Of Noah EbijeKaduna
After more than 20 years of peddling and distributing news papers and magazines on the streets of Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna State, Mr. Marcel Aluka Ogana, popularly known among his colleagues as Mr. Eyo, decided to enroll in a theological school, where he trained as a pastor.
However, his lifelong desire to work in God’s vineyard was cut short as a result of visual problems he developed shortly after entering pastoral service.
Ogana, 54, from Yala Local Government Area in Cross River State, residing in Kaduna, told the Daily Sun in an interview that he started having eye problems when he was assigned Danja Local Government Area in Katsina State to minister in a church in the area.
One fateful morning, he said his eyes had turned reddish and from that moment he started moving from one eye hospital to another across the country to seek a cure, but to no avail.
At one point, he added, medical experts concluded it was too late to cure him of the eye infection because “the glaucoma had worsened to resist surgery”.
He said that despite his eye problems, there was no turning back in God’s work, adding that all he needed was a mentorship that would provide him with an education in Braille and lift him up in life. evangelization.
However, Ogana’s wife, Maria, while speaking to our correspondent about how she was coping with her husband’s condition, said that she gives all glory to God, since he is the creator of life. , he would always see the family through the difficulties.
When asked if she had considered divorcing her husband due to his current condition, she replied that such thoughts would never cross her mind as she married for better or for worse, in accordance with Christian marriage vows.
Maria said she married her husband because he feared God from the start of their marital union.
Interestingly, Ogana, who calls his wife Queen, said they never had a fight in their 11 years of marriage, blessed with three daughters.
Ogana told his life story, “I got married on July 15, 2011. But as a troubled young man, I had never had eye problems before. The problem appeared in 2009. But before that, I remembered very well that in 2006, when I looked at a light bulb, it appeared to me like a rainbow. But I had no pain, until 2009, and it became obvious. I used to read by candlelight, lantern and electric light. I had never had eye problems before.
“In 1991, when I left the business of selling newspapers, which I did for many years, I was admitted to Kaduna Polytechnic, where I obtained an advanced certificate in language English. And, in 1994, I was admitted to Plateau State Polytechnic, Jos, where I studied public administration. I finished the program in 1997. The newspaper business was the source of my income for all my university programs. I never had any financial help from anyone; I never asked anyone to help me pay my tuition. The newspaper business was my source of income for all my university programs. From a newspaper peddler, I became a distributor of all the national dailies and all the international magazines in Kaduna.
And in 1998 I returned to Kaduna to sell newspapers again and at that time I was converted to a born again Christian. God had started talking to me about going into full-time ministry for evangelism. God spoke to me about pastors Kumuyi and Adeboye, saying, do I know what made their ministries special? And that it was because they had accepted the call of God. So this message changed my orientation and I started getting advice here and there. I have a passion for the ministry of God. So, when the certificate program in theology was introduced in my church, I did it at the Western African College for Christian Mission, between 2009 and 2011, in Kaduna, but now affiliated with Lagos State University.
“My eye problem started in 2009 when I completed a certificate program in theology at my church. I was then assigned to Danja Local Government Area in Katsina State. One Monday morning, I woke up to find my eyes had turned red. I didn’t know exactly what had happened to my eyes. I went to my district pastor, he looked me in the eye and asked me what had happened to me. I told him that I woke up that morning and found there was a problem with my eyes. He tried to dissuade me from going for a ministerial internship which lasted a month. But I insisted that I should go for the ministerial assignment despite my eye problems because it is better for me to die in the house of God as a missionary than to die at home as a coward. However, I went to the National Eye Center, where they gave me medication. And after that, I followed the program and completed successfully. In 2010, when I came back to Kaduna, I had to go back to the National Eye Center, and they found out it was glaucoma. This was discovered after several appointments with the hospital. Sometimes I would stay there from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. before being picked up. At one point I felt frustrated and discouraged to go back. But in 2012, I started going to another specialist hospital along Kachia Road in Kaduna, but they found that my condition had worsened, he could no longer be operated on. This is how I battled this condition.
