Whoever could reflect deeply would appreciate the power of prayers and what God has done in Nigeria through the prayers of the saints. An opportunity arises again for TERRIFIC HEADLINES to examine what God has done, is doing, and will continue to do in Nigeria by His grace. One important lesson about this event; indeed God’s church is that the phenomenal move of God is the result of the decision of one single person to embrace selflessness instead of selfishness. If Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye had been selfish when God requested to know what he required for his birthday present, the move of God in Nigeria through activities in the Redemption Camp that has shaken the whole Christian world – Global South & North — would not be existing.
BLESSINGS OF NIGERIA: I looked at His servants – From Adeboye’s contemporary — Baba Samuel Kayode Abiara to his children and I was excited by God’s blessings in Nigeria. Let’s see what prayers are doing. Two nights ago, Pastor EA Adeboye’s top spiritual children started moving the Hands of God through supplications. From Rev’d Moses Aransiola to Rev’d PJA Olaiya to Revd Dr Mercy Ezekiel. Then appeared Bishop Francis Wale Oke and Bishop David Oyedepo and one wondered ‘’what else Daddy G.O would appear to say on the dais after Revds and Bishops had spoken! Don’t mind the fact that Pastor Adeboye holds the record of a ‘’mere Pastor’’ like Daddy always says, commanding some Revds and Bishops to kneel for prayers openly alongside their wives and children.
Daddy’s jokes once made me look for the difference between a Pastor and a Bishop and discovered that they are the samein terms of divine assignments. The word “pastor” derives from the Latin noun pastor, which means “shepherd” and is derived from the verb pascere – “to lead to pasture, set to grazing, cause to eat”. The term “pastor” also relates to the role of elder within the New Testament, and is synonymous with the biblical understanding of minister.(Wikipedia) Biblical responsibilities of pastors are quoted as: Worship. ‘’One of the core duties of a pastor is to lead worship services, counsel, leadership, and knowledge.’’ All of them and indeed Christians are evangelists. But if those big names had met Evangelist SK Abiara in the gathering, they most certainly would have prostrated to him out of very deep respect for age that is characteristic of our culture, and also covet the anointing, like wise Christian leaders. Baba Abiara has a very sharp prophetic unction.
THE MANTLE AND THE MOVE OF GOD
Miracles by the hand of God abound. He moves in ways mortals cannot fully decipher. God, every so often allows occurrences that defy spiritual explanation to occur. He has proven himself to be the only one who could reverse the irreversible and do the seemingly impossible. Some of the directives of God to people do not appeal to reason. At times, He could ask the afflicted, like he did to Naaman the leper, to go and bath in a river; and also like He did to the centurion who was requested to wash to be healed in River Jordan. God could afford to tell His prophet to lay hands on him for complete healing. But He did not because His ways are not our ways. He could also, like in the case of the widow of Zarephath make provision for the needy through the most incredible means. The most important thing for an individual to receive a miracle from God is obedience backed up by faith. God has done several miracles through Pastor Adeboye.
THE POWER OF PRAYERS
The story of the notification of the transfer of the mantle from the founder of RCCG, Akindayomi to Adeboye is quite interesting and has all the trappings of the power of God. Incidentally, it was at the Camp Meeting of Kenneth Hagin in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1979 that late Rev. Josiah Akindayomi transferred the mantle to Pastor Adeboye. Both had attended very powerful ministrations with Adeboye interpreting the messages to Akindayomi who was not very educated. At one of the sessions, God located Rev. Akindayomi with the preacher’s word of knowledge. “Thus saith the Lord what I told you several years ago will soon be fulfilled”. As recorded by Rebecca Bible-Davids in her publication titled ‘Enoch Adeboye: Father of Nations’, “Pa Akindayomi called everyone together and announced Pastor Adeboye as his successor. He did not end there as he decided to do an impartation and transfer of mantle on him right there in the hotel room.
