By BENJAMIN NJOKU
Funke Felix-Adejumo,wife of the president of Agape Christian Ministries, Inc. which Head Quarters is located in Akure, Ondo State capital, Felix Adejumo strikes you as a woman that is born with a silver spoon in her mouth. But surprisingly, she is not.
Today, she has not only become a blessing to womanhood but also has turned out to become the hope of a better life for many orphans and the down-trodden people in our streets. In this encounter, she takes you through the story of her life; her rise from grass to grace and how destiny brought her and her husband together.
Her story is engaging…
I was born almost fifty years ago. In a few months from now, I will be fifty years. My parents were very poor or rather, they became poor because of some unforeseen circumstances. My father told me that when I was born, people gathered in our house to cry, wondering why he should give birth to a baby girl.
They insinuated that the girl would amount to nothing and that by the time he laboured to train her, she would get married to a man and eventually change her name. They also said that if he should send me to school, I would get pregnant there. But my mother insisted that I should be sent to school. I thank God that my father listened to my mother and sent me to school.
While in school, I remember those days when I would not be able to pay my school fees, even though I was the head girl in my school then. I had to wait for about two weeks before I could go back to school. My father had to do some menial jobs to be able to raise my school fees. Eventually, I graduated from school. I later sponsored myself to the university with the help of my husband when I met him. And today, I’m a degree holder and I’m also putting plans together to commence my Masters degree programme. Meanwhile, when my husband started his ministry, we used to live in Ibadan before God told him that we should relocate to another place. Later, I moved to Ondo State in 1987, and there we started the Agape Christian Ministries in August, 1988. Today, by the grace of God, we have about 33 branches of the church scattered all over the country. We just opened the 34th branch at Lekki, Lagos.
Meeting my husband
I met him as a student at the university of Ibadan. And we got married in 1984, before we relocated to Akure in 1988. That was when he became a pastor. I didn’t marry a pastor, I married a town planner.
Why I fell for my husband
A lot of suitors came for me. He was the fourteenth person to approach me for marriage, and I knew that God preserved me for him. I thank God that I waited for him. When we started the Agape Christian Ministries, it was very hard on me because those days, pastors’ wives were not supposed to be anything.
I remember the first time I mounted the pulpit to preach, somebody walked out of the church, questioning why a woman should be allowed to preach to the congregation. But my husband maintained that being a woman doesn’t reduce one to a second class citizen. I thank him for making me what I am today. I remember how some women came to thank my husband for allowing me to become what I am today, because other of men of God were inspired to do the same.
How do I describe him
Fantastic man of God. I’m tempted to call him an angel but I know he’s not because he’s human. He’s a very secured man who believes that you can rise and allow others to rise too. He once told me that I should not allow myself to die under his shadow.
He also said to me that there is so much from my inside that my generation is waiting for; and that as I’m helping him, he also will help me. I wish that all husbands are like my husband. He has his own short comings as a human being. But if I get to heaven and there is another opportunity for me, I will marry him again.
What life has taught me
One thing life has taught me is to put God first and foremost. Don’t let anything take the place of God in your life. Be thankful, be grateful and worship him like you have never done before. Secondly, don’t take people for granted. Whatever anybody is not today, that person can become tomorrow. Human beings are the greatest assets in life, even though they are also the greatest liability. If you know how to manage people, they will be a blessing to you.
Don’t write off people because you don’t know the plan God has set for them. Thirdly, remain focused in life. There may be distractions but don’t listen to people that are commending you, rather, listen to people that are condemning. That way, you can remain focused. Also, there is need for husbands and wives to be close to each other. Don’t allow anybody to come between you and your family. Rather, let your detractors know that your family comes first before any other thing. It doesn’t matter whether I’m a preacher’s wife. And no matter how busy you are as a man, make sure you create time for your family. My husband takes my children and myself on vacations regularly. Even when we were not this blessed, he would just take us to places of interest. I remember when he took us to Ogudu cattle ranch in Calabar. Now, he takes us to places around the world .
When a man does that, it makes us listen to what he preaches on pulpit because if your Christianity doesn’t work at home, there is no need for you to export it. If your children are not living up to what you are preaching, it is not worth it. So create time for your family and above all, don’t live in sin. It is not good to be preaching and at the same time, he is sleeping around with his congregation. It’s not right. When you are pure and holy, God increases you.
Humility is also very important. In life, there are no achievers, rather what we have is receivers.
Giving back to the society
As I speak to you today, I have a Christian orphanage called Grace Orphanage. I have over 27 children in that orphanage home which I established about eight years ago to care for abandoned, abused and orphaned children.
I also run an old people’s home where elderly people between ages of 65 and above are being catered for. The home for the aged was established because we desire that old people experience care and live in good health in accordance to God’s teachings concerning a long and good life. We usually meet with them every year where we invite musicians to perform for them. The last time we hosted them, we gave out six yards of ankara each to all the 147 old people in that home. We believe that we are doing it for our society.
Recently, my husband and I embarked on building a hospital for children where they will be made to pay a token of 30 per cent of their medical bills while we take care of 70 per cent. At the moment, I have about twenty-two widows that are under my care and about twenty four children that I’m sponsoring in school. My husband is doing his own charity work too. I’m doing all these things because of the fact that I didn’t have the privilege to enjoy a good childhood. I know what it means to be brainy and yet unable to go to school. For me, every opportunity I have to help these less-privileged ones, I will try my best to do so.