By Gift E. Jonah
Presiding Elder Etuk U. Akpan and Abigail Udo Akpan (couple)
There is an adage, “It is not over until it is over”. Many give up on life and miss that which destiny has designed for them. For the few who do not give up easily, luck often finds a way to locate them. That is the story of Nigeria’s latest Cinderella whose incredible but true life-changing story has just played out hitting many with a bang.
For Sister Abigail Udo Akpan, love came knocking at the latter stage of life. She had struggled through life expectant, like any girl/woman, that the day would come when a dashing young man would ask for her hand in marriage. It soon became clear that her name was not on the roster for this youthful rite of passage. Abigail at about 60 years old, got married last Sunday.
Waiting soon stretched to almost old age. Disappointed, this humble first daughter of the family threw away all hope of one day saying, ‘I do’ and turned her attention to surviving and even that soon became a problem with the ever shrinking economy. Abigail was forced to move in with friends at the Ogbunabali axis of Port Harcourt from where she was managing her life.
Then came her younger brother who harassed her neighbourly friends enough to let her move in with him. Abigail did not know that destiny was calling and so, was unhappy to leave. At the brother’s place where she began to help mind the children, she was invited to a church programme by the sister-in-law and she dutifully followed.
As Abigail stepped into the church, her presence caught the attention of the elder ministering at the service. National Point was told the minister kept staring at her to her discomfort. She was wondering what she had done to warrant such spiritual scrutiny and was forced to step out of the church for some air. The man later came out and asked her why she was outside, the poor woman could not say what was on her mind but told friends later that but for the service being a night vigil, she would have gone home. She could not be persuaded to attend another service in that church but the man sought her out and expressed his desire to make her his wife working through an elderly female who observed his unusual interest in Abigail.
The poor woman was not amused because she felt she was past the age and was not in a position to bring anything to such a union but the man was adamant and convinced her he was looking for a mate, a companion and she was the chosen one whose picture he had divinely received before he sighted her; he had lost his wife years back and had been praying for a new wife.
While Presiding Elder Etuk Akpan was still trying to work out his next moves, Abigail had cause to go back to her friends but Etuk traced her and after a few obstacles, they were able to convince her family to accept the inevitability of her assuming her God-designed status the elder’s household. The traditional marriage took place in her village in Akwa Ibom State to the astonishment of many. God prepared Abigail to step into an already prepared family. The husband has companionship as his main reason for searching her out and gave her grown up children as added advantage thus making her an instant wife and mother.
This union was solemnized at The Apostolic Church, Rumuagholu Assembly 2, Rumuagholu District, Rumudumaya Area, Maritime Territory on Sunday, November 22, 2020 to much rejoicing by associates, friends and family members and many who came to confirm and tap from her blessing.
Abigail’s story is indeed a union made in heaven and their wedding toast spells it clearly: “it’s bad to pretend to be alone. I found one to be with till I finish my service on earth”. One can only wish them tons of joy as they dwell together.