By Michael Effiong and Pix by Segun Lawal
One year gone by without the love and care you gave everyone that crossed your path. How difficult it is coping without your physical presence. Your absence is a silent grief, your life a beautiful memory. I miss you so much. My Oluwatoyin, rest on in peace”
These were the moving words of Mr Abiodun Shola Bakare, as family and friends gathered to mark the first year remembrance of the passing of his wonderful wife, Deaconess Princess Oluwatoyin Ajoke Shola-Bakare (nee Ogunlana Obanikoro)
The sober graveside ceremony held at the famous Vaults & Gardens, Ikoyi was officiated by Pastor Max Gbinigie of the The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Utako, Abuja.
Pastor Gbinigie preached about the need to thank God that the family she left behind has remained united and urged the widower, Mr Shola Bakare to remain strong.
In his words “I know the last one year has been tough, it has been rough but I want to encourage that the Lord who has seen you through will continue to be with you.Never abandon that God.He will give you long life.
“Deaconess Toyin was a good woman and that is why we are all here today. The beautiful thing is we are not mourning, we remember her and we are excited, we are happy because everyone felt her touch.
We are here not because we want to sorrow afresh but we just thank God that we are alive to remember this great daughter of God, who served Him till her very last day on earth”
He adminished all present that life was beyond wealth and materialism but should be about impact, the effect we have had on other people’s lives.
He added “What is your life like? What is the value of your life? He urged all to examine themselves to ensure they will be right with God”
The sermon over, he then showered prayers on Mr Shola Bakare and his children, Enoch and Deborah as well as the other members of the family and friends who flew in from all.parts of the world for the remembrance.
After the prayers, guests were entertained with food and drinks and the Lagos leg of the ceremony was rounded off.
The remembrance will continue in Abuja on Good Friday with a Solemn Night of Worship at her residence and on Easter Sunday, April 21, there will be a first memorial service at TREM, Vision House, Utako.