Testimonies: ‘God opened doors for me during the lockdown’

Justina Ashishana, Niger State Correspondent of The Nation shared testimonies of opportunities she has had despite the COVID-19 crisis

I want to thank God for keeping me and my family from January till now, for seeing us through the lockdown period, I want to thank God for good health, for my family, my career and business. He has been faithful and gracious to me. God’s faithfulness never fails even when everywhere seem bleak, He has always shown His faithfulness.

I want to thank God for His faithfulness during the lockdown period, despite the slash in salary, God remained faithful.

During the lockdown period, the Lord opened up some opportunities for me. He reached out to people to recommend me for some grants and fellowship. The first was a reporting grant to write some reports on women farmers across the state, some of the areas I visited had security challenges but the Lord saw me through and gave me the safety to and fro, eventually I was able to complete the investigations and the report was published.

The second opportunity was a six months fellowship which a Colleague recommended me for. It came as a surprise to me but it was a wonderful and glorious surprise. I started the fellowship this month and I know the Lord will See Me through.

Also, on Wednesday and Thursday this week, I organized a two-day Data Journalism Clinic for Journalists in Niger state. I want to thank God for the success of the training. The training was supposed to have been held in February before the Lock-Down, then the Lock-Down came and we had to put it off. However, after everything seem normal, there was a lot of interest but we had to make selections because of our budget.

It wasn’t easy to get a sponsor for the training but God in His Mercies provided someone who took up most of the bills. What I had to do was facilitate, get a venue, do the certificates and ensure the participants showed up. God met my needs beyond my expectations because the sponsor was ready to take up everything, all he asked was that his own organisation was promoted in the course of promoting the programme.

I thank God for bringing forth the fulfilment of my desire to impact on journalists in Niger state. I am so grateful for the success and I know that more of these training will come up.

I want to encourage us all today. Most of the times, I see myself to be in a disadvantaged position especially being in the state where I am because Niger state seemed remote and when they are talking about journalists, you will hear majority will be from Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and other big cities. Being in the state, I thought I was not opened up to opportunities but I decided to take the leading and try harness opportunities made available to other journalists and God has been faithful. He has linked me up to mentors who have shown me ways of improving my career.

I will like to encourage us all that we should not allow where we are to limit us. In the Bible, God said that there is a time for everything and I have paraphrased this verse to myself saying, there is a place for everything and everyone. Don’t be discouraged about where you are and this shouldn’t discourage you from aiming high. We should try to develop positive attitudes.

As Journalists, there will come a time when we are posted to remote areas but don’t despair, God has a reason for the posting and why He placed you there.

We should also take advantage of the opportunity, we should also not be discouraged when we get a lot of No, after every No, there will be a Yes.

Opportunities cannot be purchased and does not come every day; we should always be well prepared for support and package ourselves well so that when the opportunity comes, we will not be taken unaware.

We should try to maintain the attitude of joy and thanksgiving because with joy and thanksgiving, we can bring down hanging miracles and blessings.

We should also try to value relationships. There is a saying that says that grace is available to us all but it is what we do with the grace that matters. Relationship matters, one will never get started when you come to value the relationships in your life. Don’t be scared to be a Mentee, don’t be scared to approach people to mentor you.

Lastly, I will like to say that we should always recognise our greatest Source which is the Holy Spirit. The journey of life is beyond what our head knowledge can handle, that is why depending on the Holy Spirit daily is a plus to us. The Holy Spirit in us place is at an advantaged position. The Holy Spirit is an enabler, strength and source. In this period we are, our reliance on the Holy Spirit will see us through any trying period others are facing.

I thank you all for the opportunity to share my testimony and I give all Glory to God because He alone has been the one who has done this and not by my strength or ability. To God be the glory