(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)- Mama Hannah Opara, late mother of Rt. Hon. Austen Opara, former member of Federal House of Representatives and others, was laid to rest last Friday in Port Harcourt. She passed at the ripe age of 96, but that is not the end of the story.
There is something unique and inspiring about the story of the life and times of Mama. This was captured in the testimony of one lady, Mrs. Brown, about Mama at the Service of Songs which took place last Thursday at the St. Thomas Anglican Church, Ikwerre road in Port Harcourt
The testimony was hair raising, and the testifier actually confessed that Mama told her the remarkable story of her life in the early nineties, when her husband served in that church.
According Mrs. Brown, because Mama was unable to have a child 12 years into marriage, she was mocked both privately and publicly. It got to a point that Mama, because of the unprecedented pressures told God that she will be content, even if the child that He will give to her dies shortly after delivery. At least, it would prove to her mockers, that she can get pregnant and carry a baby to full term.
Ironically, God answered her prayer. Mama soon got pregnant, carried the pregnancy to full term and delivered: baby alive, and mother alive at the hospital.
However, the joy was cut short. Soon after the child was delivered, Mama lost the baby while in the hospital.
The sad event occurred when the child slipped from the hand of a nurse, and and fell on the floor.
It was a devastating blow that shattered the hopes of Mama and many who were looking forward to that day, but Mama had to put herself together, giving glory to God, for, at least, proving to her mockers that she can be pregnant after all.
Days after, Mama went to church for thanksgivings. While those who were not aware of the sad event were excited and asking for the baby, Mama Hannah, who was accompanied by some close relations, thanked God for His mercies, declaring that God, who has shown that she is fruitful, will give her other children.
Without delay, God remembered her again, and on their 14th year in marriage, Mama had another child. And so it was, that the Mama, that was mocked and derided – that if the money used in marrying her was used to buy goat, that the house would have been full in 12 years, eventually became the mother of sons and daughters.
For her shame and pains, God gave her strength to live for 96 years, time long enough to see her grand children and others.
God rewarded her steadfastness, to prove that any one who puts his or her trust in the LORD cannot be put to shame. Mama Sarah Opara fought a good fight. She kept the faith, and finished strong.
Mama Hannah that was mocked ended up laughing last, and laughing best; with a great burial to match. What a lesson for the living!