Day 1 Monday- The Seed and The Fruit
Day 2 Badagry Continues
1.The Lord our refuge.
As a result of last year’s successful business empowerment seminar, a two-day programme was organised for the town over the weekend. Brother Phil, Pastor of one of the branches in Badagry, thanked the Lord for the success of the Busy Hands programme. The publicity went well. The Lord protected the attendees and many people learnt new skills to set up new businesses. Finally, many more people came to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and were set free.
2. Jesus the total package.
Sister Grace, Liberty national administrator, spoke about her successful bead making enterprise. She was up skilled at a business empowerment seminar a couple of years ago. Now she is making extra money from home. Samples of the products made at the seminar were displayed. I can confirm that they were gorgeous; fit for a queen. Accepting Jesus is a total package.
3. Recovery of the sick.
Sister Bunmi spoke about her child who recovered from an illness. The child’s sickness would have prevented her from going out to evangelise and undertake some publicity for the Busy Hands programme. She summoned up faith and prayed for a miracle. Near to her departure time, the child became well. She was able to go out with the others in the evangelism.
4. A radical, life changing encounter with Jesus Christ.
Sister Mary, a convert from last year, was ecstatic that she was able to attend the Busy Hands programme. Her mother had arrived suddenly from the east. She was able to pick her up from the bus garage after the programme.
Mary, now chief usher, church caterer and worship leader, is a very special disciple. When we met her last year she was destitute. Her daughter had been taken away by her relatives as she was homeless with no income. We met her at her lowest point. She was about to enter a brothel to support herself. Then she met Christ. Her encounter produced a radical life changing experience. She acquired baking, event decoration and sewing skills taught at the business empowerment sessions. This has supported her so far. Mary has been reunited not only with her lovely daughter, Praise, but with her mother who she had not seen for many years. Apparently Mary was given away at birth. This is an example of what God is doing in many lives in Badagry.
5. Now Drunk in the spirit.
“Pastor” Solomon from our church in Agbara met with the Lord last year at Liberty. He had never attended church. He was a drunkard who had drank himself into poverty. He had lost three cars through alcoholism. Now as a believer, he went out on a publicity campaign for the Busy Hands event and met a woman who recognised him. She busted into tears crying that if this man’s life can be transformed by Jesus; she wants some of it.
6. Out of the mouths of babes.
Sister Chidioma Ikeji, a mother of 3, attended Liberty last year. Her last child, Esther, had cataracts in both eyes. We could not operate on her due to her age and lacks of facilities. Liberty paid for her surgery which was successful. On her way back from one of her daughter’s appointment, she boarded a “One Chance” bus. A “One Chance” bus is a phantom commercial filled with a gang of robbers. The bus plys routes with the object to steal, kidnap or even kill those that board the bus. Sister Chidioma was beaten up, disposed of her money and mobile phone. During the ordeal, Esther asked her mother why was she crying. She told her to be quiet but she persisted. Finally, Esther shouted out “God will punish all the people who have hurt my mummy”. On hearing this, the driver stopped and threw them out of the bus. He said Sister Chidioma should thank God for the life of her daughter. We all do.
7. The lame shall walk.
Last year Phillip who was crippled attended Liberty with his mother. Phillip is now able to move around and exercise by himself. He was later given a walking frame after Liberty Aawe 2015 for further physiotherapy. His mother was unwell last year but now is healed.
8. A New career.
A member of the choir expressed gratitude to God for Liberty 2014. She is now part of the church’s prayer ministry. She also attended one of the business empowerment seminars. She is now on her way to becoming a professional photographer.
Mummy Kate preached from Acts 9:1 -20 Who are you Lord?
Saul was full of anger, pride and hatred. We learnt that no matter how bad you are, God loves you. Saul had an encounter with God. Hehad a radical, life changing encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Who are you Lord? and What will you have me do? Are two fundamental questions everyone needs to ask.
The response to the message was memorable. Many people surrendered their lives to the Lord including Timothy’s wife (Timothy’s story for another day) and many others came forward to be baptised in the Holy Spirit. This was a foretaste of things to come.
Here we come Awe, aka, Awerica!
Day 2 (Monday) – Awe, Here We Come
Our return journey yesterday from Badagry was smooth. There was no need for multiple stops. We reflected on what happened and went to bed. I woke up chilled. The combination of the fan and air conditioner working overnight froze parts of my joints and blocked my nostrils. I am used to 24/7, 365 days of fresh air in our home, courtesy of Mrs Adewumi, God bless her.
Gbenga was woken up by a text message from an unrecognised number. He asked me whether I recognised it. I could not. We concluded that either Sister Angela or Sister Betty was informing us that they had landed. We later realised that it was a message from heaven. We had actually forgotten that we were picking them up from the airport, but God did not forget them.
