By Muyiwa Olayinka
A widow by the name, Sekinatu Jamodu said she had been a frequent visitor of Ashimolowo Widows Empowerment AWE initiative for ten years and has always benefited from the benevolence of the man of God and his wife. Speaking in Yoruba, the Muslim native of Ikire said, “Allah will bless this man of God because he has wiped my shame and made me to believe that i can amount to somebody. I have come here for ten years now and i have never been turned down. My fellow widows and I are more than elated today for what they have done as you can see the crowd here,” she stated.
This is a testimony of what God has been using Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo to bless widows.
An anointed great man of God.
A man of great intellect and wisdom.
A benevolent giver, a builder of men and a practical teacher.
These are some few words I can use to describe Mathew Ashimolowo, the founder of Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC), a church without borders. A church conceived in London, United Kingdom, but today has branches all over the world. The message is heard in more than 122 nations. KICC celebrated its 25 years of its existence last year. This commission is not just a church but a solution center that has touched may lives in a profound way, including this writer.
A good family man of God that dotes on his wife, Pastor Yemisi and his two sons.
Pastor Ashimolowo a practical man, practices what he preaches. In order to demonstrate his generosity to the less privileged, he identifies with widows and has consistently been blessing them on yearly basis more than decades ago.
They say charity begins at home, he kicked off the concept, in 2006, from his hometown, Ode Omu in Osun state. An annual event, that has spread beyond his hometown to other neighboring towns and settlements.
This year’s event took place on January 6th, 2018, the 12th version to celebrate and empower 17,000 widows based in Isokan, Ikire, Oshogbo, Apomu, Ikoyi,Osogbo,Modakeke, Ile-Ife and Ode-omu in Osun State.
The record-breaking event which kicked off about 9.am at Kings University Campus, Odeomu started with 308 widows at inception, says the convener, Senior Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo at a press briefing in Lagos.
L-R: Pastors Ashimolowo, Faseru & Vincent
According to the cleric, last year witnessed the presence of 10,000 widows and this year, 17,000 widows already have tickets of attendance.
Explaining the high proliferation of widows in the state, he said: “A good number of young people in that environment marry two, three wives, they ride the okada bike like crazy. When they slam their head and die they leave three widows straight away. Also, a good number of these women are wives of farmers. This week they are in town, after this week they are back to the village and they show up for christmas and new year again. Also, a lot of these farmers for economic reasons marry more than one wife. When he dies he leaves more than a wife ”
He added that they do not discriminates on the grounds of religion because they are fulfilling the mandate of Jesus to take care of the widows and the fatherless. “99 percent of the women are illiterates and 63% or thereabout are Muslims”.
He revealed the expense of this event is not from the church’s purse (KICC) but from Pastor Matthew and Yemisi Ashimolowo, adding that the joy of seeing the widows excited and joyful as they go home with six yards of local fabrics each, food and crisp cash is what propels them to go on. This initiative is branded Ashimolowo Widows Empowerment (AWE)
At the end of the event, 17,450 widows were empowered with 6 yards of Ankara and with money.
He has a set a world record that has not been done before.
This is one of the numerous programs financed by the founder and the church (KICCC). Pastor Ashimolowo is ably supported by his resident Pastor in Nigeria. Pastor Femi Faseru, is the national superintendent and the head of Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC Prayer Dome), Maryland Lagos. He’s embraced and supported all the initiatives and visions of Pastor Ashimolowo.
Kings University at Ode Omu has been hosting this epoch making event.
The private University of this church, Kings University was given license to operate as a full fledged tertiary institution in 2015. The church gave full scholarship to 60% of its first set of students. Most of the beneficiaries are not members of the church. The selection process was conducted transparently, advertised in the print and social media. The beneficiaries were selected based on merits.
Also last year, the Mende, Maryland Lagos branch, single handedly paid for the medical bill of one Mr Chris, a heart problem patient. Mr Chris is not a member and it costs the church N2.5 million. The operation was successful and the patient came to the cross over night service held on December 31st 2017, to give thanks. There are many welfare schemes that is being financed by the church. The church is on the move and the devil cannot stop its mission.