Testimony of Mr. Sheppy Koumavi Kounetsron
*Mr. Sheppy Kounestron is the National President of the FGBMFI-Togo.
Is The Bible Real?
Growing up as a young boy in Lome- Togo, attending a protestant faith based school in the care of parents who were intellectuals and practising Christians, life was rosy but I had a lot of doubts and unanswered questions about the Bible and Christianity. I read the Bible alright, but I realized that I could not live and demonstrate it in my life so I came to the firm conclusion that the Bible was only a fiction and not a real book. I was convinced that either the word of God was false or Christians had lost it. In my quest to please God, I tried with all my might and strength to overcome sexual issues but my efforts were woefully inadequate and I succumbed to these natural affections. This became a great source of discouragement to me and in my search for the truth, I went to several sources including the scientist church but the peace I was desperately in need of eluded me persistently.
In 1992 whilst studying the Bible in my secondary school, I received a gracious visitation from the Lord which changed the course of my life eternally.
On one occasion, a Pastor said something that really touched me. He said that “there is a big gap between God and man and NO MAN CAN PLEASE GOD BY HIS OWN EFFORT. The only way by which you can please God is to go through a particular bridge and that bridge is the lord Jesus”. That was the first truth in my life and then I started realizing why my efforts were yielding no results.
During that vacation, I came to visit a late uncle of mine who was a Pastor at Ho (Ghana) and he said that if I wanted to please God, then “I had to accept Jesus as my lord and personal saviour whilst I still had the breath of life in me, for it will be too late when I die”. Coming from my own uncle, I was convinced that he couldn’t be lying to me as the joy and peace in his home attested to this assertion. Even though my parents’ home was well equipped with all the niceties of a modern home, there was some peace and joy in my Uncle’s house which we didn’t have. So, in 1994 in the month of August in Ho, I had the conviction that “I MUST TRY JESUS”.
Set Free At Last
I asked Jesus to help me live a life of victory over sin if I surrendered to Him. One evening, in my bedroom, I knelt down and prayerfully said: “Oh lord, if you are the true God that my uncle is talking about, then reveal yourself to me”.
All along, I hadn’t realized that my life was an offence to God, but after that prayer I came to terms with the weight of my sins and realized that God was not pleased with me. My uncle laid hands on me and prayed for me. He went further to say that if he baptized me, I would receive the Holy Spirit. I was wondering what he meant by this baptism of the Holy Spirit because I knew I was a Christian, read my bible regularly and that was enough.
As he was praying for me, I felt as though a bucket of water was being poured upon my head running down to my toes and all of a sudden, I started speaking in another tongue. From that moment, I had the conviction that the word of God is true, alive and cannot fail. The word of God can deliver those who trust in Him and from that moment I was set free.
The next day, I could feel certain things coming out of my body and I didn’t know what I was going through but I later got to know that I was going through deliverance. Back home in Togo, it was obvious to my parents and friends that I was no longer the same.
You Failed And So What?
At the University of Dakar, God used me to touch the lives of many people. As the leader of the Christian group we went from one faculty to another proclaiming the good news of the kingdom. In the second year, I received the rude shock of my life when I was repeated and humiliated.
How could it be? I became a laughing stock and a subject of gossip by my own Christian friends. The chorus they all sang in unison was that if God could not save the Pastor our leader, how could He save us? This moment of disgrace and distress turned out to be a learning curve for me and showed me another face of God. God sometimes brings us down in order to teach us something and then lifts us up again. A man of God came to campus and gave an exposition on Psalm 34. He said that when we look for the face of the lord, our faces will shine and shame cannot cover us. I took the word seriously and kept saying to myself that “shame cannot cover me”. My breakthrough came the next year.
From Labour To Favour
For 5 years I had been looking for a scholarship from the state of Togo but to no avail. Out of the blue an American missionary who had established a fund for sponsoring the development of young Senegalese Christians decided to give me sponsorship. The sponsorship was exclusively for Senegalese students but when the grace and favour of God located me, I became the first beneficiary of the fund even though I was a Togolese. When favour locates you, God can take what does not belong to you and let you have it. That was how I was able to complete my university education.
After completion of my course, I relocated to Lome and became a member of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International in 2005 and this ushered me into another level of a deeper walk with Jesus in my adult life.
