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Daughters of Sarah International Convention: Religion should not encourage slavery – Helen Oritsejafor


The annual Daughters of Sarah International Convention, an annual gathering of women of Warri-based Word of Life Bible Church with delegations from different parts of world, which began on  Thursday, March 10, 2016,  came to a fitting end on Sunday, March 13, 2016 with a surprise visit by the first family of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG. The gaily dressed women and the menfolk rose in ecstasy at about 12.15 p.m. as Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye was led by the CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, to the altar with his wife, Pastor Folu Adeboye.

As soon as he collected the microphone from his host, Pastor Adeboye thanked the Lord “that we have come at the right time when all our daughters are celebrating” and immediately decreed that “from now on celebration will not cease in your lives”.

While the visitors later retired to the host’s office, the President of Daughters of Sarah Fellowship, Pastor Helen Oritsejafor, who had earlier doled out 10 sewing machines, 10 hair dryers and 10 grinding machines to some of the delegates from outside Delta State, including Mrs. Maryam Bob-Manuel from Côte d’Ivoire, excused herself to continue with her empowerment programme, giving out expensive Singles wrapper to all the local first time visitors to the Word of Life.

The annual programme featured song ministrations, word ministration from the wife of the PFN National President, Rev. (Mrs) Abiola Omobude, Rev. (Mrs) Jakie Talena and Rev. Ayuk R. Ayuk from Cameroon taking different dimensions of this year’s theme, “The God of my tomorrow”. One unique aspect of the annual convention is the trade fair which was declared open on Friday, March 11 by the first family of Word of Life and it continues till March 30.

After preaching the last sermon of the conference titled; “He said, she said but God said”, where she enumerated three voices women must avoid to include the voices of doubt, fear and failure, Mama Helen (as she is fondly called) outlined three things that often prevent the female folk from a successful tomorrow to include: Lack of preparation; refusal to put the past behind and who they are listening to.

After an exhaustive day, our reporter asked her why the church always incorporates empowerment into their major programmes and she replied: “My husband and I believe in this philosophy, that life is not just about what you have, it is also about what you do to help humanity. And that is why we stretch ourselves literally to see how we can make life better for somebody else out there because one of the things we have come to realize in life is that all fingers are not equal”.

Her advice for women looking up to her to push their tomorrow in line with the theme of the programme,  “I always say this; for every woman, there is a king. A woman needs to make her husband the king, and guess who sits beside the king, it’s the queen. So if you make your husband the king, automatically you become the queen beside the king.

“What we have witnessed here today is God Almighty reminding us of our responsibilities, not only as husbands or wives or parents, but as Christians. It is important that we do our very best to ensure that we push our husbands forward. One of the things you do by helping your husband is you also pray. When you pray, you spend time talking to God about your husband. As God makes things beautiful for him, he will also make things beautiful for you”.

Is it possible for a couple to be totally open to each other; that is to say no keeping of any secrets from each other? Having a single account, whatever belongs to the husband also belongs to the wife, is it possible?

“Yes it is! From the Book of Genesis, the Bible says Adam and Eve were naked and they were not ashamed. What normally brings secrecy into marriage is when one partner is cheating or there are some things taking place behind the curtains that the other party is trying desperately to keep. In any case, put it this way, for you to achieve success or growth, for you to achieve that oneness that God has ordained from the beginning of that foundation, which is marriage; it is important that there is unity and openness. You must be able to be frank with each other. Let me tell you this, papa and I sometimes, I’m always very quick at telling him that lady is very beautiful because I love beautiful things around me. So I’ll prick papa and say look at her she’s so beautiful and papa will look at me and say can’t you see her legs? Her leg is like that of a duck.

And there are times I could make such comments and papa will say yes you are right on point, she’s actually very beautiful. So we are that open. If there’s anything I hate in life, is for anyone to make me think that there is something they know outside of what I know about my husband. Women don’t like that; they hate it with every passion. They want to be sure that they know their husbands more because it is important that the wife knows the husband more because it’s now the wife living with the man. So anyway, openness in marriage is key”.

Is it proper for a husband not to give a listening ear when the wife is talking to him?

“I think the greatest challenge of all men is that men process things differently. Women are up, men are very inward. A man comes back home and meets the wife; the very first thing the wife is going to tell the husband is, ‘Honey, on my way to work, Bisi said this and that’, and she tells him everything that happened that very day. But men are not interested in all the jargon. What I often say in this area of counseling is to say ‘Sweetheart, there’s no need trying to change your husband’. The best thing to do is to try and understand him because when men are under pressure, they function differently. However, it is essential for the man to at least act up. “Let me tell you what I mean by the acting up.

Let him sit there and pay attention, while the woman is going on with all her stories, you can just say hmmmmm, yes or good. Because if you don’t, she’s going to look for someone else out there that she’ll have to pour her heart to. Women cannot be a container where they reserve words or things that are bugging their hearts. They have to look for an avenue to air it. So husbands, if you do not allow your wife to be able to communicate with you, guess what, she’s going to end up with bad friends that will talk her out of her marriage. Husbands, pay attention to what your wives have to say. Lastly, for women, it is not about whether you are right or wrong, they just want to be heard. Every woman wants to be heard, they don’t want to be right”.

Our reporter also asked her opinion about the festering 14-year old Ese Oruru saga and she immediately shook off tired nerves, saying: “I do not think any religion would encourage slavery, abuse, or to reduce another human being to nothing. That child, according to her parents, was taken away when she was 13, meaning as a teenager, she couldn’t have known her right from her wrong. Let’s put religion aside, automatically it is important that whoever participated in this kidnapping should face the law and be dealt with in that manner.

“I also want to encourage the parliament, whether at the state level or national, on the need for them to enact laws that protect the girl-child because what we see now in this country is quite alarming. I would not want to go into the religious aspect of it, but I’d want to emphasise on the fragility of the little child who was enslaved without the consent of her parents. I’m also glad and happy that the voice of reasoning came to bear as the media houses came out to actually advocate the release of this girl and finally she was released.

“I also want to use this opportunity to encourage those who are given the opportunity to protect this country, in particular, our children; we must not subject ourselves to bigotry and shy away from the truth. The law of this country surpasses whatever it is that we believe being a secular nation. And as such, it is expected of us to also not favour or be biased to whatever religion there is to encourage what is wrong. We must continue to do what is right in spite of whatever.

“Once again, I want to join Nigerians, in particular the parents to give glory and praise to God for bringing their daughter back, and to also encourage the young lady regardless of what might have happened, it’s not the end of the world.

Things will get better with her, which means that definitely there has to be deliverance on that child. Our social system must be able to rehabilitate her. We shouldn’t only just have it on display on the newspapers but we should do the needful for that child so that that child can fulfil destiny to the glory of our God”.

Source: Vanguard

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