Amadi-Village - “What Does Amos Three-Three Say?”
On 9th March, 1973, Numbere and his team moved out of the city of Port Harcourt. Their first port of call was Amadi-Village (now Amadi-ama), in the outskirts of Port Harcourt. About a month before the Field Team went to Amadi village, a very major juju (mammy-water) shrine had been uprooted and the priestess delivered. It was the former shrine house that the woman opened to receive the Field Team on arrival.
Just before they were to leave Port Harcourt, the Lord miraculously provided money for a generator for them. Numbere had to go to Benin City, capital of the then Bendel State (now Edo State) to purchase it. He arrived the base in Port Harcourt on the day of their departure to Amadi village. Being a man who would do things by himself rather than send others, he tried to carry the generator out of the van all by himself. As he lifted the generator his waist “gave way”. All he heard was a click sound and he felt a searing pain coursing through his waist down to his legs. He was forced to let go as he doubled over in pain. He had slipped a disc. He had to be helped into the room where they laid him on his back on the floor. It was in that posture that he was carried into the van soon afterwards and taken to the camp at Amadi Village.
All day long he lay on his back wincing in pains. By 5.00 p.m. there was no improvement in his condition and there was no way in which he could go to the Crusade, which was opening that night. This was their first outing outside Port Harcourt and so Apostle Numbere was not comfortable being left behind. Definitely his preaching that night was impossible but he prayed in expectation of a miracle. About half an hour later something wonderful happened. He felt a sudden heat flushing through his waist and down to his legs, feet and to the tip of his toes. This heat flush came again, and then a third time, and suddenly he found himself strong, every feeling of pain gone! He jumped to his feet and walked immediately headed for the crusade ground. But an incident had occurred before he could get to his people.
Just before his arrival on the Crusade field, the chiefs of Amadi Village descended on his team members and arrested Nelson Orugbani (now Mpakaboari Tamunoigbani) thinking him to be Numbere, the leader, because he was not only the eldest among them but also the stoutest. They arrested Tamunoigbani and whisked him away, to the amusement of the rest of the team who chuckled and giggled amongst themselves not bothering to correct the mistake of the chiefs.
As they were marching him away excitedly across the field to their Council Hall, believing that they had made “the big catch”, Apostle Numbere was just arriving, walking gingerly in the euphoria of the miracle that God had done for him. When he saw them he too knew what was happening. Amused, he simply walked past them. Nelson too was amused. He just walked along with his captors without giving them the slightest impression that he was not the Numbere they were looking for, or identify him to them as he walked passed them. Nelson‟s arrest meant two men (Numbere and Nelson) were out of the team but that did not stop their determination to have their Crusade that night. They continued to fix their instruments as if nothing had happened. They were still busy when they saw their leader, Numbere approaching. They could not believe their eyes. With shouts of joy they dropped what they were doing, ran to him, hugging him, laughing and rejoicing as they did so. This miracle brought so much joy, revival and encouragement to them.
After a while Numbere went to the Council hall where they had taken Nelson hostage. When he arrived there, the chiefs were pelting Nelson with questions still believing that he was Numbere. But Nelson answered them not a word neither did he tell them that they had taken the wrong man. That was how strong the bond amongst the team members was. They were prepared to die for the gospel and for one another. Numbere coolly walked in and asked them, “Who are you looking for?” Pointing at Nelson, their reply was, “He is Numbere!!” He told them “I am Numbere. He is not Numbere”. “You let him go.” Immediately they heard the name, “Numbere”, it was like an electric current had suddenly been triggered off in the hall. Shouts of “Numbere? Numbere? Numbere!! Numbere!!? Numbere? Are you Numbere?” echoed across the hall like a sing-song from one chief to another.
There was that much consternation and great surprise at his youthfulness and size because they had expected that the man they had heard so much about was a big elderly man, certainly not this mere slip of a young man who was standing before them. Numbere calmly told them again, “I am Numbere; you can let this one go.” Eventually, the confusion abated and they let their captive go. They now turned to Numbere. “What does Amos Three-Three say?” they asked him.
