IN A NUT SHELL, WHO IS PASTOR HILLARY CHUKWUMA?
Pastor Hillary Chukwuma is a part time Pastor with Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, nd also a business man. I mm into medical equipment and prison ministry.
CAN YOU SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE SO FAR AS A CLERGY MAN AND A PHILANTHROPIST?
To the glory of God, as a philanthropist, I focus more on inmates who are returning citizens, those who are coming out of prison and are going back home, we rehabilitate them to have a mind that is ready to come back to the society after staying away in a correctional facility, which is another world for a long time, some have been away for ten years or more, they need help to adapt into the system. So we stand in the gap to train them and integrate them back into the society.
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WHAT REALLY MOTIVATED YOU INTO THE PRISON MINISTRY?
I almost fell victim when I met a group of young men back then in Lagos, I was into the business of used motor spare parts then. They would share money each time they came, at a point I asked them how they get money and they should teach me. They told me they were into oil bunkering, as a young man of less than thirty years old, I did not see anything wrong with oil bunkering because it was not robbery and did not involve killing people, I thought it was something I could do. But my wife was against it, she told me that she was not in support and we should manage whatever we were earning then.
Two weeks later, I was called to Abuja because one of my sisters was with them, she wasn’t involved with what they were doing, but she had connections with them. It was then that I found out that they were actually into robbery, not oil bunkering and many of them were killed in their last robbery. It was then I made up my mind that I would help those who are in prison and minister to prisoners and help them change their lives. So far, we have rehabilitated more than fifty two people and today, many of them are married with children living normal lives. Some who were even armed robbers are now pastors.
RUNNING SUCH AN ESTABLISHMENT IN A SOCIETY LIKE THIS REQUIRES A LOT OF FUNDING, ARE YOU GETTING ANY KIND OF HELP FROM THE GOVERNMENT TO RUN THE ESTABLISHMENT?
No we aren’t, but we are looking forward to that, we believe that one day, God will make that happen. We have not been having any funding from anyone except a few of my friends who once in a while donate what they can. Also, some churches who come to see the young men sometimes donate to help. But we are yet to get any help financially from the government and external bodies.
RUNNING A REHABILITATION CENTRE REQUIRES A WHOLE LOT OF INPUT, WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGE?
The greatest challenge is funding, because we have a sixty four capacity hostel where they stay for one year and learn how to do some jobs and trades, after which we establish them with equipment that they will use to start on their own. The challenge they are having is patronage because people don’t patronize them as much. They do things like tailoring, block molding, welding, laundry, etc.
APART FROM THE REHABILITATION OF INMATES IS THERE ANY OTHER THING THAT THIS INITIATIVE IS INTO?
Yes, apart from rehabilitation of inmates, we also rehabilitate people’s health, the NUGA medical crew is as good as a rehabilitation center too. We started the place since 2012 and thousands of people can testify to getting back their health with the use of the equipment that we have, especially people with back pain, stroke, arthritis, leg pain etc. We have been able to rehabilitate thousands of people in West and Central Africa.
HEARING THAT PEOPLE WITH SPINAL CORD ISSUES GET TREATED WITHOUT GOING THROUGH SURGERY, HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE THIS?
We have machines from South Korea that aligns the spine, with the machine, a lot of people that would have gone for surgery would not need to go anymore after using the machine, many people who were carried into the facility are walking today.
WHAT ARE THE AREAS THAT YOU INTEND LOOKING INTO IN THE FUTURE? WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS IN THE NEAREST FUTURE?
My expectation is to make so many people happy, because I find joy when I see God using me to make people happy. Most times, people don’t understand that if you want to be happy, you should make other people happy. The ex-inmates are happy when they come out, the people who come here for treatment of their pains don’t go back the same way that they came so we are even looking more machines that would make their healing faster.
A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE GIVING UP ON NIGERIA, WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO THEM?
My advice to Nigerians is that we should pray more, I know some people will say they have over prayed but what we still need is prayers. Most of the countries they are comparing Nigeria with also went through their wilderness period. What we should be looking at now is how we will move from this phase to a better and new Nigeria.
We should talk more of positive things about Nigeria and we should not pray for any disunity except God wants it that way. With prayers the country will be better than what It is now.