We arrived at the International Airport car park within record time. There was no hold ups on the roads. Naively, I walked towards the airport shuttle pickup point for a ride to the arrival terminal. Gbenga could not resist bursting out into laughter. He was enjoying it. I could not understand why he was laughing. The free airport shuttle buses were neatly parked in a row with their doors wide open. I counted 7 buses before I stopped. Before I made a fool of myself by boarding one, he told that they were not operational. I reluctantly walked with him to the terminal.
We waited for the passengers to clear customs. 10, 20, 30 minutes, no movement. The Virgin Atlantic plane had arrived over an hour before. A man approached an elegantly dressed woman. She was the epitome of the female corporate Nigerian specie – 5-inch stiletto, pencil skirt, blue blazer with her designer luggage neatly stacked on her trolley. I could not believe what came out of his mouth ‘Are you Virgin’? As if it was a rehearsal for a west end play, her response was immediate ‘Do you want to taste it?’ My flabber was gasted. Five seconds was like eternity. Quickly, he got his wits together and apologised. It was all a misunderstanding. She walked off laughing. English is such a complex language.
After that episode, we stared straight ahead. I made a covenant with my ears and eyes neither to look left or right. Then suddenly, we saw Sister Betty. Her four large bags and hand bag stacked high like Jos plateau had obscured our sight line. Lo and behold, Sister Angela was behind her but not alone. She had four escorts and each one carried a piece of her luggage. I was impressed. It was a VIP exit.
Everyone wants to carry your hand luggage or push your trolley at the airport. That is how they earn their daily bread. Therefore, each favour comes with a heavy price tag. Unless you are very forceful, you will pick up an unexpected hefty bill before you blink an eye. We realised that later on.
We arrived home safely. The next debate was how we would get to our pickup point at Ilupeju. There were four of us with loads of luggage. The light bulb moment came. Ask the bus coming from Awe to pick us up from Magodo. Sorted, we were ready to move. The bus arrived at around 11.00 am. Out jumped, our headmaster, Baba Olowe. What a wonderful brother. Ever faithful. We met Pastor Bimbo and his lovely wife in the church at Ilupeju. Warm greetings were exchanged. As I turned around, I received a bear hug from our dearest Bro Sam Togun. He always wears a heart-melting smile. He dropped our medical equipment and supplies for the trip. Bros Lekan, Akin, Gbenga, Sisters Nike Imole, Ebunlowa, Nike Oladosu, Betty, Angela and myself jumped into the bus.
Our journey was smooth. We were fed and watered at Tantalizer eatery. Akin A dropped off at Baba Ajao’s house in Ibadan from we picked Sister Hannah up.
We got into Awe after a few hours on the road. It was quite a smooth journey until we hit the “seven seas”. The turning into the hotel was an untarred road which had been eroded and flooded by torrential rain leaving craters filled with reddish water. The driver pondered over how he would manoeuvre the bus through the mire. The 50 metre stretch of swamp was between us and dinner. It was a battle of metal against water. The bus roared into action. The earth was polluted with another couple of hundred cubic metres of carbon dioxide. The bus sedately moved forward conquering each metre of road with a loud groan. It purred and stuttered not giving ground to the obstacle ahead. The roads leading to Abraka were amusement park thrill rides. Badagry Roads were an obstacle course. This was a water ride. Happy to note that we did not get wet. Our digested meat pie and water stayed in the appropriate compartments at the other end of the river. What a drama.
Awe – Eku ile o. (Awe, we have arrived)
Day 3 (Tuesday) – Praise March Pt 2
We arrived at the campsite while the keyboard, drums, saxophone and PA system were being mounted on the back of a pickup truck. Squeezed in between the instruments were the singers and an electricity generator producing its harmonies. The sound technician who stood on the tailgate shared the space with some large loud speakers. A host of warrior angels surrounded the truck for health and safety reasons. It was obviously a joint operation.
The lead band consisting of various brass instruments, cymbals and drums led the praise march through the town. The sound of brass instruments was amplified by the angels. The men belted out sweet musical notes that vibrated through the atmosphere. As they raised a new chorus, the parade responded in harmony. The children clapped their hands, the elderly moved their bodies while the youth went up and down like a yoyo. The chief dancer was the Conference Pastor, Rev Soji Asunmo. He has the moves. There was no competition. We were all overawed by his and his congregation’s love, zeal, exuberance and enthusiasm. He led the congregation as King David led his troops to battle. Praise was his weapon of warfare. Praise attracts others to the person of Jesus. Principalities and powers had to bow down as men lifted up the name above all names – Jesus.
