonment. I have not answered all the questions I entered my first alpha session with. However, some of those questions are no longer relevant once I understand that all things work for good to them that love God.
I discovered that a better understanding of God may not necessarily change an unfavourable situation but will definitely change you and your outlook on life.
After alpha ended, I knew the next thing was to continue this mission of evangelization and I felt inspired to join the prison ministry.
I thank God for the opportunity to go on this journey and I look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store.