First Lady Esther Uzosike is the wife of Bishop Victor Uzosike and co-pastors the flock of Kingdom Life Gospel Church, with her dynamic husband. First Lady Uzosike has a passion for the family and
hosts a Family Breakthrough Fellowship at the ‘Jesus Cathedral’ every Wednesday. She also pilots a ministry to widows and orphans, as part of the Uzosike World Outreach. This Bio-chemist-turned Preacher, and mother, speaks about the ministry:
The Vision and Scope of the Widows Ministry
“Actually the Widows’ Ministry is borne out of divine inspiration. God says that the widows are His wives and He is very particular about them. We find a rising number of widows in Africa and especially the church as more and more men die as a result of poor health conditions, road accidents (our roads are horrible), tribal and religious conflicts, and HIV/AIDS. Most times, in this part of the world, we realize that basically widows are neglected and not cared for once their husbands – who are the bread winners of their homes – pass on, and these widows are easily drawn to Pastors’ wives whom they feel are more accessible, more understanding of their plight, and can help them. We decided that, like the Apostles said, it wasn’t proper for the Man of God to be saddled with serving tables and catering for the welfare of the widows when he should be giving attention to the Word of God and prayers.
The ministry is burdened with this plight of widows and aims at reaching out to widows not only in the cities, but mostly in the villages, creeks, hamlets, and hinterlands where most of these women are forced to retire to at the death of their spouses. Most of them believe that life in these rural areas are cheaper, but this is not true as they pay a greater toll in poor healthcare; lack of clean, potable water; poor educational facilities for their children, etc.
We have been reaching out with love and welfare materials like foodstuff, toiletries, and monetary gifts. We also intend to train, empower and set up the industrious ones among them in small scale businesses, so they can better care for their children”.
1.“One of the challenges we face is the fact that you can’t say for sure whether most of them coming are actually widows. We have noticed in some of our outreaches that most women, whose husbands are still alive, but very poor, file out when they see our ministration to genuine widows.
2.Also we get some complains from people who said they were omitted in the distribution of supplies. We tried to handle that particular challenge at our last outreach, which was a three-day programme, by insisting on having them register so as to know the number of widows, and on the last day we had enough gifts for everyone, and they were thankful.
3.We are also faced with the challenge of vehicles (vans and buses) to make distribution of welfare materials to widows in the hinterlands easier, as well as convey those from much more remote areas to/fro central outreach locations.
4.We would also like to be able to foot the medical bills of the very sick ones among them. In one of our outreaches the widows benefited from free medical treatment, under the auspices of our sister outreach – Free Medical Missions – but the Medicare they received wasn’t as extensive as we would have wished for.
5.Added to this is the need for an administrative building with a proper staff, so that we can monitor these widows and their progress. It’s not just about giving them fish, but teaching them to fish.
6.Another area of challenge is funding. Right now, I would say we are doing okay, but we still believe God that more people will join in; because it will actually be burdensome for my husband and me alone, as we expand and reach out to more and more widows. I believe that with what people saw of the outreach to widows on March 14th (Mothers’ Day); more persons would be moved to join us in our subsequent outreaches.
More people are getting enlightened on the need to reach out, because in the past people had this attitude of ‘after all I’m not a widow or there is no widow around me’ so nobody actually cared for these women. Thankfully people are becoming more spiritually mature and coming to terms with the need to share with others, rather than continuing in an attitude of self-sufficiency and selfishness. The truth is that any prosperity enjoyed alone is not actually prosperity, so they try to extend a helping hand”.
About the Orphanage
“For you to have an orphanage you need to keep everything in place like the environment and the finance to maintain even those taking care of it. We are bidding our time”.
“Family is a large unit of a society because there is nobody who doesn’t come from a family - a widow comes from a family; a child, even though an orphan, comes from a family. So by the time we are able to reach out to all of them, we have a better society.
It is always good to be a blessing. We don’t give to widows to receive from them, but we are actually lending to God and when you do so you are definitely sure of your reward. We are sowing a seed, such that those of us who are not widows will live to enjoy our spouses. And it gives us so much joy that God finds us faithful to be used as vessels in this age”.