D a v i d   P a m    M c Q u e l
Years ago, 1990 to be precise, I met new friends, Emmanuel and Mary, a Young couple with a young son, Johnny. They were very precious to me, friends I will always remember. Life wasn’t easy then, I was just a year into full time Christian ministry, precisely under tutoring.
I was serving with a church which they they used to be a part of for some time before they moved to another part of town in Jos, North-Central Nigeria. They couldn’t afford attending their church.
A lot had been spoken in their honour, about what a good couple they were. So I hoped to persuade them to come back to church.
In response, they shared this testimony.
Just about when they moved their little boy was sick. It was fever, and very high. And there was no money at home. In fact, when it started, they ignored it. They believed it will soon go away. Wishing it away didn’t work. Then suddenly, the fever skyrocketed.
From snubbing to anxiety, little by little they were getting desperate. Not just about the situation but for they fact that there was neither money no someone they could run to. Emmanuel is just hanging by on a very low security job and Mary is jobless.
No matter what, they had to face the obvious, run to the hospital to get some help. Help without money, impossible in a system where health care is on cash and carry basis. They hoped somehow the hospital’s management will be moved by compassion to help, then Emmanuel can pay back at month end.
Unfortunately, they found out that hospitals don’t run on the fuel of compassion. The nurse on duty said the sad words, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you.” They were advised to at least pay in a token which they didn’t have.
Disillusioned, desperate and totally disheartened they left the premises of the Plateau Special Hospital, Emmanuel holding little angel against his shoulder, disappoined and eyes bloodshot. Mary was disoriented and hysterical. She’s been crying her eyes out all afternoon. Now little angel was breathing with so much difficulty and his dad’s faded shirt was sucking up the heat from his tiny body.
Mary began to imagine the worst. The death of her first son. She couldn’t think straight left along see a better option. Emmanuel was a man in the true sense of the African culture. He didn’t see himself burying his first son. There seemed to be no option but he kept thinking there must be a way out.
Emmanuel has been in Jos for two years. He came with the hope of getting an admission into the University of Jos. It was a prestigious institution. His dad wanted another university but he was stubborn, disagreeing with his dad, he decided to go prodigal. In this case, he took nothing from his dad but promised to make it big without his dad.
Getting to Jos, everything went otherwise. He couldn’t get the admission and had to resort to mere very low income job, and now with a wife and a kid to care for.
But as he walked out of the gates of the hospital, tears looming in his eyes and thoughts filling up his head, he began to realize the full extent of the consequences of turning down his dad. He even agreed that his dad may have been right. However, that’s not important now.
Just about 100 meters left to the hospital they walked desperately, Mary could no longer just snob. She was wailing and grieving. She was calling on God to have mercy on her sins and save her baby.
Then something happened at that desperate moment of hopelessness.
A wagon slowed down in front of them and parked. An obviously gorgeous rich lady dressed in a Nigerian ceremonial attire hurriedly stepped out and ask what was happening. Is the baby dead?
Shortly, she brought out her handbag, brought out bundles of money and gave them 25%. She was going for a fundraiser where she was the honourable chairperson of the occasion.
Out of the money meant for her donation she felt it would be better used to save the life of this little baby. She took off the  *Aso oke wrapped around her waist and handed it to Mary, “take and wrap the baby.”
Mary was running back to the hospital but Emmanuel remembered to asked the lady’s identity. She told them not to waste time trying to know her. The baby’s life is more special. She just told them her name and her church. There they can find her.
At this point, for Emmanuel and Mary, a miracle has happened. They couldn’t tell if they deserved it or not but a miracle just took place. They ran back to the Specialist Hospital as fast as they could, with tears of joy streaming down their faces.
The rest is history.
Baby Johnny, little angel is now almost 30! However, the testimony of a kind Christian can never be forgotten. Mary and Emmanuel eventually began to honestly seek God. They visited the church of their mysterious angel, they rejoiced seeing her again. They didn’t need a lot of preaching to hold on to Jesus.
No matter what was said against Christians, Emmanuel felt they were great people and since went on to leave a wonderful Christian life.
Truly, Christians need to demonstrate such kindness often, which is virtue of Christ Jesus our Lord. In that way, the world we see that we are called by the name of Jesus.
They will also understand that we are true representation of the very heart of Jesus and that of Father God.
*Aso Oke is a Traditional meticulously made rich fabric by the Yoruba’s, worn on special occasions. 

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