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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

I cried to God for many years to give me at least a child — Woman delivered of triplets

The Dillis
Mrs. Hope Lumsambani Dilli was recently delivered of triplets. She tells her story in an interview:

How long have you been married?


I have been married for 24 years.

How did you cope during the period of waiting to have children?

I suffered abuse and mockery. But with God, all things are possible. In my case, it’s not that God denied me the fruit of the womb. I got married on March 27, 1993. By April of that same year, I took in. In 1994, when it got to the time of delivery, I lost the pregnancy to a miscarriage. I suffered many miscarriages ever since.

How many miscarriages did you experience?

I had three miscarriages after the delivery of the first baby who did not survive at birth. I had two other miscarriages that occurred at five months of pregnancy and another which occurred at three months while I was pregnant.

What have you been doing?

Since the last 10 years, I did not take in. During this period, my husband and I continued in prayers, trusting that God would intervene. Our hope during the trying period has always been God.  At last, nothing is impossible with God.

What were the challenges you faced?

We had issues with my husband’s friends, friends, family and others. I cried at nights, calling on God to help me and wipe away my shame. I believed in His word and understood that delay is not denial. My husband also thought the same way as we both put our confidence in God. I have not wished them death but I have prayed for them to instead be alive to see what God can do.

Did you know you were pregnant with triplets?

No. It’s a great compensation for our long years of delay, for 24 years? I believe God has given us double for all our troubles.

How did you react when you got the result of the scan?

When I did the scan, they called my husband and told him I was pregnant with triplets. This is because my eyes could not believe what I saw. I began to feel somehow. It was with disbelief. For these marital blessings, what do I give God? Thanking God can never quantify the depth of my gratitude.  I don’t know how to appreciate Him for this gift.

What other challenges did you face while pregnant?

It was not easy. The devil wanted to create unhappiness in me by bringing up thoughts of my past failed pregnancies. I kept thinking, during the delivery, that something would go wrong. But I quickly rebuked the evil thoughts. I kept saying, “No, God, this time is my time. God you are going to do something this time round. I must carry my own children.”  I was delivered of the triplets at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

Did you lose hope at any time during the period?

Yes, there were times I was overwhelmed with worries. As a human being, sometimes, you can lose hope. There were many challenges which made me lose hope. The miscarriages and worries compounded my dilemma.

As I grow older, I became forlorn at some point. Like I said, sometimes, I found comfort in the scriptures and at other times, I was traumatised. I often entertained the thoughts that if the children from my previous pregnancies had survived, perhaps I won’t be in this condition. It was a mixture of depression and hope.

When I attended church conferences, and the preacher admonished believers not to lose hope but to have faith in God, I remembered my name which is Hope. I usually prayed, telling God to answer me based on my name though sometimes I thought of giving up.

You said you feared you were getting older. At what age did you give birth?

I am 44.

What memorable incident can you recall while waiting to give birth?

Weeping is the most memorable of them, especially when I heard somebody said, ‘Look at this barren woman’. If I didn’t weep after the mockery, I did so when I got home. I would sit down most times and cry to God that if there’s any sin that I had committed, that is responsible for my condition, He should please forgive me and bless me with children.

I said to him (God), “If it is only one child you can give me, I will appreciate it. I know that if I have just one child, no one would call me a barren woman again. It is far better.”  I knew that my husband heard unprintable statements against me by outsiders. Sometimes, we discussed the issue. I usually asked him to tell me some of the incidents. He asked me not to trouble myself, that God would do it for us. What has sustained my faith throughout this adversity was my husband’s support.

Were there times you contemplated visiting traditionalists?

Of course, that was until recently, because we didn’t know Christ then. We had to move from place to place seeking solutions. We did all that.

Did you get medical help or was it natural?

It is just God and nothing else. It is the doing of the Lord.

Were there times your husband came under any pressure from his family to take another wife to have a child?

No, even though he’s a man. Three months ago, someone called me to inform me that she heard that my husband wanted to take another wife. I told her, “It is well. If that is his wish, I don’t know anything about that one.’’

But I knew within me that her tale was not true. I wasn’t bothered. I told the woman I was not aware of such plans. This is because my husband never expressed such a desire.  In fact, he used to console me, saying, “Either you have a child or not, God is the giver of children. We should not disturb ourselves too much. It is God who is going to give you that gift and not man. So, forget about worrying.”

