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Chukwuemeka is from Imo State in Nigeria

As I grew up, my parents taught me about Jesus Christ – and I know he has forgiven all the wrong things in my life. I am now aged 23 and the oldest of five children. All through my time in nursery and primary education, God was good to me and I knew he was with me and helping me. But one day God had a surprise for me. I know it was God because I have learned in his book, the Bible, that he has good plans for us.*

This is what happened.

Would I be the winner?

In Class 2 of secondary school, I was first in my class for all my lessons. One day, the teachers called all the pupils from the different classes who were in first place. A prize would be given to one of these pupils. All six of us, including me, stood in front of the rest of the school. The head teacher told the school that only one pupil from the six of us would receive the prize. He said, "The prize is money, enough to pay your whole term's school fees."

That was a wonderful prize and if I won it, I knew it would be a big help to my family.

Five empty papers

Six pieces of paper were folded up. Five of them were blank, but one piece had the word 'prize' written on it. The head-teacher mixed up the pieces of paper so that we would not know which was the winning ticket. "Now choose," he said.

I refused to be the first one. Instead, I prayed, asking God to help me choose the paper that had the writing on it. After four pupils had chosen a piece of paper, they left, disappointed because they all had empty papers. The oldest pupil (the one from Class 6) and I were the only ones left. "You choose first," he told me, so I picked the nearest one to me.

I held it in my hand while he took that last piece of paper. He opened it and looked at it in dismay. "What? Who got it?" the head-teacher asked.

The greatest winner

"Open it! Open it!" everyone shouted. I was alone in front of all the pupils in the school. Slowly I unfolded it and saw the word 'prize'. I had won!

I was a winner that day, but for me Jesus is the greatest winner. He won by coming alive again after he was killed and put in a tomb. He is alive today.

* You can find this promise in the Old Testament part of the Bible, in the book called Jeremiah, chapter 29, verses 11-13.