How I Broke The Cycle Of Poverty In My Family – Pastor Adeboye Tells Interesting Story
Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), cannot be found sharing God’s glory for his greatness. He dreads it.
“Without God, I am nothing,” he is quick to point out.
Born and raised in debilitating poverty, it is a miracle that he is this powerful and influential globally.
But he didn’t sit at home, arms folded, for God to change his situation. At the July Holy Ghost Service of the church at the Redemption Camp last week, he revealed how he broke his family’s vicious cycle of poverty.
His elder brother, Gabriel Adeboye, had previously described their poverty starkly.
“It is said that some people came from a difficult background, but ours was far worse. So difficult was our case that it could be likened to being trapped in marshy land. An attempt at putting the second leg in the mud to remove the trapped leg results in both legs getting entrapped. We, however, thank God that we can testify to His awesome power in our family today,” Gabriel Adeboye said.
Preaching a sermon with the theme, ‘Swimming in Glory – Part 7 (Born to Be Great)’ the General Overseer recalled: “I looked at our situation then; my father was so poor that poor people called him poor! And yet he had two wives and many children.
“I looked at his farm; it wasn’t big enough to support his family, yet it was going to be divided amongst us when he died.
“So, I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to die in that poverty.
“And I knew that the only way out was to study hard in school. I did and gained admission to Ilesha Grammar School (Osun State).
“But when the results came, my mother called me inside the room, and said ‘you this boy, what are you trying to do? You want to expose us to ridicule? You know we have no money, and you say you want to go to Grammar School.’
“Then she begged me, ‘please my boy, Christmas is coming, I will buy you good clothes. Forget about this Grammar School.’
“I told her, ‘I don’t want Christmas clothes, I want to go to school.’
“She said, ‘we don’t have money.’ But I replied she would find the money.
“I’m talking about 1955. I told my mother I would not eat until she paid the deposit of my fees to the school. She thought I was joking. The first day I didn’t eat anything; the second day I refused to eat. By the third day, since I happened to be her only son, she and my father got the money for a deposit.
“I kept on living my dream: through various means, I finished secondary school and gained admission into the university.
On another occasion Mr Adeboye had related how poor he was in secondary school. “I walked bare-foot for the first eighteen years of my life – in rain and in sunshine.
“I can never forget my final year in the grammar school. I was eighteen years old. I was a fairly good student, and had won many prizes as a testimony to that. In those days at Ilesha Grammar School, they used to have what they called a Prize-Giving Day. That was a day before the school vacation; a day when all those who won prizes would come forward, shake hands with the principal and receive a prize for the subject they excelled in.”
“For those in the final year, there was a dress code – a white shirt over a pair of white trousers, and shoes to match. I had won a prize, but had no trousers – white, black or red. Shoes? I didn’t even know what that looked like! What was I going to do? They were going to call my name in front of everybody. It meant that I was going to go forward in the only a pair of shorts I owned, barefooted. I started lamenting, God you know I have no trousers, why did you allow me to win a prize?
“It was at that stage that one of the boys in the hostel called me, “Ademaths.” (That was my nickname). And I answered, “Yes.”
“He summoned me over and said, “I have six pairs of trousers, I don’t know which one to wear tomorrow. Can you help me choose?”
“I helped him choose one and then said to him, “Emmm, you know I don’t even have one to wear.”
“Pick one,” he said.