By Sam Eyoboka
Tuesday, June 16, 2015, was another opportunity for the National President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor to celebrate womanhood as his Ekiti-born wife, woman of many parts and mother of three, Pastor Helen Oritsejafor, fondly called Mama Helen marked her birthday with pomp and pageantry.
The ceremony kicked off at the premises of Delta Broadcasting Service along the Effurun-NPA Expressway, Warri with a novelty football match played in her honour with the couple spotting light gray jeans trouser and skirt with white tee-shirts. Before the kick-off by the celebrant, elegant Tessy Buluks musicianly presented the first orchid of the day with the rendition of some soulful songs to put everyone in the celebration mood.
The match featuring hosts, Delta Broadcasting Service, DBS, and the Word of Life Bible Chirch-owned African Broadcasting Network, ABN, a satellite-based gospel television station, ended goalless making the two teams to share the price money of N100,000.
The two-dimensional birthday batch which also marked the 6th anniversary of ABN, attended by chairman of Uvwie Local Government Council, Hon. Henry Baro, General Manager, DBS, Mr. Tunde Omonade, several management staff of DBS and a huge number of the Word of Life Bible Church family, was packaged by the women fellowship of the church better known as Daughters of Sarah Fellowship with assistance from other groups in the church.
In a brief charge, the CAN president, began by extolling the virtues of women, saying he who finds a wife attracts favour to his home. Turning to his wife he said: “I celebrate you. May God bless you. I am so excited. I thank God for your life. ABN is six also. So it’s a double honour. You are the actualiser of ABN and so your celebration with ABN is quite appropriate. Congratulations to you and ABN.”
Turning to the large crowd at the premises, the cleric prayed: “As you celebrate with Mama and ABN, may God give you many reasons to celebrate in your life. I bless you in the name of God the father, the son and the Holy Spirit in Jesus name, Amen.”
Oritsejafor also used the occasion to commend the untiring efforts of the General Manager of DBS, Mr. Omonade who he had known for many years, stressing; “I am always excited to see a young man that God took from the scratch and gradually risen to a great height today. I celebrate you as well because you understand what this organization is all about and you have the capacity to take it to the next level.”
He immediately pledged to collaborate with the DBS in many more areas, saying “let’s think of more projects we can do together for the good of humanity. I think that will be a wonderful thing.”
Oritsejafor, who has been fraternising with fellow Niger Deltan and former Super Eagles defender, Pastor Taribo West and others, also publicly pledged to encourage football by developing a world class football team in the area in the nearest future.
“I have some things in mind and if you give me some time, you will begin to see the evidence of what I’m talking about. You will see it very soon. I was saying in church on Sunday that the Word of Life football team must improve because we intend to take it to another level and find ways development them to an international standard where they can play football anywhere in the world.
“Life actually is like a football game. In the football game of life, the moment you are born, you automatically join the team. Unlike the one we watched, participants in the football of life cannot decide to play or not because you begin playing the day you are born into the world. If you deceive yourself and think that you are a spectator, then you have missed it. “God is taking record of what you are doing or not doing. It is part of the game of life. My prayer for you is that you will understand that on your own, you can’t play this game well. You need help from someone who had already played the game and won. His name is Jesus. If you don’t get this extra help, life will dribble you and score too many goals against you because at the end of the game, it’s not going to be a laughing matter,” he stated.
According to him, the day he decided for Christ, almost 50 years ago, “there were people who took the same decision with me; there were those who laughed at me and others who watched me. What I didn’t know then was that I was entering into another phase of the football match of life. When the altar call was made, I stepped out and most of my friends began to laugh. In fact, one of them challenged me, saying something must be wrong with me. But I went forward.”
Several members of the radio confraternity as well as others from the Edjeba area of town, came out to respond to the altar call and he prayed for them, urging them to continue their football game of life on a sound and sure foundation by identifying a bible-believing Church to concretize their new resolve. In his submission, DBS boss, Mr. Omonade commended the CAN president for giving the Christian community a voice, noting that when it was “time to speak on behalf of Christians, Papa Ayo has spoken and has touched lives in different parts of the country.” According to him, behind every successful man there is a woman and that is why the entire management of DBS had come out to celebrate the birthday of Mama Helen who, he said, had been a veritable pillar of support to the loving CAN president.
Similarly, the boss of Uvwie Local Government, Hon. Baro expressed gratitude for the organizers who invited him to the occasion, stating that residents and non-residents of Warri have noted the unequal philanthropist spirit of the couple in focus.
Earlier, the director of ABN, Pastor Ejiro Akpahwe described the facilitator of ABN, Mama Helen Oritsejafor as a mother, teacher, a friend, a priceless jewel and a Deborah of this generation. According to him, ABN has been specifically positioned to serve as the strongest voice for the gospel from Africa and serve as a credible platform providing awesome opportunities to Christian ministries in Africa, part of Asia and Europe.
Responding to the encomiums, the celebrant greeted all the speakers and all those who took time off their busy schedules to honour her, saying she owes all gratitude to her husband who she described as the indefatigable Lion of Africa.
She also paid glowing tributes to her sister-in-law and the Iyeloma Ede of Warri Kingdom, Chief Yemi Oritsejafor who had made her stay in the Oil City most rewarding.
In continuation of the ceremony, the congregation then moved from the Edjeba home of DBS to the Warri GRA home of the CAN president where people were treated to sumptuous meals as pastors and their wives danced to light music.