It was a moment of joy and thanksgiving to God, as the Methodist Church Nigeria, Edo Delta Diocese, honoured thirty three (33) women with Nneoma, Etieka and Diamond mother awards respectively.
During the Women Fellowship 2023 Annual Conference/Award service, held at the Effurun Circuit, Edo/Delta Diocese, the Church awarded women who have distinguished themselves in the service of God,as well as,contributed immensely to the growth of the Church.
The award recognition which is the first of its kind in the history of the Diocese, was geared towards encouraging the women to remain steadfast to the service of God and to appreciate them for their tireless work in the vineyard of God.
Preaching on the Conference theme, “Contending for the Faith”, with Subtheme, “Steadfast Women of Faith”, the Bishop of Edo/Delta Diocese, Rt Rev Nosa Nosayaba, said God does not use the qualified but the available, saying that the awardees were chosen because of their dedication to the service of God, maintaining that they should not be moved by sight until they fulfill their destinies.
Making reference to the biblical story of Elisha and Elijah, the clergy pointed that Elisha did not loose sight of what he desired from Elijah, as he demanded double portion of what Elijah carried and because of his steadfastness,he got what he desired.
He urged the women to stay put to their calling, refusing any form of fear or intimidation.
Bishop Nosayaba further highlighted three important factors for the fulfillment of one’s destiny, to include Time,Task and Location, adding that these factors must be in place if one must fulfil destiny.
According to him, there is time and season to everything that happens, stressing that times and seasons change and once the season of a man comes, his testimony shows.He stated that it might tarry, but we should wait for it. He added that Joseph was at a time a prisoner and in another time, he became a ruler.
The Bishop further added that when God wants to bless somebody, he creates a Task to be met, stressing that if we take advantage of the opportunity to meet any need in the church, it would become a stepping stone to our rising. He also disclosed that one’s location per time is very important to the fulfillment of destiny, stressing that if you must fulfill your destiny, you must be at the right location, referencing the book of John18:37.
In her speech, the chairperson of the Award planning committee,Dame Caroline Orunta, while congratulating the awardees, said they were nominated for a purpose, urging them not to relent in their service to God but continuously give their time,spiritual,material and physical resources to advance God’s kingdom.
In an interview with one of the Awardees and mother of an Abia journalist, Ugoeze Happiness Okereke, she thanked God for the recognition and promised not to waver in her service to God.
Ugoeze Okereke said the award would spur her to remain dedicated and committed in serving God,as well as,give tirelessly to humanity.
She urged other women who are looking up to such recognition to remain undeterred in their service, saying that even when nobody is recognizing them,they should continue serving,as God who sees in secret,would definitely reward them in the open some day.
She advised women to shun any form of eye service in the house of God, but give their whole heart to the advancement of God’s kingdom.
Note that Ugoeze Okereke served as a Relief steward for seventeen (17) years,working under the leadership of six Presbyters in Benin Circuit.
In 2014 precisely, Ugoeze joined the Benin Circuit Wesley Cathedral choir and continued tirelessly to serve in various capacities.
She also served as the welfare secretary of the Diocesan Women”s Fellowship and the Wesley Cathedral.
Despite facing numerous challenges, Ugoeze did not allow her faith in God to be compromised. She remained steadfast in her commitment to the church and her compassion for the needy was second to none. This made her an invaluable member of the Church community and her selfless service did not go unnoticed. Her story is an inspiration to many and a testament to the transformative power of faith.
Highpoint of the event,was the decoration of the awardees,presentation of gifts to them and special thanksgiving to God.