From WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti
For couples still to have children after years of marriage, here is hope and a reason for you not to lose faith in God. Mr. Micheal Sunday Ajala, in his early 50s, and wife, Hellen Folashade, in her late 40s, got married over 16 years and had no child until a few weeks ago, when God surprised them with a set of pretty twins, a boy and a girl.
Admitting that the 16-year journey was tough and slippery, Ajala said what kept the couple going was a strong faith in God that He alone, could give them the fruit of the womb: “It was almost nerve-breaking experience but we thank God that He eventually saw us through because we have been believing in Him for all the 16 years we were expecting. And God proved Himself beyond all reasonable doubts.
“We believe in the efficacy of the power of God. We were praying and we believe that God can do all things. We believe in the grace of God, that there is nothing impossible for Him to do.”
In Africa, it is a cultural imperative that when a couple gets married, the following year, the wife is expected to start cuddling a baby. She becomes the butt of insults and blames when after years, no such thing happens.
How did Mrs. Ajala cope with such attitude from relatives, in-laws and friends? Her response: “There were many challenges. One of them and very painful was during December period when I would see other mothers buying gifts for their children.
“In my place of work, I would see many parents buying gifts for their children. Many would be talking about what they would buy for their children. Some would be saying that if one has no child in this world, his coming is in vain. So, I heard so many unpalatable things about our condition from friends, colleagues at work and even church members.
“But I was not discouraged or moved through the grace of God. I was not moved with such mockery and insults because I believe in God’s power. I have been praying and He had assured me that He would do it. So, whenever I heard those things, I held on to God’s promise. That way, I did not entertain so much worry. Fortunately, there were no pressures from my in-laws. They supported us and were praying for us. They are very loving people.
Of course, there would have been pressures on the husband too. How did he handle the situation? His response: “I had so many people come to me and gave several advices. Some said that I am getting older to the point of having grey hairs. They urged me to marry another woman.
”Some even arranged a secret wife for me but I refused all these overtures because I believe in the promise of God that it would come to reality. When I did not give in to a second woman or wife, some others suggested that I visit herbalists and other spiritualist. I refused because I believe only in the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that there is a living God in our church, The Gospel Faith Mission International, that answers prayers.
“We are both ministers in the church of God by God’s grace and we held on tenaciously to our faith in God. If I were to advise other couples still waiting on God for the fruits of the womb, I will simply urge them to be just a little patient still. This is because God has a better package for them. He wants to answer their prayers in a better way. They should not be moved by pressures from both families, friends, relatives and what have you.
“It is only God who can answer their prayers. His gifts are perfect and add no sorrow. By the time they wait on God, He would answer them in a bigger way and they will give all glory to Him. For us to have been able to hold on till this time that God answered us, it has been by God’s grace and our closeness to His word which kept assuring us and the church has really helped us a lot.”
The wife again: “For women who are still expecting this bundle of joy, they should stick to God, strengthen their faith in Him. They should depend on God for their own miracle because, from my experience, I have come to know that there is no impossibility with God. Whatever He says He would do, He would surely do it.
“The year we got married, God assured me that I would never be barren. When this delay came, I did not doubt Him, I held unto His word and kept faith with it.
“To those who mocked us, derided us, and given wrong advice to us, we enjoin them to come closer to God and seek to know Him better. If they had come to the knowledge of Christ, they would not have done such.”
Traditionally, a set of twins are christened Taiwo and Kehinde in Yoruba land but the Ajalas, gave other names, loaded with meanings. The3 names reflected their feeling of gratitude and the experience they had before the bundles of joy came to wipe off their tears. They gave the baby boy names such as Phillip Sunday Temitope (I should be grateful to God) Abimbola ( I am born with wealth) Oluwapamilerin (God made me laugh) and Ayomide (my joy has come). While the baby girl was christened Delight, Bisola (born into wealth), Iyanuoluwa (God’s wonder) and Modalayo ( I have become a joyful person).
The twins were christened at the Gospel Faith Mission International Church, Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State.