By Sheila Sanda
Patty Mcwizu knew it would be an uphill task to take care of her eight babies but she was not worried. She had a covenant with God and that would see her through. She also knew that she had two more babies on the way to completely fulfill her covenant with God. Already, she was having baby kicks but her stomach remained flat. Buying baby foods was not easy.
She was grateful however, that the church she founded was booming. She had followed divine counsel and built her church, Glorious Saints Assembly on the piece of land belonging to her aged father. She was paying father in instalments as the church grew by the day. Women from far and near who were looking for the fruit of the womb patronised her church.
They saw her as a goddess because of her miracle of eight children and Patty Mcwizu became an object of worship. Her church grew and more couples trooped there in search of miracles. And they all received.
Nurse Theresa’s traditional maternity home became more influential as she became a prophetess in Patty Mcwizu’s church. Those who received the prophecy to bear children in Patty’s church had the prophecy fulfilled in nurse Theresa’s traditional home.
Apostle Damian was impressed by what God was using him to do. What he initially thought was a burden became God’s channel of answering the prayers of many childless couples. The number of pregnant girls in his home grew as more pregnant girls found succour with him. He offered them accommodation, took care of them until they delivered and had them sign the agreement that they didn’t want their babies. Some who refused to sign the agreement were told their babies died at birth.
The aspect that really thrilled Apostle Damian was the financial outcome of his kindness to humanity. Young girls who had male children were more favoured than those who had females. Each time a baby boy was delivered, Apostle Damina would get N250,000-N300,000 for disposing of the baby while a female child fetched him a reward of N150,000 -N200,000.
Apostle Damian treated his girls very well and each had to swear by the bible not to give away the secret. Some of the girls were placed on monthly allowances and to ensure the source remained fruitful, Apostle Damian employed able-bodied youngmen to ensure the girls kept getting pregnant and kept bearing children. The cartel grew. He built branches of ‘Daughters Hope’ and whenever each girl got tired of the job, Apostle Damian would settle her and set her free.
On several occasions, Apostle Damian had to contend with the stubborn girls. A young girl, Edna was sent away by her parents after she got pregnant for a street boy. Edna found solace in the home of Daughters of Hope where she had a set of healthy twins, a male and a female.
Apostle Damian handsomely rewarded her even though he told her she had still-births. Edna had refused to swear she didn’t want her babies because she knew she wanted them. At 12, she was the only child of her parents and had been pleading with her mother to give her siblings even if she had to steal them.
Edna saw nothing wrong in getting pregnant at 12 and exactly on her 13th birth-day, she had her set of twins at nurse Theresa’s traditional maternity. Despite her weakness after delivery, she remembered vividly that she saw the nurse and Apostle Damian wrapping the babies and a woman she thought she had seen before being handed the babies.
“I heard the cry of my twins,” she said immediately she recovered consciousness. Nurse Theresa was startled.
“Who told you that. Your child died.”
“But they are alive. I saw them one after the other being handed over to a woman,” Edna insisted.
“You had just one child,” nurse Theresa told her, “and it is dead.”
Edna shook her head and made a signal of two, to signify two children. She insisted on nursing her children and when nurse Theresa couldn’t take her ramblings anymore, she injected the girl. Her life changed after a long sleep. Edna was never to be the same again as she now lived a life of illusion. She was dumped on the streets, 120 miles away from nurse Theresa’s traditional maternity home. The girl Edna became a street urchin, an imbecile but somehow’, she found her way back to a street very close to nurse Theresa’s maternity home. That was where her parents found her four years after. They recognised her but she had changed. She didn’t recognise them but her ramblings were not foolish. They knew what she was talking about because Edna’s parents were the ones that bought her babies. Her mother had been pregnant for months and had all the symptoms . On the night she went into labour, exactly the same day as her daughter Edna who was sent away from home, she was given a set of twins for N850,000. What she didn’t know was that she acquired her own grand-children.
Edna was taken home by her parents although she would never recover and nurse Theresa wondered what the couple found attractive about an imbecile on the street. Edna’s father died from the shock of what he did to his own daughter and her mother remained heart-broken. It was only nurse Theresa who didn’t understand.
“You see,” she tried to explain to Edna’s mother, “that girl you have taken in would cost you a lot because she is the real mother of the twins you adopted.”
Edna’s mother found it difficult to talk but she eventually found her voice.
“You are the one who don’t understand nurse. The girl is my daughter. She wanted me to have more children which was why I came to you. But we also realised she was pregnant and sent her away. We looked for her but we didn’t see her until now.”
