Thank You Christ Apostolic Church
By: Deji Yesufu
Somebody said to me once that preaching is only about 10% of what a pastor does. I am learning that lesson very quickly. One of the sisters in the gathering that we commenced in Ibadan has been expectant. The couple is what I would describe as a perfect example of the tragedy called Nigeria. The husband is a graduate of Petroleum Engineering, University of Ibadan. He came out with a 2-1. The wife has a degree in Fisheries and a Masters in a related course. Both in their late twenties, they felt they should begin a family despite the fact that the wife has no job and all that this guy has been able to get is a teaching job with a Private School, where he teaches Maths. They married late last year and by the middle of this year they were already expectant.
As their minister, all of my concern has been around the cost of delivering that child – knowing the economic condition of the couple. When we had our second child in 2013, UCH was on strike so we could not enjoy the largesse of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). At the close of the day, my wife and I coughed out no less than N350,000 around medical charges and the compulsory owambe that Nigerians impose on poor couples. Now, with Coronavirus around the corner and Private Schools not paying, I was almost sure this couple would not be able to find that kind of money to deliver this child. In fact weeks to the delivery, I had told our brother to get YouTube videos and have his wife study delivering children naturally without the aid of caesarean section – which is what gulps much of medical fees in the first place.
As the delivery date drew near, the couple had registered at a primary health care center at Jericho, Ibadan. When they attended their last health check-up at this hospital, they learnt that some nurses had contracted Coronavirus. A few days afterwards, the State Government shut the hospital down for two months for fumigation and decontamination. My couple friends would eventually discover a place where they could have their baby. It is a mission house run by the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC). They went to this place on short notice, had their baby this Tuesday morning and were charged nothing. I mean they were charged absolutely nothing. They were simply required to give anything to support the mission agency there. I was at this mission home this evening to help convey the family back to their home. I was simply blown away with gratitude.
Somebody told me recently that I have a reputation on social media for piling criticisms on churches. To be honest, I was hurt by that statement and I made it clear to this person that if I have ever criticized churches it would be based on a clear cut wrong; I certainly would not want to be known as one who criticizes churches. And I am not writing this because I must white-wash myself. Truth is that I am a man on a mission and I speak truth as I see them. I leave the matter of reputation to God. If at the end of the day, I am seen as a person with an evil reputation I will bear my shame and look to God alone, whose opinion of us is the only thing worth pursuing. And if it pleases him to help redeem my reputation before people before I leave the earth, so be it. if not, I am just fine with that. I am not pursuing a good reputation. I pursue truth to God’s glory.
However, what I witnessed at this mission home is an example of what the Christian religion is all about and it is highly commendable. I understand that some people actually come to have their children in this place and they leave the mission house without giving anything and the Church is not complaining. Their pursuit is mainly to help women deliver their children, after they have helped nurse the expectant mothers through prayers and counsel. In a country that seems to prey on its citizens, it is a breath of fresh air to learn of Nigerians helping each other in these hard times. Note that I have chosen not to reveal the address of this mission house because I would not want Nigerians to take advantage of these “free” services – like many of us are wont to do. But if there are people who wish to support this laudable effort, you can link up with me privately and I would gladly give you their contacts.
For now, our gathering rejoices over the addition of one member to our number. Last Sunday, four adults and two children met for fellowship. This Sunday, at the least, four adults, two children and one infant will be meeting. All thanks to God and the Christ Apostolic Church, Ibadan.