As I was stepping out of my office gate yesterday morning, on my way for an appointment, I saw this woman and her 3 kids, standing at the grocery kiosk directly in front of our office.
“Please help me, we need some money to eat”, she cried. But curiously, none of the people standing in front of the kiosk paid her any attention.
As I observed closely, she was accompanied by 2 of her kids- a young girl of about 12yrs old, a little boy of about 6 yrs old and the 3rd baby was strapped to her back. They looked weary, perhaps they must have trekked a long distance begging everybody along their way to help them survive the day.
Immediately I saw them, a deep compassion overwhelmed me; I had to beckon on them to come over to my side.
“Why are you begging for money with these kids” I queried.
“Sir, I lost my husband last year, 2017. Since then, life has been difficult for me and my kids, nobody wants to help us. We were driven by hunger into the street to beg for money…….” She explained.
“But why don’t you start a petty business to take care of your family, instead of begging…” I enquired further.
“Sir, if I have some money, I can sell food- rice and beans, I don’t even like begging. It is just that we don’t have anyone to help us” she said.
“So you mean if we give you some money, you would start the business and stop begging”
“Okay. Tomorrow, this my brother( pointing to our team member, Mr. Peter), would come to know your place, talk to your neighbors, to know if we assist you, you would truly use the money to start a business and stop begging. Now take some money for transport and come back here tomorrow morning to take him to your place…..”
After giving her the money she left with her children.
We had concluded that she was one of those ‘Lagos fake beggars’ (they are very many, anyway). But surprisingly, she showed up in our office this morning, contrary to our expectation, to take our team member to her house.
Our team member, Mr. Peter followed her to her house in Orile-Agege, Lagos, where she lives with her 3 kids. Her name is Mrs. Christian Akinbode. She is 30yrs old. Her late husband worked with Lagos State Ministry of Education before his death. According to her, Up till now, the government had not paid them any benefit to support the poor family. From the information, Mr. Peter gathered from her neighbors, life has really been difficult for the poor family. And they attested to the fact that the widow is hard working and that she would do the business if helped. They were also full of praises for our organization for reaching out to support the hapless family.
And so this Saturday, the Voice of Divine Truth Int’l Outreach will be visiting Mrs. Akinbode, to present a grant of N20,000 to her to enable her start the food business she proposed. That will be the beginning of a dramatic turnaround for the poor family, as we are determined to lift them out of poverty. Hopefully, we would also like to support the education of the kids within the limits of our resources.
The bottom-line of this story;
Beloved, let us be sensitive to the numerous needy people we come across everyday on the street. God is interested in their welfare. Reaching out in love and showing them a little kindness could be our reasonable service to God. James1:27…
Our target is to empower 1000 widows between May-December 2018 with a free grant of ₦20,000 to enable them start or boost their petty businesses.