The parade stopped at strategic points along the route to distribute flyers, speak to people, dance or pray. We stopped at the Sogidi river shrine. Sogidi is the main deity worshipped by the villagers. The place was dark and unkempt. The parade stood still while we broke down strongholds and rained blessing upon the town. Lift up your heads, o ye gates, be lifted up ye everlasting doors for the King of glory has come into Awe. Who is the king of glory? Our Lord great and mighty. Hallelujah. The darkness could not behold the power of His glory. Light penetrated the darkness.
We moved on with the rear music truck blasting out songs of praise. The town knew that Liberty was in town. The convoy had become longer. More and more cars had joined us. We had increased from 10 to 24 cars long. We stopped again at the market square proclaiming the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. I had a running competition with Sharon Oliver (Pastor Bruce’s wife) to see who could distribute the most flyers. I think at the end of the day it was either Rev (Mrs) Oyelade or Pastor Mama Ayinde who took the lead. We all enjoyed meeting new people and sharing the love of our Lord. Some children peeped through their windows. While others ran onto the street enjoying the whole scenario. Oyinbo, oyinbo they shouted. The oyinbos grinned back and ran over to give them a flyer or handshake. You can imagine their reactions; shaking the hand of a white man or woman for the first time.
We went past the Alaawe of Awe’s place. A large building in the middle of the town. Flyers were distributed and people were spoken to about Liberty and the love of Christ. New Covenant Church, Oke Olifi, is the venue. They promised to turn up. It was now getting late and a bit tiring. Most of the team were at the front of the parade while a couple of us lagged behind. Our cars and buses started to overtake us. As we tried to catch up with the rest of the group, we came across another idol shrine “Igi Iroko Oluwere”. The tree was hundreds of years old. Gbenga, Akin L, Akin A and I had our mini intercessory meeting on site. The light of God will shine through the darkness of the land. Every knee shall bow to the name of Jesus in Awe.
We were now cut off from the main group. Further behind were some of our sisters. As our sisters’ keepers, we realised that we had to take decisive action to catch up with rest of the group. Angels (chariots of fire) or Okada (motor cycles) to the rescue. As we were contemplating our options, suddenly our assigned bus appeared. Without much ado, seven of us jumped in without shame. We were preserving our strength for another day. The story continues….
Awe Chronicles 2015: Day 4 (Wednesday) – What a way to begin
The tent was slowly filling as we arrived at the crusade ground. What looked like a building site yesterday had nearly 1000 seats neatly arranged in a horse shoe style. The stage had a beautiful backdrop. The choir sang as the technical team adjusted the sound levels. All the smaller tents had been erected with labels demarcating each team’s posting. Just as the church came prepared for revival so did the food contractors. Food and drinks sellers, groundnut and orange hawkers neatly lined one side of the venue at the ready to collect their daily bread. I hope they partook in the bread from heaven.
As we moved to the church site, a pickup truck drove in. Suddenly, all the activity stopped. It was breakfast time. People queued for their early morning meal, one of many to come. Yam and stew was passed around to everyone, both villagers and workers alike. Nice one. “Pure water” was distributed to wash it down. The army was refueled ready for the battle ahead. Workers went to their various departments while some of us went to set up the general medical section and brief the allocated ushers on the task ahead. I met some wonderful and enthusiastic young people – Iyinoluwa and Wale stood out amongst others. They served with effervescent joy. It was a common denominator amongst the church leadership and membership.
A session of prayer, praise and drama started the programme off. The drama titled “Your dry bones shall come alive” captivated the attention of the villagers. Irede’s uncle and his co-conspirators used black magic to bar his progress, but Jesus turned his life around. His dry bones came alive. The drama sketch ushered in the main message by Pastor Abiona from Proverbs 18:19 The Lord is a strong tower. He taught about the power of God and the dangers of depending on men’s earthy powers. All powers must bow to the greater power – the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Salvation comes by faith in God. Everything else in life is uncertain, and ultimately insecure. Once secured in His strong tower, we shall never be shaken.
He made an altar call. Men, women of all ages responded with joy to the gospel. They trooped out acknowledging the need for Jesus as their strong tower, Lord and Saviour. What a way to start the programme off. We prayed and saw what the Lord was willing to do. The ushers led them to the counsellors who had been briefed on the task ahead. While the new converts were being counseled, another call was made for those who needed prayers and deliverance. More people came forward. 10 deep and 15 wide they all stood in front of the platform ready to be prayed for. The pastors and the rest of the people around prayed individually with them.