“I am 54 years old and I am not doing anything now because of my eye problem. But I want to enter the ministry. I have a strong passion to enter the ministry of God and all of a sudden this problem came in between. The devil thinks he can stop me, but I will go into the ministry of God because I want to evangelize in Nigeria, Africa and the world. I can tell you that, despite my challenge, I move from street to street, preaching every morning in my locality with the help of a brother in Kaduna. I preach in English and my brother interprets in Hausa. I am full of joy when I do God’s work. I want to evangelize the world. I have been a member of Deeper Life Church since I was 22 years old. The church was a big help to me, especially when I was at school in Jos.
The pastor of the church was a great help to me. The church is aware of my eye problem and is praying for me. I get advice from them about my plan to start braille reading. I want to read and write in Braille and I know that will help me more in my desire to evangelize the world again.
“Every place I went to get the eye problem solved was a negative response that the eyes can’t be operated on anymore. But my faith hasn’t diminished or diminished. I still hold on to my God because he is a God of miracles and it is the assurance that he gave me that I will recover my sight one day. But I do not want to remain idle, I want to evangelize the world while waiting for God to restore my sight. I do not I don’t have a financial estimate of the amount I spent on my sight problem, but I have been to several specialized hospitals. For the moment I miss him a lot, I have several Versions of the Bible that I am supposed to meditate on, I also have books that I spent over N200,000.00 to buy but I cannot read them again. And even the rats ate some of the books. And my kids, when they were growing up, tore up some books. I still want to read some books. So going to braille reading will help me. I am therefore appealing for mentorship or sponsorship for the teaching of Braille.
“There are no words left for me to describe my wife in the face of this challenge. She has been the pillar of the house, it takes a God-fearing wife to stand by your side in difficult times. She combined my duty of husband with her own work as a wife. She helped the family grow. We never had a fracas, we never argued. My wife is now the breadwinner of the family. My parents are all in I lost my father and my mother in the early 2000s. I don’t want to go back to the village because I don’t want to be a burden on anyone, even though my brothers and sisters suggested that I move to the village.
“I have a beloved brother in the church who serves as my guide whenever I want to visit a place or two. especially visually impaired people like me, in order to improve their situation.
Maria said: “We are now 11 years into marriage. We have three children so far from marriage. However, when I was about to marry her, one of my sisters objected to the marriage, saying that wasn’t the kind of man I should marry. She said she intended to sponsor me to some college. But I insisted that I should marry the man because he is a God-fearing man, always ready to serve God with all his heart. And thank God, my people, including my sister, then supported the marriage. I was 29 when I got married with him.
“One of the qualities I found in him when he proposed to me was that he was God-fearing, and he went ahead to convince me that he was taking a pastoral course, hoping to be a pastor in full-time.
“However, a few years after the start of our marriage, he became blind. So, many challenges began to await us: no money to educate our children, I could no longer materialize my plan to continue my studies. He became blind after the second child. So meeting the needs of the family became a problem. But it is said that in all situations, whether bad or good, we should give thanks to God because He is the creator of life.
“I am a child of God so divorce has never crossed my mind because in marriage there should be no divorce no matter what challenges the husband and wife are going through. The only thought that came to mind when our situation was going from bad to worse was that I should go stay with my parents and he too should go stay with his own parents until the situation improves . But the spirit of God has guided us that marriage is for the better and for the worse. The Bible says that God always makes a way where there is no way. But at one point I insisted on going back to my parents. I started getting counseling and God revealed to me that going back to my parents was not the way to go. So I decided to stay close to him. And I know God won’t let me down.
“I am very sad about the cases of divorce in society today. It takes maturity of mind and the grace of God to stay in marriage when you face some difficult challenges because even for the better and for the worse than we say, we may not really know the dimension of words until you come across a desperate situation.But we must always look to God who created the institution of marriage for every solution when we are in trouble because he will never let us down. Anyone who gets married should know that marriage is not a bed of roses. Marriage is a world apart.