Recently, 21,000 widows from different towns in Osun State defied the cold harmattan breeze to attend the annual widows gathering sponsored by the founder of Kingsway International Christian Centre, (KICC), Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo and his wife, Yemisi.
Although the annual event had witnessed a large turn out of widows from inception, this huge number for this 14th year is to commemorate the 60th birthday celebration of Pastor Mrs Yemisi Ashimolowo.
Like a mustard seed, it all started 14 years ago with 300 widows, but this year witnessed a great turnout from different towns in the state: Odeomu,Ile -Ife, Modakeke, Oshogbo, Ikire, Ikoyi, Apomu, just to mention few.
To avoid stampede, the towns are called in different batches. They filed out in a long que with their cards to collect gifts from the host and invited dignitaries. The women were given six yards of wrappers and crispy 1000 notes. On their way out of the premises is another table for collection of food and drinks.
That fateful Saturday, the venue was charged with music ministration by Opelope Anointing band. Lapacious Bose was also on ground to spice up the event as the Master of Ceremony.(MC)
General Overseer of Christ Livingspring Apostolic Ministry (CLAM), Pastor Wole Oladiyun, admonished the widows to keep holding on to God as their succour and also rendered some Yoruba hymns in the course of his ministrations.The women, from different religious background danced, shouted halleluya and gave praises to God. Oladiyun, called everyone to emulate the cleric by giving back to the land of their nativity in all spectrum of the society.
Speaking with some of the beneficiaries after receiving their gifts, Daily Sun, noticed that the widows annual event is something to look forward to every year. They however, showered praises to the sponsors of the event.
Deputy Governor of Osun State, Mr. Benedict Gboyega Alabi,who also assisted in sharing wrappers to some batch of widows praised Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo and his adorable wife pastor Yemisi, for their kind gestures.
“Pastor Ashimolowo epitomizes Christ in all his doing by giving hope to the widows.I am, therefore, using this medium to call on illustrious sons of Osun, well meaning individuals and political office holders to emulate the cleric and provide similar assistance to the widows in their respective communities”, he said.
He applauded Pastor Ashimolowo for his immense contribution to Ode-omu, adding that the Kings University, founded by the cleric has been granting personal scholarship schemes to students.
Talking to Daily Sun, Pastor Mathew hinted that the gesture started with just 300 widows,14years ago, and has rolled over to 21,000.
Ashimolowo said he has decided to have a crusade, four times a year at different part of the country.
“Whenever I am in Nigeria and I see over 600 youths doing menial jobs in the morning, some of them has first degrees it pricked my heart. I have pictorial view of a Christian crusade where we cannot just preach but give them empowerment scheme, medical care, and also teach them how to catch fish not just giving them fish. Instead of the annual widows event, we would donate relief materials to the needy” he stated.
Reaching out to the widows over the years has been a personal cooperate social responsibility of the couple.