On the eve of her Nov. 3 birthday, outspoken Christian social media influencer Khafi Ekpata of London was in the middle of taking a shower and thinking of ways to celebrate her special day when she believes she heard the voice of God tell her: “Just give everything away.”
That same day, on Nov. 2, the now 32-year-old host of Premier Gospel’s Naked Love Podcast posted a video on Instagram announcing her decision to celebrate her birthday in obedience to God’s instruction by offering to give away all of her belongings except for her baby boy.
And she decided to keep only essential items needed to survive.
In the video, Ekpata told her 1.4 million followers to send her a direct message on Instagram if they live in London and are interested in receiving a time and location to receive her items for free.
She said she received close to 200 messages from people interested in receiving some of her belongings.
She told The Christian Post that she gave away electronics, including multiple cameras and tripods. She also gave away makeup, furniture, clothing, kitchen supplies, toaster, microwave and various books.
Over the weekend, she planned to continue her generosity by donating bathroom and cosmetic items, a sofa and more. She kept her bed, oven and washing machine as essentials.
“I just felt such peace in my spirit while I was giving things away and I have no plans to replace anything immediately because I want to see how long I can go without non-essentials,” Ekpata told CP in an interview.
“There were some things that I had to take a deep breath and say ‘nope, give it away’ because I felt a bit panicked at first about how I can do this. But it felt incredibly liberating and freeing, and I just did it. I kept things I absolutely needed and I gave away non-essentials. God can replace anything. Just give.”
Ekpata said she finds that people tend to avoid donating their belongings by making excuses about why they shouldn’t — which is something that she had to work through in her own mind.
“I think sometimes people don’t give away their things because a lot of the times people think they don’t have enough or what they have isn’t great enough,” she said.
“Jesus was able to multiply fish and bread. And at first, I was wondering if people would find my stuff useful. And I was very surprised that so many people found my things helpful. God will multiply and magnify what we give. And this is not just tangible items, but I’m also referring to sharing physical gifts and talents to glorify God, etc.”
When Ekpata first decided she would give away her things, she called her church asking for help to distribute the items. She said that she was told by the church not to give away “all your items.”
“I wanted to be obedient. But oftentimes, our thoughts and the thoughts of others can hinder our obedience to Christ because we often shy away out of fear of what could happen if we take a leap of faith,” Ekpata stated, noting that many of the clothing items that she gave away still had tags on them because they were never used.
Ekpata said one factor that encouraged her generosity was watching a sermon by Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which she said was about sowing seeds in all areas of life.
“Michael Todd said to bless people with things, and his sermon opened my spirit more to giving to others despite me wrestling with the question: ‘Did God really tell me to give away everything or am I just crazy?’” she recalled.
Giving to others to fulfill a duty to God was not always Ekpata’s priority.
She did not surrender her life fully to Christ until her late teens. She was raised by a Muslim father and a Christian mother.
As a teenager, she did not find herself connected to any religious practice, despite attending many functions either in a church or mosque. But at 17 years old, an encounter with Christ led her to become a Christian.
“I was at a function with a group of people, when out of nowhere, I felt a wave of intense loneliness wash over me. And I wondered, ‘how can I be so alone when I am with so many people,’” Ekpata recounted.
“And then I felt the voice of God say: ‘It’s Me that you’re missing.’ And I knew it was the God of the Bible talking to me. I responded to God by saying, ‘If that’s the case, then I want to know You.’ And the next day, I went to buy a Bible from a bookshop. And later, I found a church and got planted. And just like that, my faith started up,” she continued.
In addition to God and Todd’s sermon, Ekpata said her baby son also inspired her to do the giveaway.
“It’s interesting when you have a child because I realized my child is a gift from God, and that brings me to the Bible verse: ‘Freely you have received, freely you should give,’” Ekpata said. “My son makes me want to give away more to others. Obviously, I would never want to give my son away, but he inspires me to give back to others. And I feel like now that I have given so much away, God is now making way for the new to come into my life.”
She assured, however, that she does not give “for the blessings” but “to help others and bring God glory.”
Ekpata also took to social media on her birthday to share her view on the importance of gratitude in life.
On her Instagram page, she shared a picture of a letter she once wrote at age 13 titled: “How I see myself in ten years time.” The letter was about what she hoped she would see happen in her life within the decade.
In the letter, the 13-year-old Ekpata viewed herself as “stingy” and hoped that she’d become a more generous person over time.
She also wished that in 10 years, she would be able to say to people that she is “helpful, loving and very nice.”
“Sometimes you need to look back and realize that you prayed for the things you have now,” Ekpata wrote on Instagram.
“I wrote this when I was 13-years-old. And everything has come true, and more. … Another ten years on and the terrain is bigger and wider and God still isn’t through with me yet. Can you imagine?”
In the post, Ekpata further detailed how she used to “mope” around on her birthdays because it reminded her of what she hadn’t yet achieved or done. But over time, she said she has learned how to have more gratitude.
“[T]his is the first birthday in a while that I am soooo HAPPY,” she wrote. “I’m not looking at what I don’t have, but what I do and I give thanks today on my birthday and I will forever more.”