Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. . .And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. -
1 Corinthians 13:4-13
The above verse finds great expression in the life of our sister Sandra Dirmwa Chikan the founder of Kingdom Kids Klub, a state of the art orphanage in Jos Plateau State Nigeria. It is comforting to know that there are still people with a passion for women, children and the less privileged in a corrupt society where many so called women/child support Government agencies and NGO's are out rightly self seeking and criminally political in nature. I wonder what would have happened to the fate of thousands of orphans and poor families Sandra has impacted today if she had succeeded in committing suicide with the piece of zinc she used to tear at her wrist veins as a young child. Would God have found a willing messenger of love??
Sandra like the children she mentors today, hails from a polygamous setting and was orphaned at an early age. Her father died in his sleep when she was nine years old and her mother followed suit three years later leaving them at the mercy of an uncle who though was kind had a very mean controlling wife. Growing up in a house with 14 kids, life became tortuous and unbearable and soon enough she had to withdraw from the American Missions school she attended while her father was alive for financial reasons. Sandra was abused, starved and beaten most of her childhood, she cried bitterly praying to run away as far as possible from the house and the city that held bad memories for her. Lyrics from the background by Candi Staton.....“he sees every little teardrop you cry, every little heartache inside, he understands every little thing you do ,he really really cares for you. Jesus knows how it feels to be lonely.” brought hot tears to her eyes and stopped her attempt to commit suicide from the pain and frustration. She became transformed with a new purpose to life when she realized that she was not alone after all, Jesus loves her !
She struggled to finish University and got married a month after graduation relocating to Lagos to start a new life just as she dreamed. While in Lagos, she constantly visited the motherless babies home and each time she saw the kids, she had flash backs of all her experiences therefore she determined to make a difference to orphans. When her husband got transferred to northern Nigeria, she found herself back to the City of Jos. She suddenly found her purpose, the picture became clear and she understood why God brought her back to Jos where it all started - to give hope to orphans like herself and make their lives count for something. On the 4th of February, 2006 she started a bible class for the less privilege and would invite children every Saturday for a time of fellowship and fun where they'd have biscuits and juice. The number of children attending the Saturday meetings increased to an average of 100 children every week. During this time there was a stirring in her heart to reach the orphans in the inner township and communities. So she organized an outreach tagged “Macedonian Step” where old clothes, shoes and a carton of biscuits were collected and taken to the kids in Shaka village in Giring ,Jos South Local Government Area. While sharing her desire to care for orphans, her aunt Mrs. Jummai Goshit said she knew some kids whose parents had died and the children had to leave the city for the village and were now living in Dorowa Soho in Fan district of Barakin Ladi Local government area, Plateau state. On the 5th of June 2008, they traveled to the village which is roughly an hour and half hours away from where she lived. When they arrived, they met the children who were with their grandmother. There were 4 of them ; 2 were in school and 2 were not. Old grandma was doing the best she could from proceeds from her farm but age was not on her side and it was difficult. They gave them food stuff and promised to come back with 2thousand for school fees, feeding and uniform for the family. Sandra and her Team then made trips to the village every 2 weeks for about a month and when grandma asked if she could help some other HIV infected and affected orphans? She could only ask for food stuff and clothes. It was not easy starting out at first, her relationship with her husband and some family members was strained at a point. She had a small hair salon where she got an income part of which was used to pay for the school fees and food. Sandra then called on friends and family to support the cause by donating food,clothes and toiletries. The number of children gradually increased to 70 who were always gathered waiting for some help when they would arrive. After some months grandma or Neng Kaduna as she was fondly called, said she was giving Sandra her mud house to use as an orphanage to house the children. Two weeks after that meeting she died. It was as if she knew she would die and wanted to make sure the kids had a place and would be catered for. That was how the orphanage began, today she runs a home and school for the orphans.
In celebration of ordinary people who are a source of inspiration and have contributed to the growth of Nigeria by impacting humanity positively in their little circles, Sandra Dirmwa Chikan was discovered and nominated as a Niaja Diamonds by Inspire Africa aired on M-Net network across 48 African countries. She is a Pastor, highly sought after conference speaker, philanthropist and mentor. She sees herself as a ransom for the over 2 million children orphaned in Plateau State and in her words says God had prepared her ahead for the ongoing crisis to be able to reach out to the affected children. Her words to the youths at a recent programme organized in the city of Jos is to be selfless in the midst of the storm and show compassion to people. She advised the youth to let go of all bitterness as she had to herself and not to feel sorry for yourself or allow anyone stop you from your God given visions.
Sandra is a new member of the World Pulse community and I pray the lord will raise people who will support the excellent work she is doing in the Kingdom Kids Klub Jos, Nigeria.