A thank you note to Dad, a good man / Late Adekunle Moses

Home-going activities for my dad, Augustus Adekunle Moses, starts today and I want to share this thank-you note that I wrote to THE most decent man I ever knew - A good man and a man of deep faith.

Dear Dad,

I wonder if I ever thanked you enough. I think you always knew but I want to thank you again for all the times you were there to support, to celebrate our successes, to understand our problems. Thanks for that caring heart. Thanks for being a shoulder to lean on. Thanks for being there for us, through good and bad times, no matter what.

Thank you for teaching us by your example, the value of hard work, good judgment, courage, and integrity. Thank you for teaching us the importance of humility, and the remarkable power of emotional generosity.

Thank you for your vision, and a long-term view. Even in the most trying circumstances, you never lost your focus to give your kids the best possible foundation of the fear of God and the best education you can afford. Thank you for challenging us to go beyond our perceived limitations. Thank you for all the sacrifices to let us have the very best things you can afford and for helping us come to terms with those things you cannot. You were truly our Moses who created the pathway to the Promised Land for us. And we love you for that.

Thank you for setting a high marker in the way you lived. You never made a fortune or noise in the world where men are seeking after fame, but you lived your life in an exemplary way that the rich and famous can only be envious of.

Thank you for your unwavering honesty and integrity. You never caused anyone to doubt any word out of your mouth. Your word is your bond - no one ever has to wonder where you stood on anything.  You bowed to no one and not a respecter of human beings. You would not bend your integrity to please any man. And we loved you for that!

Thank you for your always-positive nature and unshakeable faith in God. You always only see the brighter side of life, and quick to shoot down any negative thinking around you. In the most trying circumstances, you only focused on the positive. Thanks for making others feel better about themselves and the world. Even in your last hours, you sacrificed your own physical pain to ease the pain of others and make everyone else feel better about the situation. Thank you for your welcoming open-door attitude that many others from far and wide enjoyed. And we loved you for that.

Thank you for those long conversations we shared each time I visit home. We discuss everything from personal things, to all my latest adventures, world events, and ideas. (Even when we were young, those conversations were the only aspect of Saturday farming that I truly enjoyed). It was always amazing the amount of knowledge and pearls of wisdom that you packed. And I loved you for that!

Thank you for the simple things like laughter, smiles and times we shared!

Thank you for the exemplary courage and dignity with which you faced tough times such as the physical limitations and the pain of your last days.

Thank you for being my dad, my hero, my mentor, a man of unshakeable faith, and the most hardworking man I know. A great man, a good man! Thanks for making me feel so blessed and proud to have had you as my father.

We rejoice because as you said in your last hours, it’s too late for the devil because the strife is over, the battle is won! You have fought a good fight; you have finished your course, and have kept the faith. I rest assured that on the last day, I will see you again! And this thought gives me great joy!

Biography of Elder (Pastor) Augustus Adekunle Moses

Augustus Adekunle Moses began his journey through life in Ponyan on August 3, 1936. Born to the family of Pastor Babatimehin Moses and his wife Ajoke, one of the first families to welcome the ECWA missionaries in the community.

He lost his father at a very young age and shortly after finishing middle school, he left the village at a young age to fend for himself and take care of his siblings. Still in his teens, he moved to Ibadan where he started as a store clerk before getting a clerical appointment at Moore Plantation. While working at Moore Plantation, he continued pursuing his education on the sidelines through correspondence courses with colleges in the UK.

In 1959, he left Ibadan for Kaduna to study Community and Auxiliary Healthcare at the then Northern Nigeria College of Health Sciences, Kaduna. Thereafter, he began a career as District Health Officer and Epidemiologist with the Northern Nigeria Health department. This Job took him to Keffi (in today’s Nasarawa State) to Jos (Plateau State) in Jos. While working, he continued to engage in personal development by taking several courses in public health. After the creation of more states, he moved to the Kwara State Ministry of Health in Ilorin as a community health officer working in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) to improve public health. He rose through the ranks and moved to Kogi State Ministry of Health where he retired as Chief Medical Officer in 1993.

After retiring from the civil service, rather than rest his oars, he followed his father's footsteps and enrolled at the ECWA Theological Seminary to train as a seminarian. He graduated as a Pastor in 1999.

Daddy Adekunle was a walking encyclopedia, a voracious reader who enjoyed reading a myriad of books, magazines, educative journals, and encyclopedias. He had a lifelong yearning to always learn something new, a desire he continued to pursue until his death. As of the time of his passing, he enrolled himself in a computer school to develop a basic understanding of computers and to keep abreast of current advances in technology.

He married Grace Ebun Awoniyi in 1963, and together they had 6 children before it pleased God to take her away in April 2005. After seeing all his kids to off to their marital homes, and after 8 years of being by himself, he married Folashade Olasunkanmi, a secondary school teacher in 2013 who unfortunately passed away in 2017.

A simple, honest, forthright, disciplined, very hardworking man of impeccable moral character, a stickler for punctuality who strives to put his best in any endeavor, he raised his children in a very disciplined way and ensured that they all got the best possible education that he can afford. A true Moses in the educational sense, he never stopped encouraging each of the children to strive for more. Always wearing a smile, he was also always ever positive - only seeing the brighter side of life.

He also impacted the community at large. Apart from his own biological children, he and his wife Grace raised many others (from various cultural backgrounds) as their own. He was very hospitable with an open door policy and welcomed many with open arms.  Many people from his hometown spent time in his home - either in transit to pursue opportunities or to be mentored by him. For more than three decades, he was the trusted treasurer of the community development association. His home serves as the meeting venue for the community development association for several years and to this day.

A man of deep faith, who made it a habit to always have the family devotional time every morning and night, he was a church worker all his life and held several leadership positions in the Church. He has been a member of the Elders' team in ECWA church for many years. Up to the time of his death, he continued to teach Sunday School in Church. Until his death, he was the grand patron of the Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN), Ilorin chapter where he was fondly called "Baba Bible" because of his passion for Bible distribution. He was also a representative of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for Ilorin East Diocese. He was a member of the full gospel team, ECWA Amilegbe and he had oversight responsibility for the Church clinic.

On January 15, 2018 he passed away after a brief illness. His last song was “the strife is over, the battle is won”. He is survived by six children and many grandchildren. He was a very loving father, grandfather and his delightful candor will be sorely missed.

Philip Adekunle is the publisher of Nigeria Village Square