Pastor Raymond Nduka Orogun Ugbeh and his friend, Chaka, came visiting this morning, which was Christmas.
As we were drinking alkaline coffee, the question arose from Chaka how I have managed to reach where I am today.
I told them that:
1. I had suffered so much hardship in life.
Many people did not know, then, what I was passing through even as a medical doctor, and later as a minister, even when we came to Ughelli.
There were Christmas days, years back, and all we could afford was 2 kg each of the necks, wings, and legs of chicken. My wife would cook some tomato stew on the 24th, and then the rice on 25th December. We used to leave Aba very early on Christmas day to give food to my parents, that were both paralysed, at Otokutu. If we did not do that, be sure they will have nothing to eat for Christmas.
When we started ministry, sometimes on Christmas day, we will be preaching in a church outside town. The children might be with my mother-in-law or with us in the hotel.
Nobody knew our state of affairs.
2. When money has insulted you, learn to respect money, but learn to worship Jehovah.
God has helped me to be frugal. I have always looked beyond the immediate. I have always seen far ahead. I love the results of my delayed gratification.
People call me a miser, and that I am not a giver. They don’t understand my philosophy of life.
I’m not extravagant. I don’t give to those who have an entitlement mentality. I don’t waste my resources on wasteful, extravagant, and lazy people. I don’t give by compulsion or competition. I don’t give to receive from God.
I give, out of a sense of responsibility, and I hate gambling. God is not a slot machine, or a betting administrator. I give to those who are in real need and are going to be productive.
3. I have managed the resources that were given to me by people and churches so effectively, that I can now employ people and give to people.
There is life beyond the festive period.
God bless you.