In a poignant ceremony that celebrated the life of a remarkable woman, the family, Clergy and members of Anchor of Hope Ministry, friends, and well-wishers gathered to bid a final farewell to Late Sister Margaret Oduduru Kehinde Orishedere (Nee: Okri-Agbarhojomator). The funeral, held in Uvwiamughe, Agbarho in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State on Saturday, 23rd September 2023 was a testament to the enduring love, resilience, and unwavering faith that defined Margaret’s life.
In a brief but powerful sermon, Pastor Bai Obiri, standing in the stead of the General Overseer of Anchor of Hope Ministries, mRev. Thomas Ukwute, who was unavoidably absent, tenderly reminded us that death is a solemn universal truth, echoing the words of Hebrews 9:27 – “it is appointed unto man once to die and after this judgment.” In our earthly journey, we all tread the path toward this inevitable destination; it is only a matter of time.
From the sacred pages of Philippians 1:21, he drew forth a verse that resonates deeply within our hearts: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” He painted for us the beautiful paradox that exists within these words – a paradox that reveals the profound victory of life over death and the hope that flourishes through faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ.
With the gentle wisdom of Alexander the Great, he cautioned against the relentless pursuit of earthly riches at the expense of our eternal souls. As we witness our mortal bodies succumb to the relentless march of time and decay on this earthly plane, it is our souls that transcend into eternity, a truth that ought to guide our aspirations.
In a poignant reference to Luke 16, he recounted the tale of the wealthy man who, despite his earthly abundance, found himself bereft of even a drop of water on the other side of eternity. It serves as a stark reminder that earthly riches, however great, pale in comparison to the spiritual treasures that await us beyond this life.
Pastor Obiri then illuminated the glorious promise of John 14:2, where Christ assures believers of mansions in the heavenly realm upon their transition from this earthly existence. This promise is a testament to the enduring hope that sustains us through the trials and tribulations of life.
He spoke from the depths of his heart as he bore witness to the life of devotion of Sister Margaret at the Anchor of Hope Ministries Headquarters. Her life, according to him was a living testament to unwavering dedication in the service of the Lord, and her memory shall forever inspire and console us.
“The question arises: How can death, which often evokes fear and sorrow, be a source of gain? The answer, Pastor Obiri gently reminded us, lies in making Jesus the Lord of our lives. For believers, it entails a daily commitment to live wholeheartedly for the Creator, to maintain a pure conscience before God and man, and to strive to leave a positive impact on humanity, starting within our own families. It beckons us to keep our sights firmly fixed on the heavenly realm, where our eternal reward awaits”, Pastor Obiri said
In a powerful culmination of his message, Pastor Obiri extended a heartfelt altar call, urging the believers to dedicate their lives to the work of God, echoing the words of 1 Corinthians 15:19 – “If only in this life we have hope, we are of all men most miserable.” This call was not just an invitation but a profound reminder that our faith, our hope, and our commitment to Christ extend beyond this earthly existence. It is an assurance that even in the face of life’s challenges, our eternal hope in Christ is the wellspring of our true joy and gain.
As participants departed from the solemn funeral service hearts were stirred, spirits renewed, and resolve strengthened. Participants left with a profound understanding that living for Christ on Earth is a journey of purpose and significance, and the promise of eternal gain in the loving embrace of heaven awaits those who faithfully walk this path.
The funeral service was well attended by clergy and members of her home church, the Anchor of Hope Ministry. They include Pastor (Mrs) Gladys Ukwute, wife of the General Overseer, Pastor Bai Obiri, Pastor Augustin Chukwuma, Pastor Stovah Michael, Deacon Cyril Ukwute, the Badinwu’s, the Ipayas, the Ingbis, and others too numerous to mention. Some clergy and members of Deeper Life Bible Church, Market Women from Ogbe-Ijoh Market, neighbours, and others were also present to bid Sister Margaret goodbye.
BIOGRAPHY OF LATE SISTER MARGARET ODUDURU KEHINDE ORISHEDERE (NEE: OKRI-AGBARHOJOMATOR): A LIFE OF RESILIENCE AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
Late Sister Margaret Oduduru Kehinde Orishedere, a beacon of strength and love, was born a twin into the families of Chief Okri Osabor Agbarhojomator of Ughwrughelli-Agbarho and Madam Comfort Onojighofia Okri of Ovwori-Agbarho, both of Ughelli North LGA of Delta State on the historic day of 1st October, 1960, in Okitipupa, Ondo State, when Nigeria celebrated its independence from British Colonial rule. Her birth was a symbol of hope, echoing the newfound freedom of her nation.
