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STOG Stories #2

Sometimes, certain questions arises in our hearts that threatens to sink our faith. The pain of watching the smile of a loved one fade into cold stillness, as life embraces us with the harshness of reality, is after all traumatizing.

“GOD, why?”

“What about the children? Why did you allow them to die such painful death? Why allow them to be born at all if they were going to die at the young age of one, five, ten…”

“why didn’t you do something LORD? They served you with all their hearts and you still allowed this calamity befall them. ”

“You promised to protect me but you didn’t!”

Fifteen years ago, Sinmi (director of STOG Mission) listened to a young girl bitterly vent out her pain in similar fashion;

“Why would God allow Boko Haram to kill our parents inside the house while we were having prayers?”

She accounts not having a befitting reply to offer. Honestly, we’ve all been there. We’ve all had moments when we feel like GOD doesn’t care enough about us. Truth is, he does. He has and will always deeply care for us, no matter the storms of life that may cause us to think otherwise.

It takes times to heal wounds, it takes GOD, to forget. We don’t have all the answers we are looking for. We can not fathom the mind of GOD, save that which he chooses to reveal. We can only operate in faith. However non-understandable it may be.

After this event in 2008, GOD laid it in Sinmi’s heart to begin the ‘Click on Hope Orphanage’, also known as the STOG Missions Orphanage. The orphanage has for long opened its arms to accommodate children of christian missionaries orphaned as a result of religious crises and terrorists invasion. The eyes of these children are haunted by memories we wish them to forget; their parents gruesomely murdered in the line of duty/in service to the LORD. These children deserve to live in the best of conditions and we strive to give them that.

Hope arises from the ashes of pain/anguish as we watch these children grow into responsible/respectable men and women in the society. Through educational support, discipleship training, mentorship, vocational trainings/skill acquisition programs and all that we can offer at the orphanage. We have University undergraduates among the children today whom are very functional in the Mission. It gladdens our hearts to see them up on their feet and going.

Back in 2008, Sinmi had to sell food, sew clothes, *part planning and engage in road side food business in order to kick-start the orphanage. She started with three children; two four years old and a two years old young girl. By the next year, she welcomed three more children into the home. All of these children are now in the best federal universities. Today, we have thirty two children in the orphanage home (4 infants, 19 primary school students, 9 secondary school ), all of whom are performing excellently in their academics.

These children are mostly gotten by virtue of our rescue Mission to various crisis zones in Nigeria where Sinmi has had to risk her life several times leading the STOG rescue mission as first responders to terrorism inactions in whatever form they come starting from Boko Haram to Fulani and all other Islamic gimmicks. Having worked in Maduguri, Benue, Taraba, *platters and mostly in Kaduna state, our orphanage home is structured like a typical Nigerian home and the children are not raised/related with as orphans but as children of the living GOD. By sharing the same surname, it makes it easy for them to overcome identity issues in school and in the society at large.

Our pride is to see these children grow up to carry on the mandate of Christ, fully maximizing their potentials in various spheres of life. It brings us much joy to see one of the children lead the team that is now driving the Revamp the street kids centers.