LIFE and death are in your hands O you Master of our fate and Captain of our ship. Only the living can praise you, not the dead. That is why I am offering you my praise. Let my prayer and praise song rise and curl like an evening cloud, like the sweet fragrance of burning incense directed in thy sight, filling the holiness of your domain and your throne of grace.
I have come this morning to thank you O God and to celebrate the life of a great man and a writer who worked hard in your vineyard, labouring to win souls, but was taken away from us so soon, too soon. By this time last week, his journey on earth had ended and had been buried, back in the wombs of earth where he came from. May the soul of Pastor Olaitan Odumosu of the Promised Land Restoration Ministries rest in peace in the bosom of Abraham. Like the verse in I Corinthians 15: 58, he was one man who stood firm in the Lord, allowed nothing to move him but always gave himself “fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.”
Through your morning devotion homilies and sermons, which inspired many, you worked as a labourer in the Lord’s vineyard. And for me, that’s what matters most. To recap your life, you bagged a Second Class Upper degree and the best graduating student (1978) in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University. You added an MBA from the same university and went to work in the sales and marketing department of Guinness where you left your footprints of competence and integrity. From there you retired into the Lord’s vineyard.
As you laid in your casket last week, surrounded by your family and all the people you would have wanted to see around you on your last journey, my mind went to Stephen Covey’s groundbreaking book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a book you must have read. In the book, Covey, who died ahead of you, asked his readers to imagine their own funeral and asked: “What will you want people to say about you when you are dead?”
Using Covey’s Habit 2, which says “Begin with the End in Mind,” I decided to gather today in this column what people said or say about you. Starting with your wife Mrs. Gladys Adesola Odumosu, a woman of faith who is my wife’s bosom friend and who is the best caterer in our Okota neighbourhood who occasionally sends me food through my wife. She told me the night you died when we visited: “My husband is just like you. A quiet and reserved man who has no friends. His friends are his books and his family. All he does is sitting by his laptop and writing his daily morning devotion booklet. He loved me so much. There is nothing I asked that he didn’t give me. He gave me all, including five adorable children.”
This is what your children said about you:
Ibironke Odumosu-Ayanu (daughter): My dear father, you were a great man. You loved your work and excelled greatly at it. You showed us how to make an honest living and love your family through it. You loved knowledge, books and everything computer-related. At a time when computers were foreign to many, you were already computer savvy. When I hear about the Mac now, I remember you and Macintosh. I remember the times of MS DOS. I recall your excitement when Windows just arrived. More so, I remember how you typed pages of my Honours project and saved them on floppy disks for me. I will cherish many wonderful memories with you, including memories of learning how to write as a young child by writing to you, of Common Entrance exams and long queues with admonition from people to leave my dad and run.
Abisola Odumosu-Adebusuyi (daughter): I am and will always be “Omo Daddy” (Daddy’s Girl). I remember when I was younger, my mother’s cousin used to ask if I thought my dad was “running away”, because of the striking resemblance. Hmmmm…This is still like a bad dream and I was hoping to ask you a few questions. Thank you daddy, for teaching me how to give. You gave so much to everyone that came across you.
Funmilayo Odumosu-Fagbenro (daughter): Dad, I never thought I will be writing a tribute to you so soon but here I am. Nothing prepares us for a time like this when life brings us to the brink. I choose to be thankful and grateful for the life you lived, a life of total dedication to the Will of God.
Taiwo Odumosu (son): As a boy of 7, I remember standing for hours behind you simply because I wanted to use the computer. Then I’d sneak behind you to use it late. While a lot of people barely knew how to use the computer, I already knew. Simply because I had a great father who cherished knowledge and wanted the best for us. This passion has pushed me to my current career path and I have none other than you to thank for it. Dad was a Christian to the core. You dared not have an excuse for not going to church. The man himself never missed a day or an opportunity to be in the presence of God, no matter the cost. I could not have asked for a better father. I love you daddy. From your son and computer buddy.
Kehinde Odumosu (son): Although I never told you this, but as I grew to become the man that I am now, I appreciated that more than a father, you also became a friend to me. You made my worries your worries and my success your success and even chose to love Liverpool FC with me, just because you could.
Pastor Seyi Ogunorunyinka, General Overseer, Promised Land Restoration Ministries: God gave him to us as a gift. The Promised Land Restoration Ministries as a church will greatly miss Pastor Odumosu, but we take solace in the fact that one of our own made heaven and for this we give God all the glory. Whenever you needed to remember a Bible reference, a quick visit to his office or a phone call placed to his line and he would immediately provide the necessary scripture. He served God from the bottom of his heart and was indeed a “kingdom-minded” Christian.
Next week: Aig-Imoukhuede says “Pastor Odumosu baptized me”