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January 26th, 2016

Complete in Him – Is There Hope When All Seems Lost?

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War, child-loss and disability.

Is there hope when all seems lost?

This stunning book replies with a resounding YES.

Chizor Akisanya tells her profoundly moving story, which distils into deep inspiration and encouragement for anyone struggling with life’s challenges.

We live in a culture which prizes physical perfection and outward success.  While this places pressure on everyone, young and old, it is an even greater burden for the countless people living with a disability who feel they are undervalued and overlooked.

Chizor Akisanya was one of them. Caught up as a newborn baby in the Biafran War in Nigeria, in which one million civilians died, she was left physically maimed with a malfunctioning arm and had no choice but to embark on life carrying the burden of being different to those around her.

As she moved from childhood into adolescence and early adulthood, life presented an increasing challenge – the challenge to understand and appreciate the true meaning of her existence, to remain unmarked by bitterness and anger and to appreciate her true value.

Yet this was not all. Later, as a mother-of-two, she experienced the profound loss of miscarriage and the devastating experience of a still-birth and having to go through labour knowing the child in her womb was dead.

Complete in Him is the autobiography of a woman who has chosen to celebrate her scars and, in persevering, has found inspirational hope in Christ. It covers Chizor’s struggles from her early years, her battle with her self-image through to child loss and an encounter with Jesus, which birthed in her the realisation that, in spite of everything, she is complete in God. In Him she has found it can all be overcome.

‘While I have some understanding, I cannot claim to fully understand why I have this disability,’ she says. ‘Interestingly, the reason is now irrelevant – I am increasingly developing a sense of personal worth. I know I have an important contribution to make, and by striving to be the best that I can be in my circumstances, I will be a faithful steward of the life that has been granted to me.’

‘I do not in any way profess to have all the answers, but this one thing I know: Jesus has made a tremendous difference to my life.’

This book is for anyone who has faced unusual challenges , who feels marked as different by visible or invisible things which attack their confidence and self-worth, preventing them from being their real self.

But it is also a message to the wider community. Jennifer O’Brien, Solicitor and a Leader of King’s Gate London, says: ‘It is a bold challenge that those with disabilities are to be embraced and not hidden. They are to be cheered on at every stage of their journey to become fully who God created them to be.’

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What reviewers say:

‘Chizor’s story is most compelling and inspiring: from war-ravaged Biafra to the leafy suburbs of Welwyn Garden City, from a child born with a disability to a woman who has found fulfilment as a leader in her community, a wife and a mother. Chizor’s journey is one of refusing to accept limitations and believing that it is possible to overcome life’s challenges. Her faith is her obvious strength. Refreshingly honest, bold and yet vulnerable, this book is commended to anyone who refuses to be held back.’ 
Agu Irukwu, Senior Pastor, Jesus House London 

‘Chizor Akisanya raises critical, thought-provoking life experiences that have long concerned all of us in all walks of life, with or without disabilities. How do you face everyday fears, big and small, and still walk on to succeed in any challenge, any day, anywhere? All readers, whether religious or not, will find much to stimulate their thoughts and provoke emotions buried deep within.’ 
Emma Edhem, CC, Deputy Head of International Law, Barrister No 5 Chambers; Common Councilman, City of London Corporation; Chairman Turkish British Chamber of Commerce and Industry

‘I dare you not to be inspired by this book.’ 
Chibundu Onuzo, author of The Spider King’s Daughter. 

‘In these pages Chizor allows herself to be incredibly vulnerable and, in doing so, gives you a glimpse into how she has discovered the liberating truth that she is complete in Christ.’ 
Ian Hamilton, Chief Executive Officer, Compassion UK

‘Once started, you will not put this book down.  Looking at our world of conflicts, her story is timely and needs to be in the hands of today’s children who are being physically and psychologically scarred by warfare.’ 
Baroness Elizabeth Berridge of the Vale of Catmose 

‘This is an uplifting meditation on Christianity and disability. Chizor’s advice to others, based on her own experience, will encourage them to put aside self-pity and achieve the very best they can.’ 
Richard Bourne, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London; author of Nigeria: a new history of a turbulent century.

 ‘This is a powerful story that leaves me deeply encouraged and inspired!’
Reverend Terry Tennens, Chief Executive, International Justice Mission UK. 

About the author:

Chizor Akisanya is an ordained pastor, artist, author, speaker and women’s mentor.

She was born in Nigeria at the start of the Biafran War, her mother going into labour amid the confusion and chaos of dropping bombs. Along with her family and other refugees she had to survive war, hunger and disease.

She is on the way to becoming an advocate for people living with disabilities, and is keen to raise awareness of disability issues within the Church community.

She practised law for several years and recently took on a senior management position at Jesus House London.
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She is married to Bajo, and they have two teenage daughters, Risachi and Rinnah.

Complete in Him is her first published work
Complete In Him (ISBN: 978-1-909728-41-7) by Chizor Akisanya is published by Instant Apostle and is available online & from bookshops in electronic & paperback formats.

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