Prince is a medical student in Nigeria. When he read a copy of SOON, his life changed. This is his story.
I was born in 1984, in a village where there was no electricity. Mothers used wood fires to keep their babies warm. That is what my mother did one terrible night when I was seven months old.
My mother slept
I was lying in my mother's arms as she was enjoying the warm fire. Then she fell asleep. She was in such a deep sleep that she did not know I had fallen from her arms into the fire. I lay in the hot ashes. I screamed and screamed, but still she slept. Mothers with their babies usually sleep apart from their husbands. My father was in the next hut and he heard my screams. He rushed to our hut. There he saw me in terrible pain and near to death. He pulled me out of the fire, but by then I was very badly hurt.
The top of my head was burnt away and only a little skin was left on my elbow. There was no hospital near us, only a health centre which did not have the medicines and other treatment needed to help me. My wounds were not properly treated, and I was expected to die. But slowly, God was healing me.
All I needed
My father loved me in a special way because of my pain and troubles. Although I was still very young, I had everything I could ask for – care, love, fruits, special food – everything was there just when I needed it. My mother too gave me all her time and care. She had feelings of guilt because of what had happened. A year later, my father died and my mother was left on her own to help me with all my problems. Together, we suffered the pain of the loss of my father and the pain from my burns.
People looked at me
But, as I grew up, the greatest problem to me was that my hair never grew again on the top of my head. At the age of fourteen I no longer had much pain from the accident, but I was bald. My feelings were all mixed up. At school, in the market places and everywhere I went, I felt that people were looking at my bald head. I was uncomfortable and nervous. I could not say things properly because I thought everyone was looking at me. Sometimes I put a hat on, but that did not make me feel better. I became lonely and could not do the things I wanted to do.
Peace of mind
I looked for a way out of my trouble. Then, one day, I met one of the students at my school. He told me that God was not asleep when I had my accident – he had let it happen for a reason, to make people think of me as someone special and admired. This was not easy to understand until I read a copy of SOON. The stories touched my life and I found complete freedom from my problems. I can now do the things that I could not do before. I am still bald, but God has made my life whole. I have peace in my mind and I love life. I want the whole world to know that nothing is impossible if we have God on our side. Even those who are disabled can realise that they can come out of their prison of self-pity and earn people's respect and attention.