From Africa to Canada

March 8, 2023
6 min read

RMCC blog writer Laurel Kenny had the privilege of interviewing Chinomso Okolie about her immigration from Africa to Canada and how the Lord led her all the way from getting settled in her new country including at RMCC, to being united in a godly marriage, to actively serving her church family. We hope you enjoy reading this account of a young woman’s journey of faith.

How long have you been in Canada? What were some of the challenges and blessings of getting settled when you first arrived in Canada?

When I came to Canada in May 2019, I didn’t know a soul here and I barely had any money. Moving here was a complete step of faith. God provided a place for me to stay with a pastor and his wife in Edmonton for two months. At the end of June, I got a job in Calgary, but I needed a car and a place to stay. I prayed and God provided those for me.

How did you find Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel (RMCC) as your church?

I listened to the radio and came across Stay in The Word with Pastor Glen Nudd. The teachings were a balanced diet of God’s Word. I knew RMCC was a good fit for me.

What do you do for an occupation?

I’m an industrial hygienist, which is someone who analyzes hazards in a workplace to prevent sickness from hazardous chemical, physical, or biological exposures. I got into this field because I wanted to protect the environment and I didn’t want people to get sick from it.

How did you and your husband meet? 

I joined a missionary fellowship group where I met a woman who asked me very personal questions such as, “How old are you? How have you remained a virgin all this while?” She thought she had found the perfect man for me. God had been speaking to me through His Word and His Spirit about who I would marry. I spoke to the man and immediately knew he was not the right one.

The same woman introduced me to another man over the phone on February 8, 2020. His name is Godfrey Okolie. I liked the sound of his voice, but I was very skeptical. We started talking a lot on the phone, and I prayed a lot.

I thought if God wanted me to marry this man, he would confirm it. I prayed, “Lord, if you do not want me to marry this guy, then let him stop talking to me.” But he continued to talk to me every day.

One of the reasons I was skeptical, at first, was because he lived in Nigeria and I lived in Calgary. Also, the first time I saw him he was super skinny and I didn’t think he was attractive. Later, I found out he fasted a lot. Godfrey completely relied on God for his daily bread and all that pertained to his life. I knew then he was the man for me, but the people who were discipling us told us to wait on God for further confirmation.

What was involved in getting married since your husband was in Africa and you were in Calgary?

We spent about a month waiting, praying, and fasting. Then we were engaged on May 8, 2020. We both wanted to get married right away, but since all the guidelines for COVID-19 had just been put in place, we had to wait.

We didn’t wait too long because God opened the doors for international travel, and we got married on October 1, 2020, in Nigeria. We didn’t have to do any of the planning. We were blessed with a wedding that was planned for us by Godfrey’s missionary group. All I had to do was show up!

What are a few ways your life has changed since you were married?

I thought Godfrey would move here right away, but he couldn’t because the COVID-19 guidelines were still in place. We were told that processing his papers could take years due to the backlog.

I wanted to wait for him to move to Canada, but he wanted me to move to Nigeria since he didn’t want us to be apart for any longer. I wasn’t prepared for that, but knew I had to submit to my husband. We both prayed a lot, and God helped me to submit and prepare to move to Nigeria.

I began taking steps to break my apartment lease and quit my job. Right before I was to move to Nigeria, the Canadian government approved Godfrey to come here. I had heard the waitlist for approval was at least 2 years, but God fast-tracked the process for us, and Godfrey moved to Canada in September 2021. It was a miracle. Praise God! I wonder if I hadn’t submitted to my husband, would God still have opened that door?

Why did you want to be involved in Kids Ministry?

I had lots of dreams about children laughing and myself protecting them. I prayed about helping somewhere in Kids Ministry. Kindergarten was a good age group for me. I had lots of experience working with children in several organizations, including Youth for Christ (now called Youth Unlimited).

What’s a challenge of serving in Kids Ministry? What has been most rewarding for you?

It’s really challenging to prepare a good and rich teaching for the kids, recognizing that as a vessel of Christ, I should be filled with what He decides to put in my heart and life. If I don’t spend time with Christ, I cannot receive what He intends to pour into a child.

Kids Ministry is very rewarding as I see each child as a unique person, fearfully and wonderfully created by God. You get to see the growth in these kids as they make decisions to be more like Jesus.

What are some of the biggest things you’ve learned about the Lord since moving to Canada? Since getting married?

I’ve learned that it’s important to submit to God and to pray a lot! This world is not my home. I have to live life with eternity in view. The Lord wants me to live and propagate His life on earth and I have to be completely dependent on Him to show me how to live His life.

I’m learning to submit to my husband daily, even when it’s not easy because this is the will of God. God has shown me that when I obey Him, He will help me and bless me in the way He chooses.

What advice would you give to another believer who is new to Canada and/or new to RMCC about getting settled here?

Pray a lot and submit to God. He knows what’s best for you. Be intentional with your time, and don’t waste it. Be obedient. If you’re not, you may miss out on a connection that God wanted you to have.

What would you say to our readers about becoming involved in serving at the church?

God can use you. Don’t serve to receive thanks. Serve to glorify God. He’s the one who enables you to serve, so give the glory to Him.


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