Monday, 18 September 2017

A Life Well Lived: The Nabeel Qureshi Story




1    Photo: Dr. Nabeel Qureshi

      It was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who once opined: “It does not matter how long you live, but how well you live it.” Lucius Annaeus similarly noted: “Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.” Put another way, one writer stated: "It is not the years in your life that counts, it`s the life in your years." So apt!!!

This brief blog post is in loving memory of a young man whose life and ministry impacted the lives of several thousands across the globe. Dr. Nabeel Qureshi (April 13, 1983 – September 16, 2017) was a devout Ex-Muslim turned Christian apologist. He earned an M.D. from Eastern Virginia Medical School, an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, an M.A. in Religion from Duke University and M. Phil in Judaism and Christianity from the University of Oxford. It was while he was pursuing a Doctorate in New Testament Studies at the University of Oxford, he was diagnosed of advanced stomach cancer. 
He worked as a speaker/team member with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, a ministry founded by famed Christian Apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias. As part of his speaking engagements, Dr. Qureshi lectured thousands of students in more than 100 universities including Oxford and John Hopkins and participated in 18 moderated public debates on at least 3 continents among others.
 
Nabeel Qureshi authored three best-selling books namely, “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A devout Muslim encounters Christianity”, “Answering Jihad: A better way forward”, and “No God but One – Allah or Jesus.” These books can be purchased here: Dr. Nabeel Qureshi Books.

In his battle against stomach cancer and in spite of much pain, he remained steadfast in his faith and continued to share the faith with many, even while on his sick bed. He passed on during the afternoon of Saturday, the 16th of September, 2017 at the tender age of 34 and was survived by a wife, Michelle Qureshi and a daughter, Ayah Qureshi.


      "Death is nothing to be feared. Jesus has conquered it, and we are in him. His resurrection has been the locus of Christian confidence from the inception of the Church." -Dr. Nabeel Qureshi

To read more about the life and works of Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, kindly follow this link: www.nabeelqureshi.com 

Written and compiled by Daniel Dela Dunoo
Blog: http://danieldeladunoo.blogspot.com

Thursday, 14 September 2017

When Life Does Not Make Sense



During much of my teenage years, I had a quite simplistic view of life; one that I presume is akin to that of many teenagers and adults. I held the general view that good things happen to good people and that bad things happen to bad people. One of its variations, I thought was that the serious and hardworking student is the one who eventually lands a good job and does well in life.

 

This outlook of life is expressed in our daily conversions, howbeit in different ways. A teacher sees a truant and wayward student and says: “you will not amount to anything in life”. A parent looks into the eyes of her promiscuous young daughter, and says: “you will not find a good man to marry in future”. Another parent sees his obedient and respectful son, and whispers: “this son of mine will make me proud some day.” Yet another parent looks at his brilliant daughter and says: “she will become a renowned professor in future”. These are all well and good. However, over the years, I have discovered that things do not always pane out as expected.

           

Today, I see some of my school mates who were truants, rascals, wayward and academically weak and I marvel at what they have become as adults. Some of these persons are great young achievers; lecturers, bankers, engineers and so on. Many of such persons have gone far ahead of some of our mates who were brilliant and hardworking students. What changed? One is tempted to ask.

           

I have also seen people who years ago lived promiscuous lives happily married to wealthy and prominent personalities. I have heard about many ladies who were sexually involved with several men right from adolescence and who as a consequence had to abort numerous pregnancies, and yet when they got married, they had no problems whatsoever with child bearing. On the other hand I have seen and heard of very descent, responsible and hardworking young ladies who are desirous of settling down with descent men who are still unmarried; they seem to only meet men who are either only interested in the money or the bodies; only married men approach them. And their biological clock is ticking. All they need is a godly and responsible man who will love them and be willing to marry them. Some promiscuous ladies are getting married while the descent and responsible ones are struggling to get married. The noble wife who was chaste until she got married is having challenges giving birth. Some very good women are married to irresponsible and abusive husbands, and vice versa.  These are cases of good things happening to “bad people” and bad things happening to “good people.”

           

I also know some individuals who were serious minded and hardworking students, graduating from institutions of higher learning and yet struggling for several months and sometimes years to land a good job whereas there are some (who though academic weak) who landed well paying jobs shortly after school without sweat and struggle.

           

I know of some individuals who completed school many years ago and yet still job hunting whereas their younger siblings are gainfully employed.

           

I know of others who have worked hard, investing time, efforts and money into advancing their careers who are still struggling to make ends meet; the much needed progress isn’t being made. I also know others who launched into fame and wealth shortly after launching their careers. I know of some highly talented award-winning actors and actresses in the West African nation Ghana, who have been in the movie industry for several years but who neither won the international awards nor the acclaim that a child actor had upon his first acting role that landed him in Hollywood. When life doesn’t make sense!      

