Glory be to God (Amen). Let me start with the scriptures in Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew You; before you were born I sanctified You; I ordained you a prophet to the Nations” (Amen).
I was born on October 27th, 1953 in Lagos, Nigeria. I came as twins, I am the first of the twins and was named Taiye Adebayo, and my twin sister was named Kehinde Omolade. I came from a very peaceful, though polygamous, family. My mother was the second wife of two wives and had six children. My father’s first wife had two daughters and was a very loving and caring woman. My senior brother and I were brought up by this wonderful woman. I still have profound memories of her kindness to us. My mother was the disciplinarian. She was also loving and generous, the trait all of us inherited from both my father and her. My generous father was fondly referred to as Baba “that greets people all the time”. I cannot forget this wonderful man.
I was privileged to be educated at First ECWA Primary School Oke-Egbe alongside my twin sister. I got admission to further my education at the prestigious Titcombe College, Egbe and graduated in 1973. I thank God for all of our teachers who were mostly missionaries from America, Canada, Scotland, Jamaica, and other foreign lands. The discipline I went through while at Titcombe College was near perfect spiritually, academically and morally which helped me become the person I am today.
After college I went to work with the Nigerian Army Engineers as an Administrative clerk in Lagos. I left my job in 1977 to care for my sick mother who died in June of same year. This really affected me negatively, so I left Lagos. Other jobs I had included stores officer with the Ministry of Education in Kwara state and AFRIBANK in Kaduna where I also took a certificate in Marketing from Kaduna Polytechnic. I moved back to Lagos to do print work and in 1999 I moved back to Egbe.
I met my wonderful, peaceful, hardworking and God-fearing wife in 1996 and we have six children glory be to God. All the children are doing well by God’s grace. One son is married with a baby boy. As I write this story, we are preparing for the wedding of another.
Invitations were sent to churches in Egbe in January 2007 for the official opening of Spring Of Life Egbe HIV/AIDS counseling center. After prayer I felt led to volunteer at the center. I went on outreaches with the Spring of Life staff and also assisted within the hospital in counseling HIV/Aids patients. After a few months of volunteering, Doctor Kevin Chen, the SIM Project Manager, asked me to become the full time programs officer. I was given on the job training in counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS virus. I really felt God was calling me to serve Him through this ministry. In 2004 I received a Diploma in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management with the online College Of Veneral Disease Prevention, London. I was ordained a pastor with Royal Breed Christian Assembly that same year in Egbe.
It has been tough but Lord has always been faithful. I run the ministry through prayers every day during daily staff devotions. Then we provide counseling and testing both at the Out Patient Department and in our office. We also embark on outreach activities within and outside the Egbe community. I go on visitations to patients in their homes for those who will allow us to do so among them. There is also support group meetings at least twice a month where issues regarding the welfare of patients are discussed and nutritional items (rice and beans) are distributed to those in attendance. In the course of our duties we use every opportunity to preach the gospel of salvation and give out tracts to patients. There is also the mercy purse where we keep some amount (N5000 about $14 US dollars) to help with transportation fares and other financial needs of patients when needed. This has helped in reducing cases of default by patients who may not have transport fares to the clinic to pick up their drugs.
I have been concerned many times in the past about there not being enough money to meet our needs. On such occasions I informed the patients and our staff to really pray. God has been faithful to intervene and has always sent help. One of the wonderful miracles God sent to us was Marty Johnson who until recently worked with Hospice Care of America. Marty and her staff have been sending monthly donations for Spring Of Life since 2012. Not too long ago Marty Johnson sold her car in U.S.A and donated the whole sum to this ministry. May the Lord bless all donors in Jesus Name. I will also like to mention my brother and friend, Don Campion and wife who bought a C.R.V Honda car for the ministry and have been so supportive and encouraging to us financially and prayerfully. Among those whom God has used and still is using for our success story is my sister Betsie Campion Smith and Dr. Kevin Chen. There are still a lot that I cannot mention here that have been instrumental to the success of this ministry. Of recent Mr. Schroeder and His family came to visit from Canada and also made a commitment to support this ministry monthly.
In the last year I graduated with a B.A Degree in Pastoral and Theological Studies from the Institute of Pastoral and Theological Training. In September I had the opportunity to go to Nairobi, Kenya to attend the Global Missions Health Conference with the theme, GO AND IMPACT. I was also given another opportunity to attend the John Maxwell Leadership training in Jos, Nigeria. Last but not least I recently was encouraged through my Trauma Healing one week training with the Foutes from America. These opportunities have really equipped me and were made possible with the personal efforts of Mrs. Patrice Miles. She has opened up the Spring of Life ministry to a number of NGO’s since she took over the as the SIM Project Manager. The Lord has used Patrice to better the activities of Spring of Life Ministry with the able support of her husband Lenny and children. In fact, we have become a family.
The challenges we face now are:
- Inadequate supply of HIV test kits.
- That our patients should allow us more access to visit them at home for one on one counseling. I started to address that after my trip to Kenya, I thank God that it is yielding results already.
- We are still praying and trusting God for monthly support for Spring of Life. We continue to receive one time donations but currently only have one committed monthly donor for Spring of Life.
- We also are praying for more training within and outside Africa.
- The state, local and federal government need to fund this ministry so that we can reach more people especially in the area of prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS.
My goals personally are:
To leave a positive impact or legacy behind when I finally bow out of this world. To continue making life comfortable for the sick and less privileged by God’s grace. I pray and believe to keep on working in the ministry as long as God gives me the strength to do so. One of my goals also is to see the Spring of Life ministry expand and reach more communities with the gospel of salvation even as we minister to their medical needs. Conclusively, I glorify God for the opportunity given me over these ten years to meet with very wonderful people of different faces, which are too many to mention. The scriptures of the Bible that has been my encouragement over the years has been Mathew 25: 32-40 and Proverbs 11:17.
Let me conclude by saying “THE ONLY WAY TO DO A GREAT WORK IS TO LOVE WHAT YOU DO”. I truly love what I do by God’s grace. I also thank God for the ten years’ service award given to me and Pastor Lawrence by S.I.M on the 1st October, 2017. Amen. GLORY BE TO GOD ALMIGHTY.