By Eric Elezuo
Amazing is an understatement when describing the personality of one who has transcended the waves, walked the storms and floated across mountains in the effortless bid to dish out good tidings to humanity like Reverend Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi, founder, Esther Ajayi Foundation, giver extra-ordinaire and General Overseer, Love of Christ Generation (C&S) Church, Clapham, London.
At the age of 19, the woman, who was destined for great things, was already thinking of the things to do to better the life of people not minding the fact that her own life was far from good. This was the time the faith woman, whose stock in trade is gratitude, initiated the concept that today has blossomed into Esther Ajayi Foundation.
She said during a recent interview: “The foundation is my baby. If I say how many years the foundation is, I will say since when I was 19 years old.” This is an age when most young people are still tied to their parents’ apron strings, but not Esther.
With a heart tailored towards giving, Reverend Mother Ajayi grew and developed. She intoned “Giving has been in me right from childhood. I give and give and give and give again.
It was with this attitude that the woman, who was christened Iya Adura by the foremost Yoruba ruler, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, led her life, and today has become a household name.
Practicing the faith for which she is known, the young Esther left her Nigerian home enroute England where she started life from the scratch. She was having what could be considered a fulfilling life vis a vis loving husband, lovely children and a thriving business. All those she abandoned for a calling more important.
In London after series of up and downs, perseverance and most importantly, faith, she broke through, and God compensated her with a great fellowship – Love of Christ Generation (C&S) Church in Clapham, London, England.
She said: “The beginning was rough and tough, there were so many travails and tribulations, things were so bad that at some point, we were homeless, living off a suitcase and sleeping in a Bed and Breakfast.”
The church by every intent and purpose, has grown in leaps and bounds not for anything but on account of its magnificent Grade A-listed Cathedral worship centre, its bubbly style of worship and its strict adherence to Biblical values.
Now in its 11th year, the 10th Anniversary of the Church was something from the extraordinary. It was both well promoted and attended that the very foundation of its host city shook joyously.
Ovation International Magazine in an exclusive interview with the gratitude showing woman, reported that “The Thanksgiving Service themed “Harvest of Divine Favour” was not only well-attended but was joyous, soul-lifting, and angelic.”
Reverend Mother, as she is fondly called, has practically turned into the present day black Mother Theresa, owing to her no holds barred giving. Recently, she released a whopping N10 million to family of a four year child who was diagnosed of Brain Tumour. Not only that, she sponsored the trip for the doctors and family members that accompanied the youngster.
In England where her church is waxing strong by the Spirit of God, she appears unassuming, humble, full of disarming smile and possess a soft voice that is almost penetrating and soothing, unleashing a type of spiritual revolution that is both germane and unique.
Yes, she had suffered some backlashes in her climb to the top, but they were from those who know little or nothing about her, and of course mischief makers.
Her fervent belief is that God can take anyone or anything to any height of His choice, and she has referred her unshakeable faith in God now as Crazy Faith.
With a working adage “Gratitude is my attitude, giving is my character”, she has upheld The Ajayi Foundation to the status of giving without minding.
“At some point, some people are going to bless us and receive, but what is paramount at the back of our mind right now is giving and empowering the poor, helping the homeless people,” she intoned, adding that “If you are going down, our desire is to bring you up again. Esther Ajayi Foundation wants to be a world-class giver and that is at the back of our mind.
Her giving prowess has been manifested on many fronts, prominent among them was dishing out N10 million largesse to a four year old boy who was diagnosed of Brain Tumour to undergo surgery in faraway India. The benevolent Nigeria’s own Mother Theresa did not just stop there but followed it up with sponsoring the doctors and family members who accompanied the ailing boy on the trip. Not a few can testify to giving attitude.
The Foundation also played a great during the just concluded 10th anniversary of the yearly Ovation Red Carol, where she gave large gifts to organisations building their brands and doing great things. Her desire to give back to the society and lift the needy is unmatched.
In partnership with Focus on Disability (FOD), a non-government organization founded by Abiodun Paseda, the Esther Ajayi Foundation, has been able to reach out to a great many needy members of the society.
Reverend Mother’s story is that of from homelessness to superstardom and from an unknown furniture seller to a hot cake in the Christian world, dishing out goodies to all and sundry irrespective of anyone’s leaning.
Her foundation was recently launched in faraway Jerusalem, Israel, making her a world rated international organization.
A woman of many parts, Reverend Mother Ajayi also runs a fitness outfit called Crazy Faith, where people are physically kept abreast of their health after taking a dose of the spiritual or soul building.
She is married to a man she respects dearly, her rising status notwithstanding, and they are blessed with wonderful children.
Her London church has at several times played host to household names in gospel music, including Ebenezer Obey, Yinka Ayefele, Atorise, Rev. Bayo Adelakun of the Ayewa fame, the Ooni of Ife, Chief Dele Momodu among others.
Ma, for your selfless giving and desire the make the world a better place for all to live in, you deserve the status of our Boss of the Week. Congrats!