  

You perhaps know people who are ethically bankrupt and are engaged in fishy deals who command a lot of wealth and are doing very well in business. In stark contrast, you may know persons of excellence, hard work and integrity who are financially bankrupt, and whose businesses are struggling. These are the stark realities of life, that wh my young mind could not grasp while a teenager

           

You may be wondering why life simply does not make sense sometimes; why in spite of your best efforts little progress is made while others get substantially favourable response when a little effort is expended; why your peers seem to be doing so well in life while you have struggled for years. Well, I do not presume to have the answers. Such questions flood my mind too; why bad things happen to some “good people” and why good things happen to some “bad people.”

           

When life does not make sense; when the circumstances of your life do not make sense, what do you do? Do you throw in the towel? Do you consign yourself to a life of misery and hopelessness? Do you become angry and bitter? Do you focus on the success of others? Or do you focus on your own race; the race of life? Well, I will focus on my own race. I will focus on making the most of the odds life has thrown at me. I will focus on overcoming the hurdles and becoming better at what I do. I will focus on beating the odds. I will focus on unearthing and unleashing my potentials and I will focus on outperforming myself. I will focus on a future that seems a mirage but in reality is possible; a brighter tomorrow. I am persuaded that one day, it will be time and season; it will be my turn to shine. I am getting ready for it. I hope you do same.

 

P/S: “I have seen something under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; BUT TIME AND CHANCE HAPPEN TO THEM ALL” (Ecclesiastes 9:11, emphasis mine).

Written by Daniel Dela Dunoo
(Freelance writer/editor, blogger & published author)
Email: dudelda3@yahoo.com / danieldeladunoo@gmail.com
Blog: http://danieldeladunoo.blogspot.com / http://theroyalwordsmithgh.wordpress.com

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Making A Difference In Your World: The Inspiring Story Of Moses Asaah



 

Photo: Rev. Dr. Moses Asaah SVD

“Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help. This week reach to someone that might need a lift” –Pablo

 

Our world is replete with a myriad of challenges; daunting challenges that can sometimes make us feel overwhelmed. What we ought to bear in mind, however is that we are not individually called upon to find solutions to all the problems in our community, society, nation and the world at large. We have the moral obligation to make a difference in our spheres of contact, however small or big that might be. Many have and are doing their bit at home, at places of work, in communities, in their nations and on the world stage to make the world a better place. One of such persons is Rev. Fr. Moses Asaah.

 

Rev. Fr. Moses Asaah is a Catholic priest in the Bongo district of the Upper East region of Ghana, West Africa who is revered by both the young and old in his community; both chiefs and subjects. This would come as no surprise when one catches a glimpse of his selfless labours in Namoo, a community in the Bongo district. 
                                                                  
Asaah came from very humble beginnings. In his own words, “there were grades of poverty in the village; we were the worst of the poor.” In spite of the sting of poverty, Asaah persevered through school, eventually graduating from the university. His struggles propelled him to commit to helping alleviate the plight of his own people.

He committed himself to being a father to the fatherless, establishing the Regentropfen Education Foundation with funds he received as a donation and with some assistance from some Germans. His Foundation has provided financial and professional support to needy but brilliant students, young people who are passionate about establishing their own businesses, and in a couple of instances paid for the medical expenses of the sick but needy.

Gabriel Asian, a poor but brilliant student who lost his father while a student (Junior High School level) was aided by Asaah`s Foundation to further his education. Gabriel notes: “I had wanted to travel and in the course of my preparation to travel, Father (Rev. Fr. Gabriel Asaah) happened to come to the house and when I met him and showed him my results, he said, “that is excellent, everything is catered for. So just go, what ever you want to do, you just tell me, I will cater for it.” From there was the beginning of my happiness.”

Moses Asaah also nursed the dream of establishing an educational center for the community; through his tireless efforts the Trinity library was built for use by school children within the community and the Regentropfen College of Applied Sciences was founded, where he serves as president. A students` hostel is currently under construction. Isaac Azure had this to say about Rev. Fr. Asaah`s passion to impact his community through education: “Based on my personal interaction with Rev. Fr. Moses, virtually everything he gets, he gives to charity; to support, to educate all people who are ready and willing to go through the academic ladder.”

Through the efforts of Rev. Fr. Asaah, one Deborah Ayetey, an SHS student and a hole in heart patient received the requisite funding from a German priest to undergo a successful heart surgery. She noted: “One day, I was in class and then my senior house mistress called me and told me that there is a Rev. Father in Germany who contacted the school; that he wanted to help me. I was there later on and I was told that the money had been sent for my surgery. The operation was done at Korle bu Cadio.”

The Paramount Chief of Bongo Traditional Area, Naba Baba Salifu Aleemyarum expressed immense gratitude to Rev. Fr. Moses Asaah for all his labours of love: “Father Moses, on behalf of the chiefs and people of Bongo and on my own behalf I wish to thank you so much; so elephantly for all what you are doing for us and what you intend to do for us, and may the good Lord give you the wisdom and the power to be able to accomplish this worthy cause.

In spite of all the remarkable feats chalked by Rev. Fr. Moses Asaah for the wellbeing of his people and community, he remains humble and focused. This is what he will like to be known for: “Take me like a well of God and so I accumulate the water and then I now direct the water to go to the place where they need them.”

