Christ’s Disciples’ Missionary Foundation started in 1985 as a mission that looked so remote, but the gentle way the Lord Jesus gave it a start and continues to move it along we simply call “the gentle breeze of Jesus”. The work began by our pioneer couple James and Linda Ogunshola.
James Makinde Ogunshola gave his life to Christ in October 1975 at the age of seventeen and half in his home city of Ibadan. In 1979, he proceeded to Poland to study Textile Technology. There later in the same year he had a vision in his sleep, “I saw in my sleep 3 women at the seaside. Then I started singing the song, ‘everyone ought to know who Jesus is’. These three women came to ask, ‘who is this Jesus’ and I woke up”. These women looked like Arabs.”
On returning to Nigeria, during his National Youth Service in Kaduna in 1982/83, the dream repeated itself. Of course this was not an ordinary dream. The Lord began to impress in his heart that this was a vision to be prayerfully pursued. The question was, “God, what exactly are you saying”. This became his prayer day and night. Thus the Lord led him to CAPRO School of Missions. Of course this meant putting aside his previous aspiration of flourishing in the textile engineering field.
Linda, having repented on the 13th of March 1979 as a fresh student at the university of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University began to interact with missionaries. By 1982, she had understood that the Lord was calling her to rural and cross cultural missions. On graduating in 1983 in Agricultural extension and rural sociology, she proceeded to serve with CAPRO (Calvary Ministries) Kafanchan in Kaduna state as a Youth Corps member, there she enrolled in the school of missions to prepare for a career in cross cultural missions. In the same school as potential candidates, James and Linda met and together started following this Gentle Breeze of Jesus.
Stepping Into The Mission Field
During their training in CAPRO school of missions, God led James to Madivi a village in Julvu (a remote village in North Eastern Nigeria). The situation of Julvu people in 1984 was pathetic. They had nothing to show that they were in the world except that they see the sun in the day and moon in the night, surrounded by mountains and enjoying everything God provides except the free salvation in Jesus Christ. Every form of civilization eluded them. At that time Linda was in Sokoto state. Even though she did not know what was happening to James, she received a message from God that their work would start from Gongola state. Between June 1984 and March 1985, they were busy looking for a church, denomination or even a group of believers to back up the work financially and prayerfully. All their endeavors failed. Finally in February 1985 they received a word from God to go and He would support the work. So in March 1985, James and Linda came to Mubi to start missionary work on Mubi hills and finally settled to work as independent missionaries after their wedding in June 1985.
Their first place to stop was Madivi. The day James came to Madivi, he met a group of people building a 4-corner hut. “what are you doing?” he asked, “we are building a church” they replied. “Who is your pastor?” he added, and they said “we have no pastor”. That was how he began to teach them the word of God with a translator who could barely understand a few words in English. The breeze of Jesus is gentle but decisive. That small hut was roofed with grasses but a bigger church building is now standing in its place many years later.
Today what started with a single couple is now Christ’s Disciples Missionary Foundation, a missions agency working among more than 12 people groups in more than three countries.