A Tribute to Dad

Daddy Ekpott

ITA D. EKPOTT (1939-2016)

I am blessed to have been born to my dad. He was a model father in many ways. He was caring and patient and was a father who paid attention to his children’s affairs. During our childhood, he spent quality time with us and mentored us through his wisdom and knowledge. Daddy provided for us: food, clothing, education, opportunities to develop our abilities, and fun experiences. Even during our adult years, he surprised us on several occasions with generous gifts.

Toward others, Dad was also generous. He was a giver and had a large heart. He was a man who valued people, whether or not they were his relatives, and was willing to invest his resources in developing their abilities.

Dad was talented and intelligent; he was also disciplined and focused, attributes that enabled him accomplish much during his lifetime.

When I think about my dad, several words come to mind: patient, caring, friendly, creative, giver, planner, achiever, problem-solver, people and community builder . . .

But if these words were all I had to say about him, I would be most sorrowful. Thankfully, I can now add that to God’s glory, Daddy also gained Christ in a very genuine way before he departed this world. The Bible says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) My Dad had many privileges and accomplished much, but all that would have profited nothing if he had lost his soul. As many in his community know, he was a religious man who was active in his local church. But I do not believe he had a personal encounter with the Lord for many years. As his family, we prayed for that encounter. We wanted him to experience salvation through Christ in the way we had. We wanted to see him full of the faith, peace, and joy that attend those who have a genuine personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

God manifested the answer to our prayers in the latter part of Daddy’s life. In fact, what seemed to be the most trying days of his life became his most spiritual. In his final weeks, he repeatedly confessed, with understanding, his faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  His eyes opened to the fact that unless a man becomes born-again, he cannot see or enter the kingdom of God. He saw visions and, we believe, received ministrations about his home going to glory. He delighted so much in hearing the Word of God and in partaking in worship and communion. Indeed, those times of worship seemed to be the highlight of his days. We could see that his spirit was hungry, and our faithful God surrounded him with genuine, God-honouring Christians, who ministered love and spiritual food to him.

The end of Daddy’s life was filled with answered prayers. Because he encountered Jesus Christ clearly and truly, I can say, “Daddy, sleep on until we meet again.” And the joy of that reunion will be unspeakable, free of pain and suffering.

Glory be to God forever and ever!

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