She had a promising career as a banker but chose to abandon it for a divine calling to give succour to the suffering. Mrs. Sarah Godfrey, Founder, Jesus Girls International Foundation, tells Mary Nnah how fulfilling it has been embarking on this great voyage.
Can you tell us how your journey into a ministry of this nature started?
Growing up, I had a very good upbringing but sometimes, things happen in your life that you just canâ€™t explain or understand why you should go through what you are going through. Sometimes you ask yourself why things are going well for people who are careless about life and self-respect and yet everything goes wrong for you who have always been a church girl right from childhood. It never looked like I was going to come out of it. I had a marital issue and was almost involved with a demonically orchestrated marriage. I had a societal marriage introduction and when I decided not to go further with the main marriage, my parents felt I was bringing shame to them. I wanted to be fulfilled and I told them I was going to fight for my destiny with last drop of my blood and then I ran away from home. The world around me then gave up on me. Thank God for a mentor like Chief Ibrahim Oruma who became like a father to me. He has been mentoring me over the years and he gave me the courage to move on with life. Eventually I started working and at some point I quit the job. Chief Oruma gave me a job in his company, saying I had to be in a job to sustain myself. For six months, I was in my mentorâ€™s house. He counselled me, took care of me and gave me hope. He would just say, â€˜Sarah keep movingâ€™; and those words kept me going.
Growing up back then in Kogi State, I loved singing in the choir. I played piano and I was well known in that environs and I moved from place to place singing from one crusade ground to another. When the world came crumbling down on me, the same people that enjoyed listening to me sing and play piano, were asking where is your God? It got so bad that I started asking myself why I was serving God. At the same time I had all sorts of men who wanted to date me. I almost succumbed but then I heard a voice warning me not to; that there is no way there. I harkened to that voice and cried unto God and then entered into a bargain with God. I told God that my desire was to serve Him and I was determined with everything in me to serve God if only He would give me peace. And God sent my husband, Pastor Emanuel Godfrey to me eventually, one whose vision tallies with mine.
So after some months, I began to hear the words, â€˜What price are you willing to pay for your purpose?â€™ Initially, I did not understand but later I knew that God was calling me out for a purpose. I left my secular job because I love people and I love putting smile on peopleâ€™s faces. I am the kind of person that any where I am, my attention goes first to those people that appear gloomy and inactive. I want to see that joy back on their faces. I wanted to impact lives and solve human problems. There was always this feeling of satisfaction in me each time I am able to pull a person out of a bad mood. It got to a point that people just kept coming to me, even at my place of work as a banker, to pour out the heaviness of their hearts. At that point I knew what exactly my purpose in life was and that was when I decided to establish Jesus Girls International Foundation. I then realised that everything I went through then when it looked like the whole world was crumbling upon me, was God taking me through a process. You cannot give what you donâ€™t have. How can you counsel people when you have not been through some difficult situations in life? I then realised that whatever I went through was a school. So I had to abandon my banking job in order to have enough time to give succour to the wounded minds.
How long have you been into this?
I have been doing it one on one. I see every moment to reach out to some body as a moment of being fulfilled. Sometimes it could someone fall sick and I just want to be around you even if I never knew you before. If I hear that someone lost somebody, I just want come to you and help you heal. The moment you have that joy, it gives me joy. So eventually I left my banking job four years ago to concentrate on this and yet I still couldnâ€™t find my bearing. So just last year, the words: â€˜Itâ€˜s timeâ€™, kept reoccurring to my hearing. And by then I have started meeting physically at my church all those people that were calling me on phone for one thing or the other. Unconsciously I didnâ€™t know it was God orchestrating things. And that was how it started formally last year. We started from Facebook and before you knew it, thousands of people joined from different states and different countries. As I speak now, we are all over the world and God gave us that brand name, Jesus Girls. I can remember those days when people would say this one is a Jesus girl and yet she is going through so much anguish. Today I can still tell the world that I am a Jesus girl because Jesus came through for me and today the foundation has branches in the six geopolitical zones. Apart from meeting physically once in a while, we also operate regularly on various platforms like Instagram:jesusgirls100, Facebook: Jesus Girls Chat Room. You can also reach us through our email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us about the vision of the foundation.
Jesus Girls International Foundation was established to provide emotional healing, mentoring and counselling to girls and women facing all kinds of challenges and also coming together to serve humanity. The idea is to bring inner healing to those wounded at heart, reconcile relationships and awakened dead potentials. We started with a live gathering and what we do basically is to learn from each other. We share experiences and have counselling sessions. Jesus Girls is a Christian NGO dedicated to emotional healing and direct impact in the lives of people. We are looking forward to leaving a positive signature in the lives of people, as leadership is about impact and relevance. We are not a church and non-denominational inclined. We add value to the human race, particularly ladies; regardless of backgrounds. As a foundation, we wake up potential, mend broken hearts, bring emotional healing and resolve challenging relationships, getting back our self-worth and self-esteem. In addition, we also work on redirecting the confused, refocusing our purpose, charting new vistas and opportunities, promoting mutual pure love and respect. By doing all this, we are enhancing the dignity of ladies and replicating Jesus in others.â€
Would you say you are fulfilled?
I am getting fulfilled because the vision is bigger than me. Looking at where we started from and where Iâ€™m today, I believe God is fully involved. The vision is massive and that is the more reasons we need sponsors and partners who are will to key into our vision. We want people who are ready to render selfless services to this people with emotional needs. We need both government and private organisations to come in to assist us as well as individuals with like minds. We need financial, material and moral supports from those who are capable and willing to help. We intend to have many orphanages, old peoplesâ€™ homes, places for healing emotional pains and so on. So that if you are having problems with your spouse, you come, we can separate you for a while during which we give you a very comfortable place to stay and encourage you with the word of God directly or indirectly. By the time we leave you two for another two weeks and revisit the issue, the foundation would have been able to achieve solutions and bring that dying relationship back to life. By that, I mean bringing healing to many homes. Usually, many couples come here looking very gloomy and sad and they go back fulfilled. For us, that is fulfilment.