Some of the new converts were taken to the medical tents. Two lines of ten each marched to the eye clinic and general medical department. Everything started to fall in place. As we approached the eye clinic, I saw that the children’s department had already started teaching the children in their care. Where did they all come from, I wondered? The children were having an amazing time. The teachers were well prepared with books, projectors, sound systems and a specially prepared syllabus for the week. Both of the young and old ones bellowed out songs of praise and scriptures affirming who they are in Christ. You could see the grins on their faces showing how much they were enjoying their day out with Christ. After their worship time, they were split into different age groups. The older ones carried their chairs to a “vacant” tent laid out for the medical team. Possession is 9/10th of the law. Eager to learn, they sat in their temporary quarters until they were displaced.
After the morning service, the youth took over at 3pm for an exciting time of worship in the presence of God. Pastor Bruce Oliver preached with energy and enthusiasm. While the youth service was going on the patients were sitting patiently in the church hall waiting to see the doctors. We had 10 nurses attending to the patients taking their bio data and blood pressure. Sisters Hannah, Linda and Sharon complemented the team. We had only two doctors today – Drs. Ayodele and Bayo. I hope the Jasons and other doctors arrive safely tomorrow.
At the end of the day the following people had visited our various departments:
- General medical – 191
- Eye clinic – 176
- Counselling (decisions for Christ) – 193
- Pharmacy – 162
- Glasses issued – 68
- HIV clinic – 124
We arrived back to base rejoicing like the seventy sent out by Jesus. Bro Lekan saw a vision-impaired man brought to Awe by Pastor Emmanuel of Badagry church. After prayer, he was able to see short range images. Sister Betty noted the renewed confidence she had to lay hands on the sick. Sister Linda prayed for a woman who was in pain. After the prayers, she was healed.
Bro Akin was overwhelmed with compassion for a girl brought for an eye examination by her mother. The girl was later referred to the general hospital for more tests. Leading her daughter by the hand the mother walked away, hope dissipating with every step. What was required of her was beyond her reach and her daughter’s sight was already seriously impaired. Intervention was a must. At 12, life barely beginning, the child was oblivious to the possible challenges ahead of her. You could see the impact of the girl’s deteriorating vision on her confidence. She was ministered to and accepted Christ as her Lord and Saviour. You could immediately see the difference in her countenance. Liberty will do all to ensure that she gets the right support. It so turned out the girl had the same name as Bro Akin’s wife! Welcome, 1st timer, Sister Funmi into our midst.
What a way to begin.
We now have a full house. The bigz girls arrived from the sunny Seychelles beach. We exchanged pleasantries on the camp site and sent them off to work. All hands on deck, whether or not they had just travelled over 6000 miles round trip to Awe overnight!. The Lord will renew their strength.
The drama presentation was powerful and sharp, paving the way for the message by Pastor Bruce Oliver about the blood of Jesus. When the congregation heard the words, the Spirit of God came upon us in power. Words cannot really describe what happened next. The Holy Spirit descended upon the men, woman and young adults like the day of Pentecost. People were dropping like flies left, right and centre without a physical touch of man.
Bruce called out to a young man “I can see the anointing on you”. He walked to the front of the stage not knowing what to expect. Without a physical touch, bang, he fell straight on the floor. Again and again it happened. Bodies started to pile up on the stage. Some men and women were rolling on the carpet while others were quite still. It was Holy Ghost chaos. The ushers and counsellors looked puzzled, not really knowing what to do. As the choir sang, Bruce stared intensely at them and a couple fell under the anointing. A man amongst the choir toppled over, knocking the power out on his way down. The amplified music ceased, creating a different atmosphere for the Holy Spirit to move. People came out in their hundreds to receive a touch by the Holy Spirit. They each had a personal encounter with the resurrected Jesus.
At the end of the ministration, he asked for people who had loved ones who had walked out of their home to come forward for prayer. The lines were long. The world is desperately searching for happiness and peace of mind. The supreme source of joy and peace is found in our relationship with Jesus. After the ministration, Pastor Akin Abiona made an altar call and the people trooped forward ready to receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. We had our hands full praying for healing, deliverance and breakthrough. The God of Israel gives power and strength to His people. Praise be to God!
Yesterday we had only two doctors on duty in the general medical hall. It was hard work, but rewarding. The Jason Foundation team arrived this morning with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and many more. What a wonderful addition. We exchanged pleasantries with the team, particularly those whom we had met last year at Badagry. They have always been a God-sent addition to our team. Side by side we work like brothers in arms. The foundation performs a superb job across Africa providing free medical care to all. Prof Omololu, always with his beaming smile, went around ensuring everything was in place. We were ready for another day of service.