Couples are usually tempted to blame their partners as responsible for situations such as the one you had.  Did you experience same?

We had that experience. We felt each of us should go for medical examination. But that was a long time ago. We were told there was nothing wrong with both of us. Once we heard that, we just forgot about that aspect.

What is your advice to women waiting for some time to have children after marriage?

I encourage women who are passing through what I experienced to wait on God and not be troubled.  They should hold on to the word of God, because delay is not denial. One day, God would do it for them as He did it for me. I know that God is faithful and he will do what He’s promised to do to anybody. That’s my piece of advice to all women who are waiting on God for the fruit of the womb.

Source: the Punch newspapers

Quintuplets for Calabar couple married for ten years

The Edet Quintuplets
Early in the year 2017, it was joy and rejoicing for this blessed couple. They were blessed with quintuplets comprising three girls and two boys after waiting for ten years for the fruit of the womb.

The Quintuplets were delivered at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Cross River State and it the first time the UCTH, and Cross River State as a whole is witnessing such a miracle.
The proud father of the quintuplets, Dr. Ekpo Edet, could not hold back his joy and excitement as he could be seen beaming with smiles. Dr Edet said “I want to thank God almighty, He’s a faithful God. The first time in the history of Cross River State, the first time in the history of UCTH. Five at a go! God has been just been faithful as we have concluded the first phase and the doctors have confirmed that the babies are kicking. We are entering into the second phase and I know it’s not going to be easy but I solicit for support from all well-meaning Nigerians, all my friends and well-wishers

Speaking upon meeting the parents of the quintuplets, Dr Linda Ayade, the wife of the governor expressed her delight as this was another first in the State’s history. She said it’s a sign of good tidings in the state and country at large. She thanked the new mother for opting for professional services of birth attendants. Her Excellency after showering the babies with prayers further made a donation of one million naira to the celebrating couple and another five hundred thousand naira to the medical experts who made sure the babies were delivered successfully.
 

Monday, February 29, 2016

1st baby for 59-year old after 30 years of marriage at St. Ives IVF Unit

Baby Abodunde
'God is a faithful & covenant keeping father; we appreciate your loving kindness towards us.' Pst. & Dcns. Abodunde E.S
 
 
 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Twins for Akwa Ibom couple, after 20-year wait!

It was rapturous clapping that erupted in church as Usendu Etim and Regina Bassey carried forward their twin babies for dedication on Valentine’s day of 2016.
The Basseys with their babies

 

Married since November 1995, Etim Bassey sharedtheir baby testimony and tried to summarise their 20-year old battle to become parents. READ MORE AT:
 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

HELPFUL READING

EXCERPT FROM BOOK 1:
...We simply have to understand that we can’t box God! His ways are not our ways. You would imagine that a Pastor’s wife would conceive miraculously without medical intervention. Yet I know of Pastor’s wives who have conceived through IVF. Is that then no longer a miracle? Of course, it is! God will work out his blessings in the way and manner that He chooses. That is not for us to determine. Our responsibility is to praise His name and testify to His goodness when the breakthrough comes. Whatever you decide to do, do in faith…

Monday, February 8, 2016

AITY DENNIS' BABY TESTIMONY IN GEM MAGAZINE


 
GEMWOMAN Magazine has released its most inspirational edition as the perfect companion this Christmas. The edition features Gospel Artiste Aity Dennis on its cover with a remarkable story to lift the heart of anyone facing seemingly overwhelming odds.

If you’ve ever been confronted by an insurmountable ‘mountain’- situations that seem not to go away, regardless of how long and hard you’ve hoped, prayed, praised, waited, trusted and exercised faith; then maybe you’ve walked a mile in Aity Dennis shoes.

Pastor Aity Dennis’ story is a remarkable one that would leave you in awe of the faithfulness of God, for He alone could have done this – the miraculous conception and delivery of a healthy set of twins four years after menopause and after over 20 years of waiting.

This is not just an interview, but a testament to the faithfulness of God – His ability to turn impossibility to possibility, His miracle-working power able to overturn, restore and replenish! And it is brought to you at such a time as this to reignite the embers of faith within you, to inspire you to hope again and release your expectations to receive the fulfilment of the unfailing promise of God.

Be inspired by this testimony, and dare to believe for yours!

 

 

GOSPEL SINGER AITY DENNIS WELCOMES TWIN BABIES AFTER 20 YEARS OF WAITING

Aity with husband & twins
Award winning gospel singer, Aity Dennis who has been singing songs of praise has more reasons now than ever to continue to do so.

