Pastor (Mrs) Comfort Luwei is the founding president of Faithful Women Intercessory Interdenominational Ministry, FWIIM. In this chat with Woman’s Own, she speaks on the mandate of FWIIM, women empowerment, her experiences so far.
By Ebele Orakpo
According to Pastor (Mrs) Luwei, she worked as a medical record officer at the Orthopaedic Hospital, Dalla, Kano before voluntarily retiring to follow her husband, Elder Matthew Luwei, when he was transferred to Lagos. She went into business therafter and was doing very well before she got the call to serve God full-time in 1999.
“I started my chain of businesses in Lagos and by 1999, I had to answer the call, so Faithful Women Intercessory Ministry started in October 1999. It is a gathering of purely women; it is not a political gathering, it is neither a gathering of gossips nor gathering for women liberation. It is a gathering where the women are taught the word of God and we intercede for our families, the nation and people in need,” she said.
“I had a vision which kept recurring and I felt ‘why should I leave all these things and go into full-time ministry? I can as well do it part-time.’ I started doing it part-time but I discovered it was not what God wanted. One day, I came to my boutique, opened the shop and asked everyone around to come in and pick whatever they wanted. It was a big boutique, well stocked. I sold only Swiss materials and Italian shoes and bags. Then cupion lace was N35,000. I gave the salon to my hairdresser and I gave out the Coca-Cola shop. I became satisfied after doing that. It was not money that brought me to ministry. God blessed me in every area and wanted me to work for Him. Since I answered the call, I have not lacked anything,” said Mrs Luwei, a seasoned protégé of Bishop David Oyedepo of Living Faith Church.
“FWIIM is a training ground.
God has given me the vision to teach women and I teach them all round. I teach them how to make good money legally, how to make a happy home, how to respect their husbands and how to impact their environment/community positively. By the grace of God, they are doing that,” said Luwei, a 2018 recipient of Independent International Female Ministers,IIFM, Leadership Integrity Award.
Crises in homes
“Today, so many homes are facing crises and most of the crises are due to lack of money. Most men have lost their jobs and they are frustrated so in that case, I teach the women how to do something to support the men. I make them understand that there is nothing like a full housewife, the only thing you have is ‘fool’ housewife. Every woman is a help mate and so she must do something to help her husband. With that challenge, the women are going into various businesses and by God’s grace, they are happy. We teach the women handwork. I bring in people to teach bead-making, soap-making, how to tie gele (head-tie), makeup etc, all free of charge. So with that, they can start up something on their own and some of them have started,” she said.
Pastor Luwei who said she has not really noticed any challenge for now because God supplies all their needs, noted that they have been able to achieve a lot. “From this place, many of the women have gotten their call and have started their own ministries. Most homes are happy now because they belong to FWIIM. The truth is that the men bring their wives to me because they have seen the impact. We teach them how to be complete wives.”
“With the positive transformations the men saw in their wives, they said they too needed to learn one or two things. That was how Honorable Men started. They meet every second Friday of the month for a vigil.
At FWIIM, we believe that if the wife prays well, the house will be well, the church will be well and it will affect the society positively. So both the man and his wife will play their roles, understand each other, pray together and work together to achieve peace.”
Progress so far
On how she has been able to sustain FWIIM in the past 19 years, she said: “God has been providing all our needs. FWIIM is ordained by God. The Lord made me to understand that I won’t have to suffer as He would make provisions. I won’t have to go scouting for people, I won’t have to beg as long as I keep working for Him and I am faithful and truthful, He will supply all my need. I have a mentor, Bishop David Oyedepo who taught me so much – how to be faithful, truthful and how to depend on God, not looking unto man.
“I started with just one person in my parlour. From there, the Lord said it was time to launch out so we moved to 75 Egbe Road. We grew up to over 30 members and the place became too small for us. When we got to our present place, we started in the small auditorium. We could only roof half of the auditorium because of lack of funds. The day the Lord told me He was giving me one week to roof the rest, I simply said ‘Lord, if you are the one speaking to me, do it.’ A day to the day it will elapse, the money came and we roofed it. When the place became too small for us, the Lord said I should build Him a house, I obeyed and God provided and we built. Nobody was taxed; no one was compelled to bring anything.”
Mrs Luwei who has authored three books – The Fulfilled Woman, The BUT in your life and How to make love last, said the secret to becoming a fulfilled woman is in making out time for your children, husband and home.
“I am a full-time minister. I work Monday to Friday but I make sure Saturday and Sunday are for my family. When I close from work everyday, I sit with my children and we talk about what is happening. Get close to your children, know them in toto, know their problems and pray for them.
In The BUT in your life, every human being has a But in his/her life. Mine used to be anger. I had to work on it. If you know your BUT, work on it.
How to make love last talks about communication between a man and his wife. Don’t hide anything from your spouse. If you lie today, tomorrow, you may forget you had lied and tell the truth so the best thing is to keep telling the truth no matter what. If you lie to a man, the love will diminish. Again, if you have problem with your husband, never allow the children to come into it because if you do; when they know the truth, the hatred they’ll have towards you will be worse than the love you think they had for you.”
Advice for women
“I always advise women to endure; marriage is for life so they have to endure. I believe, things will eventually get better.”
Even in the face of abuse?
“In the case of beating, I will find out why the man always beats the wife, maybe she is the type that talks too much, if the man says one thing, she says 20. Some women can talk non-stop and in the process of talking, she may abuse the man and the next thing the man does is to slap her because he can’t match her in talking. I advise women to put water in their mouth anytime a situation like that arises so that they won’t be able to talk.
But in a situation where the man is simply a terror, the Bible supports separation. Separate for a while.”
Future of Faithful Women
Right now, we have about 500-strong membership, apart from those who just attend fellowships. In the next five, 10 years, we hope to be in the entire African continent. For now, we are only in Nigeria and Togo.”
“It is simply because God called me. If not that it is the calling of God and He has empowered me, it is not easy managing women. Two, He has given me wisdom. Each time crisis comes, somebody says something about someone else, I ask her: ‘Are you sure of what you are saying?’ As she is talking, I call the other person without her knowledge. As the person comes, I will ask her to repeat what she just told me Since they know that is what I do, gossiping stopped. Gossiping brings about crises. Also, the Lord asked me to share them into groups. We have five groups and each group has its leaders so anything that happens in their groups, they take care of it and they keep me informed.
Since this is a training ground, every week, I give them time to learn, interact, talk, moderate, pray, preach so they grow from there.
Mrs Luwei, a mother and grandmother, said she never regretted quitting her job and businesses because she is busier now, more exposed and greater opportunity to travel wide and meet people.