By Sade Afe
Well meaning Nigerians have been called upon to rise to the need of the less privileged, especially widows and orphans in the society.
An Akure based Pastor, David Olusesan made the call recently while delivering a short message during a welfare programme organised by “Beatrice and Friends”, a charity initiative based in the USA.
Olusesan stressed the need for people to be sensitive to, and give helping hands to the needy around them, pointing out that it is the best service to God and humanity.
Commending the “Beatrice and friends” initiative, the cleric said the gesture is worthy of emulation, adding that it will in no small measure give succor to the beneficiaries of its welfare packages.
He therefore urged the founder not to relent in her good deeds and praying for the initiative to wax stronger, so as, to cover more grounds in reaching out to less privileged people in the society.
In her speech during the programme tagged “Helping the Needy” , the founder of Beatrice and Friends and General Overseer of Bible Church of Reconciliation, USA, Pst. Dr (Mrs) Beatrice Arowolaju said the gesture is an injunction from God.which she said she must fulfill.
According to her, Beatrice and Friends is a charity initiative put up in America that has been meeting the needs of the less privileged including orphans and widows for the past 16 years.
Her words: “16 years ago, God reffered me, in a prayer, to the Book of Isaiah 58: 11-13 and spoke to me that I should be helping the needy and this I have been doing in America.
“Just last year, God told me again to come to my community in Nigeria to replicate the initiative here, that is why we are having the programme here today”
She maintained that her passion for widows was borne out of her experience as a fatherless, saying it was not an easy task for her mother for the past forty years to raise the children all alone after her husband’s demise
She said “when my father died forty years ago, people promised heaven and earth unfortunately, none of them could do anything to assist us, it was my mother all alone out of thin thick. She struggled to feed, clothe and educate us. It was not easy. In fact, that is why I did not allow her to come here today because whenever she hears about my father, she will burst into tears”.
Arowolaju however encouraged the widows not to see their status as a curse but they should be strong and prayerful to surmount their challenges while also standing in gap for the church.
On the selection of the beneficiaries, Arowolaju said “I got some pastors in Nigeria to help me in bringing the widows together from the church and outside the church within my community to benefit from the package.”
Arowolaju later inaugurated 16 member committee to oversee Beatrice and Friends in Nigeria for further programmes.
One of the beneficiaries, Alhaja Fatima Muraina appreciated the benefactor for her good gesture, pleading with other wealthy persons to take cue from her.
At the events, no fewer than 45 widows benefitted from the welfare programne and items distributed include :foodsstuffs, bags, clothings, cups and cash.