There are many life-changing stories on our website. This is one of them that has touched me in many ways. I met Sister Gloria at Abraka in 2013. A cousin of one of our team members, her son in law had an accident in March 2012 resulting in femoral fractures. He was unable to walk or work since the accident. She served selflessly in Abraka although her personal circumstances were unknown to us. She came to Badagry in 2014 seeking help and was told that the operation would cost 300,000 naira around £1,000 privately as Liberty does not have operating facilities. She agreed to raise half the sum. In October 2015, she contacted us in London through another team member seeking assistance with the operation. She was asked to come to Awe without a commitment on what would happen next. She joined the team on Tuesday and continued to serve. Today, she saw the same surgeon who recognised her from Badagry. In a year she had only been able to raise 50,000 naira, a third of the agreed sum which is less than £200. We told her come back tomorrow so we could discuss her case with others. The potential operations list was long – hernias, various multiple fractures, heart defects etc. The operation list had to be prioritised.
We also met Bukola, a 27 year old lady, who had an x-ray picture clutched under her right arm. On close scrutiny, her right arm was longer than the left one. Mummy Kate had seen her and referred her to the doctors. She sat in front of the surgeon who looked at the picture for a while but could not read the photograph due to its age. It was two years old. She was told to have a new x-ray in Oyo Town for the full diagnosis to take place. She stared at us as if we had spoken in Greek or Latin. Then the surgeon put his hand into his pocket and gave her money to cover the x-ray cost and her bus fare. She knelt down in appreciation. It then dawned on me that she could not even afford a £1 bus fare, not to talk of an operation. She came back a couple of hours later with another folder under her arm. The bone had been completely broken. The arm was held together by the flesh and muscles. Can you imagine that? She would have been in such a state of agony for over three years.
The cost of the operations was very high as these had to be undertaken in a private hospital with a couple of days’ stay on the ward. How would we prioritise these operations? Who are we going to disappoint? How much could Liberty afford? Those were some of the questions that ran through my mind. I prayed that we would be able to purchase our own mobile theatre before our next outreach. This is our desire.
Overnight, God spoke to the surgeon to undertake all the listed operations for free. Free, I mean without accepting a penny. No cost involved. Liberty – making people free. His hospital and resources were to be dedicated to the work of the Lord. He listened to the voice of God. Early in the morning after our corporate devotion, he whispered into my ears “ The Lord said we should do all the operations for free”. I was immobilised when he told me. Praises erupted from my innermost parts; my whole being gave thanks to God for the gifts given to each and every one of us, but particularly for this miracle and act of obedience.
‘The sheep know their shepherd’s voice. He calls each of them by name and leads them out’. John 10:3 CEVU. It is in the instinctive nature of sheep to recognise the shepherd’s voice: The more you get to know Jesus, the more you will get to discern whether it is His voice or that of another. One thing I do know is that He will never tell you to do evil as Jesus went about doing good. This is my personal challenge to listen more and talk less. God’s heart is full of love, compassion, mercy, justice and creativity. He is looking for people who are like Him. People more like Jesus. Only the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts can make us like Jesus.
This is my prayer to be more like Him. Our conduct, conversation and character is important to our Lord. Just as our time, talent and treasure. Everyone is extremely talented. What we do equally matters as how we do it, be it sweeping the street or reconstructive surgery.
On Saturday, 7th November 2015, Friday Unuhieri had his operation which was five hours long. The operation was successful. He stayed in hospital for five days for post-operative care. He will soon be walking without crutches. Bukola also had her operation. They both received a sudden good break from the Lord. What an irony. As I write, sixteen other operations have been undertaken. And there are more to come.
At the end of the day, the following people had visited our various departments:-
- General medical – 225
- Eye Clinic – 220
- Eye Surgery- 16
- Counselling (Decisions for Christ) – 269
- Pharmacy – 259
- Glasses Issued – 77
- HIV Clinic – 98
- Lab- 32
Earlier in the morning, the Eye clinic was a hive of activity. The Ophthalmologists had left their base around 7.00am to take off the eye bandages from the cataract patients. The eye surgeons Dr Femi Soetan and Dr Toyin Onakpoya removed the eye pads from 16 patients. There was so much jubilation as every single person realised that they could now see clearly. They burst out into a spontaneous praise party thanking God and the surgeons for the gift of sight. They were led in a prayer that they would “see” Jesus. Each one of them prayed to receive Him as their Lord and Saviour.
