So after I got an admission to study a doctorate degree (PhD) at the James Cook University (JCU), Australia in September last year, I changed my prayers, “Father, provide all the funds I need for my studies, Let NO MAN take the glory but you”. I asked God for a scholarship cos I mean, “which Nigerian can afford paying for a PhD for 4 years in Australia, when your father is not the President of Nigeria? I made sure I enjoyed every bit of the Christmas and New Year celebrations. I shared a lot of close moments with family and my dad especially.
Before I could say “Jack Robinson”, January was there with the surge of harmattan. This was the month I was expecting the outcome of the scholarship from JCU. I was so optimistic that it was going to be successful. With outburst of overflowing faith and trust in a son I guess, my dad was even telling his close friends that I had gotten the scholarship. At that time, my phone was my girlfriend and Gmail was the apple of my eye, lol. Due to the 9-hours time difference between Nigeria and Australia, I was usually awake till 2:00 am every night. On the 16th of January (being a tuesday), I got a mail from the school and to my amazement…I DIDN’T get the scholarship. At that instance, all I wanted to do was to head to the toilet and void everything in my system. I felt so disappointed and I told God, “So this is how you have decided to embarrass me?” , but I never knew that this GOD was cooking a delicacy for me.
In faith, I wrote to the school that I wanted to continue with my admission and raise the $17,340 (#6,242,400) to pay for 1 semester (out of the 8 semesters of study) and for 4 years health insurance. Imagine raising this amount of money in January, it seemed so impossible. At that time, I didn’t want to tell my dad because the man had gone through a lot of financial expenses. I reached out to my maternal uncles who have always been there to support me and like you know everyone had lots of projects in the new year but I knew they were still going to assist.
Well guess what?… the next day, during my devotion, God directed me to meet up with a couple at Church after the Bible study and tell them that I am raising money for my fees. I resisted it because I thought I was going to be tagged a beggar. I finally obeyed God and immediately after the Bible study at Church, I dropped my offering and guess who was walking toward me…the man God had told me to meet. He asked how far I had gone in raising up the money but I told him I had nothing yet. He then said that while I was giving a contribution during the Bible study, God spoke to him and told him to sow a seed of $5,000 (#1.8 million) in my life. Reflexively, I said, Sir I will pay you back and he said it was a gift from God. I broke down, I just couldn’t hold myself. That same night, 2 of my maternal uncles raised $8,000 (#2,880,000) to support me. By Thursday morning, I had $13,000 (#4,680,000).
Few days later, a lady in Church who saw me while I was crying during the Bible study the week before called to know what happened and I told her. In excitement, she told her husband and long story cut short, she called me the next week that God told them to support me with $2,000 (#720,000).
I know this sounds unbelievable but this is the kind of miracle my God does. I still had extra cash for my visa fees and flight fares. Afterwards, God told me to take 10% of the money I realized and sow seeds into some ministries and an orphanage. God then triggered a cascade of financial provision, that everyone who heard about my story wanted to sow into my life. The monies kept coming in both in Naira and dollars. I keep asking myself, “How can this God be so loving to me?”. Is there anything I do that others Christians do not do?
Do you know that I never mentioned to these families that I needed money but God told them?
Do you know that I had never visited these people’s houses before this whole event?
Do you know that the first 2 families that God used are not Igbos, even the third family is Igbo but I had no relationship whatsoever with them, not by marriage or blood. We just attended the same Church.
THEN I ASK YOU AGAIN, ARE YOU STILL DOUBTING THIS GOD??
I promised God I was going to write and share this testimony and more and if God leads you, please share. People need to know that God still does miracles.
Do you want to hear the testimony of my visa application and how I have been settling since I came to Australia, then wait for my next post…Have an Awesome day ahead.
Nnamdi Chidiebere Mgbemena is a Physiotherapist and a lover of God, family and friends. God has decided to make his life a stream of testimonies and to showcase him to the world that He never fails. Nnamdi is currently doing a doctorate degree in Health in Australia and aspires to be a lecturer someday. He hopes this will create a platform for his vision of mentoring young people. He loves travelling, singing, fashion and hanging out with friends and family.
How Expensive are Expensive Weddings?
By Edisemi Okpokiti
The cost for marriages is another reason for low marriages and also early broken marriages…it brings too much pressure to the equation.