HOW PRAYERS OF NIGERIAN PRIESTS OF GOD SHOOK A HOTEL IN THE UNITED STATES
The prayers started and the heavens came down. The avid enthusiasm and authority with which Josiah Akindayomi prayed and laid hands on Adeboye caused what was suspected to be an ‘earth tremor’ in the area. Soon, the staff and management of the hotel felt the hotel was shaking like a tremor was occurring. They raced to trace the area of vibrations. Behold, it was traced to the room where Akindayomi was transferring his mantle to Adeboye. To the amazement of the hotel management, they realized there was no physical machine but discovered that the potency of the prayer session was simply high powered, hence the reverberations. This was the first point where Rev. Akindayomi prayed for Pastor Adeboye as his successor. From that time, Akindayomi continued to take Adeboye through several series of prayer sessions. Sometimes, Adeboye came out of prayer sessions drenched in sweat, after both of them had been praying, studying, and transferring mantles for several hours.
REOPENING OF THE HOTEL
Interestingly, the hotel where the transfer of the mantle took place was shut down because of the intense vibration for 30 years because in the advanced world, such occurrences that could be the result of structural defects must be investigated and corrected. They probably conducted tests and found no cause. 30 years later, Pastor Adeboye went back to Tulsa and discovered that the hotel was still shut down. Adeboye put his hands on the hotel walls, and prayed fervently. Six months later, the hotel was reopened.
THE REQUIRED VIRTUES
The authority to do all those miracles belongs to God alone, not to Pastor E.A Adeboye. Every man is the architect of his own fortune, so wrote the Roman censor Appius Claudius Caecus. How far you go in your walk with the Creator depends on how strong you are to obey all His rules including holiness, humility, and doing the will of God at all times. This is why Daddy G.O has stated innumerable times that ‘’Adeboye minus God is nothing. ‘’With my Ph/D. in Applied Mathematics, I cannot make anything including the Holy Ghost Congress to come out well’’.
ON PRIDE: On humility, Adeboye once told his congregation: “It doesn’t matter how anointed you are, you have a blind spot,” . While on a prayer walk, God halted Pastor Adeboye and directed him to write a figure with his toe. Adeboye complied. God again directed the RCCG leader to wipe off the figure drawn with his toe. He did so instantly. God warned: ‘’The day you arrogate any importance to yourself or let pride be part of you, that is how I will wipe off your name from the surface of the earth’’. Pastor Adeboye, in another of his ministrations taught that ‘’we could pray for God’s light to shine through us to enable us shine on other people, to impact others positively just as the moon reflects the light from the sun to the earth. Also, we could pray for God to shine His light on our blind spots; weaknesses we don’t see. He said it is telling God at that level where we are helpless, send me help; it means that in the area where we are absolutely helpless, He will be there covering it for us!
LESSONS FROM RCCG HOLY GHOST CONGRESS AS NIGERIAN CHURCH HOSTS THE LARGEST GATHERING OF CHRISTIAN CONGREGARIONS IN THE WORLD
As the curtains were drawn on the year 2017 edition of the annual Holy Ghost Congress of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, several thoughts ran riot in my mind. First is the majesty of God as demonstrated by the Almighty through miracles signs and wonders during the week-long event in Africa’s most populous country. Next was the incredible huge blessings that the Creator has bestowed upon Nigeria and our country’s prospects for greatness; including the long-standing promise of the Lord to make Nigeria great again in the next few years. One very startling circumstance is that attendance of this event continues to soar yearly, putting Nigeria on a more conspicuous place on the map of the world as a praying nation. Next is the participation of people from practically all nations of the world. Only God, and not Daddy Adeboye’s Mathematics could have aided the efficient management of the arrangements for the hosting of the huge crowd that attended the event.
The RCCG camp site, Mowe, Ogun State, is today arguably the largest Christian estate in the world, that is hosting the largest gathering of Christian worshipers in the world. The Redeemed Christian Church of God, says the influential New York Times, is “one of the most vigorously expansionary religious movements, a homegrown Pentecostal denomination that is crusading to become a global faith. ‘’In the course of just a few decades, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, founded in Lagos, has won millions of adherents in Nigeria while building a vast missionary network that stretches into more than 120 nations.’’ That information was published in 2008. At the 2017 Congress, RCCG, nay, Nigeria hosted 196 nations – three nations higher than the 193-Member States accommodated by the United Nations. It is to be noted that by virtue of staging the RCCG Congress, Nigeria has continued to host the largest gathering of Christian worshippers in the world. Its effect in terms of contributing to Nigeria’s economy is not known to me; but I feel sure that the prayer events are contributing significantly to attempts at widening the economic base of the nation.
