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Everyday Heroes: Benjamin Ben Kwashi

Benjamin Ben Argak Kwashi was born in Plateau State in the year 1955. He is a Nigerian Anglican Archbishop. He is married to Gloria and they have six children, one of them is also a priest. They have 54 orphans living with them in Jos, Northern Nigeria.

Background of the Archbishop

He was born in Amper village in Plateau State to Christian parents. His father was a respected teacher.


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Kwashi at first wanted to follow a military career but he felt a religious calling in 1976 and decided to follow a religious path. He was ordained an Anglican priest in 1982. He went to serve in several rural and urban parishes. He also would be Rector of a Theological College. In 1987, his church and vicariate were totally burned during Muslim riots. He became the first bishop of the newly created Anglican Diocese of Jos in 1992. In 2008, he was consecrated Archbishop of Jos Province in the Church of Nigeria.

He has been a leading name in the Anglican realignment, attending GAFCON II, held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 21–26 October 2013.

Kwashi: Bold as Lion

In November 2014, after a bombing in Potiskum killed forty Muslim schoolchildren, Kwashi released a statement strongly criticizing the idea that Boko Haram violence was the result of poverty. Kwashi said it was important that the issues of poverty, corruption, and extremist violence should not be conflated and confused.

At the conclusion of GAFCON 3 (Global Anglican Future Conference) in Jerusalem on 22 June 2018 in Jerusalem, Israel, it was announced that in early 2019 Archbishop Kwashi will succeed Archbishop Peter Jensen, former Archbishop of Sydney, as GAFCON’s General Secretary. 

Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi is a partner of Release International, which serves the persecuted church around the world. 

Archbishop Kwashi has called repeatedly for the government to step up security to protect Christians under attacks in the north.

Kwashi: Beyond the Devourer’s Touch

Kwashi has had multiple attacked all through his life. His own home, his Village, his church and vicarage have been burnt down, and, on one occasion, when would-be assassins discovered he wasn’t there, they took their revenge on his wife Gloria, leaving her partially blinded.

Each time the attackers have come, Archbishop Kwashi says it just makes him more resolved to preach the gospel and proclaim the Christian message. Since the attacks began, the Archbishop and his wife have fostered hundreds of orphans. Their latest was a baby whose parents were killed in the recent attacks.

In a new biography. ‘Neither Bomb nor Bullet’ written about him by Andrew Boyd, Kwashi made the following revelations and statements: “Three times they’ve tried to kill me. They’ve come close. But each time just makes me more determined to live my life to the full for Jesus.” This resolve is because Kwashi is fully convinced that “neither bomb nor bullet can separate us from the love of God.” 

‘Whatever the gunmen do; when the suicide bombers do their worst, God’s message will always be: “I love you. I have given my Son for you. Turn to Him and live.”’

Kwashi: Neither Bomb nor Bullet

In the book, he shares his inspirational faith story. The book ‘Neither Bomb Nor Bullet’, lays out a pathway for discipleship in the form of a heartfelt letter packed with practical advice on how to live a life worth living. “Life is an adventure! Let us live it to the full!”

Extract from Neither Bomb Nor Bullet:

“They say your life flashes before you when you are about to die. They had tried to kill me before but failed. But today I knew my time was up.

The assassins had returned. They had smashed their way into my house. There were forty of them. With guns and knives.”

My killer stood before me, shaking. Adrenaline or drugs. Maybe both. “Man of God, let’s go!”

They had marched me to my room to kill me. And I was saying my prayers.

Gloria, who had been raped and almost killed by them before, had prayed there would be no more bloodshed. My only prayer was they would spare Gloria and the children. The only bloodshed that night would be mine.

Prostrate on my face on my bedroom floor, surrounded by my killers, I prayed: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”

They say your life flashes before you when you are about to die. What would I make of mine?”

Kwashi: A Martyr in Time’s Space 

His story is a call to adventure – to live the Christian faith to the full, fully trusting in God – the key to a fruitful life. Archbishop on the front line draws us right into the battle raging for the heart of Nigeria. 

Paul Robinson writes:

“I have spent time alongside Ben with children as young as seven who bear the savage scars of persecution in their bodies and minds. Right there, alongside those who suffer, Ben chooses to demonstrate God’s love to the persecuted – and the persecutors.”

– Paul Robinson

In the face of imminent danger, Ben and his wife Gloria are willing to give their lives daily to joyfully serve God, knowing today could be the one in which they are attacked, injured, or killed.


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Neither Bomb Nor Bullet raises vital questions about how we should live and act as followers of Jesus in a world where conflict is our everyday context. When it comes to speaking truth to power, living sacrificially and loving extravagantly, we all have much to learn from the courageous example of Archbishop Ben Kwashi.

“God has done wonderful things in my life,” he says. “I am so grateful! I have learnt so much that I want to share with you. Jesus is faithful. He has a message to the nations. God loves you. Give your life fully to your Father in heaven and He will do great things!”

– Archbishop Ben Kwashi

Sources:

Lionhudson

Wikipedia

Release International


Did you find this article useful? Contact us: editor@connectnigeria.com

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Jeremiah Aluwong

Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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