Olaniyi’s Story: A Vow Made, A Life Changed

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Olaniyi Cole is a third-year Master of Divinity student from Lagos State, Nigeria. Here he reflects on the call of God on his life, and his journey to Acadia Divinity College.

A Turning Point

Growing up, my mother told me, “Some prophets have said you will be a pastor.” Later, two different pastors, who were praying for my family, revealed the call of God upon me.

I didn’t take these words seriously at the time, or into my teen years. I was young and full of life. I wanted to do things on my own terms. Being a pastor was the furthest thing from my mind.

But on December 12, 1992, everything changed.

At 1:30am that morning, my family was woken by gunshots. Robbers had broken into our home. They were shouting that they had come for our mother and that if they laid eyes on my brothers and me, they would kill us, too.

My brothers managed to get away by jumping over the back fence. By the time I discovered their escape, it was too late for me to follow. My mother demanded that I hide, so I crawled under the bed.

Two of the men entered the room and searched everywhere for me. As one bent down to look beneath the bed, I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed desperately, God, if you can save me from being killed, I will serve you.

Miraculously, my family survived that night. This was the turning point in my Christian journey.

A Life Yielded to Jesus

That night led me to truly yield my life to Jesus. Soon after, I was baptized and joined the church I was attending at the time. I began to serve in the church as an usher. 

Following this, I was accepted to study law and I remained committed to God’s work throughout my university years. After graduating from law school, I began my career as an attorney and married my classmate, Yetunde. Our marriage was subsequently blessed by our son and our daughter.

Apostle Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.”

Throughout my Christian journey, different pastors encouraged me to answer the call to serve God. This is what led me to pursue theological education.

Elijah in Zarephath

I have always found the story of God sending Elijah to Zarephath in 1 Kings 17 fascinating. Despite being sent to an unfamiliar place, God raised different people to meet Elijah’s needs. This passage significantly influenced my decision to pursue studies in Canada.

My choice to study at Acadia Divinity College was intentional, specifically because tuition is highly subsidized. As an international student, financial support is a major factor in selecting a destination for further study. Little did I know that God had already prepared a community of wonderful people for me at ADC.

Right from the moment I applied for a study permit, I sensed that I was going to a place of love and support, thanks to the consistent guidance provided by the wonderful team at the College.

Having spent nearly three years in Canada, I can confidently say ADC is made up of a dedicated and supportive team. They are not only interested in students’ academic excellence but also in their overall well-being.

One major high point of my ADC experience is being a beneficiary of one of the prestigious student scholarships. Having the huge burden of tuition lifted off my shoulder in my last semester made life considerably easier for both me and my family.

A Servant Leader

I will forever be grateful to God for guiding me to Acadia Divinity College. For me, ADC has served as the channel through which God is shaping me into a well-rounded disciple of Jesus and a servant leader in His church.

I know God has a plan for me. While I am not yet certain of the details, my commitment is to make myself available for His service.


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