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Tribute to Mum - A legacy of Love

Tribute to Mum - A legacy of Love
Today is remembrance of my Mum.

Mum passed away on 20th June 2019. She had much impact in my life, for which I am thankful for. I have shared below a tribute I gave for her funeral on 19th July 2019.

"...Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast,..."
words from 1 Corinthians 13
the only passage Mum ever made me memorize.

Thank you, Father God, for Mum. Mrs Catherine Chioma Madu was not only a mum and friend to me, but she was also a teacher - both spiritual teacher and literally school teacher. Mum taught me in primary 3 and primary 5.

In primary 3 it wasn't fun receiving Mum's discipline when I forgot. my homework. In class, she would often say: "Don't mummy me. In school, I'm your teacher." Mum loved children, she taught so well that her students were always the best, but it meant discipline. Most times it was just words. Mum's words were corrective enough to make a child cry and consider his/her ways. I noticed that she never disciplined publicly to break a child, she would often call a student separately to speak with them (she did that with adults as well, haha). Mum disciplined and taught with love, so every student in school wanted a chance to be Mrs Madu's student. I got two opportunities to be her student, thank God.

Meeting Mum again in primary 5 as our class teacher, was the best thing that ever happened to me. Here's why: Mum always taught the word of God to her students. But primary 5 was a unique experience. This is because, with Mum's consistency in introducing Jesus, before the end of the academic year, the entire primary 5 accepted Jesus. (I was one of the students who got saved in Primary 5, in 1998). The scripture Mum made us all memorise was 1 Corinthians 13, which became my key faith scripture. Many years later, during my baptism in Scotland, I was given verses from the same passage. Meeting Mum again in primary 5, really was the best thing that ever happened to me and my primary 5 friends in 1998.

After Mum led me/us to Christ, she continued to pray for us and disciple us. I began to relate to her from a new perspective: as my spiritual head/ spiritual teacher. In the area of ministry: Mum was a chorister teacher, marriage counsellor, pastor and a true child of God - with various gifting. Something always so striking to me is the accuracy of her prophetic gift (many would know). While growing up in my teens, I would often say to my friends, there are two ways God speaks to me - through the Bible and my mum. I learnt a lot of ministry walks from Mum.

From secondary school scripture union to university campus fellowship, to my first sermon, to recent - I would often get Mum to pray and share her perspective on my messages. She would always say "Pray about it first and let the Holy Spirit guide you" before she gave me her perspective. And from her walk, I learnt to pray and depend on God for, literally, everything. Sometimes when struggling with preparing a controversial sermon topic, I would go to Mum for insight, and she would say "Ask God to help you love them as He does." Then she would say to me "If you can love them, you can teach them, And God will use it." She nurtured, challenged and encouraged me through my teaching ministry, education, career and marriage pursuit. Oh, her encouraging words - and her gentle soothing voice, her selflessness, her person - I'm going to miss, or is it her principles and nuggets?

"Heaven is far (Eluigwe di oti). Heaven is real (Eluigwe di ire). Think first, what will Jesus do. Nwam forgive. First thing in the morning is to pray. The Presence of the Holy Spirit is all we need. Worship more. Always bless. Write down and date everything God says to you. First, be grateful, then don't complain. Take everything to God in prayer. As a minister/Christian don't slander (talk behind) a brother, pray for the brother/sister and speak with them. As a minister, your knees are important, very important. Study the Word, keep learning Jesus, that's how you grow. If you have a passion, pray and go for it. When you receive God's conviction, don't spend time doubting, spend time praying. God confirms His will with His Peace. If it will offend God, don't do it, God is holy. We are all called to evangelise. Prayer is easy with a pure heart. Giving is easy with contentment. Love does not do what is not good to the eyes (Ihunanya adighi eme ihe na-adighi mma n'anya). God loves us, but He loves them too..."

Indeed I lived with a true child of God, a lover of God and a lover of people. The goodness of Mum's character - the quality of her faith, is a challenge to put in words. Only God fully knows and appreciates His wonderful daughter. Mum raised her kids in the fear of the Lord. Mum's love for Dad was so enviable that I used to say to her, my prayer is that God blesses me with a wife like you. And she would say "God will give you better..." Mum's house was opened to all, her kitchen and food were too, and so was her heart. Everyone was invited. She was a mum to many. What excited her most was people's salvation and spiritual growth. I used to be concerned by the fact that Mum did ministry for people even at very late or very early hours, but that was her heart - loving to the end. That's all she knew how to do - love. She would often cry and weep to God for people's problems like it were hers. And when she went through challenges herself, she would pray, sometimes cry to God, but always she'll smile or nod and just say "Jesus loves me" or a simple confession of faith, hahaha, oh Mum.

So, to me, what best describes Mum is Romans 12:9-21. She loved sincerely...was joyful in hope...patient in affliction...faithful in in harmony with everyone...always overcame evil with good.

I (we) love you, Mummy. Thank God for the gift you are, and your legacy of love. Live forever in His Presence. I (we) will run the race faithfully, as you taught me (us), and will see you someday. Mama, God bless you exceedingly.

As I mentioned earlier, what brought Mum the greatest grin was when one came to know the Lord. Above all, that was the real Mrs Catherine Chioma Madu. If you said yes to Jesus today - you have given Mum the greatest tribute. It's simple like Mum would say, 'Dear Lord Jesus, I am a sinner and I need forgiveness. I believe you died and rose for me. I turn from my sins, my old ways. I invite you to come into my heart and be my Lord and Saviour. I trust you, now I live for you. Thank you, Father God.' If you prayed this prayer please see a minister before you leave, join a good church and grow in the Spirit. If you're a believer, keep living for God.

God bless you exceedingly,

Dr Samuel J. Chinenyeze
(Son. As Mum calls me: Jaachi nwam)

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