The air was a warm 28° Celsius at 2:30pm on 25 November in the sparsely forested Zarazon suburb, located on the eastern end of Jos, the capital of Plateau State.
200 schoolchildren – all of them destitute sat in a hall approximately 50square foot at the Clapai Orphanage home, apparently unsure of where their next meal will come from.
But suddenly a truck loaded with food supplies arrived, accompanied by a convoy of four cars occupied by members of a volunteer women group known as “When Women Pray”.
WWP is an all-female association of workers of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) said its leader, Mrs. Philomena Kashima. The 35-member group exists to encourage prayer and socialization among the hospital workers, she said.
Immediately, the faces of the previously gloomy children shone in excitement, and they began to sing “Thank you Lord! Thank you merciful God.”
“You are not alone,” said Kashima to the children as she handed the supplies to their representatives. The supplied items included bags of rice, corn and a range of toiletries.
“God is with you as we are,” she went on. “You are always in our prayers,” she added.
“This is all we could afford, but it comes from our hearts,” said an emotional Mrs. Kashima.
The group leader concluded advising the children to keep their faith, knowing God has sealed their future.
Her message which earned a loud applause from the highly attentive kids was emphasized by Mrs. Mercy Lenka, the Vice President of the association.
“There are future professionals among you,” she said. “Later in our old age we’d rely on the medical professionals who would emerge from here to care for us,” she concluded.
The kids were full of praise for the visitation. “On behalf of Clapai Orphanage home, we really appreciate this visit and your efforts at providing for us,” said James Hillary, the headboy of the orphanage school.
Miss Doris Gobum, the headgirl of the school prayed “may God replenish your pockets that you might come again.”
The facility is made of orphans from as far as Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno, said the Principal of the school. “There are others from Kaduna and some who are not orphans but are less privileged,” she said, appreciating the group for donating to the orphanage.
The visit ended with the group sharing drinks and snacks with the kids as members had personal interactions with the kids to encourage them.