I Run Edo IDP Camp Without UN Funds – Folorunsho






Pastor Solomon Folorunsho, the General Overseer/Founder of International Christian Centre for Missions, was born Solomon Aidamebor. His birth had a touch of the miraculous.
His grandfather prolonged his life through a covenant that whenever his son(Solomon's father) had a male child the child must die to prolong his (grandfather's)life. But before Pastor Folorunsho was born his grandfather had died. Growing up, Pastor Folorunsho had many near death experiences that was later to shape his life.

Today, outside his missionary work Pastor Folorunsho  is a philanthropist and teacher. He started his philanthropy with his establishment of the home for the needy which initially catered for orphans, widows and indigent people.

What started on small scale with the establishment of the church in 1991 has since five years ago blossomed to a camp that also accommodates over 2,000 Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) majority  of whom are victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country.

The cleric recalled that in the early days of his missionary work.

"It was very interesting. For me, it was obedience to God. When God calls you first you must know what He has called you to do; you have to know where he wants you to go; you've to know when and you have to know how. I knew that I was called to preach the gospel; to bring people from darkness to light; to bring healing to the sick; to disciple them and to build them to be like Christ. At the early days of starting the ministry for that purpose, with a vision to reach mainly the unreached people - villages, hamlets, camps, tribal people, people that have never heard the full gospel and those that see themselves as Christians by name or in words but not in deed. At the beginning, every great thing, no matter how huge, starts small, I came to Benin City where God wanted me to be. And from there we started in a very little room, just one small room. The members I had then were two girls and two little children. 

"That was how the whole thing started. Those days we won't have food to eat. Sometimes if you have a cup of garri(cassava flakes) to drink in three days you have to praise God . But then those challenges were for me training to prepare me for what am doing today, for me to see that there are people who are in opulence while there are those who are in abject poverty. So that when God starts using me for what he called me to do I will not join those big dudes who look down on those who are suffering or struggling to make ends meet. And also for God to use me for those that are down. So, the early days were quite interesting but it was for me training, testing time , equipping time, preparation time, getting to know people , getting to feel what others are feeling, suffer what they suffer and gradually with time we started to grow. The church we established in Benin City is still there. Also our outreach to different places started to take shape and within a short time were able to have over 300 churches in Nigeria and abroad.
But while he was doing all these not much was heard about him until about three years ago

"The truth is that I have never craved for unnecessary publicity. I am somebody that does his thing quietly. I like my work to speak for me. I just have a belief that if I do what God wants me to do and He is pleased but nobody knows about me then am fine. My joy is that I obeyed the Lord. Some people we had interaction with knew us and knew what we were doing though our activities were not reported in the media. It was when the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) came into one arm of our ministry which is caring for the needy, that was when the media got to know about us. Even at the initial stage I was not too keen on relating with journalists but I later realised that there is a time for everything. If God hadn't used the media to our advantage we couldn't have accomplished most things that we did. I found out that while some people have needs there are others who have the means and are seeking for where to sow their seeds."

The pastor also remembered with nostalgia how the visit of a top politician, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) to the camp situated at Uhogua in the Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State changed the whole narrative.

"Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu visited the camp before his birthday in 2016 with his friends and associates and I must confess that signalled the beginning of the positive change of our story. Thereafter, the then governor of the state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his wife, Iara also came calling several times bringing good tidings."


Challenges


There are challenges. For instance, we have to buy fuel and diesel every day. We have to pay all the securitymen. We have to pay all the staff. We have two medical doctors, two pharmacists and nurses. We have to pay all of them. We have to eat. Though we now have a farm but it's not in any way sufficient. We have to buy food all the time. We have to wait for people to give us food. We have to build more houses to provide proper accommodation.

We spend millions of naira in the kitchen alone. We spend on the average N6million monthly. People talk about some funds from the United Nations that we, like other IDPs camps in the country, should be benefitting from. But that has never been the case. We have never benefited from such funds.

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