The 49-year-old lady a few months ago welcomed her twin babies after over 20 years of waiting for the fruit of the womb.

In an interview, the singer said she had almost lost hope of having a child and didn’t even believe the doctor when she was told she was pregnant.

“I just felt the doctor didn’t know what he was saying and of course, I didn’t believe him. I went about doing what I was always doing. I would still go to the studio, sing and shoot my videos,” she said.

 But Aity said she noticed she was always sleeping and getting tired easily but she still couldn’t relate her weakness and tiredness to being pregnant.

“I thought age had caught up with me. I kept wondering how I would be sleeping in the afternoon when I am not an ajebutter. But I kept getting bigger and bigger. It finally hit me that the doctor may have been saying the truth. It was even in my sixth month that I realised I could be really pregnant,” she said.

Now blessed with a baby girl and boy, Aity said God has been faithful to her and nothing would stop her from praising Him especially when she thought she had passed the child bearing age.

“God eventually remembered me. I would always pray for pregnant women for safe delivery. I would always ask God if He didn’t have a baby for me. Now he has blessed me with not just one, but two! And He even gave me the two sexes,” she said.

 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Hannaniya's search for a child


LOOKING for a child has been a most harrowing challenge for a great number of men and women. The Bible has the agonising story of a woman regarded as mental because of her continuous wailing as she sought a child.

God, at last, took pity on Hannah and gave her a child after the intervention of Prophet Eli. That was how she became the mother of Samuel, an epic giant in the history of the Jews.

Henry the VIII of England, in his search for a male heir, had beheaded six Queens yet he died without a son and was succeeded by Queen Elizabeth the 1st. Henry VIII succeeded in changing the history of Europe with his quest for a male heir when six of his marriages simultaneously failed to produce his most desired son as an heir.

In the end, Henry VIII took England out of the Roman Catholic Church and established the Anglican Church in what became known as the English Reformation.

Single professional women have had no bar to their adoption of children. They may have done so in cases where childbirths have been difficult; when however, adoption has occurred, sometimes successful pregnancies ensued. So far there has been no stigma involved in adopted children; if there is; the evidence is small, although I can imagine needling comments of the kind of women that Mama Gee portrays in Nollywood.

In some societies, women marry younger girls for their husbands for all sorts of reasons. Our upper and middle class women almost invariably have children, who in every other way except legally, had been adopted.

It is not always a happy experience but then which marriage is always happy experience? There is the occasional friction when the woman dies without a will because her relatives may make claims or fight to take all the material possessions of the dead, thereby cutting the adopted child or children out of their lawful inheritance.

My mother, on the other hand, had several adopted children, who remain my siblings till date. Dr. Gladys Duruyani and Dr. Ishmael Hannaniya were married for 20 years and just like any other couple, they tried to have children.

However, unlike others, it took them several years to conceive and despite the challenge with conception and their expectations, all the pregnancies unfortunately ended in miscarriages.

This was a very grieving deal for them because the babies would grow to about five or six months in the womb and then a miscarriage would occur and some of these miscarriages were for multiple babies.

The enlightened couple utilized their globe-trotting exposure to seek medical solution overseas, all to no avail. Eventually as time progressed, Duruyani became ill and was diagnosed severally with various kinds of ailments.

She developed a type of cough the doctors could not understand and on the film some dark spots were seen in her chest region and lungs. Being devoted Christians, they sought medical solution to all the challenges yet committed them all to the Lord as they expected some miracle.

Eventually the Lord took this strange ailment away from her. Their challenges were numerous, and one day, while they dined at a Chinese restaurant in Abuja, Duruyani began to bleed.

She knew what was happening. Her husband, who is a microbiologist, a specialist neuro-physician, also rushed her to three different hospitals. Unfortunately, in each hospital, the senior doctors had all gone home.

After the third stop, he rushed her to the National Teaching Hospital where he found out again that all the senior doctors had also closed for the day.

At this point of desperation, he had to take the bull by the horn, choosing to go against the ethics of his profession that advise against a man performing such a major surgery on his spouse. He had a vague idea of what to do, besides there were some junior doctors around.

With the few junior doctors on duty, they quickly set up the theatre and began the surgery to take out the blood clot that was about to snuff life out of his beloved wife until an experienced doctor who came around the hospital for an entirely different reason heard of the situation and ran to take over the surgery already in progression.

