Mama Florence Oluwatola Olaiya is a well-known grandma on the Redemption camp, more particularly known to those who have passed through the RCCG House of Favour Parish (and its environs) located toward the main gate of the camp. Mama Olaiya who is presumed to be over 80 years old is an indigene of Owo in Ondo state. She has remained agile and regular in attending all church activities. Speaking with Beautiful Day Testimonial magazine, she shares her experience of being resident in camp since its inception. Excerpts:
Mama, when and to which family were you born and at what age did you give your life to Christ?
When I started work, I didn’t put down my father’s name. I came to the camp together with Daddy G.O, from national headquarters. Daddy G.O had secured this Redemption camp land three months before he came back to take us from Ebute-Meta to camp. All my information you may want to know is with Daddy G.O. Daddy Adeboye later handed me over to Pastor Odesola.
Mama, can you remember when you gave your life to Jesus Christ?
It was when I was 20 years old that I gave my life to Jesus Christ. Initially, I was a member of the Cherubim and Seraphim church. I had clocked 20 years before I joined The Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Mama, can you remember who your husband was? How many children did God bless you with?
I had married then before I got to RCCG. I and my husband didn’t come to Redeem. I have four children and one of them is a pastor.
When you were younger, how many church departments have you passed through in RCCG?
I have worked in various departments; I worked in sanitation and maintenance for 10 years. I was also a children teacher for 16 years.
When you first came to the Redemption camp, how was it?
It was all bush. It was one man that collected transformer for us. Before then, there was no electricity and we used to fetch water from canal. At that time, it was only in the night that we build the house that we live in because in the day, everybody must work. I was working then under late Pastor Olukowajo who was our boss. While the camp was being built, then we worked from 7am till night on Monday to Saturday. After 3 months when the first phase of the building was completed, then Daddy used to gather us at this same point (pointing toward Cherith location) for meeting.
What sad experience have you had in life?
It was when some people did not want to follow what the founder, Daddy Akindayomi, said that a young pastor of the person of Adeboye would succeed him as General Superintendent.
Can you tell us your happiest moment in life?
I’m always happy whenever I see Daddy Adeboye on the pulpit.
Who is your role model?
It is Daddy G.O. And next is pastor Odesola. He might be younger, but he is my second role model.
What advice do you have for today’s church workers?
My advice for them is to be compassionate to people generally, like daddy G.O. He bought me tricycle attached with a driver to run commercial for me on camp. The driver delivers money to me at the end of each day he works. I thank God and Adeboye for glory over my life.
Which food do you love most?
Laughing… I eat any food you bring for me. Let me tell you something, daddy G.O used to bring food for me. The last time I fell down, daddy G.O spent money on me when I was in the hospital.
Mama, we know that you love songs. Which song do you love the most?
“Mo ti ro oba, mi o riru Jesu yin ri 2x; Ayinde ati iye loni gbogbo ogo, mo ti ro oba mi o riri Jesu yi ri.” But I have my own version that I compose, but I love this also. “Mo ti ro oba mio riru Adeboe yi ri ….” Singing in Owo dialect. Another one is…
“Ki le o le se Olorun mi, kile o le se, eyin ti e da aiye ati orun kile o le se, ki le o le se olorun mi, ki le o le se.” If I want to give testimony that is the song I will sing.
Editor’s comment: Mama Olaiya is an ordained Assistant Pastor in RCCG, and the certificates she presented show that she was baptized by immersion in RCCG in 1978 and obtained the School of Disciples certificate in 1996.