Stories

Grace Speaks

January 18, 2024

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We met by divine ordination
I picked up my children in school that fateful day and Harmony, my daughter insisted we go to the supermarket to buy toys
She does that once in a while and being that she is four years old I find it a bit difficult to say No to her without plenty of explanation

The simplest solution would be to give her whatever she wanted
The most difficult is to say no and then start explaining why
That afternoon, I didn’t feel like being asked a million questions so I just drove to the supermarket
We got there and off we went to the toy section

She had made a mental note of what she wanted from our last visit and she picked it as soon as we got there
I got to the cashier and paid
She was in a hurry to get home to unpack the toy

We got to the car park and a man and a woman stood there, beside a car, looking as if they had been crying for hours
My heart went out to them
So I held my daughter in one hand and turned to them and said,

“Good afternoon, sir, I hope there is no problem,” I asked
The man turned to me and pointed at someone in the car
He said, “That is my daughter, we got a text message this morning to pick her up at Ogijo

When we got there, we found her looking like a zombie
They have used my daughter for ritual, they have taken her senses
See the way she is just staring into space
We picked her up and brought her here so that she can be attended to by Pastors but none of the pastors we know is available
We came to buy anointing oil and a handkerchief before heading out to Lagos
We know God can restore her but we need divine intervention
I said, “Can I talk to her?”
Her mother opened the back door of the car
I asked, “What is her name?”
I was told
I called her name twice and there was no response

My daughter had grown impatient with the drama
She just wanted to go home and play with her toy
She said, “Aunty Anita, let us go to our house and play with my toy”
The lady turned, looked at my daughter, and smiled
My daughter took her hand out of my own and extended it
The lady took it as she came down from the car
My daughter clutched her toy tightly with the other hand
I just watched them
They both went to my car together
The lady and my daughter moved to the back seat
I told her parents to drive after us

We got to my house
Her parents stayed in their car
The children and this lady went into the house
I took the phone number of the parent and encouraged them to go home and rest
They were happy to
By the time I got into the house, the lady had slept off on the couch in the sitting room
The children ate, did homework, had their after-school lessons, watched TV, and made noise but she slept on and on
She woke up the next morning at about 10 am
The children had gone to school
But she was totally back to her senses
She remembered the little girl whose voice drew her out of a dark place

She said she was doing well until she turned 17 and fell in love with a guy while she was attending pre-degree school at a university
The guy was a footballer and was desperate to travel to Europe
She was in love and didn’t want to lose him
So they both ran away to Libya
Hoping to cross from there into Europe
While in Libya, her boyfriend was shot and killed by a gangster
She was raped and passed around for a few months
She escaped and tried to cross
Her boat capsized
She was rescued and thrown in jail
The first stretch was for six months in which she didn’t see the sun
She was released
She tried to cross again
Her boat capsized again
She was thrown into another jail in Tripoli
Spent another six months there
Made some friends and became a willing sex worker in order to survive when she was released

They tried to cross again, but their boat capsized again
Out of 23 of them on the boat, she alone survived
She woke up in the hospital
Nobody knew how she didn’t drown
The Nigerian government sent a plane for them
They bundled her from the hospital into the plane
She arrived Nigeria

She didn’t know where to go

A friend she met on the plane told her she could stay with her family at Ikorodu
She went with the friend
That was the last thing she remembered until she woke up in my sitting room
She went to Libya at 17 and returned at 25
There were too many gaps in her memory but I know everything will come back to her eventually
I drove her home
She knew the way home
“Why did you go to your friend’s house when you could have come straight home?” I asked her
She said “There was nothing for me at home, my parents are too poor and I was determined not to be a burden unto them
I have four younger ones and I am always thinking of them and how they will survive
That is all that mattered to me
We talked at length
She said she will never get married, and does not want anything to do with God
She had seen too much of life’s other side too early in her life
Her parents rejoiced to see her
They shouted Hallelujah when they heard her speaking and acting normally
They were very grateful to me and to God
Her father uses his truck to transport farm produce from Ogun state to Lagos
Her mother sold petty stuff from their sitting room
I knew she wouldn’t want to stay home for too long
I told her not to be in a hurry to go on another adventure but to gain the skill needed to survive
She said, “How did you know what I was planning?”
I smiled
I had been in her shoes before, many years ago
Not wanting to be a burden on my single mother
Trying to make my own way in life
It was not as easy as I thought then and I know it is not easy now
I asked her what she would like to do with her life
She said she would like to own her own fashion outfit
She worked for a tailor in Libya for a while and could sew a bit
I said it is not a problem
I made some calls
We found someone willing to train her for a fee in Lagos
We sorted out accommodation and made part payment for her tuition
Then with crossed fingers, her parents drove her there

I was praying fervently that she would stay there and love it
That the Lord will make her see this is the best thing for her now
That she wouldn’t just disappear into the wind again
It has been a month
She has distinguished herself by her dedication and commitment
Her tutor was Impressed and so am I
Remember what the Lord asked us to do last month during the prevailing prayers?
He said we should care for the poor and take them out of the hand of the evil one
This is one example out of many
I share it because the Lord laid it on my heart to do so today

If you will like to support this young lady in any way
Her school fees balance is there
Feeding and other needs are also there
You are free to send me a DM
We are helping a lot of willing young men and women who had stayed into prostitution, drug abuse, and other vices to get their lives back in order
If the Lord has laid it on your heart to support us pls feel free
Psalm 82: 3-4 has always been an instruction I hold dear to my heart
We can all make a difference if we will do as the Lord instructs us.
I await you in my DM

-GSW-

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