On another day, she felt ill and in the cause of seeking a medical solution in South Africa, they were told that the blood result was bad news. The South African doctors gave the verdict; they were shaken and took the challenge once more to the Lord in prayers.

They said, “it was a rare form of blood disease.” The couple were shocked and torn apart for a while but braced up, rejecting the doctor’s report and holding unto the Lord’s report.

They sought medical solution in the UK afterwards and the doctors became puzzled and asked “who said she had a blood disease, a rare form of blood cancer? To the glory of God, the results of the latter test showed there was no trace of the cancer.

Did a miracle take place? They rejoiced and praised the Lord. Soon after this great news, they got a call from the South African doctors stating that there was a mix-up with her tests.

They investigated further and confirmed that she did not have any form of cancer in her system. Having gone through so much and having wailed on the Lord in the secret place of the Lord, they remained sober and thankful for once more sparing her life from the clutch of death.

After a while, they tried to have children again but it was to no avail as the series of miscarriages continued. Eventually they figured that since her womb could not keep the pregnancies, they would consider the option of surrogacy.

Their Harley Street doctor who is one of the first doctors in the world to successfully deliver in-vitro (IVF) babies had been very sympathetic to their cause and after series of the failed IVF had suggested surrogacy to them.

They began the necessary procedures and as embryos could be stored for years, they decided to store the excess embryos while they sought for a surrogate mother to carry their child.

Unfortunately, the surrogacy laws in Britain were so strict that it would have been impossible to find a mother to carry the child. The doctor who was natively Greek suggested that they find a surrogate in Greece.

They quickly embraced the idea but it was soon forgotten because there was a serious problem with the transportation of the embryos out of the region. When that failed, they tried to transport the embryos to Nigeria but the results were the same as that of Greece. It seemed like they would never be able to have their own children so they opted for adoption.

They adopted a little boy now six years old and they later adopted a girl who is now aged four. Duruyani’s body had gone through so much strain over these years and age was not on her side as she was classified as High Risk Pregnancy (if she took in).

On two occasions she had been diagnosed with a strange form of cancer, and later lymphoma, she had suffered a hemorrhage, suffered from a strange cough which left dark patches on her lungs, she had suffered emotional, physical and psychological trauma at the travails she had gone through amongst other health challenges too numerous to mention. She had also been on total bed rest all through these series of pregnancies that resulted in miscarriages.

Yet from all these, the Good Lord delivered her from the cold hands of death. Her husband, Hannaniya, who is a rare Igbira man from Kogi State and a distinguished gentleman remained a most loving husband to her, an Igbomina from Kwara State and kept all their travails away from family and friends.

THEY loved and doted on their two adopted children and once more wondered if it was necessary to have more children having gone through so much agony in their quest for their own biological children.

The Lord understood the desires of their heart and decided to seal their faith with a remarkable gift to them in the year 2014. They got a call from their doctor in Harley Street that the Law had lifted the storage limit of the human eggs/embryo which negated the earlier law of five years. Perhaps because they were silently thinking once more of their unborn children, they became expectant as a result of the serendipity they experienced.

Once more at this point in time, her embryos were still available and having tried all to no avail, including the suggestion of surrogacy that could not hold for statutory reasons, their deciding to try once more was not out of place.

This time they asked for the frozen embryos to be sent to Nigeria and this became the appointed time for them, as they were able to transport these embryos and implant them in Lagos, Nigeria.

Twenty-nine weeks after the implantation of the embryo, Dr. Hannaniya, while at work, got a call from the surgeon that his twin baby girls had been delivered weighing 0.9kg and 1kg respectively. He could not believe his ears and questioned the time and date of delivery to which the surgeon responded that it was either they were saved at that point in time or they were lost like all the others gone.

Dr. Hannaniya, knowing what everybody in this country and beyond knew which was that the babies had a slim chance of survival in a country like Nigeria, did not get excited. He did not worry either but chose as usual to leave this one more challenge to God.

For the first time their babies had been delivered alive so it was clear that the Lord had given them the miracle of an identical twin birth but with the incessant power outages and the inadequate medical care especially for neonates in the incubators, what would be the fate of these little ones? As usual and with wisdom, he chose to keep the news away from family and friends for he did not want to get excited over his preterm babies. They willingly submitted the case to the Lord and waited for time to celebrate if it was the will of God for them.