Straight from the Eye clinic to the main tent to hear Pastor Bruce speak about the “Power of the name of Jesus”. He gave examples of the names of God in the Old Testament which are a reflection of the person and character of our Lord Jesus. Through His name we receive provision, healing, righteousness, deliverance and much more. Hundreds came forward to accept Jesus followed by an equally large number who came out for healing. Just after the message, we heard an announcement that a woman had been miraculously healed of mental health issues. She would be brought into the tent later. She was taken to see a doctor, have a bath and a change of clothes. I got to know later that she was an undergraduate student at the University of Ilorin when she had a breakdown. During the service, a young man had a sovereign encounter with the Holy Spirit. He felt a supernatural hand work on his head and rewire his brain. Thereafter, he was prayed for and healed of epilepsy. Hundreds were touched by the power of the Holy Spirit. Many wept, fell and were shaking under the anointing.
I was pierced from the tent of miracles, signs and wonders. Like Peter, James and John I wanted to build a tabernacle under the anointing to bask in His glory on the mountain. But there was a lot to do in the valley. After a counselling shift, off to the church site we went taking the new converts to the medical hall or business empowerment seminars.
The business empowerment seminars already had people sitting, standing and squatting in anticipation of knowledge and wealth transfer. A white pickup truck drove into the church grounds. Out jumped the IITA staff. As they offloaded their gear and wares, I felt that something extraordinary was about to happen. They did not disappoint. They introduced a new product to the villagers – Vitamin A fortified cassava tubers that comes out yellow. The same colour like the gari produced in the East but without any artificial colouring or the cholesterol from the palm oil added to it. How farmers could increase their yields was explained.
After the talk, different types of cassava snacks which had been made from the tubers were distributed. I broke my promise not to eat out and did not regret it. The snack was tasty, filling and affordable. Other cassava products were put on display. I had a feeling that new generations of entrepreneurs were being born.
The other half of the business empowerment seminars covered dress making, hand bag and shoe production, wedding fans and bead making. The Akure family had turned up in force. Sisters Betty and Bolaji were coordinating the action. The most popular place was the makeup and headgear “gele” tying stand. Both villagers and sisters from home and abroad sat patiently learning new beauty tips. I am sure their husbands and brothers would notice the difference. The transformation started with the eyes, then the cheeks, a colour here and a brush stroke there. The powder and blushers were applied by the master craftswoman. The stand was like a movie set. Camcorders, cameras, mobile phones, iPads, tablets, if possible telescopes were used to record and view the activity. There was an intensity to learn and a desire to master the craft in a sitting. Sister Betty loved her headgear so much that she still had it on at 10.00pm. On a more serious note, many went there to learn a new trade. Amongst them millionaires will be born.
A woman walked pass with an overflowing T.M Lewin bag. Another with a Hawes & Curtis bag. I retraced their steps. They had just exited the welfare tent which shared boundaries with the business people. What a location – people can move from being clothed to making clothes for others. The tent had sorted out bags of clothes generously donated by a lot of loving people. I saw hand bags, watches, shoes, dresses, waistcoats, trousers amongst other. Their inventory covered both child and adult wear. Their nakedness was covered.
The HIV clinic had nurses in starched white aprons and nurses’ head gear. It was a beautiful sight to behold. Rows of people sat in front of them patiently waiting to be tested or obtain the results of their tests. I cannot imagine what they would be going through as they waited for their results. This was a very important service, provided not only to test but to educate people about sexually transmitted diseases and prevent contracting HIV via other means.
The Eye clinic had its hands full while Drs Soetan, Bola, Babatunde, Kunle and Toyin were in theatre. The queues were long to see Dr Emeka, the sole optician. This was one of the outreaches where there was an equal demand on general and eye medical services. During the week, Mrs Adegun, Sister Stella and Mummy Elizabeth with patience from heaven kept the people in line. It was not one of the easiest jobs.
An elderly woman turned up with bilateral cataracts mid-afternoon. The ophthalmologists were closing for the day but that did not stop this patient being whisked into the theatre. Dr Soetan, a man I admire considerably, said Kayode “we have to do this now” and walked straight into theatre. That is love. Jesus loved us by laying down his life for us. He asks that we follow his example and show self-sacrificial love. This is the mark of a true Christian. Love is the most effective form of evangelism. When people see real love in us, they see God. The best way to tell people about Jesus is to love them and to love one another.
A big thanks to all those who gave us their old glasses. The adult supplies were sufficient. But we lacked children’s glasses this time around.
The pharmacy in its usual corner by the windows was administering drugs to the patients. Three horizontal marks on the box or sachet meant take one three times a day. Double strike in three places is two tablets three times a day. Genius. The recipients did not need to know how to read to take the correct dosage. Sister Yemi as usual headed the team. As she dispensed the drugs so she was arranging the supplies and coordinating the staffing rota. God bless richly. Daddy Ajayi and Sis Nike also worked tirelessly dispensing drugs and words of wisdom to the recipients. The laboratory had two departments dealing with blood sugar and urine analysis. The team diligently analysed the samples and gave the results to the doctors. Great team work.
