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I am a missionary, heart and soul
God had an only Son and He was a missionary
A poor, poor imitation of Him I am, or wish to be
In this service I hope to live,
In it, I wish to die
Apostle Geoffrey Dabibi Numbere pioneered the indigenous Pentecostal evangelism in Northern Nigeria as well as in Rivers and Bayelsa States in the Niger Delta.
He started out his missionary work in the old Rivers State as a street preacher. In his scanty outfit – a T-shirt inscribed with the words “JESUS IS LOVE” and “REPENT” on the front and back respectively and with his raffia bag slung over a shoulder, he struck out to the streets of Port Harcourt preaching the gospel with great passion. Apostle Geoffrey Numbere would stand at street corners and weep for souls as he realized all these people were perishing and would preach to them with tears in his eyes, pleading that they receive Jesus as their Saviour. Of course, people thought him mad.
Such a passion for souls! He had nothing, not even a roof over his head. So if anyone invited him over for food and shelter he would stay, otherwise, he would do without. He had no change of clothes and was known to borrow a piece of wrapper from sisters to wrap himself with while his clothes dried out in the sun after washing. All these inconveniences did not matter to him. Indeed, he had a vision he could not forget. Only heaven will reveal the crown of glory he has received.
What he desired most in his life is to preach the gospel anytime, anywhere, to everybody, no matter who you are or what it will cost him. Therefore he seized any opportunity to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ whether to the poor or rich. He once led a man to the Lord while on a queue to buy a book at the CMS Bookshop Lagos, by asking him if he could try his scissors on the man’s bushy hair; he asked General Gowon if he was born again when they met just to mention a few.
He went with his team through all the villages of the Old Rivers State, pioneering evangelism in virgin territories, some of these villages are still not found on any map, preaching and liberating them from the powers of darkness, in all kinds of conditions, sleeping in market sheds, drinking from the same waterholes as wild animals etc. God had promised him safety in all his journeys when He called him and so him and his team, were safe in all their missionary journeys. His mission was accompanied by signs and wonders, miracles that defied human science which cannot be enumerated here.
His pioneering missionary experiences could well be summarized as:
“Many times was I shot at, many times was I mobbed and almost lynched, many times did I know rejection, many times was I arrested, once was I put in the police cell, twice was I slapped on my cheeks, many times have I been betrayed by those who I had trusted, many times have I been lonely, many times have I been hungry, many times has my life been endangered as I was exposed to the elements of the air - beaten by rain and storm, almost electrocuted by lightning, bitten by mosquitoes and sandflies, tossed up and down by angry waves of the sea ready to swallow me up. Many have been my afflictions in the work of the gospel but the Lord has always delivered me from all of them”
As an apostle, he raised a vanguard against false doctrines such as falling, misuse of the anointing oil, prosperity gospel etc. He was a strong advocate of holiness and righteousness in the Church of Jesus Christ and was very vocal against all forms of unrighteousness and compromise with the world and its standards. His forthrightness in his preaching, condemning unholy and unscriptural practices and doctrines, earned him many enemies. He always preached the Gospel as simple and as raw as it is. He never looked for shenanigans or used hypes in his delivery of the gospel. He always preached the pure Word of God and allowed the Holy Spirit to do the convictions, conversions and the stabilization of the converts. He earned for himself the unenviable reputation of being the preacher many Christians love to hate. In fact, at a time he was about the most hated preacher around. That in itself is a mark of a true Apostle.
From Rivers State, the Ministry of Greater Evangelism World Crusade has reached out to other States of Nigeria and now thrust out to other parts of Africa namely: Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, the Congo Republic, Cnetral Africa Republic, Liberia, Ghana, United Kingdom and France.
Two days before he passed on, he said he felt very good and spoke in his native language Kalabari. When translated, this was what he was saying: “I felt like going. Did their car spoil? They have repaired it. Whatever happens to you people, you people should take it that way…” He was referring to the chariots of heaven that had come for him; obviously, the prayers of the saints had slowed them down. On Sunday, 12th October he said to Pst. Dr. Wari Numbere, his son and Dr. Mrs. Mabel Charles-Davies (his daughter in the Lord); “a mu late” meaning “I have arrived”. On Tuesday, 14th October 2014, in his semi-conscious state he screamed “I want to die; you people should allow me go!”
On Wednesday, 15th October 2014, he left this earth without a struggle (he simply stopped breathing) with a beautiful smile on his face. We know he woke up on the other side in glory to a rousing welcome by heaven, where he is with Jesus Christ, the Saviour of his soul, whom he loved until death.
(Culled from A Man and A Vision (A Biography of Apostle Geoffrey D. Numbere) by Pastor Nonyem E. Numbere
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