As God gave his approval, both babies survived and were christened Grace and Esther on Sunday, 22nd March 2015 at the time of their expected date of delivery.

The other two children who had been adopted were also christened on the same day aged six and four. There was a lovely celebration of the two healthy babies and their older adopted siblings afterwards at the beautiful event organized by the family in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. Their phenomenal testimony was shared by the husband himself and all those present were amazed as Dr. Hannaniya shared this incredible testimony of over 90 minutes while their guests were entertained with food and drinks.

Their parents, siblings, relations, friends, colleagues and well-wishers were speechless and moved to tears of joy for the Grace of God on his beloved children, Duruyani and Hannaniya, as they finally found complete joy in their now family of six.

There were great lessons to learn from the power of prayers and the power in sealed lips for they did not give room to any interference or sympathy from family and friends.

They had toured the world in search of children of their own, they had spent money over the years, the Lord continued to provide for them and eventually when they least expected it, the Lord showed them that something good could still come out of their own country, Nigeria, and this was the serendipity of our Lord, the perfection of science, their dogged hope and above all, the abundant blessings of the Great God they serve.

 

 

 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Twins after 19 years of marriage despite Asherman's Syndrome

Tolu Aregbesola had been given up on by one of the world's best doctors as a hopeless case. He had said: "In my 47 years of medical practice, I have never seen an  uterus so badly scarred...it will never be able to carry a baby."
However, not only did Tolu miraculously conceive, she carried two babies to term, delivering them naturally in May 2015!

Adewale and Tolu Aregbesola’s 19-year quest for parenthood began shortly after their marriage in 1997 when a botched emergency cesarean section ended their first pregnancy. Her doctor had forgotten some  materials in her womb before closing her up again, leading to a bad infection. Years after this was discovered, much damage had already been done and countless operations left her uterus scarred leading to Asherman’s Syndrome. An operation in India was fruitless and by the year 2000, she had stopped menstruating altogether.

The Aregbesola’s took their search for a solution to the United Kingdom where again operations on her womb did no good. Finally in 2010 at the Shady Grove Centre in the United States, after being examined by about 12 different doctors, they were given the diagnosis that closed their case medically. Nothing more could be done about her case, they were told.

Disheartened and dispirited, they accepted their fate and decided to relocate back to Nigeria. Avoiding  all interference and keeping mostly to themselves, they tried to hold on to the hope of divine intervention since medical science had failed them. In 2013 the normally conservative Adewale accepted an invitation to a special Laughter Foundation programme. They later stood in a prayer line at a naming ceremony conducted by Laughter’s General Overseer, Pastor Gbenga Osho. Not permitting them to narrate to him their medical history he simply told Adewale, “Before May 27 2015, your wife will deliver a set of twins.”

 A few days later, a mysterious snake was killed in their kitchen and less than three weeks thereafter, the twins were conceived! Said Pastor Osho on June 14 2015 as he dedicated Taiwo, Chidinma and Kehinde, Chinedu, “Man or doctors can say anything but it’s the word of God that matters…”

Thus the womb doctors had deemed incapable of holding anything even the size of a small lizard was able to carry not one but two full term babies to the glory of God.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What a miracle working God! 50 year-old woman delivers twins after 14 years of barreness

Akinsola twins
Mrs Roseline Akinsola, 50, on Monday delivered a set of twins after 14 years of childlessness. Akinsola, who works at the Ekiti State Christian Pilgrims Board, was full of praises to God for answering her prayers.
The mother of two girls, who weighed 4.2kg and 2.3kg, advised other couples in need of children not to lose hope. In an interview, she expressed gratitude to God for giving her the children after several years.

"I thank God for the new name he has given to me; before, I was being called Iya Iyanu’’ without a child, but today, my name has changed to “Mummy Twins.’’ Many of my colleagues, friends and neighbours mocked and sidelined me, but because I stood firm on the words of God, He answered my prayers. I thank my husband, who in spite of the troubles and problems from family members, friends, colleagues and neighbours, still believed in me and God.

He stood by me like a father in all ways and also believed in God all through the crisis. I also thank my siblings who stood by me in prayers for years. Let me thank God for all those who stood by me in prayers and encouraged me not to desist from serving God. These children are indeed signs that God never forgets his own people who diligently seek him and believe in his word, ” she said.
The father of the twins, Babatunde,49, also expressed gratitude to God for the children.

