Love104: Bringing ‘New Life’
Gikson (pronounced JICKson) is in most ways a typical family man. He has a wife, a son, and a daughter. He is an entrepreneur, having bought his own KK, (a motorized three-wheeled vehicle that is called a tuk-tuk in other countries) to provide paid transportation to others. And, he is a committed Christian, seeking to serve others in love. That’s why when he heard ten years ago that there was a new radio station in Nigeria broadcasting Christian programming and music, he was both shocked and grateful, and he knew right away that he wanted to listen as much as possible.
He was a particular fan of the New Life program, which aired at night and gave Gikson hope after he injured his leg in an accident. In 2017, Gikson attended a music festival sponsored by Love 104.1FM, Vision Africa Radio. He was so excited to hear the Christian music that he was one of the first to arrive at the venue, and that early arrival earned him one of the free solar-powered radios that the station was distributing. Gikson treasured that radio, giving it pride of place on his bedside table and telling the rest of his family, “you can have any other radio, but this one is mine!” He listened faithfully each night to the New Life program.
Then, tragedy struck. Gikson was giving a ride in the KK to a young girl who needed to buy food for her family when they were struck by a car. The KK overturned, and Gikson was caught underneath it, causing severe trauma to his “good” leg. Gikson ended up on crutches, as there wasn’t enough money for all the medical treatment he needed. They barely afforded the antibiotics that saved his life. The family was already living on a very thin margin, since Gikson was still making payments on the KK, so the work he missed from the accident was disastrous for the family. Gikson was unable to provide for them, and he became deeply despondent—so despondent that he decided to end his life.
“I just wanted to let the spirits come for me,” he said. “I thought, ‘if life is this way, this is the best thing to do.’” Then, he asked himself, “What do I do? Do I hang a rope on the fan?” But, he decided the rope would have too much slack in it to be effective. Then, he remembered his gun, a short, double-barreled shotgun that was issued to him by the government when he had a job in security. He retrieved the gun, went inside his room, locked the door, and turned the radio up full volume so that no one could hear what he was doing and try to stop him. He put the gun to his head, but before he pulled the trigger, the voice on the radio registered with him. He recognized the New Life program that he had listened to so many nights. Gikson lowered the gun. He sat down heavily with the gun by his side, and he began to listen.
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After a few minutes, Gikson heard his daughter calling to him and knocking loudly on the door. His love for her surged, and he quickly hid the gun and opened the door. “What are you doing in here, Daddy?,” she asked him. “Your radio is so loud.” Gikson smiled. “I’m listening to it,” Gikson told her. “It’s a message.” Gikson knew with conviction that God had sent him a message of New Life.
“I know God used this radio house through that New Life program,” Gikson said. “I would have finished myself, but God saved me. I thank God for Vision Africa Radio.”
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