This is my fourth child and third son. At the time of writing this (sometime in 2016), he was in final year in Europe. He is currently doing a Master’s.
One of the areas I faced my greatest challenge in early stages of my life was in the family front. In this write-up I will concentrate on the children.
God was so gracious to us that despite the fact that my wife and I are both of AS genotype, we did not have any sicklers. We even gave a gap of 8 years between the 3rd child and the fourth one. However, we had a lot of challenges.
Lessons of Life
Every dream will be challenged.
I’ve come to realize that life is a constant battle, whether you choose to accept it or not. The most decorated soldiers are those that have survived countless or grueling battles; sometimes, the more stars a soldier gets decorated with, the more scars he/she has had to survive.
My eldest son wanted to be a medical doctor from early childhood. He had always wanted to school and practice in Europe, but when we sold the hospital and came to Ughelli, things were very hard financially. We had to sell some of our land to send him to a private university in Nigeria; we did not know, however, that it was not accredited for medical studies yet. The owner took more than 200 students for a provisional approval for 50 students. In order to keep the students they had to be releasing them in batches. Moreover the quality of training was very poor.
I decided to send him to Europe and he was accepted for Year 2 from 4th year. I did not mind despite all I spent. We sold another land and got a visa for him to go. On getting there, he was sent back with his friend on the next flight with complaints that there was an error in their visas. I got a flight for them from Lagos to Abuja. They went to the embassy and they said nothing was wrong with the visa. I borrowed money from a cooperative and bought another ticket and as they were about to board, the new airline refused to carry them. They questioned why they were sent back in the first instance.
I bought a third ticket. The next day, just as they were rushing to the airport, a policeman stopped the taxi and time was running out. They called my uncle, whose son was with him, and he rebuked the policeman who then let them go with only a limited time to check in. Thank God they got to Europe safely and eventually were allowed in. You can imagine the stress.
All through this I was preaching from state to state. Nobody knew what I was passing through apart from my wife and my uncle’s family. Life is not a bed of roses.
Thank God I was in Europe for his graduation in 2012. I was the only black parent in the hall. I remembered where I was coming from in the slums of Okere in Warri and I wept. Today, he is a doctor in Germany and it was through him, his younger siblings were able to continue their studies abroad.
Like in Scars, Stains, Scandals, and Stars, don’t let your scars scare you from being decorated with stars.
I pray for you that no one will not be able to stop your dreams or those of your children. No matter the present challenges you might be facing now and despite your scars and stains, God will not fail you. As He has stood by Israel He will stand by you.
God Bless You.