“This is a week of grace” said Mr A with smiles as he took the cheque from me to take to the bank.
Yes indeed, this week has been one that God’s grace shone through. Did you ask what has been shining through the other weeks? Of course it has been but you know sometimes things happen in such a way that even an etheist will agree that there is God. You know those kind of things that happen that you feel like standing in the mist of “brethren and giving testimony”
The week started like every other week, for me it is the salary week, so it’s one that usally gives me concern. The Center staff must be paid. A couple of weeks ago, I had, after going to the market told a friend that I was going to give my staff a salary increase. Ha, how are you going to do that? Where will the money come from? It is hard paying what you are paying now and you want to increase salary. All these he asked in one breath. I honestly don’t know how, I answered, but I am just from the market and I could not help but wonder how they cope with the little salary they are paid and still put on such dedication at the work. Things are so expensive in the market, the basics!!! Anyway, I have to do it, they have families and transport fares have gone up too. I was just talking in faith for honestly that is what has seen us through, two years and running. Faith and God’s grace!! By Monday my mind reminds me everytime that I need to pay salary and the balance in the Center account may not pay the salary much less the increase I want to make.
Tuesday, Mrs Mordi visited us. Though she did not give us any donation, she gave me hope. She was impressed with what she saw, she asked who my partners are. Which organizations are partnering with you? None, I answered, I only depend on help from my siblings, few friends who I know I may have been stretching to their elastic limits. You do not run something like you are doing this way. You are doing a credible job (she said it) and people need to be aware. There are lots of organizations and individuals out there who are willing to work with genuine NGOs and I think what you are doing is good. We should sit down and talk, it is a route I have walked so I can imagine what you are going through, salaries, rent, daily running costs. Find time and come to my office and we shall talk. This was like music in my ears! It was like putting what I have been looking for in Sokoto in Sokoto state in my sokoto(trousers). I have spoken to a number of people that run NGOs here on how they go about sourcing funds and I have not met anyone who is willing to guide me. Now, here is someone offering to show me the ropes without my asking.
Wednesday, we got a visit from a priest, yes a priest. I had done something for a friend, nothing extra ordinary, just what you should for someone if you could. She was at morning mass, and after mass, she told the priest about it and in the process told him what I do. The priest, Rev. Fr E came to the Center. We talk, he wanted to how I came about doing what I am doing. I gave an abridged version of my story (I know priests are usually very busy). He prayed for and with us. On leaving, he asked if the Center has a brochure, yes, I gave him a couple of copies. He left, shortly after, he came back and gave us a donation. Hm…salaries, here you come or at least part of it, I thought to myself. About alf an hour later, a mother of a child that was in the Center came calling. It was an emotional visit, but one she said she needed to make. She gave us a donation in honour of her child, she said it was money she started putting aside for the son’s education, but now the son will not need it so she thought the Center may need it, no matter how small. She said that it was I who first let them know what to do about the child. I thanked her and we both thanked God. She left to go back to work. Hm.. God!
It was 1.35p.m, the children were set to have lunch. The door bell went. a man wanted to see the “proprietores”, please do let him come, we probably got an extra hand. The young man came, he was given a chair. I explained to him that we were about to have lunch as such I may not give him full attention. He’ld wait, he said. He watched us eat, lunch over, he wanted to talk to me privately. We went to the office. He said he was at the mid day mass. Rev. Fr. E was the officiating priest and talked about the Center. He said he did not believe the story and decided to check it out. We talked for a short while, he left but after he had given us a cash donation! After he left, I sat for a while in the office and just wondered at God, then I asked Mr A to take all the money to the bank.
Thursday morning I wrote cheques for June salaries giving the staff about 30% increase in their salaries. The surprise on their faces was enough satisfaction. About 3p.m, I was washing up the dishes after lunch, my phone went. It was Mrs AN. she wanted to confirm the Center address, she was on her way. I gave her the address and hung up. I met Mrs AN at this wedding I talked about here. She had said she would visit but I did not hear from her until now. Not long after she arrived. She apologized for not coming before now, she was in school but now school is over. Today inspite of the rain, she said she must get here, and here she was. We talked about different forms of disabilities in children. She gave us a cheque and promised to talk to her friends about the Center.
Friday, about 11 a.m, a man came to Center, he wanted to see me. He brought an envelop from Rev. Fr. E. After he left, I called Fr.E to say “thank you”, he said a parishioner who was at the mid day mass on Wednesday brought it for the Center. I thanked him. I then gave Mr A the cheque to take to bank and smiling he said “this is a week of grace” and I added and divine favour! I thank God for not just making it possible for us to pay salaries but to give the staff a raise in their pay!
How was your week? Hope it was one of grace and divine favour.
image from here