In January 2017 and due to the financial difficulty we were experiencing, we became very concerned about the choice of secondary school for our first son, Okechukwu, who was in primary six then. One morning as we spoke with him, he said to us that he is ready to write as many entrances as we can afford but that he will not go to a day school. We knew we had to trust God for his desire to come through. We prayed daily that God would grant him his desire and for directions too.
How time flies. The entrance examination time came, and we registered him for the Turkish mathematics exam. He studied mathematics very hard and wrote the exam, the result came out and he scored 94% but did not get the scholarship. He cried and sorrowed over it for days. We all encouraged him but on one of those days, his younger brother told him that God had kept a better thing for him but he is not seeing it; and that he should remember we had been praying for him. He looked at him and smiled. From that day our son cheered up.
Two weeks later, Turkish International School sent another message to conduct another examination for candidates that scored above 80% in the last exam and our son, Okechukwu, went and scored 97% this time. The school called us and we asked if they can give him a scholarship. They said it was Abuja that gave scholarships based on the first entrance they conducted but because of his performance, it can be negotiated. There was no need, so we ignored the suggestion. We registered seven entrances for him, he wrote 6 and could not write one because the date clashed with another of his entrances.
While we were waiting for the results of these entrances, he led a team of 3 pupils in his school to RSTV for a competition (Green brain) and his school came out as the first school to defeat four schools at a stretch since the programme began. He won his school a plaque.
On a Wednesday morning, a parent in his school called and told me about a mental mathematics competition organized by NDDC. I told my husband, we asked our son and he was very eager to go for it. The application form had finished at the centre when we got there the next day but God used one of the organizers to retrieve a form from a school who still had some left. They called my husband because Okechukwu had told them how eager he was to compete. We collected and filled the form. 5 days later, he went for the competition at the Presidential Hotel in Port Harcourt.
Many schools were represented and over 320 pupils competed. As the elimination was going on, Okechukwu kept on topping his group until he emerged “The Gold Medalist” for the 2017 Mental Mathematics competition organized by NDDC with 31 points as opposed to 19 and 15 points for 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. My family felt the joy and love of God again in the midst of lack. We were assured once again that God is hearing our prayers. Who could have done that if not God? This was a child who resumed school late every term, with fees in debt, worn out uniforms and most times hungry in school and at home for more than 4 years. Each time they are going for any examination they will always say to one another, “God is big in you, remember you are the head; not the tail.” My husband and I believed and were consoled and encouraged by those words. It was really clear to all of them that things were not just alright those years.
School graduation time came, and the school wrote to us that we should pay a certain amount and write a congratulatory message for him, to be published in the school magazine programme because Okechukwu was their head boy and the president of their Press club, so it was mandatory. We began to trust God for provisions.
During our seed week in July 2017, my family came to church with great expectations daily. On Thursday of that week, the praise and worship team raised a song “Creator of the universe, what can’t you do, what can’t you change Yahweh.” As this song was going on, I looked at my son who was standing beside me, and his eyes were filled with tears. I looked at him with a gaze and he nodded his head. I knew it was his school and his graduation on his mind, we needed to join faith to receive our miracle. Immediately, Pastor Nkechi took the microphone and told us to run around and that as we run around, so will things turn around for us. That was it for me and my children. We quickly ran outside the tent smiling and jumping around holding hands as we sang. We had prayed in the house and blessed the only but very little money we had in the house for our seed that day, agreeing not to ask for food when we come back from church that evening. God indeed turned things around for us. On Friday the next day, the headmistress told my son that she will pay for the magazine publication. This was like a dream and so quick. Yes, she paid. Two days later, a family friend in the church told my husband that he wants to see my son and shake him for the mental mathematics competition he won. That weekend he blessed him with money, we were very happy and thanked God for the money. I started spending from the money a few days later, I was not so comfortable with it because the day he brought that money home, I got the ministration to let him sow it. So, I called him to ask how much was remaining. He told me and added, “Mummy I want to sow it.” I asked to whom and he told me he already knew it was a teacher in the children’s church. So, on Sunday morning we blessed the seed and he sowed it. That same week God came through.
Despite the outstanding school fees, his school gave him all the awards he won. Out of 11 awards, the school gave out, Okechukwu got 8 awards including The Best Graduating Pupil for 2017 and 2017 Directors’ Award. The school gave him a scholarship from JSS1-SS3 to board. A friend in the church gave him a big graduation cake. A parent in his school gave him a graduation suit. God did not stop there. All the entrances he wrote were successful. In some, he was best on the list while for others he was amongst the best 3. The Navy entrance examination he did not write sent us a congratulatory message, congratulating him on his performance. God is really big in him.
Okechukwu refused to accept his school’s scholarship and the negotiation some of the schools called us for. He was waiting for the one he really wanted – The Federal Government Academy (FGA – a school for gifted and talented children in Nigeria). Finally, in early September 2017, the FGA result came out and a call came from the principal of the school. After introducing himself he said, “We are glad to let you know that your son, Okechukwu Zeal Achonu Jnr. is one of the best of the best in our 2017 entrance examination.” My husband shouted great God, as we all were expecting the result and we gathered around him. He was still on the phone and Okechukwu said, “I know I will pass, ask him my position.” My husband asked and the principal said, “Number 3 on our list. Tell him he is 3rd in the Federation.”
What a mighty God we serve. The expectations of the righteous will not be cut short. He turned the captivity of Zion and they were like they that dream. Okechukwu is in Federal Government Scholarship from JSS1-SSS3 with the prospect of still furthering under the scholarship in foreign universities. The school re-opened on the 30th of September 2017, later than other schools. God came through this time and made greater provisions. My husband got a job miraculously in September – that is another testimony he will share himself. Okechukwu and his siblings went back to school with every need met. Our God never forsakes His children.
God came through for us because we heard God’s Word undiluted – words that gave us hope, encouragement and also built our faith in God. God’s blessing is upon the pastors of this church; we draw from it and get blessed too. I appreciate everyone in this church who God used to bless and uplift us during our trial time; our great rewarder will richly reward your gift of love to us. My great pastors, Pastor Kech and Pastor Sola, an abundance of God’s grace and your desires in God’s will is my prayer for you daily. My family and I love you so much. God bless TCC. Praise God!