Archbishop Margaret Benson-Idahosa, the widow and successor of the founder of Church of God Mission International, Archbishop Benson Idahosa, has revealed that she was clinically declared unfit to have children by doctors years after her marriage.
She made the revelation in a video interview posted on her Facebook wall to mark her 77th birthday on Wednesday July 29.
In the interview conducted by one of her children, she said she did not start have children until after five years of marriage; recalling that she became worried during the delay.
Her husband was the founder of the Church of God Mission, Benin. He was a celebrated preacher of the gospel who God used mightily to make the pentecostalism a force in Nigeria. He died on March 12, 1998, at the age of 59
But they did not have children in time. The delay in having children got family members worried. She said “there was a time they called me and my husband and asked, who is the husband and who is the wife. They called him at another time and said to him that they only wanted to see him that I should not follow him. But he insisted on taking me along. When we got to them, they asked me to stay away. And he told them if they could not tell him what they wanted to tell him in my presence they should forget it. We walked away. That was when they stopped bothering us.”
But then she did not have children afterwards. Her husband began to make moves. “We decided to visit one of the best gynaecologists in the country then, one Dr. Ogunro. My husband paid a lot of money for the consultation. The man said to me madam, let me be frank with you, you can never have children because your womb is tilted. I started crying. I cried from Mission Road to New Benin. My husband came and I told him. And he said if I be a man of God, God will give us children. We went into prayers and children did not come that year. The fourth-year after marriage, I still had no child.”
She recalled further that the late American preacher, Gordon Lindsay came to visit Nigeria and Pa Sydney Elton (the American missionary that lived in Ilesha, Osun State, who mentored many men of God in Nigeria) brought him to Miracle Centre in Benin and he prophesied that I would have children.
“But he said my husband would follow him to America. My husband eventually went to the US and I was left back at home. I did not feel his absence so much because I was also busy in the church. He was supposed to spend two years in the US in the Bible School but came back after a year because he felt souls were perishing in Nigeria. After a year that he back, I took in. I told him I missed my time, my husband said honey, don’t look for it. I had my son. Six months after I was pregnant again. One Uncle knew about the pregnancy and said I would have a baby girl. I was delivered of the baby girl in London. We came home. After a year I was pregnant again. And we thought we were through and you (the interviewer) showed up”
She had four other children after making a total of seven
She recalled that on the day of their marriage she and her husband had to trek home after the reception because the owner of the car they borrowed for the wedding came for the car before the end of the reception.
On what attracted her to the late Archbishop Idahosa, she said she was attracted to him because God used him to raise a dead boy.
“Brother Benson and the child walked out of the room. That was what got me into Christianity. He came out and said give the child food. In the night, I was going to sleep and I was thinking about the miracle because the coffin for the dead child was already bought and the father had gone to get the certificate of death but came back to see a living child. I was asking the Lord how he got that power. I did not hear God respond to me but I had peace in my mind.
“The following day he came and I asked him how he got the power and he began to preach to me about the finished work of Calvary and that I could do it myself. So he started preaching to me and I started going to church with him.
And when it was time for me to get married my father said, no, you can’t get married to hallelujah man. My father was a die-hard Anglican. So we started praying. My husband said we should give him time. When I was 26, my father was still adamant. But my mother was behind me. My father did not come to the wedding but his brothers came. We got married.
“I am glad that before he died we were his darling. We changed his house and furniture and gave him all that he could not get when he was working in PWD.”
Margaret Idahosa said further in the interview that marriage is not sustained by love alone but by patience, communication and perseverance.
She warned young ladies who want to marry not to marry an unbeliever. “she must not marry a man that has no work either because Adam had a job before God brought Eve his way,” she said.
She, however, said she never thought she would be married to a pastor. “The pastors I knew then had tattered clothes. Their shoes were eaten up. I wanted a man that we would go to the movie together, come to the restaurant and have fun. But God had a different plan.
He (her husband) came along the line and everything changed. We used to talk about marriage when he had not proposed to me. I believed he prayed. When he proposed I said no problem.”