JOHN Wadsworth, 73, and his wife, Judy 70, are a unique couple. They are currently in Nigeria on a missionary assignment, their second visit in four years. In spite of their age, they drive themselves and travel long distances within the country. The Americans, who are members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in this interesting encounter with Gbenga Aderanti, speak about their experience, among other issues.
THEY both cut the image of 16-year- old teenagers who are falling in love for the first time. They giggle; they cuddle; they hold hands fondly and sometimes, they make sign languages which only the two of them could decipher.
From the way they do things, it appears no one can untie the tether that binds them together. “This is my wife, Judy Wadsworth, my one and only wife,” John said with pride.
They have just celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary. “The best answer to give you which is truthful is that, we both are followers of Jesus Christ and when I was younger, he was serving in Central America,” Judy, the wife, said about the secret of their union.
The couple, John Wadsworth, 73, and Judy Wadsworth, 70, both Americans and members of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter- Day Saints, are currently in Nigeria on a missionary assignment. Their current sojourn is the second in Nigeria. If their first visit is described as interesting, this second one is more than fulfilling.
Like typical Americans, both of them are witty and fast-talking. When the reporter told John that he had made several attempts to get background information about him before the interview, he cut in: “Have you checked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)?”
They have good stories to tell about Nigerian people, thanks to the name tag conspicuously fixed on their clothes. The tag has really helped them. Narrating their experience, Judy said: “We went to Surulere in Lagos to hold a meeting on a Sunday and we missed our way. We asked an Okada rider and he didn’t know where the church was located. At that very moment, a passerby quickly recognised the tag on our clothes and said he knew where the church was located and we were there within five minutes.”
Their choice of Nigeria as mission field is both dramatic and comical. If what they had read about Nigeria was anything to go by, they had no business doing missionary work in Nigeria. According to John, he had no idea of where Nigeria was until he located it on the map and the next thing he did was to glean information about the country. “We did not nurse any fear.
As a matter of fact, the first thing we did when we got the call, we didn’t select where we were going, we just said we would go to a mission in any part of the world; the leader of our church asked us if we would go to Nigeria. We went to the Internet to see where Nigeria was. The first thing we saw was, ‘don’t go to there (refering to Nigeria)’ and we thought, why not? “We came with no fear, no preconception, we will go back home with love and gratitude that we could come,” said John.
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