Too much expectations, too much injuries in the process to accomplish, too much division already between new families who ought to be uniting, too much attention of the supposed spouse on an event than on the marriage.
Too much false hood expressed that has to be sustained, but with no basis for maintenance. Too much bad blood between supposed couples before they even start their home.
Many marriages ended on the night or morning after the wedding ceremony.
People regret night after their traditional wedding, and ask if it was worth all the tension, pressure and troubles or are visibly sad all through the wedding realising they have short changed themselves.
Love is stifled by fleshy lust of men and women for rights,privileges and inordinate desires to feel among. Many work for years to blow it one week 😭😭
Once the cost of the price to marry is reduced, the attention will be shifted to what my choice person thinks or feels and not what people think or feel; and that’s how relationships are built.
Preparation for marriage ought to be a good opportunity for people to know and get more acquainted with themselves but the pressure makes them distant from themselves, cursing, fighting and bitter at each other for their difference in priority and the family effect on them.
Father in-laws, mother in-laws , Siblings already become vouched enemies even before they know themselves.
It’s pathetic that poor families are the most expensive ones to marry from, it’s like these marriages is their visa out of poverty.
Elders have become children in their conduct and character just because of a young child’s money collected with the deceit of a priceless adventure.
Churches should adopt like the Orthodox churches now do for burials, giving specific date you must bury after death, thereby forcing hands to bury with what they have and not what they think they want.
Weddings in churches should be encouraged to be done even in midweeks and without receptions.
Young people also should stop talking of dream marriages. The women especially would shout “It is not in my turn, I’ll fall my hands”, but can’t you all see ,the men are not proposing because they are afraid and do not have what your entire village will demand? Ladies have to start discussing with their fathers and uncles and defend their husband to be.
Money spent on Marriages in this country, especially by the middle class and poor if invested could make those couples financially stable.
The steam most times is off before the team comes to field.
Many have lost even before the game starts.
Well for those who are really really well to do and I mean both not that the man is. Those whose families have more than enough to spare, then you are not stopped from your ecstasy.
If you are in relationship, and it’s not taking the next step this is a major cause. Seat with yourselves, seat with your parents and pastors and achieve your desire without destroying your desire. SELAH!
If you are a sibling or parent , please assist and clear all barriers and ensure your children and siblings don’t have this as a barrier preventing their marriage.
The age of unmarried is increasing daily to an average of 30…if this menace is not addressed …we will soon hit 35 yrs as average age of unmarried girls.
Let the wise hear, but the foolish rant…Life is a choice.
A counsel is not forced on anyone.
Edisemi Okpokiti is the Lead Faculty, The Pulpit and Lead Consultant of Rhabonni Consult Limited (A Human Capital Development Consultancy Firm). He is a trained Information Management Consultant and passionate preacher of the gospel.
Opinions Today, Pinions Tomorrow
By Perez Tigidam
Nigeria is full of drama and the growing internet penetration and social media usage amplifies this daily. Individuals and even corporations are constantly being sucked into this pool of daily drama.
My thought is simple, if you must be an active and opinionated participant in every raging conversation on the internet, ensure you do so from the place of thought and principles and not an emotional rush, no matter how logical it might sound at the moment.
The internet archives, it never forgets.Perez Tigidam
If you stand for a wrong today and months after try to go against that wrong because this time, you’re emotional towards one party involved, it means that you lack principle in the first place. Because the internet never forgets, people will call your bluff while referring to precedence.
It is very easy to glide into contradiction and inconsistency when you always have to offer opinion or hard stance not backed by principles.
Before you tweet, think. Before you post, pause to ponder.perez tigidam
I have a particular friend who knows me so well that, in my absence, he can literally tell you what my position will be on any given issue even without hearing from me. Same for him. This is because -not to sound saintly- we’ve been consistent in our thought pattern over a long period of time. Our positions on things are always not popular but there’s been a pattern and we’ve been consistent.
One last thing,
In a low trust society like Nigeria, it’s important that you’re consistent in character and in principles. It helps when those with less knowledge of you bring up disparaging commentary of your person.
Last year, I had a fall out with a client and someone asked me, “What if this client decides to give a negative feedback on referrals?” My response was simple, my disagreement is not out of bad character but out of principle that binds a contractual relationship. Of every one client relationship that goes wrong, there are 9 others that will stand vehemently for me, because of character and precedence.
