This month in history, a sinner was miraculously saved by grace and it set in motion, the mustard seed that would grow into a great commission called Greater Evangelism World Crusade.
Once I was blind, but now I can see
Once I was bound, but now I am free
That's how I know there's a Savior for me
Oh, such a Savior!
The above song, one of Apostle Geoffrey Dabibi Numbere’s (Founding Father, GEWC) favorites, is a summary of what God did in his life on Sunday 11th May 1969. That unforgettable Sunday, 11th May, 1969 was like any other Sunday. Geoffrey Dabibi Numbere, a second year Geology student in the University of Ife, Ibadan Campus, was like any other young student on Campus. He was completely and totally oblivious that God had His eye on him and that even the names he bore were like a stamp on him on his future.
He became miraculously born again on the 11th of May 1969 after a sermon by Rev. Mike Oye the then Traveling Secretary of Scripture Union, who had been invited to preach in the chapel that Sunday through the instrumentality of the President of the campus’ Christian Union, Philip Olurinola, (then Ogunrinola).
Apostle G. D. Numbere, while on earth, never celebrated his natural birthday rather, he celebrated 11th of May which was the day he became born again.
We celebrate the power of God to save a man. We celebrate God’s mercy and pardon that was multiplied to him and through him, thousands have been saved.
(See more in A Man and A Vision (A Biography of Apostle Numbere). Written by Pastor Dr. N. E. Numbere)
In consonance with the central Easter retreat, GEWC Kogi State mission held her Easter retreat from 29th March to 1st April 2018 with the theme "It is Finished" at GEWC Ageva Church, with a series of talks handled by the Senior pastor, Pst. Tammy Daniel Amapakabo.
The mission in Kogi is growing by the day. Souls are being added to the body of Christ. The climax of the 2018 Easter Retreat was the baptism of 5 members and it rounded off with a communion service. Glory to God.
A 2-day crusade organized by Ogbum-Nu-Abali church tagged “Escape for your life” was held at the Ogbum-Nu-Abali Market Square from Friday 6th to Saturday 7th April, 2018. The crusade was hosted by Pastor (Dr.) Alex Fubara; the Senior Pastor of Ogbum-Nu-Abali Church.
Present in this crusade were, Evang. Miriam Ohuoba the Zonal Minister of Nkpogu Zone, Pastor Gift Ejimadu the Senior Pastor of Ahiamakara Church, Pastor Steve Oparaodu, the Zonal Minister of Base Zone, Pastor Chris Israel the Senior Pastor of Club Road Church and his wife. Pastor Chris Israel spoke on the topic “Let Jesus help you” (John 5: 1- 9). In his message, he talked stressed that life without Christ is hopeless, men will forget a person but Christ will never forget that person. Sin brings frustration and deception and makes the devil have upper hand over a person. When Christ remembers a person, no situation or force can hold that person bound. When the man at the pool of Bethesda met Christ, he was made well and he carried the bed. The bed the man was carrying signifies that the bed had power over the man for 38 years. Anyone who has not accepted Christ has no life as Jesus Christ is the Life. After the message prayers were made for those who wanted to accept Christ into their lives and prayers was also made for healing and deliverance.
The second day of the crusade witnessed God’s magnificent power. Evangelist Miriam Ohuoba ministered as she took her text from Hebrews 13:8 which reads “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever”. She introduced God as the creator that was not created, the monarch of the universe. She said there might be gods, but there is only One God who sits on the throne. He is the divine architect and that the Holy Spirit is the force that carries God’s power. She said everything that claims to be god, died and all gone to hell fire, but Jesus Christ is unchangeable. He came, died, rose from death, and He was proclaimed the Living God. That is why He introduces Himself as the I Am.
As she continued her message, she said what Jesus did yesterday He can still do today, what the world call death, Jesus calls sleep (Luke 16: 20-31). Jesus is Life, because death could not hold Jesus Christ, death was unable to hold Lazarus. He can change all situations but no situation can change Him, no man has been able to call his child I AM from the beginning of creation that is to show the uniqueness and power of God.
In conclusion, she said although Abraham’s father was an idol worshipper, when Abraham came out to identify with God, he was called a friend of God and the father of all nations. If God was able to make Abraham, He will also make anyone who identifies with Him.
After the sermon, she invited everyone who wishes to be a friend of God to come and identify with Him, a great number of persons gave their life to Christ.
God was indeed present in the crusade and proved Himself to be God. Despite the heavy down pour of rain during the day, immediately it was time for the crusade, the rain stopped. The crusade was a huge success with souls won into God’s kingdom. Glory be to God.
The International Director of Greater Evangelism World Crusade, Pastor Isaac Olori had an interactive session on Relationship and Marriage with the youths of the Ministry on 14th April, 2018 at GEWC Rainbow Town Church. He gave all the youths opportunity to ask questions which he answered. A few of the questions and answers include the following;
What is the stance of the Ministry on dating and engagement. Can singles date before engagement or get engaged then start courtship/marriage arrangements?