Like His Master Jesus, he answered them not a word. They kept asking him again and again “What does Amos Three-Three say?” That was really interesting, unbelievers quoting the Scriptures, and for what purpose other than to suit their evil end! When they saw that he was not going to answer them they started shouting at him, “We do not want our children to be spoilt! We do not want our children to be stubborn! We do not know what kind of thing (doctrine) that you have brought to the Rivers State! Our children are not obeying us their parents again! When we send them on errands they refuse to go! We want to bring up our children the way we want! “Two cannot walk together except they be agreed.” The last sentence was the Amos Chapter Three verse three, that they had been asking him to quote for them. And all this furore was because of alcohol and tobacco, which the young converts had refused to buy, sell or serve.
While all these things were going on, the village children who had gone to the Crusade ground mostly out of the natural inquisitiveness of children, had caught the song, “Only Jesus Can Save, Only Jesus Can Save, Alleluia!” which was being sung by the Crusaders. Singing, clapping and dancing, they trooped out from the Crusade ground right up to the Council hall. They sang and danced round the hall, mischievous ones peeping in through the doors and windows. From the hall, they trooped to another compound and another and another until they had traversed the whole village.
Culled from "A Man and A Vision": A Biography of Apostle Geoffery D. Numbere. Written by Pastor Nonyem Numbere
Today, all over the nation, we will throng the streets, shouting and singing the praises of our God, as we celebrate 45 years of God's faithfulness! Join us and Celebrate!
GREATER EVANGELISM CRUSADE! GREATER EVANGELISM CRUSADE!!
As mentioned before, after Geoffrey obeyed the call, the Lord led him not to Rivers State, but to Northern Nigeria where he sojourned for three years living in Birnin Kudu, Kano, Gumel and Wudil. His stay there could be likened to Paul‟s stay in the Arabian Desert.
GUMEL - LIFE AS A TEACHER
While he was in Kano, Geoffrey obtained a teaching job in the Government Teachers Training College now Advanced Teachers Training College), Gumel. A Muslim enclave in the far desert North of Nigeria, Gumel (now in Jigawa State) was next to Maigateri, a border town between Nigeria and Niger Republic. It was to this Northern wilderness that the Lord sent His servant. The Northern wilderness turned out to be a training ground for him just like Pa Elton had said. There the Lord appeared to him several times, teaching and preparing him for the great task ahead. He was a pioneer staff of the College, teaching English Language and Mathematics, the only Southerner and the only Christian there.
CONVERSIONS, MIRACLES, PERSECUTION
The presence of the Lord was mighty with him. He led many souls to the Lord especially Muslims, and God confirmed His word through signs and wonders. Anyone who came in contact with him was sure to be touched by God one way or the other. With his Muslim converts he started a home Church in his living room. Their first service was held on 28th February 1971, with seven converts in attendance. Founding the fellowship was not easy or smooth sailing. It required great faith and commitment. Eventually his persistence yielded fruit and he was able to have a stable fellowship, which grew steadily. As they grew in number, they decided to move into Gumel town itself. So on 20th June 1971, they held their maiden service in the Gumel Township. Some months later Geoffrey was transferred to Wudil (another wilderness town). But the Lord would never allow His Church to die. Not long after that, Bro. Ogundeji was transferred to Gumel T. T. C.! He now took charge of the young Fellowship. Eventually, Geoffrey handed over this Church to ECWA and it became their Gumel Branch. Many years later it became the Headquarters of ECWA in Jigawa State. The nucleus of this big Church was that home fellowship which Apostle Numbere started and handed over to them thirty-six years ago.
Geoffrey was busy serving the Lord and teaching his students when one day in July 1972, the Lord told him to leave the North for Rivers State, his home State, within the next two days. The day of departure was a sad day for all of them. Christian brethren, especially his converts, were there to see him off at the train station in Kano. It was like St. Paul’s final parting with the Ephesian brethren (Acts 20:36-38). They hugged and hugged him and wept and wept. And as the train moved, they waved and waved and sobbed and sobbed, many of them running alongside the platform until the train finally moved out of sight.
THE STREET PREACHER