A mother’s ignorance – a daughter’s innocence – a man’s iniquity – all these combined to tell the sorry tale of the Klay family from Liberia. One day 15 year old Bridget was with her friends after school chatting as usual. It seemed like any other day. Soldiers on a peacekeeping mission in Liberia passed and one of them, from Nigeria, pointed her out, telling her he loved her. Dismissing and ignoring the soldier’s hints, Bridget went home and quickly forgot the scene. Relationship was the last thing she had on her mind! Little did she know that her sister who had been behind had excitedly related the events to her mother. On hearing this news, Susannah, the girls’ mother was extremely interested. If a foreign soldier wanted to have her daughter, that would take a huge weight off her shoulders! He would be able to sponsor her to school and it would be one less mouth to feed at home. Poverty had delved deep into the family’s fortunes, deftly dictating the direction of Susannah’s decisions. Bridget was surprised to hear her mother calling her for a heart-to-heart chat. Susannah convinced Bridget that following the whims of this Nigerian man was the best thing for her future and her family. “He will take care of you and us as well!” she said with a beaming smile. Reluctantly Bridget agreed and approached the man the next day. He obliged by promising to send her to school and provide for anything she needed. The time of courtship was minimal. Before long Bridget was packing her bags, saying goodbye to her mother and everything that was familiar to her. Her destination? Nigeria. As the new young wife of a soldier, she tentatively departed her beloved Liberia in hope of a better life ahead, her childhood innocence gone all too soon.
On reaching Nigeria, things were not quite as Bridget thought they would be. All the promises of school and study fell flat as she found herself stuck in the house, unable to move in a country not her own. Before she knew it, she was pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy. Her ‘too good’ husband was not quite as good as he had appeared. Before long, Bridget noticed that on a regular basis, he was bringing different girls into the house, without any heed to her feelings or her presence. Her husband was the commanding and domineering type. If she voiced any word of complaint, he would silence her with heavy beating. Getting tired, he decided to send her to his parents in the village. Bridget found herself in another world not knowing anything or anyone around. She was looked on with scorn and contempt by the relatives of her husband. In the midst of all this, she had become pregnant with her second son.
In tears of bitterness and pain Bridget called her mother to complain. On hearing her plight, Susannah could not believe her ears. She was convinced her daughter was lying against the man. After all, how could such a kind soldier behave in that way? She accused Bridget of lying and decided to travel to Nigeria herself to confirm the story. When Susannah arrived, the situation went from bad to worse. “He said he would send me to school – yes he did – guess what? This is my certificate!!” said Bridget in a voice of pained sarcasm as she greeted her mother, showing her young son to her. Susannah soon noticed that the soldier was just as wicked as Bridget had claimed. When she complained to him about his beating of Bridget, he in turn proceeded to mercilessly beat her. After a while, he got tired of them and sent mother, daughter and two kids packing with no money in their pocket or clothes on their backs. Homeless, hungry and alone, the Klay family began to move in the streets of Nigeria, looking only for their next meal.
Both mother and daughter had seen Emmanuel TV and witnessed how T.B. Joshua had helped so many people. Determined, the family made a long harsh journey to Lagos and arrived at The SCOAN in desperate need of assistance. All they desired was to return back home. On hearing the plight of the family, T.B. Joshua with the support of the Emmanuel TV Partners presented the family with a generous gift of N400,000 – provision not just for tickets back to Liberia but for their welfare once at home.
In tears, Bridget advised other young people not to rush into marriage and fall for empty promises but to pursue their dreams of education and career first. Susannah advised parents to be very sure of someone’s virtue before giving out any child in marriage. The rash decisions of both mother and daughter have landed them in a situation they would have never imagined. Glory be to God for His mercy and kindness. Any moment from now they will depart Nigeria back to Liberia to start a new lease on life.