An angel prevented Martha from committing sui.cide. As she was about severing the radial artery that would make life drain out of her via bright red blood, a knock sounded on the door, and she dropped the k.nife in confusion.
She had forgotten to lock it in her haste to get things done and face whatever eternity held for her. She never even thought anyone could be around at that time, to come and knock on the door.
The person at the door refused to go away. Martha also refused to stand up. She sat on her buttocks with legs spread wide, staring pointedly at a spot, as if she had already seen the spirit of death. With repeated knockings without response, the door was opened by the knocker; an elderly, plump and nice matronly looking woman, with the characteristic Christian -mother fleshy arm.
She was surprised at Martha, who continued looking at the same spot, oblivious to her entry. Moving towards her, she assessed the situation; Martha in a trance like posture, the kitchen kn.ife beside her and the note, which she scanned through at a glance.
She bent towards her and drew her up, taking her small frame into her large one. As Martha’s head rested on her chest, she felt a kind of warmth she had long longed for, a welcome home, a motherly bosom.
Emotions overran Martha and she burst into uncontrollable tears; venting, pouring, washing her innermost of all that was bottled inside. The woman allowed her to cry and even offered the edge of her wrapper to clean her face afterwards. She wasn’t in anyway concerned that Martha was soiling her wrapper with catarrh from the nostrils.
Mrs. Ndukwe was a neighbor to the Aboderins’. She was a spirit- filled child of God; who promptly acted on the nudging of the Holy Spirit to knock on the door. She was glad that she did not disobey. She allowed Martha to cry, then led her to her house. It was the next flat. She offered her a hot cup of tea and a plate of well prepared, steaming catfish pepper soup. Martha ate like a wolf. She confessed that she had been craving for pepper soup for a long time. Mrs. Ndukwe explained to her that, craving for different varieties of food is part of the issues of pregnancy. She said that Martha could always come to her for anything.
That encounter heralded the beginning of an enduring mother and daughter relationship between the two. Martha found solace in the fact that, Mrs. Ndukwe was a mother to the core. With all her children married and out of the family nest, she saw Martha as a gift from God to nurture, until she could stand on her feet again.
Martha not only benefited from her deep spiritual knowledge emanating from a close relationship with God, but also from her versatility in different skills like baking, bead making, tailoring and decoration.
Mrs. Ndukwe was a replica of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. She possessed all required qualities. Mrs. Ndukwe became Martha’s discipler.
With them getting closer, Martha made her home a second home. Mrs. Aboderin was too glad to get someone that would relieve her of Martha’s problem. Martha on her part, was never tired of asking questions, and sitting silently to learn from Mrs. Ndukwe on daily basis. Mrs. Ndukwe would tell her that, “It is the duty of every parent to train and bring the child up in the fear of the Lord. Though, many lack the know-how. Even those that know what to do are often too busy to create time for the children. Some claim they are engaged in Church activities, not knowing that the home is the first mission field of the parents.”
“Did you allow your children have friends of the opposite s.ex when they were growing up?” Martha asked during a discussion on child upbringing.
Mrs. Ndukwe smiled and said, “I wasn’t scared of my children having friends but, I made sure they were involved in healthy relationships. I and Daddy personally led our children to Christ at very early age. The desire for the children to know Christ, should always be paramount in the mind of every parent. We are often preoccupied with the need for them to go to the best schools, wear the best clothes, eat the best foods, that we forget the most important need.”
“The most important need?”
“The salvation of their souls. It has been established that, 84% of people make the decision to follow Christ between the ages of 4 and 14. Only about 10% make the decision between ages 15 and 30.”
“It is better when you catch them young. You know, when a child is in God and you plant the word of God in his heart,” Mrs. Ndukwe said, pointing towards her heart, “The child will know that God has a purpose for his existence. At every junction of decision making; having a life partner, choosing a career, choosing friends and even when tempted, the individual will always wait on God to know his perfect will.”
“I see,” Martha nodded.
“Things were easier for me and Daddy because, we are both born again. We have the same principles about God, about religion and about child upbringing. After leading our children to Christ, we kept nurturing them in the truth of the word of God. All the while, we did not spare the rod. We used the rod whenever necessary, and used the word at all times. We never got tired of praying for them. I want you to know today that, what men of valor wouldn’t achieve by their strength, a prayerful woman can achieve on her knees.”
“We allowed them to socialize, while setting boundaries. We also gave them sound se.x education.”
“You taught them about s.ex?”
“Yes! We started by making them know the proper names for se.xual organs, and knowing the key differences between the male and the female gender. Before attaining puberty, we prepared them for what to expect and what to do with s.exual urge. We made them realize the dangers in premarital se.x, phon.ography, mastu.rbation and other vices.
“Oh God! Martha exclaimed, “My Mum never taught me all that, except telling me that I must remain a virgin, if I want to have a white wedding. She emphasized on white wedding so much, that I thought it was a ticket to enter heaven.”
“Well, it is possible your Mum lacked the knowledge of how to go about it. I see people getting into marriages, without proper education on child upbringing. Parents especially the mothers, must have good knowledge of raising children. What you don’t have, you can’t give. On the issue of virginity, I’m an advocate of s.exual purity and not just an intact hymen.”
“How do you mean?”
“Thanks for asking. There are countless young people who are going about, that are technically virgins, but are sexu.ally dirty. They engage in all sort of dirty activities like oral and anal s.ex, mastu.rbation, phon.ography and even homos.exuality. Their mind is depraved and dirty but, they still go around claiming virginity. Someone who had been sex.ually active, had repented and vowed to remain pure, is better than them. Se.xual purity is the in thing.”
“I was once like that,” Martha confessed.
“Thank God for your life,” Mrs. Ndukwe responded. “I hope you will remain in the joy and peace that Christ has given you.”
“Amen! All your children must have turned out well,” Martha concluded.
“Yes they did, but it wasn’t easy. Even with all the trainings and prayers, our last baby derailed.
“The enemy is always after the children of God, especially when he sees their glorious future. Our last child went wayward in the University and got pregnant for a fellow student.”
“What did you do?”
“We had no choice but to lead her back to Christ. We supported and encouraged her. She deferred a year at the University, delivered her baby, went back to face her studies squarely and came out as a first class graduate of Nursing science.”
“She later got married to the father of her baby, after he gave his life to Christ. They are settled in the UK and doing well.”
Martha fell into silence after the conversation, and Mrs. Ndukwe knew something was bothering her. She probed until Martha voiced out. “Is there any hope for me?” she asked with a shaky voice. “My Dad said I’m hopeless.”
“Oh mine!” Mrs. Ndukwe cried and took her into her arms, soothing her like one would a baby. “You are not hopeless,” she said and jerked Martha up. Looking at her directly and pointing a finger she said, “Hear the word of God. Job 14:7-9- For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. You are like that plant! You will bud! You will bring forth fruits and fulfil God’s purpose. Go forth and bask in the glory of God.”
To Be Continued… . . .
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[STORY] THE PASTOR’S DAUGHTER (Final Episode 13)
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