The saying that Ministers’ Children are worse off than others as it concerns spirituality and morals, is an old one. However, some people have gotten bothered about this because it ought not to be so. The House of Levi, a forum for Ministers’ and Elders’ children, is a body that is burdened with making this saying go away and become unpopular. The vision was birthed by a group of concerned minister’s children in 2005. Over the years, the body has had a few meetings every year. The first House of Levi Conference took place in 2013. Since then, it has come to stay.
The 2017 Conference took place at Rainbow church, from the 4th - 7th of January 2017, with participants coming from Rivers and Bayelsa States. The theme for this year was “Beyond the Ears” which was in line with the 2017 theme of Ministry - “Disciples indeed”. Both of them referring to the truth that we must go beyond just hearing to doing for that is what makes us disciples indeed.
The Conference kicked off with a talk “Teach us to pray!” by Evangelist Victor Ejimadu. Speaking from Luke 11: 1-22, he gave five key points about prayer which are: the model for personal prayer, the principle of intercession, the assurance of answered prayers, the most important prayer point and finally the principle of warfare prayers. After his teaching, an altar call was made to which some Levites responded. It was a session of enlightenment for many. The program closed quite early because Midnight prayers (running from 12:00am to 12:30am) was part of the program. It was a time to practice what had been taught – a time to pray!
The program for Thursday, 5th January started with “On the couch series”. For that morning, we had Mrs. Ego Akintoye, (Business Manager), a graduate of Petroleum Engineering, University of Ibadan, as our guest and Teacher Tammy Ejimadu was the moderator. Hers is a beautiful story, from before she got admission, to university days, to NYSC days and up till date. An entrepreneur even before her undergraduate days, she managed to combine business with academics. Although she didn’t start on a very good footing in her academics, she finished strong and graduated with a second class upper. Talking about workplace ethics, she said to treat everyone as important because ultimately, your goals will be achieved with the help of others. In other words, we must learn to manage people. She also said we must always have the "G-Factor" i.e. The God Factor to succeed. She was very practical, direct and real.
Then came the session on hygiene. A general talk on hygiene was first taken by Pastor (Dr) Wari Numbere for few minutes. After his brief talk, the class was split up into two; male and female. The males dealt with hygiene in general, the females had a class with Rose Owoh on “Care of the Hair”, who we say “has bragging rights as it concerns her hair”. Her hair is very beautiful and well-kept and as such, a perfect fit to give the talk. After this, we had a rather interesting interactive session tagged “Are you in or out?” This time, we had Pastor Johnwill Otobo as the moderator and Evang (Dr) Lawrence Hart as our resource person. This session was aimed at tackling the reasons why youths leave the Ministry. This trend was thrown open to the house for reactions as to why this was so. A lot of persons gave reasons, some very valid. Yet another question was asked, “Why have you not left the Ministry?” We also got beautiful responses. One person said he had found God here, another said anyone who wants to make heaven would know that he/she is in the right place. There seemed to be an unrest in the atmosphere as people aired their views, hurts, displeasure. Really, it was a time in which people poured out their hearts. However, by the time the resource person was done speaking, he calmed the atmosphere. Some of the very significant things he said was that the youths should make themselves visible using Jesus as an instance, in Luke 2:46, he was found amongst the doctors of the law discussing in the temple etc.
We had yet another session on “Breaking habits”. This time, we had Mr Onoura Onianwa, speaking to us. He paraphrased the topic to “dealing with addictions”. Speaking, he said, two things give strength to addictions, the first being the fact that it is usually a secret, the second being the pleasure derived. He gave some rather disturbing statistics of how masturbation and pornography are what tops the chart when it comes to addictions in the Church. We bless God however, that the problem is not without a remedy as in the course of the talk, he gave steps on how to deal with addictions. Some of them are; admitting that you have an addiction, confessing your addiction to God and man; someone to whom you can be accountable, cut off whatever feeds the addiction and finally, we must learn to anticipate the temptations and avoid them. In conclusion, he encouraged as many as were trapped in one addiction or the other to not lose hope or give up, but rather to fight in the strength of God and remember that God is on your side and as such, victory is sure.
Friday, 6th January, began with a talk by Teacher Tammy Ejimadu on Christian dressing. She said a lot that gave a whole new perspective to the way we look at dressing. Dressing, she said, plays a lot of roles, it is for covering, protection, comfort, pleasure and yes, it is an identity. While the Bible doesn’t explicitly list out all the items a Christian’s wardrobe should contain, it gives us a standard, and that standard is modesty (1 Tim 2:9-10, 1 Pet 3:2-5). Speaking further, she said “because we communicate with our attires, dressing is never entirely a personal affair” and that we should allow the love of God restrain us even when it comes to dressing. The Christianity that lives on the inside must reflect on the outside. To the persons who seem to come under pressure to follow the latest trend and not be left behind, her response was “Be your own pressure group”. However, it is important we note that dressing modestly doesn’t imply looking shabby. Looking shabby doesn’t glorify God either. We had yet another break out session, 18 years and above was taken by Evangelist Victor Ejimadu. The class dealt with the topic “Before you say I do”. For everyone below 18, they had a class taken by Pastor Johnwill Otobo and they dealt with the topic “Don’t touch me”.
We had the privilege of having our Mummy, Pastor Dr. Nonyem Numbere, the president GEWFI and wife of our founding father later that day. She spoke on the signs of the end time, which was an extension of her teaching at the end of year retreat. She also answered some questions that bothered us. The last breakout session for the Conference was for singles “The Spirit of Excellence” by Dr. Datonye Briggs and Couples: Wives - “The Surrendered Wife” by Pastor (Mrs.) Ifeyinwa Alabogu and Husbands - “Satisfying Your Wife” by Dr. Mrs. Mabel Charles Davies.
Saturday, 7th January, was the grand finale and was highly anticipated. It kicked off with the last “On the couch” series. This time, we had Mr. Divine Basil on the couch as our guest. He is a graduate of the University of Port Harcourt with a degree in Geology but happens to be a music producer and has worked with artistes in the league of Freke Umoh etc. He also happens to be a very good pianist. Coincidentally, his parents were Ministers. He spoke on his personal struggles – the loss of both parents and some siblings, little or no financial assistance, starting again after 2 failures etc. Many were encouraged by his personal testimony. He thrilled us a bit with his fingers on the piano and then God came in and took over the session. It was an hour and half of unplanned worship, liberation and the moments of worship scheduled to hold later that night in all reality began that morning.
We had the only bible study for the conference after that session and the topic was “Beyond the ears”. We were also privileged to have our father, Pastor Isaac Olori; the international director of GEWC, grace the closing ceremony with his presence. He spoke on the theme of the conference (James 1:21-27). Speaking, he said, inasmuch as hearing is important, we must grow past just hearing to doing, for therein lies the blessing. He said to go beyond the ears, two things are necessary; spiritual ears and those ears must also be obedient (Proverbs 25:12). He also gave us some benefits of going beyond the ear, some which include; prosperity (Joshua 1:8), we become set apart for God, it is a basis for a living relationship with Jesus (Matthew 12:50). After his teaching our father prayed earnestly for the Levites as well as the organizers of the program and the testimonies already abound.
The last program for the day was Moments of Worship, we were blessed by many of our own in songs and talks. House of Levi conference has been a blessing to many lives and to every Levite yet to join in, our advice is “Join this chariot!”