SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2011
THE IMPORTANCE OF GIVING TO APPRECIATE GOD
David had accomplished what no leader before him, judge or king, had done. His administration was run on the principle of dedication to God and to the well-being of the people. He remained committed to God and was loyal to Him throughout his lifetime. And when the time came for him to appreciate God, suggestions were, he could give to God things that did not cost him something or worth an effort. His reply in 2 Sam. 24v24 was a firm confirmation of how deeply he appreciated God. ‘But the king replied to Araunah, no, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing’.
C. T. Studd was right, ‘if Christ be God and died for me no amount of sacrifice will be too great for me to make for Him’.
Following in the steps of King David, Mr. Chukwuledo Umekwe, a son of an Archdeacon of blessed memory, having weighed God’s mercies and love on himself and his nucleus family, felt that God should be appreciated openly.
And so on 21st May, 2011 at St. Peter’s Anglican Church Amzi Olokoro, Umuahia, in a divine service did two things in appreciation to God.
First, with the support of his loving and God fearing wife, Mrs. Ekpereka Ledom Umekwe handed over to the Anglican Diocese of Umuahia, a story building he built in less than five months. This building is to serve as a Vicarage for ministers of God who serve Him in that parish.
Secondly, he used the occasion of the thanksgiving to raise fund for the immediate expansion of Cathedral of St. Stephen’s Anglican Diocese of Umuahia. He donated on the spot the sum of one million naira.
Moved by what Mr. Ledom did, the Executive Governor of Abia State, Chief Dr. T. A. Orji who was physically present in the service decided to identify with such a wonderful vision. And so on behalf of himself, his family and Abia State Government, he gave the sum of two million naira. The then speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Agwu U. Agwu gave two hundred thousand naira among others.
Mr. Chukwuledo says God is worthy of his appreciation in all ramifications. He acknowledged that God has blessed the work of his hands. God also gave him good parents Ven. and Mrs. Godwin Sam Umekwe of blessed memory. While alive both did not spare efforts in serving God and humanity. Infact, they touched lives and as a testament the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Ikwuano, Rt. Rev. Chigozirim Onyegbula is one of their products. Therefore Ledom promised to continue to appreciate God wherever and whenever the occasion demands.
Preaching a sermon earlier, the Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Umuahia, Rt. Rev. Ikechi Nwachukwu Nwosu, was full of praises to Mr. and Mrs. Chukwuledo Umekwe for not only allowing God to use them to donate a vicarage to their home church, but at the same time extended their right hand of fellowship to the Cathedral of St. Stephen’s Umuahia in her expansion project. The Bishop says Mr. Chukwuledo is a rare gift, and prayed God to prosper the work of his hands. He assured the donor that his labours of love shall never be in vain. He therefore called on all Christians present at the service to emulate such a wonderful gesture and never cease in appreciating God in the little mercies they receive from Him daily.
Thereafter the thanksgiving service, the Bishop dedicated the storey building donated to the church by Mr. and Mrs. Chukwuledo to the glory of God. He was ably assisted at the dedication by Rt. Rev. Chigozirim Onyegbula of Ikwanu Diocese and Rt. Rev. Isaac Chijioke Nwaobia, Isiala Ngwa Diocese.
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Retreat Centre,