There was no youth meeting today as the youth descended on the St Joseph Sports Ground for the football finals. It rained heavily after the morning session but stopped just before the football match kick-off. The football match between Oyo National Park and New Covenant Church Awe ended in a 1 – 0 victory to Oyo National Park. The field was overflowing with football enthusiasts. Men, women, boys and girls all turned out in their hundreds to support their local favourite. There were shouts of jubilation and groans of despair. With passion, each person cheered their team on. Even the neutrals joined in the fun. During half time, Pastor Bruce shared the gospel with these sports enthusiasts. Being a Christian does not mean the end to enjoyment. Jesus came so we can enjoy life and have it in abundance.
Pastor Bruce Oliver of Eagle International Ministries brought a full team kit of original Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Cardiff City jerseys. The winner of the competition received the Manchester United jersey from Rev Mrs Omisade while the runners up took the Cardiff City kit home presented by Rev Funso Gbenro. New pairs of football boots and a ball were given to the best player of the tournament. The kids did not lose out as they also received some jerseys and boots.
Stats for the day was:
- Eye surgery – 8 plus bi-lateral cataract
- General medicine – 357
- Eye clinic – 293
- Counselling – 346
- Pharmacy – 360
- Glasses issued
- Empowerment – 296
- Lab – 185
- Cervical – 63
Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men.” Psalm 66:5 (NKJV)
Yesterday Pastor Bruce, Sharon, Gbenga, Rev Asumo and I visited the palace to pay homage to the King. The full Awe Chieftaincy Council was in session. We explained the work of Liberty and why we came to Awe. They welcomed us with open arms and asked Pastor Bruce to pray for the land. Bruce spoke about the love of Jesus Christ and gave the Oba copies of his book “The Blood of Jesus”.
Today, we had royal visitors – the Alaawe of Awe with members of his council. The King addressed the congregation, thanking the Lord and Liberty for coming to the Town.
People were invited to share their experiences of Liberty and God over the past couple of days. It has been my experience that in a relationship with Jesus we find purpose, fulfilment, peace, forgiveness, healing, deliverance and life in all its fullness. The following ensued: –
Elder Samson had lost sight in an eye 9 months ago. He was asked to pay 165,000 naira for an operation which he could not afford. He subsequently paid 67,000 naira for tests but nothing conclusive was reported. A former student of his brought him to Liberty. He had his operation for free and can now see clearly with both eyes.
Mrs Felicia Popoola, a church worker of New Covenant Church, Custom Area, had sight problems for over two years. A mist in her eyes prevented her from reading Bible passages aloud in church. She was losing sight in both eyes. She spent lots of money but to no avail. She had a cataract operation on Thursday and could now read clearly.
Madam Felicia Olawale had been blind for 10 years. She had a bilateral cataract operation and regained her sight. She joyfully identified the colour of the shirt worn by a helper as white.
Moses Alayande from Osun State had an eye problem for three years. He had no sight in one eye due to a cataract. He had an operation. He can now see clearly.
Ruka had suffered from epilepsy from a young age. She regularly experienced seizures. During seizures she would fall and roll on the floor. But on Friday, it was different. She fell under the anointing and stood up healed. She knew something had happened to her. The seizures had stopped.
Mrs Olufunke Taiwo could not walk for a long distance. She was always tired and sometimes fell in the middle of the road. After being prayed for, God set her free. She has walked long distances without falling over.
Mrs Janet Babalola had been sleep walking and talking. For three years, she felt oppressed in her sleep. Since attending Liberty, in the last three days she has been able to sleep well like a baby.
Mrs Sarah Adedoke had problems with her eyes, mobility and severe headaches. When she saw a doctor she thought she would be given eye glasses but the doctor gave her eye drops and drugs. She had no faith in the drugs as she had spent a lot of money without any improvement with them. She wanted replacement glasses. However, her condition had improved. She can now walk freely and see clearly without headaches.
Mrs Funmilayo Raimi had spent a lot of money at UCH trying to find a cure for her headaches and constant stomach upsets. No more headaches or stomach upsets. She has been divinely healed.
Mrs Bola Ajibade had a massive financial breakthrough between Wednesday and Saturday. She had lost a thriving business. She was an importer of clothes. Her last consignment was seized by customs. As a result, she could not afford her rent nor her children’s school fees. She had to relocate from Lagos to Oyo Town to reduce her overheads. Miraculously, her business was restored. On Thursday her seized goods were released. Her business partner from Italy called her on Friday to pick up a consignment to restock her shop. She has received abundant blessings between Wednesday and Saturday.
Mr Lajokun Jewoola had a stomach problem for 30 years. He was divinely healed through prayers on Wednesday.
