As I sat down to have a chat with 74 year old Elizabeth, I noticed the radiance of her face which was not there when I first visited at the beginning of the community Alpha at Anfoega-Wuve.
With a broad smile, Elizabeth intimated that, she was skeptical when an invitation was extended to her to attend the Alpha in the community. "To me, this was just another religious exercise. The only difference is that, it is the Chief that is inviting the elders in the community to attend and aside that, there is nothing different". Through the persistence of Rose, Elizabeth agreed to join the Alpha. She said she noticed the difference immediately she got to the community centre. The set up was different from all other religious gatherings. "I was surprised to see the level of fellowship which is not shallow but seems to be coming from deep within the people gathered. I wondered if these are the same people I know in the community".
During the talk, everything was so simple and the stories were so real that she decided to continue joining the group week after week. The small groups discussions were the beginning of the experience of peace she so longed for. Elizabeth soon found out that, the issue of faith was not as complex as she thought. "I have been in the church all my adult life, but Alpha has made the message of Jesus Christ very simple. I have an opportunity to express my opinion in my small group and able to ask all the questions that are on my mind", Elizabeth said.
"I came on Alpha desperately looking for peace after losing my husband six months ago. The loss of my husband re-opened the wounds of losing my only son four years back. "It was very difficult for me when John died since he was my only son. He died in his prime and I did not fully recover from the pain all these years. The loss of my husband made me dejected. A lot of people came to comfort me but that did not take away the sense of loss and pain. I lost the peace of mind I thought I had. Most of my nights were sleepless. During the Holy Spirit retreat, the peace that I so desperately seek came to me in a way I never knew is possible. After all I've been through, I am now at peace with myself, my neighbours and most importantly God. My community is now different with a very deep sense of belonging and Love.", she added joyfully.