"We fasted, prayed and cried unto God for the fruit of the womb for years, but I am happy that today, God has finally fulfilled his promise to my family. I thank members of our church under the callings of Pastor and Mrs David Ajileye for their prayers and care for my family,’’ the happy father, who is also a civil servant, said.
Ajileye, who is the General Overseer of the Way of Life Bible Church, Ado-Ekiti, thanked God for his blessings in the lives of the couple.

“We have known the couple for over 15 years and they have been steadfast and faithful in serving God inspite of the challenges they were facing. For years, I and my wife have been praying to God to give the couple the fruit of the womb; I am so happy that the lord has answered their prayers. The church witnessed a similar miracle in 2013 when a couple, members of our church delivered a set of twins, a boy and a girl after 31 years of childlessness,’’ he said.

He advised the couple to teach and train the children in the ways of the lord.


NAN reports that the mother and the twins were in good health as at press time.

Source: NAN 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

1st Baby for 60-Year Old Woman After 17 years of Waiting

Paul and Tunrayo Alagbe were married on September 3, 1998 and had their first child on December 29, 2014!

'I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him (Psalm 40: 1-3).'

The above Psalm verses aptly describe Mrs. Tunrayo Alagbe’s testimony of the Lord’s goodness as she finally gave birth to a daughter at a few months shy of 60 years of age.

It was a sunny afternoon on Monday, January 5, 2015, and the atmosphere was radiantly purpled by the stylish outfits of many who had come to witness the naming ceremony of the lovely daughter of the Alagbes. The crowd was surprisingly large, even for the African setting, as many braced the burning rays beating down on the premises of the Women Missionary Union (WMU) headquarters of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), Total Garden area, Ibadan, just to show their solidarity with the couple.

As the President of the NBC, Reverend Dr. Supo Ayokunle, affirmed during his address at the naming ceremony, “This child has, from the beginning, started breaking records. I have never seen a naming ceremony that attracted this kind of crowd. Also, no naming ceremony has been conducted on the premises before now. This goes to show that God can do anything, anytime, anywhere and anyhow, pleasantly, for his own people. For those who wait upon God, it is never over until it is over. This is an occasion for us to understand that God’s ways are not our ways.”

The Retired Executive Director, Women Missionary Union, Nigeria, and a close friend of the family who anchored the naming of the baby, Reverend Mrs. Yemi Ladokun, took the audience through the time of waiting. She showed to the crowd some flowers from the bouquet used during the wedding and stated that she had kept the flowers thinking she would use them during the year after the wedding during the naming ceremony of a child but she was wrong as she had to wait for almost 17 years.

The child was given close to 40 names including, Halleluyah, Testimony, Esther, Jesulayomi, Ileri-Ayo-Mi, OkikiJesu, Adepate, Oluwatoyin, Omoronike, Ibiyemi, Oluremi, Motunrayo, Mo-F’Oluwa-ke, Aderonke, Odunola, Eri-Ipe, Ewa-Iyin, Itan-iyanu-ife, IturaOluwa, Favour, Oluwadamilare, Titilayomi-niwaju-Oluwa, among other significant names.

‘A childless woman has no honour, no respect, no place’

Speaking on the experience during the years of anxiety, Mrs Alagbe noted that the many years of worrying, coupled with the delay before marriage, contributed to making the experience quite worrying. According to her, “I wouldn’t say we were not worried, but God was comforting and encouraging us. It was not a pleasant experience at all. We experienced delay before marriage but this one was more excruciating. However, God sustained us.”

On the most nagging worry during the times of trial, the couple notes that the African tendency to look down on a childless couple was a constant source of concern. According to the mother, “In Africa, having children is very important. If you’re married and childless, it’s like you have no honour, no respect, no place. You’re nobody, so to speak.”

The father, Paul Alagbe, further stated that “She would sometimes say if she had known that it would be like this, she would not marry me as it seems like she is a problem to me.” His wife affirmed this by stating that “Medically, I was told he has no problem, but I was the one whose fallopian tubes were blocked. I felt like I was a burden to him, like I shouldn’t have come his way and instead allowed him to live his life.”

‘Childlessness does not mean you are married to the wrong person’

The president of the NBC, Reverend Ayokunle, who spoke on challenges and godly responses noted that nobility and godliness does not immune an individual from trials. According to him, “Childlessness is not a modern-day challenge. The fact that your family is childless does not mean you are married to the wrong person. Some couples who do not have the problem of childlessness have other problems. Would you rather exchange childlessness for blindness, for instance? A problem is a problem but God is always there.”

