The Women of the Diocese of Lagos West are usually fully engaged on an annual basis in soul-winning activities, focusing on body, soul and spirit. Among some other activities, they are expected to go out in groups and as individuals on evangelical and medical outreaches, giving out tracts, raw food materials and conducting free medical checks.
The impact of COVID-19 hit the world in 2020 and the Church of Nigeria was not spared. Activities were put on hold in various spheres of life. Naturally, many wondered how the women fared during this trying period which formed the focus of our chat with the amiable wife of our Diocesan, Mrs. Lydia Olukemi Odedeji, the leader of the Diocesan Women. It is indeed cheering to note that in spite of the ravaging pandemic, the women indeed did not yield to pressure but were able to accomplish so many good deeds. We present Mama Bishop in her own words:
Online Medium to the Rescue
We want to thank God for bringing us out safely from the pandemic and all the evils of our time. We had a few of our programmes in Year 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic. And during the pandemic, a lot were held online. We had the Young Wives’ Fellowship, the Clergy Wives’ Meetings and our prayer meetings online. Before COVID-19 got severe in March 2020, the Archdeaconries had their Medical Outreaches, but the Diocesan Medical Outreach could not hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We had a One-Day Women’s Conference last year and a few other women joined us. A few were physically present. By the grace of God, we had the Royal Gem Seminar and our Mothers’ Union Training Session before COVID-19 but the zonal and other ones could not hold. Administrators and Clergy Wives’ Meetings were also held online in November 2020.
Initial Setback Is Overcome
The Women’s Conference Centre Project is still in progress though it suffered a little setback, we have fully resumed work. We are trusting God for speedy completion. Our medical outreaches were held this year at all the Archdeaconry seats, as well as the seminar for our young people. The Royal Gem and Vessels. On Anglican Girls College, most of the work done now is on quality assurance. We are making sure that our students have quality education, quality environment and quality food, so that we can get the best from them.
On support for our young people, which is usually done for Anglican Students’ Fellowship on some three to four campuses that include Lagos State University and LASPOTEC, this could not hold last year because the students were on strike throughout the year, but this year, we have done the needful.
On empowerment, we collaborated with the Empowerment Committee of AVMCC to sensitise more women to participate in the empowerment programme.
Clergy Wives Remain Focused
On Clergy Wives, I must say that the Anglican Communion is a very organised body. At the end of the year, we always set out our programmes for the New Year and we usually have our handbook and all our programmes written. So, what the priests’ wives do is to run with the bishop on his vision for the Diocese throughout the year and I pray the Lord will continue to bless them.
Message to the Women
I want to encourage all our women to key into the Diocesan Theme this year which asserts that ‘We Are More Than Conquerors.’ He loved us and gave Himself to us. We should not give in to fear. We should not give in to discouragement. We should shun violence. We should shun avarice. We should continue to pray until something happens. The environment is truly very negative but we should know that He that is in us is bigger than he that is in the world. This year, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, all the women will be fasting from May 30 to June 12. Please join us to pray for the nation, to pray for families, for peace all over the world, so that the rule of Christ will be made manifest in our time.
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