Mr Oluwalonimi Ajayi, a SPED student who had epilepsy, felt hands re-wiring his brain on Friday. God had delivered and healed him.
Mrs Elizabeth Omosalewa Alatise’s 16 year old son walked out of their home two years ago without contact. Her Muslim relatives had made fun of her as she had recently become a Christian. She asked God that before Liberty 2015 the child should be found. On 28 August the child returned home.
Pastor Adebayo Victor Adeyemi of New Covenant Church Oshogbo had suffered from hip pains. During the Saturday morning service, he prayed to God that if He can do it for those speaking it was possible that He can heal him too. Suddenly, he did not feel the pain. He was completely healed.
Mr Gabriel Aloo, a young adult, was involved in a car accident in Ibadan earlier in the year on his birthday and lost a leg (He came out in crutches). He was unconscious for two weeks. He thanked God for his life and family. He was grateful that he had the opportunity to attend Liberty as his life had been touched.
At the end of the testimonies session, the coordinator made a prophetic statement “We have seen the beginning of liberty, the continuation of liberty but shall not see the end of liberty. Because testimonies will continue to abound”. I say, a big Amen.
Rev Kunle Balogun’s message was taken from Luke 8. He spoke about the assurance of the forgiveness of sins. By the death of Jesus, men were set free from eternal death. Jesus came to set us free and to give us the forgiveness of sin. Intensively, our royal guests listened to the message of salvation.
With a great passion and longing for the people to enjoy freedom in Christ, he invited them forward. The choir sang “The great Physician now is near, The sympathising Jesus; He speaks the drooping heart to cheer, Oh, hear the voice of Jesus. Sweetest note in seraph song, Sweetest name on mortal tongue, Sweetest carol ever sung, Jesus, blessed Jesus”. The response was amazing. A trickle became a flood: 23; 30, 35 people. When they became 10 deep, I stopped counting – women with children on their backs, hats came off from the heads of the old men. Children and young ones lined up in front of the platform.
A further call for a touch from God to change lives was made. 30 by 18 deep, people stood in faith for generational curses to be broken. The pastors, elders, ministers and counsellors encircled the people ministering to them one on one. Powers of darkness were imprisoned. Disturbing spirits at home and work were all bound. Men and women received freedom.
Gbenga spoke to the youth on changing their thinking, developing new skills and using their time well.
There were no eye clinics or business empowerment seminars as the teams had to travel back to their base in Ile Ife and Akure. The general medical team was overwhelmed with villagers and workers alike.
Psalm 66:5 (NKJV) “Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men.” Below is summary of the activities that took place during Awe outreach
There were 15 Doctors, 30 Nurses, 6 Pharmacists, 15 Pharmacy Technicians, 5 Laboratory Scientists, 40 Non medical Assistants, 191 Counsellors and 53 Ushers in the medical team. There were also hundreds of more people working with the children, business empowerment, welfare, transportation, music, accommodation etc.
1) General consultations – 1,369 out of which 37 cases were referred to a teaching hospital
2) Dental Unit handled 19 cases – 9 tooth extraction, 3 scaling and polishing while 7 cases were referred to a hospital.
3 Surgery – 31 cases were registered, out of which 14 surgeries were performed and 17 referred
4) Eye and Ophthalmic – 753 patients were attended to. 303 free reading glasses were given out while 24 cataract surgeries were carried out.
5) Pharmacy – Free drugs were administered to 1,177 people.
6) Laboratory Tests –
(a) Blood glucose – 359
(b) Urinalysis – 124
(c) Retroviral sensitivity – 491
(d) Hepatitis B screening – 41
(e) Cervical Smear – 124 screened, 10 are to go for rescreening
7) Surgery at Banby Hospital – 15 patients referred to Banby hospital for various surgeries had their surgeries successfully done and have all gone home.
8) New convert – 1,174
9) People baptised – 141
23 years old Jubril Alao whose leg was amputated has been pegged for prosthesis. He has changed his name to Gabriel Alao.
Bukola had her arm broken in two places for years. She could not afford to hospital fees. She was operated upon for free.
Timothy Bankole from Badagry can now read bold letters on the wall or board.
Bunmi was mentally unwell got healed during the programme. She is now going through rehabilitation. She was an undergraduate student of the University of Ilorin some years ago when she became unwell, roaming around the street in rags till she met with Jesus in the programme.
Taiwo with a heart failure who was referred to UCH Ibadan is now improving very well.
Upon reflection, let us consider the things we can do for others – there are many more Bukolas, Timothys, Sister Gloria, Taiwo out there who need your help. I sign off today with these words ‘Now this is eternal life: that they may know you and we may know you more, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent’ (John 17:3).