On her general outlook during the period of not knowing how things would turn out, Mrs. Alagbe, whom many describe as cheerful, warm and always ready with a smile,  narrated “I kept hoping. I cherished my personal relationship with God because I know that the day you die, this issue of having children no longer has meaning. So, I was jealously guarding my personal relationship with God, especially in relation to eternity. I tried to enjoy other things God has blessed me with. Although, I was often disturbed by that one thing he had not done, I tried to enjoy what he has done and in my own little way, I served him, hoping He will do it. I thought that if He doesn’t do it, He knows why and knows how to sustain me. That’s also why I didn’t visit all sort of places because I know that if I eventually get a child from the wrong source and I end up in hell, what use will it be? Besides, God encouraged me that He will do it and I trusted in His promise.”

‘There was pressure on me as the only surviving male to have a child’

Her husband, Mr. Alagbe, was not also without his own troubles. According to him, he was constantly reminded about the need to take the alternative option by getting a second wife. This was further hinged on his position as the only surviving male child of his family. As Mr. Alagbe puts it, “We were six in my family; four of them died and it was just me and my sister left. All my siblings who died did not have any children and there was pressure on me as the only surviving male to have a child. However, I was convinced by my faith not to do anything negative.”

God never comes too late –Mother

Mrs. Alagbe, who started treatment in early 2014, was confirmed pregnant in April 2014 and the reaction of the couple when the news first broke is too much to sufficiently capture in words.

“I didn’t believe it. It didn’t have much meaning to me. It was like I was dreaming. However, as time went on, I saw it becoming a reality. I just kept thanking God because He said He will do it according to his promise in Psalm 40. I know that this miracle is for God’s name to be glorified and for the hope of people to be reawakened so that they believe that God still works miracles. God never comes too late,” Mrs. Alagbe stated.

For Mr. Alagbe, his reception of the good news was almost unbelievable. In his words, “It was like a dream. I kept asking myself if it was true.”

While echoing the joy of motherhood, Mrs. Alagbe stated that “I just praise God. I’m delighted that God kept his word. In January 2013, there was a prophecy in our church that God will do it. Several people came to me and told me to hold on to that prophecy because it was for me. In addition to what others had been telling me, and the support I received, especially from my church, El-Shaddai Baptist Church, Pastor Mrs. Olateju and many people, I am happy that God has been faithful to His word.”

‘You can still help people even in your own sorrow’

While acknowledging that going through childlessness is no trivial task, Mrs. Alagbe advises couples in this situation to guard their relationship with God whatever the eventual outcome. As she points out, “Even if at the end of the day, God doesn’t do it, it is to the advantage of the couple. I reached that stage where I told God that if He doesn’t do it, I’m okay with His decision because He knows what is best for me. My advice is that they should hold on to God and ensure that their personal relationship with God stands. They should also do other things to serve God because when you serve God, you are not likely to be too sorrowful and you’ll be happy to meet the needs of others and minister to people. Couples should not aimlessly trust God but anchor on a verse on the Bible and trust the eventual manifestation of God’s word. They should also help others. You can still help people even in your own sorrow. When you minister to the needs of people, your burden is lightened. The couple shouldn’t become so averse to others as if barrenness is the only problem in the world. Afterall, God has done other things that they can enjoy and appreciate. Let them hold on to God.”

Mr. Alagbe, affirmed by friends and church members to be a friend of children and who also teaches children in the church, advises couples in the situation to ensure that they are not hostile to people, especially children, no matter how hard it seems.

Taking more wives is courting more problems –Father

In his advice for men who are currently undergoing the challenge of childlessness and who, like him, had been advised to take a second wife, Mr. Alagbe encourages them to fear God, stating that “If they go for more wives, they are asking for more problems. The best thing is to hold on to God and see beyond the immediate situation. Right from time, I knew there was a problem but I also considered what the situation would be if I was the one who had the problem.”

The couple attempted to relive the priceless memory of viewing the child for the first time. For Mr Alagbe, “There was anxiety at the time of delivery. I read Tribune newspapers a lot and I had read something about a similar case in which the operation was not successful and I kept thinking about it. But when I saw the baby, I almost cried. I was very happy.”

