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This time around a bishop plays the Good Samaritan

NEWS | John Sandeman

Thursday 25 June 2015

In the story of the Good Samaritan that Jesus told, the religious leaders ignored a beaten-up stranger in need of help and passed by, leaving the foreigner to help the stranger. But in a story out of Nigeria, a bishop turns out to be the good Samaritan.

Six women patients held at a hospital and unable to pay their bills have been rescued by the Bishop of Lagos West.

The women had turned to a traditional healer to assist with their births, but he had botched the operation, leading to caesarean operations at the Ilogbo Central Hospital. The women were abandoned by their husbands when their bills were presented, according to reports by George Conger of Anglican Ink and the Daily Times of Nigeria.

The Bishop with the women he assisted.

The Bishop with the women he assisted.

James Olusola Odedeji, the Bishop of Lagos West, told reporters this month that his boss, the primate of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh showed him newspaper reports of the women’s plight.

“I personally felt challenged because one of my missions in the Dioceses of Lagos (West) is what I call ‘pragmatic evangelism’. The meaning of pragmatic evangelism is touching of lives, community involvement, social responsibility and generally putting smiles on the faces of children of God. And in doing this, we need to be as practical as possible,” he told the Daily Times.

“When we came here for investigation and found the story to be true, the Church decided to pay their bills and let the daughters of God go home with their blessings of the fruit of their wombs.”

The Bishop handed over a cheque and the women were free to go home.

Unlike another story Jesus told, the women were grateful.

The Daily Times reports, “At the occasion, hope and joy showed in the faces of the women, Mrs. Tochukwu Faith, James Joy, Ikechukwu Ukwuda, Ndubuisi Ogechi, Ikpeme Margaret and Olaposi Faith. In turn, they thanked God and blessed the Church.”

“Mrs Olaposi thanked the Church for coming to her aid.

“I least expected this from anyone, but thank God who is ever faithful. It was my mother in-law who took me to the traditional birth attendants, but [I] was rushed here due to complications. I have been here for two months now but God has finally showed mercy on me. l am very happy. May God bless them all.”

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