They are widows. That Saturday morning none of them had inkling of what was in the offing. They all came to pray with a desire to know more of God. They had always come like that every second Saturday of the month.
But this particular Saturday was a unique one for them
By the time the fellowship ended, they were ushered into another session where items ranging from grinding machines, sewing machines, bags of rice, groundnut oil and a host of other things totaling about N4 million were given to them.
The expression was that of shock for many of them. Some literally rolled on the floor expressing thanks for the gesture. Many shed tears of joy giving praise to God for the way the Lord intervened in their lives. The items meant the world to them.
But for Pastor Mrs. Chichi Obiagwu of the Rose of Sharon Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God located at GRA, Ikeja Lagos, the gesture was just a token from the church to the widows. She told our correspondent that Rose of Sharon Parish which is a zonal headquarters under province 35 of the Redeemed Christian Church of God has been carrying out charity work on a quarterly basis for the widows but this time did not announce the event before the act was carried out.
“Before now, we would have announced that widows in the church should come to be empowered. We do that regularly. The announcement would have attracted close to 400 widows. But this time we decided to give out the empowerment items as a surprise to those who came for our monthly meeting. Today Saturday April 13 is the day of the meeting. So we decided to give out the items to those who attended the meeting.
“There are about 50 of them at the meeting. Some of them will be empowered with grinding machines and sewing machines while those who have enjoyed such empowerment would be given bags of rice, groundnut oil and a host of other food items.”
On her experience dealing with widows, she said, “dealing with the widows have been a blessing to the church noting that they come with multiple problems which have been a source of concern for the church. “We prayerfully thought of what we can do to empower them so they would not be coming for help every time. This time we choose to empower them with things they can use to make money.”
While noting that the church has a list of about 272 widows also two widowers, she said, “today nobody knew there was anything to give. Those who came, were here to worship and when you come to worship God surprises you. That is the spirit behind the present gesture.”
On funding she said, “The pastor in his benevolence helped us, some church members, friends and relatives. We have been doing this for three years. My joy is that one of the beneficiaries said she sold her sewing machines to meet some financial challenge but today there is a replacement for her.”
She noted that the government is doing a lot adding however that the needs out there are enormous. “Our vision is to register this group as NGO and when we do then we can now seek for assistance from government and other organisations to be able to extend the help further. There are so many needs around us. For now, we are determined to keep supporting widows in our own way while praying for bigger support for them as time goes.”