Faces of Faith Alive - Pastor Esther
Faith Alive’s holistic approach to care meets the medical, spiritual and social service needs of its patients, 40% of whom are Muslin. Faith Alive’s staff and volunteers work tirelessly to invest in and infect lives for Jesus Christ.
In the Faces of Faith Alive, we highlight Pastor Esther, who embodies the hope that Faith Alive brings by rising above her circumstances so that the work of God may be displayed in her life.
In 1997, a simple blood test stemming from her third pregnancy changed Pastor Esther’s life in ways that she could not have even begun to imagine for herself and her family. In a matter of days she learned that she had contracted HIV and through her tears, she feared the worst.
The consequences of her husband’s unfaithfulness throw Esther and her family into an unbearable turmoil that ultimately reflects the unceasing faithfulness of Christ. First, the baby, Testimony, fails to thrive leading him to the brink of death. Esther prayers for intervention are answered as Testimony’s appetite returns and he slowly begins to regain his strength and thrive.
In 2001, her husband falls ill with AIDS. His illness causes him to finally surrender his life to Christ, to accept Esther’s forgiveness and to forgive himself. His passing is bittersweet as Esther knows he has gone to be with God. Within the year, Esther’s middle son Shegun’s health falters and he, too, succumbs to AIDS, joining his father in heaven.
Before long, Faith Alive confirms that Testimony also has HIV. In her prayers, God reminds Esther of the blind man in John 9. Jesus says that the blindness “happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” This revelation motivates Esther to begin to volunteer at Faith Alive so that she can counsel and come alongside those with HIV.
During the last 15 years, God has used Pastor Esther’s faith, heart ache and trials to disciple and bring the hope of Christ to tens of thousands of HIV+ Nigerians. Esther’s faithfulness illustrates the truth of Romans 8:28: “in all things (not some) God works for the good of those who love him.”