At various points and for a variety of purposes, men have had to bask in the delight and privilege of being ‘needed’ by their God. It is a complete honour and an unequalled grace that the divine extends a hand, reaching down to humans offering the opportunity, ‘asking to be of help’ in any capacity whatsoever in the accomplishment of a task, in the execution of an assignment for the glorification of God. This is reminiscent of the whole unfathomable idea of the incarnation. For our good and for his glory, divine providence was so orchestrated to incorporate the instrumentality of the lowly handmaid of Nazareth – the instrumentality of the virgin’s womb was required for the descent of God in human nature. This shows that there could be no better way by which one is exalted than when one avails oneself for God’s purposes. Indeed, by natural inclination, we are in the habit of asking God to do this or that for us; to assist us in innumerable ways; to grant fruition to our efforts and support our endeavours.
Very rarely do we as much as think of what and how we can do something for God; to support the materialization of any and all things that would please him or fuel the glory of his name here on earth. Very infrequently do we submit our time and treasures in building for him. Nevertheless, for as many as those who do so, their rewards are often in multiple folds. Like Mary who gave her Yes to God and humbly submitted herself to God’s honour, such persons are exalted and commissioned for everlasting honour and grace. All generations will call you blessed… posterity owes you gratitude and honour when you take advantage of the opportunity of being of instrumental service for God’s glory and honour. There are no doubts whatsoever, if God could accomplish such tasks as building himself a house of dwelling and a tent of meeting with His children, befitting and magnificent as it were, to the exclusion of human help. If men would not praise him or do him the honour that is His due, by some miraculous means, he would raise stones to ring out his name in adoration (Matt 3:9, Luke 3:8).
But God often calls us. He beckons on us to laud him yet more gloriously, with the echo of our voices, with our intellectual capacities, with our brawn and physical strength as well as with our material and financial resources. On the 1st of May 2021, feast of St. Joseph the Worker, a lot of kind-spirited individuals, Christians and Muslims alike assembled at the Sheraton Lagos Hotel, Ikeja in response to God’s summons to contribute their tokens as required for the completion of the Church construction project of the Catholic Church of the Presentation, 23road Festac Town, Lagos. This agenda had been in the works since 2019 and would have been held on same date in 2020 but for the lockdown consequent on the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. But thanks be to God, in spite of compelling challenges, the fund raising lunch was held and it was a huge success.
In attendance were a host of dignitaries, noble men and women who are undauntedly committed and devoted to fostering the building and expanding the kingdom of God on earth; amongst whom were; His Grace, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the See of Lagos; ably represented by Very Rev. Msgr. Anthony Obanla, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Lagos, His Lordship, Most Rev. (Dr.) Bulus Dauwa Yohanna, Bishop of Kotangora diocese, was also present to preach on the need to be generous and benevolent towards God, especially as He needs us to build for Him who builds for us. He noted that, like David, we must be willing to give to God especially such things that would cost us much (2 Sam 24:24). The distinguished Prof. Pat Utomi defied the hurdles of the usual Lagos traffic and ensured that he was present in person. In his keynote address, he reminded the audience that it only takes the commitment of a few individuals to accomplish any noble assignment, no matter how herculean.
The historic event was also graced by the former Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi who was represented by Hon. Barr. Vincent Eze-Nwajiagu, a former Commissioner in the State. The presence of the Chief launcher, Mr. Henry Obih, who would have been there in person but for an emergency that needed his urgent attention, was also notably felt in the person of his delegate, Mr. Chibuzor Okoye. More so, Rev. Frs. Simeon Irabor, Julius Temuyi were there to graciously support their brother and friend, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu, the Priest-incharge and host of the launch, who thanked all and sundry for honouring the divine invitation and for their generous contributions.
He greatly commended the heroic efforts and dedication of the organizing committee – an exceptional team headed by Mrs. Regina Ikpeni and IK Onodi Esq., who have laboured tirelessly and invested so much time, talents and treasures in coordinating all the logistics involved in seeing to the success of the fund raise. We continue in our fervent prayers for all people of goodwill who go to the mission by giving; we are guaranteed that as many as who support the propagation of the Gospel, God’s blessings upon you will be manifold. As you build for the Lord, may He in turn build your homes and expand your empires. May Jesus keep presenting you with his blessings in overwhelming abundance. Amen.