Becky had cancer and was given two weeks to live, but Peter stayed with her during the hellish period and married her. As God would have it, Becky not only survived the cancer but also had children for Peter against doctor’s prediction. Gbenga Osinaike chronicles the love story of one of the most resilient and amiable couples in Nigeria.
By the time the couples rounded off their story at a Men’s Breakfast Roundtable organized by Pastor Remi Akano in Lagos, many of the participants at the forum were simply overwhelmed. There was perhaps no one that was not impacted.
Peter and Becky Unoarumhi, both pastors of Cornerstone Anointed Church based in Surulere, Lagos have incredible stories to tell.
What binds them together is beyond human comprehension. Becky was 17 when she first met Peter who was then a disc jockey and for several years on different occasions they met, parted ways, only to meet again. The force pulling them together was evidently beyond their understanding.
Peter himself could not explain the binding force. He said, “I met my wife when she was 17 and it was love at first sight. It wasn’t the love I knew when I started going to church. It was an all-consuming love. I just liked her.”
By then, Peter had not met Christ. He was an alcoholic and he smoked heavily. Becky too was not a Christian. She recalled that Peter’s love for alcohol was so deep that one of the birthday gifts from him was a keg of palm wine. They were in love. But they soon had to part ways.
Becky who studied Theatre Arts and who was one of the pioneer artists of the now rested Mirror in the Sun a television soap opera in the early 90s stumbled on Peter again at the University of Ibadan after they had separated for several years. By then, Becky was committed to an actor and they were both thinking of marriage. But Peter would not give in to such excuse. She kept pestering Becky and asking for her hand in marriage.
Peter said, “By that time she was already working in NTA Ibadan. Everybody knew her and she was engaged to be married to one popular actor. But I believed she would break the relationship and come to me. By then she never wanted me. There was a particular time she organized ladies at the Queens Hall of the University of Ibadan to abuse me. I also gave it to them in their coin because I was very heady. I won because she later agreed to date me”
That was the second phase of their meeting. By that time, Peter had become an active member of Pirate confraternity and was living a wild life. Shortly after the Ibadan encounter, the duo parted ways again. Becky traveled out of the country while Peter a Philosophy and Religion graduate took up a job with Cash Data in Lagos. But as God would have it the two of them met again in a rather strange circumstance two years after.
Becky had just come back from the US and was looking for accommodation in Lagos when she stumbled on Peter again on the streets of Lagos. It was a coincidence that could not be explained. This time, Peter confessed, “By the time I saw her I could not just resist her. The chemistry was too strong. She was looking radiant. And she told me she was looking for a house. That was when I knew something was going to happen because by then there was a vacant apartment where I was living in Lagos.”
Becky eventually moved to the apartment and began to live the way she wanted. She confessed, “I lived a loose life. I was going out with men and sleeping with them did not mean anything to me. I loved life and pleasure.” By then she was already committed to marrying an American. But that did not stop Peter from making another proposal.
By the time Peter came with another proposal, she was already struck with cancer. Peter knew about her condition but he would not be dissuaded. But what finally nailed the two of them together was a rape incidence. “Peter got my attention when I was raped. I got home in the night and he saw that there was blood all over me. I told him I was raped and he said to me, if you tell me today that you will not allow another man to sleep with you and that you will not go out with another man you will be my wife”
That was what caught the attention of Becky who by then had begun to suffer from a cancer attack. They both began the battle against cancer. It was in the course of looking for cure for the terminal disease that the two of them met Christ.
Becky recalled, “Dr. Ore Falomo was my doctor. We were in his hospital. When there was no headway we were moved to LUTH. My situation was getting worse. It was in the course of the sickness that a friend introduced me to a doctor who does not collect money and would heal me of my sickness. I was excited at the opportunity to meet the doctor only for the person to tell me the doctor was Jesus. I was taken aback but he encouraged me and my husband to believe in Jesus’ saving power and that I would be healed of cancer. That was when we became born again”
“I must say I was really deep in sin but God brought me out of the depth and cleansed me and made me a new creation. When I was practising immorality, if I don’t have sex a few days I would be foaming. I was able to propose to Becky because I was worse than her.”
Shortly after this experience, Peter began to thirst after God. But the reality on ground was quite discouraging. The doctors at a point had to discharge Becky from LUTH and gave her two weeks to live. Peter carried her home in tears. She was to die. The doctors only gave a condition that if they could raise a huge amount of money she could be flown abroad where further treatment could be carried out and perhaps her life could be prolonged.
By then they had spent all they had on them. Peter said he had to carry her to several places in search of healing on his back boarding public vehicles. She cleaned her up because at a point she was getting bloated. She lost all her hair and every part of her mouth was black. By the time she started coughing he became frightened because doctors had told him the moment she starts coughing she was on her way to the grave.
But God was there for the duo. Becky recalled that the word: believe, kept coming back to her and that was what really gave her the strength to live. The newspapers published their story and it got national attention. Believers from all over came to pray with them. She said she was physically carried to a crusade ground where the late Prophet Timothy Obadare asked over 3000 Christians to pray for her. Though the healing did not come immediately she said she knew God had started working.
“We moved out of the crusade ground. By then the two weeks doctors gave had elapsed. The Lord came to our rescue through former president Ibrahim Babangida who made available the money to travel abroad for further treatment.
What she could however remember was the last time she was in Nigeria. Immediately she stepped into the UK she was put into a life support machine. She could not remember anything afterwards until after she came out of the machine. By that time she had been healed miraculously.
“I believe God worked through the doctors as a result of the prayers of the saints. What I have found out is that when we pray God answers but the manifestation of the prayer will only come when God wants it to come. It could be immediate it could be later. In my case it was God who healed me because all the predictions of the doctors did not come to pass. At first they said I would not live more than two weeks, but I have lived many years after. They said I may not have children, but I have had children. They said I would not be able to get my hair back but I have my hair back. So it was evident that God healed me. It is simply divine”
Responding to inquiries by the participants at the forum, Peter said he got a lot of support from reading the word of God. “By the time I became a Christian I became a scriptural Christian. I loved the word and I spent time with the word. I knew I had found what I was looking for because as a pirate I met people with double standard but in Christ there was sincerity.
He recalled that “there was a time Becky fainted in the course of looking for cure but God told me she would survive. The whole ordeal lasted for a year. But God saw us through”
On how he overcame pressure for immorality, he said, “I must say I was really deep in sin but God brought me out of the depth and cleansed me and made me a new creation. When I was practising immorality, if I don’t have sex a few days I would be foaming. I was able to propose to Becky because I was worse than her. After my conversion I went to Apostle Anselm Madubuko and he told me what to do and that was it. He said I should just concentrate on staying away from sex one day at a time with the support of the word and amazingly it worked”
For now, God is using the couple to do great work in Surulere, Lagos. They are imparting lives and the lives of people are being transformed. Peter stated that God proved himself when he travelled to the US and the Lord made divine provision for his ministry. He has since remained committed to the work of transforming lives through the help of the Holy Spirit. Some of their church members who also attended the forum attested to the deep passion the couple have for people. They described them as pastors indeed.