NO GREATER JOY

‘I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth’ (3Jn 1:4)

In these two pictures there is our older daughter, Alina. The distance of time between the two pictures is almost forty years. What a time! So many precious memories come to my mind… Things changed, locations are not the same… Even our faces have changed… But one thing is sure: God has been with us all this time. I also declare that He will be with us unto the end of time.

This morning I am pondering once more, with thanksgiving in my heart, about God’s gift of family, of having children. I still remember how anxious I was when I became a mother 43 years ago. Our children were all fruits of true love. As a young bride I loved my husband with all my heart. We met in Romania and fell in love over a cadaver (in the anatomy class)!!!! Against all odds we got married. At that time, I’ve never traveled out of Romania and I did not know where Nigeria is on the map. We had two children, a boy called Toju John and a girl called Alina Yemi. In 1980, my husband and I came to Nigeria, with our children. I was anxious during this transition, but I trusted my husband to lead and teach me to live here. I was not saved. I did not believe in God. I could not speak English. We got jobs in the Specialist Hospital Benin City. We hired a three bed room flat. We bought basic furniture and a small television set ‘black and white’. I was very happy. I chose to work in the Children’s department knowing that they will not complain about this ‘Oyibo’ who could not speak their language well.

Little by little I settled down. I was a wife, mother of two, and a medical doctor. I learned to eat and cook Nigerian food. It was cheaper to buy than the foreign food. Since then, I love to eat jolof rice, moi moi, acara, beans and dodo, shaki or Kpomo stew, pepper soup with goat meat with boiled tam, eggussi soup and vegetable soup. Later we moved to Warri and opened our private hospital called ‘Lily Clinic’. In 1986 I became born again thru a crisis conversion. My life in Nigeria became not just a story but a testimony! Glory to God!!!

The first picture of Alina is taken in Benin city, on the house we stayed later on Boundary Road. She was selecting discs to play music. She always loved music, to sing and to dance. The second picture is taken this year on a trip we went with her in Greece. We are visiting with her. She is a mother of three children herself. She is a nurse practitioner Her life has not been always easy, but it is good now. I remember my anxiety in the past, how much I wanted to protect my children from the challenges of life in this difficult place called ‘the world’. Later, after I became saved, I will fast and pray that our children will fulfill destiny. Looking back, I can testify that God is a faithful God to me as a wife, mother and now, a grandmother. God is good all the time! What a privilege to witness God’s love in the lives of our children…

I walked with my children hand in hand when they were little and heart in heart now that they are adults. Tears were shared. Joys were exchanged. Wisdom of life was imparted! The Lord Jesus promised never to leave us and never to forsake us. He had kept His precious Word!!! This morning, visiting our children and grandchildren, with gratitude in my heart, I bow my head and I worship God!! I declare that there is no one like God! To help in troubled times and to bring to fulfillment dreams of long ago! He who invented love and family, He who has started it all shall complete it to His glory! Thank You Father, Son and Holy Ghost! In Jesus’ name, amen! To God be all the glory!

(From Malia’s diary, 05-09-2018)

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