There was a pharmaceutical company that was looking for a country representative for Togo with additional responsibility for Benin and I submitted my application and went through the recruitment process. I went through the interview and came out not as the first or second but the third candidate in perking order. Contrary to expectations, the man who was conducting the interview said that even though I was not the best, He still preferred me as the rightful person to recruit for the job. This was nothing but the favour of God at work again. So, I became the country representative for this pharmaceutical company in Togo and Benin.
Quit Your Job
I thought I had landed a secure job that I was going to hang on to for a long time but four years later in 2008 during the economic recession in the USA, whilst listening to Radio France in my car, I heard that the pharmaceutical company which I was working for had been taken over by another company in the USA. The Holy Spirit clearly spoke to me that, that was the end of the company and that it was time for me to quit and move on with my life. This was a difficult decision for me because I was working for one of the largest Pharmaceutical companies in West Africa and was very well paid with many attractive packages. It wasn’t easy convincing my wife that God had told me to leave this well paid job and sit at home doing nothing but she finally conceded and stood by me in this difficult choice the Holy Spirit was asking me to make.
Less than a year later, there was a major shakeup at the international circles of my company and the regional office in West Africa was closed down rendering over fifty workers unemployed, shattered and confused. But the God whose I am and whom I serve had spoken to me earlier and I was spared from this catastrophe.
I went ahead to establish my own private pharmaceutical company and two years later, I established a whole sale company importing products from Europe and Asia and distributing to hospitals and pharmaceutical shops in Togo. God showed me His power in an awesome manner. I ordered a container full of products to Lome and when we sold those products to the hospitals, we realized that the injectable paracetamol was unstable. This was a scandalous finding that had the potential of ruining my career with irreversible consequences. I stood the risk of bankruptcy and my professional career was at stake. This was a make or break situation but God showed me his mercy at the peak of this crisis. I wrote to the Indian suppliers and they graciously accepted to reimburse me and that helped me to pay back the people I had supplied.
An Irresistible Offer
In 2013, I was contacted by a big businessman and politician in Benin who was dealing in illicit drug trade. I don’t know how he got my contact but he tabled a seemingly juicy deal before me. He proposed to use my account to procure illicit drugs from his suppliers and in return I was to receive a 5% commission which in monetary terms came up to about $100,000.00 a year without any sweat. Whilst pondering over this deal, the Holy Spirit kept warning me that one day I would go to Cotonou and get locked up in prison. Lo and behold, I went to Cotonou and discovered that my drug account was being used for an illicit business. I was able to resolve the situation and closed this door of evil. I give thanks to God who rescued me from this potentially shameful situation.
Encounter With Death
Not long afterwards, I was taken ill and was vomiting blood. My wife spoke to my parents and they sent me to hospital. For two weeks I was at the intensive care unit. The doctors said that there was a problem with my blood coagulation and for the first time, I was confronted face to face with death. Here I was with a successful business but my life was slipping out of my hands and I couldn’t do anything about it. But the lord was merciful to me and He said to me “Sheppy, I will take you out of this situation and when you are out of this you will serve me well’.
God’s Business First
Even though, I was serving God alright, my priorities were grossly misplaced. I always placed my business above God’s work. I wanted to make money to live a good life that could afford me the luxury of travelling around the best of places in Dubai, Paris and the rest of the world for leisure and pleasure. That was my passion but God stopped me in order to catch my attention. I was seriously taken ill and was admitted at the hospital for some weeks. By the grace of God, I was discharged from the hospital and spent about a month at home on the road to recovery. At that point of my life, in the valley of the shadow of death, God spoke to me clearly: “Sheppy, I want you to take care of my business in the Full Gospel Business Men’s fellowship International”.
Since that day I have been consumed with a burden and passion to do His work in this fellowship opening chapters all over the place. It is not that I’m better than others but God spoke to me and gave me a divine assignment which I cannot but fulfill. I’m convinced with all humility that if I hadn’t gone through what I went through, I would have been an ordinary Christian not making any meaningful impact in ministry.
My wife bought into the vision and we went around opening chapters and today many lives are being impacted positively for the kingdom.
Until 2014, I had never been to the World Convention of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. I always came up with the excuse that I had no money but meanwhile when it came to my social and professional associations, I always found the means to attend international conferences all over the world. So, in 2014, I attended the international convention of the FGBMFI for the first time in Houston – USA. It dawned on me that I had to invest my resources and time into the things of God.
At that convention, God spoke to me that He wanted to bring revival to the fellowship in my country and that I was to play a key role. Little did I know that God was preparing me to serve as the National President of the fellowship in Togo.
As you have read this testimony, the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and you must surrender and give Jesus a chance to take command and control of your life.