Nurse Theresa didn’t like the story she was told. She wouldn’t want to refund any money or be implicated by anyone. She knew the fatal injection she gave the girl had taken its toll on her and knew the girl would never be normal again. She warned the couple to stay very far away from her hospital or face the consequences as she had finished every business with them.
But Edna’s mother was scheming a revenge. Her daughter was no longer normal. Her husband had died and she knew just what to do.The sixth birthday of the twins which was celebrated at the Glorious Saints Assembly offered her the opportunity. During the service, Pastor Patty Mcwizu preached down the heavens, thanking God for his miracles. She gave instances of God’s divine intervention in the lives of women, citing herself as example. God had done miracles in her life. She narrated to the congregation how through one pregnancy, eight children were born and more were being expected. She also narrated how Mr. and Mrs. Achebe were seeking the fruits of the womb, came to her and how the anointing that produced her eight children gave the couple a set of twins who were marking their sixth birthday. The twins were brought out for prayers and the moved congregation rushed to the altar, sowing seeds in the life of the miracle twins. Every couple in the congregation parted with their hard-earned money.
Mrs. Achebe suffered her agony secretly, wondering how foolish a congregation would be. She collected the ‘seed faith’ on her twins and at the end of the service, she counted the money. It was N55,000. It wasn’t much compared to what it cost her to procure her own grand-children.
If she and her husband had let Edna stayed in the house and quietly nursed their shame, she wouldn’t have spent a fortune to acquire the kids or even more to take care of her now imbecile daughter. Worse still, she wouldn’t have lost her husband.
People called her ‘Mama ejima’ everywhere. If only they knew those twins were her own grandchildren, if only they knew how her daughter became very incurably ill. Mrs. Achebe became more determined to have her revenge. She decided she would see Pastor after the service.
Unfortunately, nurse Theresa didn’t worship at the Glorious Saints Assembly that Sunday. But Mrs. Achebe was determined to expose their illicit network.
Edna had experienced moments of sanity and had described Apostle Damian’s home for Daughters of Hope where she stayed after she was sent away from home.
But Edna would become sane one moment and lost it the next moment. Mrs. Achebe had taken her daughter everywhere and her entire body system had been cleansed. But the girl tottered between sanity and insanity, between normalcy and imbecility. Mrs. Achebe didn’t like that. Although she was under oath at nurse Theresa’s maternity, she was determined to expose the network.
“Mummy in Israel,” she greeted Pastor Patty Mcwizu kneeling down. “It’s been a wonderful service.”
Pastor Patty Mcwizu pulled her up and hugged her tightly.
“The Lord is good,” the Pastor said.
“All the time,” Mrs. Achebe responded.“I’ve been thinking,” she continued. “The Lord laid it in my heart that his miracle should not be kept secret. We are meant to testify and shout it to the roof-tops,” Mrs. Achebe told her pastor.
“So, what do you suggest?”, asked Pastor Patty Mcwizu.
“We should go on air with your miracle births. Eight children in fourteen months is not a small miracle. We should shout it to the roof-tops.”
Patty Mcwizu considered the statement as the two walked into her office.
The Achebe twins were seated at the door of Pastor Patty Mcwizu’s office. She stopped briefly and blessed the twins. Mrs. Achebe looked away.
Holding the twins by their hands, she walked them to the car where Edna had already seated in the front seat, fiddling with the steering.
That same evening, Pastor Patty Mcwizu received a call from nurse Theresa.“You have to get away for sometime,” nurse Theresa told her.
“Why?”, asked Pastor Mcwizu.
“You need to get away. I understand Mrs Achebe celebrated her twins sixth birthday today.”
“Yes,” answered Pastor Mcwizu.
“Did she come with a teenage girl?”, asked nurse Theresa.
“I wouldn’t know,” Patty replied, “I was too busy but I am thinking. We need to celebrate the miracle God is doing in our lives. Maybe I should go to Lagos.”
“No, go to Ghana,” nurse Theresa insisted.
“Lagos is okay. I have a friend there,” Pastor Patty told her, thinking of Mrs. Achebe’s suggestion.
“I will send you some cash. You can call it seed faith,” nurse Theresa told her, feeling strange about something she couldn’t explain.
“Okay prophetess,” Pastor Patty responded. What could she have done without nurse Theresa. The woman was God-sent. She had been a total blessing to her life. God was really using the ‘prophetess.”
The next week, Pastor Patty Mcwizu came to Lagos with her eight miracle children and that was when her problem began.