Reverend Father Moses Asaah`s endeavours are no doubt exemplary. You can make a difference in your world too. Yes, you can. Contribute your quota to make your world a better place. Consistently choose to become a solution provider and a problem solver. Simply brighten the small corner you find yourself.

P/S: Rev. Fr. Moses Asaah was one of the nominees for MTN Heroes of Change, Season 3, for his remarkable contribution to society. Quotes from Rev. Fr. Asaah and others cited in this write-up are from a documentary produced by MTN Heroes of Change.

Written by Daniel Dela Dunoo
(Freelance writer/editor, blogger & published author)
Blog: http://danieldeladunoo.blogspot.com / http://theroyalwordsmithgh.wordpress.com

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Five Notable Achievers Who Bounced Back After Staggering Defeat


“Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” - Robert T. Kiyosaki

The business or career challenge you are faced with at the moment is not unique to you. You might have lost your job or perhaps seen a business you invested so much time, effort and money suffer ‘a shipwreck’. The reality however is that this obviously disastrous turn of events is not peculiar to you. Scores of others have walked down the same road. This is not meant to make light of your current predicament but to assure you that you are not alone and that more importantly, irrespective of the mess you might find yourself in at this point (and the many times you have failed) in time, it isn’t over until you say it is over.  

John Asaraf once noted, “pretty much every self-made billionaire slipped & fell on their way to the top, so if you have too, don`t take it too hard. Persistence is the key.”

As a matter of fact, many of world`s great achievers (many who have amounted to much in life) went through the route of disappointments, setbacks, delays and outright failures. The difference between them and ‘losers’ is this; whereas ‘losers’ called it quits in the face of sometimes horrendous challenges, those who came up tops refused to give up; they persisted in the pursuit of their dreams and aspirations.

It was Denis Waitley who once opined, “failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” And he is so right on point.

 I have put together five remarkable stories of some notable achievers who refused to stay down, choosing to rise up from the ashes to take the world by storm. Be inspired to reach for the skies.

1.      Jack Ma: The highly successful entrepreneur, billionaire, founder and chairman of the world-renowned Alibaba Group suffered a long streak of failures and setbacks on his route to the top. His beginnings are unimpressive; He was rejected from Harvard ten times. After graduation from College, his first 30 applications for jobs were turned down. Out of 24 interviewees, Ma was the only one rejected by KFC, the other 23 interviewees were hired. Even after establishing Alibabi, he almost went bankrupt and was unable to make any profits in the first three years of being in business; he also failed to persuade Silicon Valley to fund his business. These are among several others setbacks he encountered but his focus remained unflinching. The rest is history.

2.      Abraham Lincoln: One of the most revered presidents of the United States was buffeted by a myriad of setbacks. Lincoln was from a poor home but that did not stop him from pursuing his dreams; he worked hard to become a self-taught lawyer. He failed in business at the age of 21 and suffered a defeat in a legislative race at age 22. Lincoln failed again in business at age 24.  He lost a congressional race at age 34 and also lost a senatorial race when he was 45. An attempt at the vice-presidency at age 47 was a flop. He lost a senatorial race yet again at age 49. In spite of all these glaring defeats (and rather than throw in the towel), Lincoln persevered; he was eventually elected president of the United States (and a good one at that) at age 52.

3.      Ross Perot: From humble beginnings Perot rose through the ranks of the United States Navy, becoming a battalion commander at one point. After exiting the navy, he joined IBM as a salesman, out-performing his peers; he completed his annual sales quota in two weeks. He soon exited IBM, starting his own company, Electronic Data Systems. Perot had a rough start as he sought to sell his company`s data processing services to corporations; he was rejected 77 times. The average person would have called it quits but not Perot. He persisted till things began to change for the better; he won government contracts among others, turning his company into a technological powerhouse. He eventually sold his company to GM for a whooping sum of $700 million.

4.      J. K. Rowling: She is the best-selling author the Harry Potter series (having sold millions of copies) and arguably one of the richest women in the United Kingdom. She set out to write her first novel while hemmed in by poverty, living on government welfare, depressed and struggling as a single mum to cater for her child. Her first novel which eventually became an international best-seller and racks in huge financial inflows was rejected 12 times. The myriad of setbacks not-withstanding, she stayed her ground and became the better for it.

5.      Henry Ford: This remarkably successful business man and founder of Ford Motors had not always been on top of his game; He had his share of business failures. The very first two businesses he started were a total flop. As though that was not enough, he went bankrupt five times. Rather than get discouraged, he went on to build one of the world`s most successful automobile companies.

These are but a few of the inspiring stories of men and women who have arisen from the ashes of despondency and failure to accomplish phenomenal feats; life came them a merciless beating but they bounced right back. That they made it in spite of the odds is indicative that you can too. Don`t throw in the towel yet. Maintain your focus and persist through thick and thin. You will make it. I sign off with an apt quote by one of America`s richest men who ever lived, John D. Rockefeller: “I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”

Written by Daniel Dela Dunoo
(Freelance writer/editor, blogger & published author)
Email: dudelda3@yahoo.com / danieldeladunoo@gmail.com
Blog: http://danieldeladunoo.blogspot.com / http://theroyalwordsmithgh.wordpress.com