I like reading a lot –news items, blogs and magazines. Recently, I stumbled upon one article in Parents magazine in which I recognized the profiled couple: Reverend Ambrose Nyangao of Parklands Baptist Church and his wife Martha.
When at student at State House Girls, Pastor Ambrose would on occasion be the invited guest during the Sunday church service and the Monday evening Christian Union (CU) meetings, which I regularly attended. We loved Pastor Ambrose’s sermons, because of his mode of delivery. He always injected some bit of humor in his sermons, which kept us attentive and not sleepy.
Then donkey years later, in 2009, his wife Martha was the guest speaker at the bridal shower that I attended. Martha spoke many sense during this shower. Her talk centered around how to build a marriage with God as the foundation, and the role of the wife in the marriage. I wasn’t married then, but she gave very positive views about marriage -a breath of fresh air from all the negativity young women hear about marriage.
Martha demonstrated her lessons with practical examples of what one should do. For example, she had a sieve (kichungi), and she advised us to ensure we sieve stuff at all times. When getting into a marriage –sieve and throw away the bad; negative attitudes, baggage etc. When in the marriage, keep sieving and only retain the good. Filter your words. Discard the bad. Sieve. I have never forgotten that lesson. Especially now that I’m married. Sieve. Sieve. Sieve. Keep sieving.
I have attended a couple of bridal showers since, but none has ever been as enriching as that one. I don’t know if she still does bridal shower talks, but if she does, I would highly recommend her. She was all that and more.
So anyway, back to the Parents Magazine article here. Ambrose and Martha have been married for the last 21 years. I’d like to pick some excerpts from it (published in February 2015) that have stuck out for me, and which I’d like to share with you:
Ambrose’ duty as associate pastor meant late evenings as he was in charge of pastoral visits. The couple never seemed to have private time together. As a pastor’s wife, Martha would share her husband and home with the rest of the church and this was especially hard for her. Having been raised single-handedly by her father, she was not used to seeing so many different people ‘invade’ a home and being hosted.
“I did not have the benefit of a mother to emulate and become a good host. It didn’t come easy or naturally and I had to learn the hard way.”
Then the babies started coming and Martha felt trapped…
“We conceived our first child during our first year of marriage. I didn’t feel my husband was very supportive after the birth of our daughter and I kind of felt tied down at home while my husband’s life continued normally,” recalls Martha.
When Ambrose realized his wife was not happy, he decided to make changes in his life, especially his work life. He changed his work routine, starting early and ensuring he was back home early to spend time with his family. He also made it a point to drop and pick Martha from work every day. These rides provided the couple with time to talk and catch up on various issues before children took over their lives once they got home.
“These early teething problems made us reflect and remind ourselves that we didn’t have children when we made the decision to get married and so our marriage should always come first,” says Ambrose.
Quitting Employment for Business
Ambrose also resolved to encourage his wife to pursue her career goals as he did not want to see her buckle under the pressures, real or imagined, of being a pastor’s wife. He encouraged her to pursue her career goals and ten years into her career, Martha quit her job as an IT specialist in the finance sector to pursue her life’s passion – cooking.
“I wanted my wife to be happy and if it was her wish to quit her job, then it was for me to stand by her. We had to reorganize our finances as my family’s providence was now entirely on me,” says Ambrose.
Martha and Ambrose were blessed with three children – two girls and one boy, but tragedy was to visit them in 1997.
“Our three and a half-year-old first born daughter was accidentally given liquid paraffin by the nanny who mistook it for water. She was rushed to hospital but sadly passed on. This was a painful loss for us,” say the couple with Ambrose adding that it took him several years to mourn her.
“Our daughter’s death caught us off guard. We both took it very hard but we managed to get through with support from friends, family and church members,” says Ambrose adding that they accepted the death as an accident and did not hold the nanny to account.
The couple had planned to have three children right from the beginning and God has now blessed them with an adopted daughter, Sifa. Two-year-old Sifa came into their lives after her mother, a relative, went back to school and the couple was called to help take care of the child, which they did not hesitate.
You can read the full article here.
I’m glad I came across this article because I continue to learn from both Ambrose and Martha. From their honesty in the article, I have learned a lot, and I hope you have too.
You may also like to read: “His Name was John” -Catherine Njoki’s Story
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