A pastor from Winnipeg is releasing a new book about overcoming adversity, having faced a lot in his own life.
"I started writing this book last year, not knowing COVID-19 was coming up. It fits exactly with where we are right now. The ability to rebrand yourself, to become conformable to what you want to see, not conformable to the world, is critical. That is what the book is all about."
Pastor Andrew Bawa, the pastor at NextGen Worship Centre, is releasing a new book coming out on October 10, titled Rebrand: How to Overcome Adversity and Create the Life You Desire.
"It's taken from the book of Ruth, and the crisis' she faced. Ruth, Naomi, and Orpah all face the same situation, but all of them did not respond in the same way," he says.
The book touches on adversity and how to overcome it. This is something Bawa is well versed in.
"I come from the northern part of Nigeria where the Islamic religion is the dominant religion. For me growing up in that part of the world, if you say you're a Christian, you have to be sure you're a Christian because you're not sure you're going to see the next day."
Bawa would read books in his home about Christians being persecuted, which gave him the strength to carry on each day with his faith in God.
"When you have a Western name or a Christian name, you're unable to get the benefits from society. That is one adversity that I've been able to overcome."
Another adversity he faced, in a completely different way, was moving to Canada and getting used to the extremely cold winters.
"The only reason I did not leave this city is because God said 'I did not ask you to leave'."
Bawa moved to Canada in 2005. After that point, he met the woman who would become his wife, who is also from Nigeria.
"The book is dedicated to my wife. Last year, all of a sudden, she fell in the snow. My wife couldn't use her legs, her hands. It was shocking as the doctors tried to find out what was wrong with her. They really couldn't find anything."
The doctors couldn't diagnose what was making her ill and told the Bawa's she wouldn't walk again.
"By the mercy of God she started walking," says Bawa.
This past December, another serious health complication came up, while Pastor Bawa was away on a mission trip.
"I got a call that my wife was in the hospital. The doctor said her internal organs are [shutting] down and they didn't believe she was going to come out alive."
Bawa, hundreds of miles away, called all his friends and family to pray for his wife.
"We are people of faith and we kept on believing God. We saw a miracle, she survived."
While Bawa's wife hasn't gone back to work yet, he says she is doing much better.
Another adversity the pastor faces is running a church, during a pandemic no less.
"There are two things the enemy attacks seriously. Number one is the church. Number two is marriages."
NextGen Worship Centre has done most things online since the start of the pandemic, with a few in-person services and strict guidelines in place.
As far as who the audience of the book is for, Bawa says, "People in business, in life, in family, in marriages, in situations, in churches will be able to see, even in the heat of the crisis right now, I need to be able to know how to reset myself and not lose focus."