Pastor Olori: Dating is worldly, it goes with romantic fun. It started at the beginning of the 21st century but that is not the biblical principle on how to find a wife/husband.
Courtship is if a brother has prayerfully found a life partner, talked with the lady and the lady agrees then they start praying and studying together. Marriage is a calling. Unfortunately, some married people live in the house as only roommates which is very wrong. In courtship, you get to know each other. If there has been a mistake in the past, courtship is the time to share. It is the time to plan how your home will be, how many children you want to have, how to manage your finances etc. You meet from time to time for a specific moment and purpose. Try to be as transparent as much as possible during courtship, meet in places that will not leave you susceptible to temptation.
Does the choice of a life partner go with any carnal tendency for it to be realistic?
Pastor Olori: The choice of a life partner does not start with carnal tendencies and should not. It must start from spiritual tendencies and if it is God, the others will follow. Big houses, cars, money, shapes etc can change over time, so carnal tendencies should not be the pivot of the relationship. The couple can even start with one room and over time, things will change. For example, my wife and myself started with a borrowed one room apartment but today the story is different.
In praying for a life partner, how wrong or right is it to have someone in mind before seeking the face of God to perfect it if it’s his will?
Pastor Olori: Sometimes God will answer you according to your desire (1 Peter 4:7, Ezekiel 14:1-4). If you must pray on a serious matter like marriage you should have a sober mind. Most times, dreams come out of the multitude of things you think.
What should be done in a situation where a born-again brother or sister is married and thereafter discovered his or her partner covered up with deceptions and lies to get married to the one in question?
Pastor Olori: There is nothing you can do, you have to find a way to prayerfully deal with it. That is why you are encouraged to pray and get adequate information about the person you intend to marry before marriage.
As a brother, how much should you have in your account before proposing to a sister?
Pastor Olori: You should have a consistent income because when you get married it is your source of income that should provide some basic needs for the home. The demand will go beyond just taking care of yourself, you will have to take care of your wife and children inclusive. Young people getting married should plan such that you pay less for your wedding gowns, suits, invitation cards, gifts, reception halls, etc. Make your wedding ceremony as simple as possible as you cannot satisfy everybody. If you pray and God leads you to propose without a job you can go ahead but before you get to the official level of marriage, the man should have a job or source of income.
Is white wedding compulsory in GEWC, what is our stand?
Pastor Olori: White wedding is not compulsory but everyone is encouraged to have church/marriage blessing after the traditional marriage.
After answering the questions from the youths, Pastor Isaac V. Olori went ahead to minister on what he titled “The Conclusion of the Matter”.
He said the youth is the future of the Ministry of GEWC, and should see themselves as stakeholders. They should not allow any situation to cause them to chicken out of the Ministry of GEWC. If Jesus tarries, youths have more stake in the Ministry than the older ones in the Ministry.
Speaking further he said marriage starts with relationship and it is sustained by relationship. How the relationship starts will determine how long it will last. Relationship connects you with the person you are in a relationship with. Treat relationships seriously and not casually, define and set boundaries from the very beginning of the relationship. If you do not define it, you will find yourself talking about marriage when that relationship has nothing to do with marriage. Unguided relationships can lead to emotional decisions that are taken in the flesh. These sometimes can lead to lust and immoral affairs which will wreck your spiritual life.
Watch it, when you have a relationship with an unbeliever, show the Christ that is in you. Look for ways to witness Christ to that unbeliever else you may enter into compromise. The bible says do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-16). It is a matter of the heart and God's commandment is clear. For marriage, the believer is incompatible with the unbeliever. As a believer, God is your Father, when you marry an unbeliever; the devil is your father in law. In relationships, you must be careful on how you relate with the unbeliever so that you do not fall into immorality.
General points about marriage
Marriage is too important to be engaged in without God's leading (Proverbs 3:5-7). After your salvation the next most important thing is your marriage. Your marriage will either make or mare you and some have backslidden because of wrong marriage (Proverbs 19:14). The power of finding is when you pray and allow God to lead you (Genesis 1:31, Genesis 2:18). Other highlights include:
- You must have a correct heart disposition to God and to his word (Matthew 6:33).
- You must learn to wait upon the Lord.
- You must learn to discern God's will in marriage.
- Know the word of God for yourself.
- Ensure you maintain purity. The bible says flee fornication and immorality because the devil is after the future of the child of God. Keep your relationship pure.
- God is interested in you, your future, therefore, seek the kingdom of God and He will take care of your marriage when the time comes.
He prayed with the youths for God to help them to do His will.
Some of the great testimonies we heard include that of Bro. Samuel who had been diagnosed of brain tumor but was healed. He explained how he had experienced severe pain in his head at the beginning of the year. To alleviate this pain, he took some medications but to no avail. At some point, he lost his appetite and vomited for two days. Getting to the hospital, he was diagnosed of malaria. He later went home where he lost consciousness. He was taken back to the hospital, where more tests and scans were done and the result showed that he had a brain tumor. He later heard that the International Director was going to be in a church in Bayelsa, and he requested that his brother take him there, believing that God would pass through the Int’l Director to heal him. As the International Director prayed, he mentioned a case concerning a tumor and said, “this is your time of breakthrough” and he believed this word. After the service, the International Director was told of my case and he came towards me. As he approached my direction, I felt the presence of God.