For Mrs. Alagbe, “I was just happy. I don’t know the words to use. I was excited. I was thrilled that the baby had come at last. I had her through Caesarian section at Vine Branch Medical Centre and at the theatre, when they told me ‘this is your baby; it’s a perfect baby,’ I wanted to scream and say ‘Wow! So this is what was in my womb!’ I lack words to explain. Even though I was in pains, I couldn’t sleep throughout that day. I was just looking at her and I kept saying to myself, ‘So this is you I have been waiting for. Where did you hide?’ I was really very happy.”

The President, Ibadan Baptist Conference, Reverend (Dr.) Yemi Adekunle, in his prayers for the family, prayed that their faith remains unshaken and that God’s favour will radiate not just in the family but through all present.

For prayers, encouragement and for witnessing the ceremony, the Pastor, First Baptist Church, Ibafo, thanked and prayed for God’s blessings upon all.

 
SOURCE: Tribune newspaper

Sunday, June 29, 2014

AFTER 18-year marriage: Minister of God welcomes baby girl

For 18 solid years after marriage, the story of Apostle Kenneth Lawson, a minister of God and his wife, Favour, a preacher of the gospel has been full of anguish and bitterness as they could not savour the joy of having a child they could call their own. 

But at last, when all hope for the fruit of the womb seemed lost, God in his infinite mercy turned their lives around by miraculously blessing them with a baby girl.

Today, their joy knows no bounds as all roads recently led to Prayer Revival Bible Church, located at Revival close,  off Canal avenue, Okota, Lagos, venue of the child dedication dubbed:  ‘Miracle baby dedication.’ Having named the baby girl  ‘Deborah Peace Chinasaran Lawson’ at an earlier naming ceremony, the joy  of the once embattled and ridiculed couple seemed unfathomable  as they explained during the dedication that the choice of the name was  symbolic of the faithfulness of God, and  the comfort He brought  into  their  home with the birth.

In an emotion-laden interview with Sunday Express, which took place at their home, No. 10 Onwujiobi Street, Ago-Okota, Lagos, the elated father and preacher of the gospel narrated the circumstances that surrounded their tribulation while the years of barrenness lasted. 

His story is that of an absolute trust in God, an unwavering belief that no one created by God is barren and that God’s time is truly the best. “When we got married about 19 years ago, I never knew that we could spend so much time without any child to show for the marriage. But as time went on, we started noticing that things were not as it ought to be. Years after years, there was no sign of pregnancy. But as a man of God, I had no choice than to encourage my wife and believe in God. I have been born again since 1984 and I have travelled round the world, seeing a lot of ups and downs in marriages. Truth is, I got worried sometimes. Most times when I got worried I would find a church programme to attend or go the mountain for prayers.

“There was a time my wife called me and said, “man of God, you have been praying for women looking for the fruits of the womb and God has been blessing them with children...do the same thing to me, your wife. Some people were causing more harm to my wife by making some unguided statements like: “are you sure your husband is not using you for all the miracles he is doing here in Nigeria and around the world”. I kept quiet when I heard all these, but prayed more. Sometimes, she won’t eat and I would say ‘let me buy you this particular type of car but she would say no and I would ask her what do you want? Behold she would say ‘man of God, I need a child.’ That was the level at which she was troubled.  Then a time came when my wife said she had malaria which doctors later confirmed was pregnancy,” he affirmed.

Sharing her joy, the excited Favour gave more insight into what she passed through within those years of barrenness: “It was not an easy road. It was a tough experience that I would not even wish my worst enemy. Then I would go to hospitals and doctors would tell me that nothing was wrong with me and that confused me the more. Also, I would be told one thing or the other...either the speed is not fast or the count is slow. There is no name people have not called me. But I encouraged myself.  Upon the whole medicine and countries we have gone to for medication, nothing came out of it. We went to Germany, South Africa, Italy and so many other countries and we were planning to go to Egypt by June this year for another medication, unknown to us that I was already pregnant. God did it at his own time. Some of the imported medicines for us to use are still in the fridge”, the joyous mother avowed.

On her advice to fellow women in similar fate, Favour said: “They should be hopeful and believe that our God is a living God. You would have an enduring consolation if only you believe in God; if you believe that there is nothing God cannot do. They should not allow sorrow to overweigh them because God is the all-knowing and would visit everybody at a set time”, she admonished. “My advice is that the man should not in any way think of divorcing his wife or marrying a second wife. The woman should also not think of leaving the man because no one created by God is barren. They should just remain prayerful and united in love”, the Apostle also echoed.