Mrs. Rachael Dingis, a London based Nigerian is currently on a rural Christian evangelism mission to save people living in “darkness”.
Rachael’s father, Mr. Bogoro Elisha, a Church elder and Sunday school teacher was killed in Plateau State, 16 years ago during religious violence.
“Drug depending Muslim fundamentalists killed my father,” said Rachael, but this is a group she hopes to “bring to light”.
Through her “Bread of Life Foundation Ministry,” Rachael has for over ten years now, been working in remote rural communities in Uganda and Nigeria, tracing and rehabilitating drug addicts, preaching the gospel and empowering widows.
She equally has an orphanage with her husband, which cares for destitute and fatherless children, Muslim “Almajiris” (beggar child disciples) included.
“It started with a revelation three years before my father’s death,” said Rachael. “The Lord took me to a place in Uganda and I kept hearing the word, “Kuzimba,” she recalled. “I went asking what Kuzimba means and I was told it means “to build”.
“I went back to UK and started saving money with my Pastor because I thought the mission was to build a Church. But soon later, the Lord showed me a group of Almajiris somewhere in Bauchi, my home state and I thought again, that the mission was to care for destitute children and those without parents. Then almost instantly, the Lord to me to a desert with many children in sight, but only one parent, who looked away from the children all the time. Then I heard a clear voice saying you could only touch nations through children. That was when I started the orphanage,” Rachael narrated.
The Nigerian branch of the foundation started after her father’s death. As Rachael frequented home in Nigeria, returning to the heartbreaking memories of the war, which cost her father, and 78 others hacked in a Church, “I always found myself weeping even when I tried to be strong,” she said. “But this is not about my father and family.
“When our dad died, none of us was a child. We were all comfortable. My father’s corpse was isolated from the slain 79 and buried separately but my worry was always about families of the other 78.
“In Africa, the husband is the breadwinner of the family. And when he dies, the burden is on the wife. In the case of the wives of those killed here (Yelwan Shendam), some women had seven, ten children to care for,” she said.
Rachael donates cash, clothing and food to the widows, but importantly, she is using her knowledge and experience as a professional counselor to reform children orphaned by conflict.
Some of them, she said, due to poverty and illiteracy, are drug addicts, and “irresponsible”. Rehabilitating and empowering them, Rachael said, makes them useful to themselves and the society.
Her drug rehabilitation program also targets Muslim children, Almajiris in particular, who she said are mostly “violent” drug addicts.
“When they take these drugs, they lose control and can do anything. That was what happened when they killed my father but we can’t let them continue this way. Many fundamentalists around the world cannot kill until they take drugs. They deserve to be saved too,” she said.
Rachael is carrying out her mission, even to idol worshipping communities. On Tuesday, she launched a Church in Na Huta, a remote pagan Hamlet in Langtang South Local Government Area, located 12miles east of Ajikamai, the home village of the present Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong.
The hamlet is made of round huts with thatched roofs, and has no access road, but Rachael’s team located it, evangelized and built the first Church, a modern structure, which she handed to Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN).
Rachael had done same in other places within Southern Plateau, but her next target is African countries yet to experience civilization and the gospel. She is however self-funded, only supported by her husband.
Her brother, Prof. Elias Bogoro, is the present Executive Secretary, Nigerian Tertiary Education Trust Fund, but Rachael only seeks his prayers and brotherly support, despite his sustained desire to help financially.
More of such selflessness is perhaps needed to save Nigeria from its current poverty and underdevelopment.