Ukraine-based Nigerian pastor, Sunday Adelaja on May 26 took to Facebook to write a tribute to his late grandmother recalling how her death 38 years ago changed the trajectory of his life.
He left the shores of Nigeria at age 18.
Pastor Adelaja was born in the village of Idomila Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria. He was raised by his grandmother and became Christian in March 1986 just before graduating from high school. In 1986, after graduation, Adelaja left Nigeria because he received a scholarship to study journalism at the Belarusian State University in Minsk, Byelorussian SSR
After graduation and the breakdown of the USSR, he moved from Belarus to Ukraine in December 1993. He founded the “Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations” in his apartment with seven people.
In 2013, the church claimed 25,000 members in Kyiv, 100,000 members in Ukraine, and 1,000 churches in the rest of the world. The church has since grown and is acclaimed to be one of the largest churches in Europe.
Grandmother was my mother and father
On his grandmother, he wrote, “She is my mother, father, and grandmother all in one person. She died on my birthday 38 years ago. I was only 16. Left alone in the village without father or mother, now even she was no more.”
“I used to think that her death was a tragedy.
Today with hindsight I can say her death is the best thing to have happened to me. It gave me what money or any human could never give. Her death gave me: vision, drive, purpose, energy, focus, passion, and resilience.”
He said his grandmother was taken to the hospital when he was 15 recalling “when she left to the hospital for a whole year my world changed, I now had to live by myself, fence for myself and take care of the home.
“It transformed me from a radical teenager into a focused and purpose-driven person. Thanks to this tragedy, I eventually became serious with my studies, started taking life seriously.
“I vowed to glorify her memory since I couldn’t do anything for her while she was here. I promised myself to be good to as many people as I come across in life as a way to repay my grandma for what I couldn’t give her in her lifetime.”
He then wrote, “Mum, today I can say you are a success because you raised me and so many great children and grandchildren. We are the expression of your life, your love, your success, and your glory. Hope you are proud of your Olorunwa. Rest on Rachel Adelaja (née Awolana). Adieu, Maami. Sunday Olorunwa Adelaja.”