Her early years were filled with promise, as she attended St. John’s Primary School in Okitipupa. However, destiny had its own plan for her when tragedy struck with the untimely loss of her father. Undaunted, Margaret, alongside her mother and siblings, embarked on a new chapter by relocating back home to Agbarho in 1976. Here, she continued her primary education from primary four at Ishere Primary School, Oviri-Agbarho, and achieved remarkable distinction.
Margaret’s journey of resilience and determination led her to the prestigious Unity School in Agbarho, where she, alongside her fellow female pioneers, shattered gender barriers by becoming the pioneer set of girls admitted to the once all-boys secondary school.
Her indomitable spirit and natural leadership abilities propelled her to become the school’s Head Girl, a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence. She showcased not only her academic prowess in the classroom but also exhibited remarkable skills and grace on the basketball court, excelling both academically and athletically under the mentorship of Mr. S.S. Kudjere during Mr. Avwovwede’s tenure as Principal.
Due to financial constraints, young Margaret could not pursue higher education but instead joined her mother in the business of garri, bush meat, and plantain, sourcing their wares from Ugbogi, Edo State, and selling them in the bustling Oshodi Market in Lagos State from which they made a modest fortune.
Eventually, Margaret established her own presence in Ogbe-Ijoh Market, Warri, where her infectious smile and warm spirit endeared her to all. Her untimely passing after a brief illness left a void that could never be filled.
Margaret’s love story was a union of hearts, as she got engaged to Late Chief James Orishedere of Igun, Ethiope East LGA. Together, they created a legacy that continues through their children and grandchildren.
Margaret was a woman who understood the concept of delayed gratification, a principle that drove her to sacrifice her own immediate comfort in order to provide her children with education, even at her expense.
She is also survived by her aged mother, brothers, sisters, and numerous other relatives. Her love transcended familial bonds; she was a unifying force and a pillar of support for her siblings and aged mother.
A devout Christian, Margaret found solace and purpose in worship at the Anchor of Hope Ministry Headquarters, a sanctuary that nurtured her faith for almost three decades until she embarked on her final journey on Thursday, 13th July, 2023 at the age of 62.
The life of Late Sister Margaret Oduduru Kehinde Orishedere stands as a powerful testimony to the enduring love, resilience, and unwavering faith in Christ’s sacrificial death for humanity’s salvation. She embodied the spirit of a nation that overcame adversity, with her ultimate goal being to embrace the eternal grace of heaven. This reminds us of the incredible gift of salvation through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins that is fully available to those who, like Margaret believe in Him.
Her legacy lives on in the hearts of all who were privileged to know her.
May her gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.
During the funeral, heartfelt tributes poured in from family and friends:
Your enduring legacy of strength and grace, even in the toughest of times, will forever be a guiding light in our lives. You’ve taught us the profound essence of resilience. My husband, our son, and I find comfort in knowing that you fought a good fight. Your spirit will live on within us.
With heartfelt love,
Mrs. Franca Foster-Akpore
You were more than just a friend; you were the confidant who walked with us through every joy and sorrow. Your memory will forever be the beacon that guides us through life’s darkest moments. Your memory will always be a beacon of light to us. Adieu mummy.
With love and gratitude,
Mr. Alex Orishedere
Your love for us your children was boundless, and your legacy thrives in the love and values you embedded in us. You were truly an angel among us, a beacon of selflessness and boundless generosity, showering love and kindness wherever you tread. Your unwavering faith in the face of life’s trials was nothing short of inspiring, a testament to the incredible power of belief in God’s plan.
With eternal love,
Mr. Lucky Orishedere
To My Beloved Mother-in-Law,
Your wisdom, grace, and unconditional support have been a blessing in my life. Your strength and unwavering love inspire me. You are not just a mother-in-law but also a cherished friend and role model. I am deeply grateful for the love, laughter, and cherished memories we’ve shared. Thank you for being the incredible person you are.
With heartfelt appreciation and love,
Mr. Foster Akpore
To my grandmom
You may have passed on, but your memories will always live on within us. Thank you for your sacrifices, your care and concern, your love, and everything that you have done for me. Wherever you are, I know you are in a much better place. I will be forever grateful and thankful that you are my grandmother-
Your grandson, Kesiena
Margaret Orishedere’s memory will undoubtedly live on in the hearts of those she touched, a beacon of inspiration for generations to come. As her family and friends said their final goodbyes, they did so with the knowledge that her legacy of love and resilience will continue to shine brightly. May her gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.