He prayed and said, “if the doctors could not cure you, may God recreate a new brain for you”. He was so angry in his spirit and prayed fervently for me, and left. Just a little while after the prayers, it looked as if I was poured chilly water on my head. The tumor had vanished and everything in me became normal. I became instantly healed.
The second testimony was that of Sis Fyne Tariah from Igbo Etche church of Nkpogu Zone, who testified of God’s healing on her left breast. She recounted how she had experienced this pain since 2016, and since then till 2017, she had gone to several hospitals and nothing was found. In 2017, the pain persisted and she started bleeding from that breast. She went for check up again but nothing was found rather medications for ulcer and other illnesses was given to her. Sis Fyne testified how she prayed earnestly for her healing at the 2017 End of year retreat, and God intervened in her situation. During one of the sessions, as God’s servant, the International Director began to pray, she experienced something like lightning proceed from the microphone and strike her breast. Since December 2017 till date, the breast pain stopped, the bleeding stopped and she is completely healed.
The final testimony was that of Bro. Faith Mark from Mile one church, who God healed from reoccurring illnesses. He recounted how he slumped and fainted after a drama programme held in his church in November 2017, only to find himself in the hospital when he gained consciousness. He was diagnosed of partial stroke and had a blood pressure of over 190 which was too high for his age (between 19 -23). He was treated and discharged. He stated that after that he realized he kept falling ill, gasping for breath, could not laugh or yawn, and could not eat any solid food like garri (cassava). He decided to attend the healing service in March 2018 and God healed him during the prayer session. When he went back to check his blood pressure, it had returned to normal.
God indeed blessed us immensely this month. God’s word was brought to us by Past. Isaac Olori, the International Director. The sermon was titled “God remembered Hannah”. Introducing the sermon, he said that God remembering someone does not imply the person was forgotten but means God wants to intervene in that person’s situation. He also said that the topic meant that the time of favor had come. Highlights of his sermon include:
The Challenges Of Hannah Before God Intervened
- God closed her womb (verse 5). This implies that Hannah’s barrenness was not natural or medical hence no doctor could solve the problem. Humans are limited but God is bigger. It does not matter what the problem is, we should look beyond the issue and see a big God. It is God that enables. When God enables you, nothing can be impossible with you. He stressed that sometimes we may not understand God’s purpose until He has finished his plan. For every child of God, God has a plan/purpose. Some doors are closed because there is something specially reserved and it could be God is giving you time to prepare to receive that package. Romans 8:28 makes us understand that if God can close the womb, He can also open it. When God comes into any situation, he changes the situation.
- Her mate became her rival and taunted her cruelly (Verse 6).
- Hannah was misjudged by the priest. Hannah, even in that atmosphere knew how to handle the situation. Some would have flared up at the priest.
- She found herself in a time of spiritual darkness. 1 Samuel 3:1 sheds light on the prevalent spiritual atmosphere during the time of Hannah. It was period when the Word of God was scarce, this implies that men were sleeping. Yet in such a time, Hannah was distinct and God remembered her.
Some Things That Provoke Divine Visitation (Hannah As A Case Study)
- Hannah remained committed in her dedication to the Lord (Habakkuk 3:17 & 18). When the salvation of the Lord touches any area of your life things must change.
- Hannah was a woman of prayer (Verse 10). She took her bitterness and anguish to God in prayer. In fact, God listened to her heart as no sound could be heard while she prayed. The power of prayer is not in the sound but in the heart. When your heart is poured out to God, answers will come. Some prayers are dry prayers, lacking passion, hence there is no result. Your prayer affords you the opportunity to pour out the bitterness and anguish in your soul rather than store it up.
- Hannah was carrying Samuel in her loins and it seemed God had closed her womb but the agency of prayer opened it up. The comfort of man is empty. Even when her husband tried to comfort her, it was not enough as her desire had not come to fulfilment.
- Hannah knew how to fight a good fight. One of her problems was the insults from her mate but she never responded. She did not fight with her husband or mate. God remembers those who are strong in spirit.
- She left the place where she was reminded of her torture to the place where she would receive her reward – the House of God. She focused on God’s intervention.
- She keyed into a higher goal that is, a goal of service. Hannah knew what she wanted from God. Many of us have been looking for a blessing but this has been tied down because we are looking for it to satisfy our lust. It is necessary to point that God was looking for a man to replace Eli and Hannah willing gave up Samuel to God.
Finally, you cannot loan to God and suffer loss. Hannah had other children but Samuel who opened the womb was God’s servant. Heaven knew Samuel because he was God’s agenda. Hannah paid the price of godly living, commitment and dedication. With her prayer, she got a priestly blessing. She was operating by faith. Faith makes everything possible.