By Prisca Sam-Duru
Visiting the prisoners, orphanage and children’s hospice, are some of the many ways we can touch lives meaningfully and leave a legacy behind. Most people would have thrown very wild or flamboyant parties to mark their birthdays or anniversary but with the view to please God in addition to giving meaning to the lives of the down trodden, Nollywood stars joined Dr Chris Eke of Word and Spirit Assembly, Ijegun Lagos, as he marked his 40th birthday on Saturday with the Hearts of Gold Children’s Hospice and Kirikiri Maximum Prison inmates, Lagos.
At the Heart of Gold children hospice, a home filled with many abandoned, orphans and sick children suffering from a vast range of congenital abnormalities, cerebral palsy, dyslexia, autism and other neurological conditions associated with mental disabilities, Dr Chris shared good moments with the kids.
The pastor who was accompanied with Nollywood stars; Chinyere Winifred, Amaechi Muonagor, Ebere Okaro, all broke out in tears sighting these special children. Amaechi Muonagor said ‘’this visit has opened my eyes and I was devastated, I saw so many beautiful children and could not understand why they had to suffer so much pains.
What got to me more was despite their health condition, they were still happy and excited, ready to play, eat and smile when you come closer to them. I must also say that I was very impressed with how neat they all looked, how their nannies and care givers spoon feed and take care of them”.
The pastor donated cash, food items and wares to the hospice. On the reasons behind his celebrating with these special children, the pastor said “God has been so faithful to me and this being my 40th year on earth is worth celebrating, there is no better place than here. This is an opportunity to see children with special needs that I have never seen before, and this has added to my experience commitment to God and mankind.”
The visit to the Kirikiri female and Maximum prisons turned out a very emotive and joyous celebration. It was difficult for the inmates to let go of the celebrant and his entourage, the Great Ambassadors as he delivered to them, messages of hope, forgiveness, salvation, deliverance and transformation. They were also, presented with diverse relief items such as bags of rice, garri, beans etc, and fuel to power their generators etc.
Eke told the inmates that he was not there to sympathise with them but to celebrate them because of what God has decided to do in their lives. He hinted that for so many reasons, he decided to celebrate his 40th birthday with inmates of the Kirikiri prisons adding that experience has shown him that “It is not about what you take but what you give to humanity that matters. It is in appreciation of the goodness and mercy of God upon my life. “
Dr Eke also explained that it became necessary for him to celebrate with prisoners “When I discovered that a lot of people I grew up with, ended up in prison as armed robbers etc, I knew I must render some assistance to them.
So, I just have to celebrate and thank God that I didn’t end that way, though a lot of them are victims of circumstances.
I also want to send across the message of forgiveness, revival, salvation and deliverance so that they will understand that’s what life is all about. I’m here now, I’m fulfilled, I’m excited and I don’t think that I would have experienced the kind of joy I have right now, if I had thrown a birthday party.
A representative of the Maximum prison appreciated Pastor Eke for celebrating with the inmates and identifying with the down trodden noting that the gesture was a symbol of Christ in him. He prayed that his visit will open the gates for regular visits to the prisons and also pleaded with the celebrant and general public to assist the prisons in the areas of prisoners’ education, a 2.5 KVA generator, flat screen Television, drugs, more vehicles to convey inmates to court, etc.