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My name is Francis Edo Olotu. My experience with the Renewal goes as far back as March 1981 when I took employment with the Catholic Diocese of Ondo as a Medical Officer in Medical Missionaries of Mary Hospital Ondo. A new prayer group was just starting in the hospital and I was invited to participate. My background had been conservative Catholicism with very little exposure to the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. I had been introduced to daily bible reading as part of my plan of spiritual life in 1976 by Opus Dei Priests at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. My exposure to Baptist Missionaries in 1979 at Eku Baptist Hospital, Eku, Delta state of Nigeria impressed me deeply especially the tenderness with which they cared for the sick and the healthy respect they had for my Catholic Faith.
I participated in the life in the spirit seminar and one thing I longed for was to talk intimately with God in prayer. I had reservations about speaking in tongues at the beginning of the seminar however as it went on I yearned to experience it. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit in June 1981 and ever since, I have lived a life of purpose.
I had desired to do a post graduate training in Surgery in the United States and passed all the requisite examinations with a four year multiple entry Visa to the United States in 1983. Then I felt deeply in my heart that God wanted me to work in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Nigeria. I never desired to own a private hospital but I had the nudging to start one and I obeyed. It was after I started it that I saw God’s hand in it; it give me time to work in the Renewal. I served in different leadership positions culminating in 10 years as a member of our National Service Team.
Today I serve the Renewal as a speaker in Conferences at both local and International levels; I am an author of books on the family, parenting and Fatherhood and I am deeply involved in organizing Parish spiritual growth activities. I am a member of St Joihn Bosco Catholic Church, Ondo, Nigeria-the parish is run by Salesians of Don Bosco. As African Subcommittee of ICCRS Vice President, my job entails looking into activities of the Renewal in English Speaking African Countries giving support where ever it is needed.
I read the recent ICCRS publications Baptism in the Holy Spirit as well as the book, Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence; they made good impact on me.
I see a very bright future for the Renewal as God is spreading the fire of Pentecost all over the world.