You can say I am not cheap when it comes to billing for my services and I’d agree, but I do not know that I am a cheat or dubious in character, for this I am grateful for my upbringing and can raise my shoulder anywhere to this.
If I disagree vehemently with a friend or a client, it’s mostly not out of bad character but out of principle. I rarely do shift from my position, either I just want to let you have your way and move on or I’m deeply convinced that my position is wrong, which doesn’t happen instantaneously either. I have to slowly be convinced on facts and principles that support that position, it’s the reason people say I’m stubborn.
But I am not.
Perez Tigidam is a brand management consultant and media entrepreneur based in Nigeria. He runs one of Nigeria’s foremost brand consultancy and design firms Arden & Newton Ltd and doubles up as the user experience and content strategy team lead at TheNerve Africa.
Going back to the basics.
By Nimi Stephanie Ekere.
Last year, we were woken up to the news of a student who tried to poison his colleague because she was doing better than him, academically. This was to say the
least, frightening. That for me, set my mind wondering what the home environment of the said student was. If a child in Secondary school could think of something so terrible, it clearly showed that his family, which is the smallest unit of the society was in a wrong state. The reason is that the family forms most of a person’s values, at least at that tender age.
Recently, the suicide rate in the country has become so alarmingly high and particularly scary amongst young people. Young people take their lives for the flimsiest reasons. It’s either you hear that they took their lives because they were heartbroken in their relationship, they failed an exam or someone spoke to them badly.
In the past, we were known for our resilience and ability to adapt to even the most unfriendly situations, so what suddenly changed?
I would like us to look into the family setting and review our parenting styles and strategies. A lot has changed. Yes, I think a lot has changed so much; and this does not mean that our parents were perfect in the past. They made their mistakes but to a very large extent, they did a lot of things right.
Many modern day parents are so concerned about pleasing their children that a lot of areas are left unattended to. There seems to be no standards and values which are the bedrock of effective parenting.
The twenty first century parent is caught up in the web of an extremely busy schedule in the pursuit of money and when they make it, throw it at the child and fail to invest quality time with their children and lose the opportunity to discover their children and what they are growing up to become.
For many of these children, integrity means little or nothing, and the child having nothing to emulate, seeks help from his peers and the television.
Nannies have taken over the place of mothers in the lives of these children. And because parents are not always visible, and even if they are visible, they are unavailable, there lies a wide communication breakdown. And if a child cannot talk
or discuss everything with his parents, there usually are deadly alternatives for them.
Parents try to compensate for these deficiencies with wonderful vacations, gifts, expensive clothes and shoes and other luxuries. While these are wonderful, they do not take the place of deliberate, intentional and effective parenting.
Also, a lot of children are suffering from low self-esteem because of the unrealistic expectations and pressures from their parents. ‘Have you seen Linda’s results?’
Why can’t you come first place like Jonathan?’ This is all the child hears and gradually, his self-esteem completely gets eroded and he starts seeking for validation from external sources. He begins to have envy, hatred and unhealthy competitions as part of his everyday life.
This begins to manifest in his behaviour towards others. An example is the case of the seventeen year old boy that was left to drown by his friends because they were jealous of him. There are multiples of examples to buttress the fact that we must go back to the basics.
Parenting must be done right if we want to see this generation of children do better than us. There is a vacuum that must be filled. We must listen to these young ones. We must try to create time for them. Our values must not be thrown out, they must be instilled in our children. We can love our children without necessarily giving them everything they want. There should be discipline
in parenting. Sometimes, giving them all they want is not to their advantage. We must learn to know when to draw the line.
Their strengths should be celebrated while their weaknesses worked on. Unhealthy competitions are really unhealthy for them. We must know that every child is unique and is created differently with a special gift to change her world.
Prayer is an inevitable tool in effective parenting. Every word of prayer said on our children’s behalf is a seed that will germinate and yield fruits, good fruits. This said, prayers must go hand in hand with hard work as even the Bible admonishes us to intentionally, train up our children in a way that they should go and when they are old, they would not depart from it.
Thank you for reading this, I hope to get your feedback.
Dr Nimi Stephanie Ekere is a wife, mother and Family Physician. She enjoys writing, reading and attending to her patients. She is a life coach and teacher, who is passionate about children and young people walking in the right course and path to achieve their full potential.
Her Foundation, Ekom Charity Foundation mentors young people and also cares for the less privileged.
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