What I am examining here are the prospects of staging this type of event in Nigeria. I took a very hard look at the event and saw beyond what several people see. I perceive enormous opportunities for the development of religious tourism in Nigeria. Tourism in Israel is one of Israel’s major sources of income. Israel, the place of birth of Jesus Christ does not record more than 5 million tourists per annum. But those who have visited the country would have seen how opportunities of tourists visiting Israel affect the economy of the nation. According to the World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals at border posts all over the world rose higher than one billion tourists in 2012. In 2014, the 10 most visited countries, measured by the number of international travellers are: France, 84 million; the United States, 75 million; Spain, 65 million; China, 56 million; Italy, 49 million; Turkey, 40 million; Germany, 33 million; the United Kingdom, 33 million; Russia, 30 million, and Mexico, 29 million.
However, the US leads the top 10 tourism earners for 2014, by grossing a whopping $177.2bn, representing both domestic and international tourism earnings. Others are Spain, $65.2bn; China, $56.9bn; France, $55.4bn; Italy, $45.5bn; the UK, $45.3bn; Thailand, $38.4bn; Australia, $32bn; and Turkey, $29.5bn. Macau and Hong Kong, both in Asia made $50.8bn and $38.4bn respectively from tourism.
Tourism is highly regarded as the world’s biggest economic force today because it circulates more money and causes more investment and social contact than any other economic factor. Tourism contributions spans through employment creation, poverty reduction, infrastructure investment and development, among so many others. Not too long ago, the United Arab Emirates was a desert land. Today, Dubai has now become one of the toasts of fun seekers and businessmen and women all over the world. Nigeria too has the inherent capability of emerging Africa’s foremost tourists’ destination. The event featured greetings in several languages by tourists from several countries, including the Chief Justice of South Africa, Mr. MogoengMogoeng who has become part of the annual event with his wife. Nigeria is a tourist haven whose resources are still under explored, under-utilized and under exploited.
Nigeria’s economy could be stimulated by the type of prayer event that has just held such that tourists would visit Nigeria all year round for special events like the RCCG Holy Ghost Congress and other tourists’ activities that could be woven together for economic development. Jerusalem is the most-visited city In Israel with 3.5 million tourist arrivals annually. Other prominent cities include Nazareth, Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Teberias, Beersheba, and Ashkelon. It is believed that Oke-Eri town, near Ijebu-Ode harbours the final resting place of the Queen of Sheba, with archaeological evidence describing the site as the final resting place of the famous Queen who enjoys prominent mention in both the Bible and the Quoran.
There are some very important things to be done. We require the strict implementation of the principle of visioning and long-range planning to develop the tourism sub-sector. Dubai announced total international visitor figures of 14.2m for 2015, an increase of 7.5% on 2014, and became the fourth-most-visited city in the world. This figure cannot probably be more than the number of people who throng the Redemption Camp annually. A Report of the Dubai Department of Tourism indicates that Dubai International Airport (DIA) was crowned the world’s busiest air transport hub for overseas flights in 2015, pulling ahead of London’s Heathrow and staying ahead since.
In the years leading up to 2020, a number of key developments are taking place in Dubai that are designed to attract and cater to increasing numbers of tourists. There is no magic wand other than deep commitment, dedication, implementation of good policies, and patriotism. It is not a question of blowing theories. I am talking about practicalities.
Finally, as I give glory to the Creator, on behalf of Daddy GO and all Redeemers who planned this fanciful annual fiesta, that is blessing humanity without notable hitches, and no security threats apparently because Jesus Christ is involved, I pray that God Almighty may lead Nigeria to the Promised Land before too long. (First published December 2017)