It was in the hot noon, when I would have love to pull off my Buba (Yoruba shirt) that I enjoy putting on when a couple whose deep humility I can hardly describe walked into my office.
Tired of the hard work of the day, after sticking my eyes to my laptop working so hard, I was almost tempted to question their intrusion. My head came down a bit never to ask to see them less. One of my words to the children has always been, to live in humility and obedience, I greeted Mr. and Mrs D. O. Ojo who has heard about the Children at the Stephens Children Home Abeokuta.
They introduced themselves as Ojo Family and they told me of their interest to sponsor one of our children in the university, since they also once lived in the North and this act will be their way of giving back to the North. I was a bit confused, because of their physical appearance that is doubtful, if they can pay for a session.
I listened with patience and asked them a few questions. They finally picked up the bill of one of our Children "Nicodemus Ado Bagibawa" whose father, a pastor at Baptist Church in Kaduna, was killed during Kaduna 2000 anti-Sharia protest. "The young Nico" as we all call him, heard about Stephens Children Home. He arrived here and was a good student during his study here. He gained admission into Federal University in Niger State to sturdy Regional planning. My visiting angels supported Nico, for the rest of his study at the Federal University.
While still studying, he also used part time to be trained in Prosthetic. He and few of the students from Stephens Children Home gave their part time to be trained to help hundreds of brethren who lost parts of their body in the various crisis that has engulfed their motherland. While Nico is ready for His National Youth Service (NYSC), he at the same time will be serving his people with joy.
I once asked him, how he feels, to return back to help. His answer was: "This is the time I have been praying for after losing my father to the same cause. I am happy to have passed through Stephen Centre and now coming back to help others."
When I look back to the past 16 years since I came to Abeokuta with just Eight children of the widows, which has now multiply to over four hundred, I cannot but return Glory to the Lord Jesus who inspired me with humility to start the children home. We rented the lock up shops with intension to enable pastors come have their time to read and study the word of God.
A strange culture which so many Nigerian Pastors were not so used to at that time. We eventually converted the facility into what we call JELEOSINMI a kindergarten where working mothers drops their kids off, on their way to work. Among the kids, was Fatima Usman, a polio infected little girl crawling across the road into the school. Fatima became our first student admitted despite her disability. We presented her with one of the walking stick donated by Voice of the Martyrs and she used this to support herself walking for many years, after which she came to me and gave back the stick. She told me "Sorry Big Uncle, I don’t need the walking stick any longer. I can now walk on my own."
I now kept the walking stick in a small corner in my library. Fatima is now studying English and Social course at Federal College of Education here in our city supported by donations you gave. Amazing me living in a dream world, when His Excellency Gen. Zamani Lekwot RTD, who himself was on death roll for his trial of faith, declared the Centre in Abeokuta opened in the presence of Sheik Biobaku seen as notable Moslem figure in Ogun State. He rarely shows in a Christian meetings and Elder Saidu Dogo who was the General Secretary for Christian Association of Nigeria for Nineteen Northern states at that time sitting side by side graced the opening of the Stephens Children Home.
Stephens Children home was started with this nothingness. No heroic story, the Lord our God has been our sustenance and provider, though hundreds of His angels. At home and across the Ocean, we are grateful to you all for helping the children of the widow, who lost almost all for the sake of Christ. Many thanks to Voice of the Martyrs for standing, supporting our home for this many years.
Just like our uncommon angel who came for Nico, I humbly ask you to please adopt and sponsor this young brothers and sisters, some of them who have been our guest here, some of them like Deborah Martias at the age of six came from Kano to Stephens Children Home. She watched her father set aflamed by religions misguided elements in Kano in 2004 during the violence that engulfed Kano during Reinhard Bonnke Crusade that took so many lives.
Deborah dreams to study law and I keep wondering which book will contain the heart rending stories of this wonderful children.
Thank you all for standing by us.
Isaac O. N. Wusu