Sometimes, testimonies of what God has done in the lives of people, rather than the presence of dignitaries, are more impactful and better remembered than sermons. Last Friday, the fifth day of the 2019 Holy Ghost Congress of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, was one such day.
Noted for the frequent use of testimonies to illustrate his sermons, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the church, had pointed out on the second day of the Congress that testimony is so powerful. That it is one of the weapons needed to overcome the devil.
He had said elsewhere that testimonies of miracles enhance faith-building because knowing that it happened to someone gives hope that it can happen to you.
According to him: “If God can do these miracles in the lives of people, you can be sure He is no respecter of persons.
“A person’s testimony or the testimonies of others can provoke faith which in turn will provoke further signs and wonders. Romans 10:17 says: ‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’
“By sharing testimonies and experiences, people can help others to gain a better understanding of Jesus Christ and the way to follow Him. People, for example, learn that God’s word is always true and also understand the distance between His promise and any miracle is faith.”
In 2016, Nigerians rejoiced with the first family of Bayelsa State, when the First Lady, Rachael Dickson, gave birth to quadruplets in the United States, after many years of childlessness.
Her husband, Governor Seriake Dickson, was reported to have thanked friends, family members and the good people of the state for their prayers and support.
On Friday, the First Lady, with all the four children with her on the altar of The Arena, the three-kilometre-by three-kilometre auditorium at the Redemption Camp, told the world her story to the glory of God.
She testified: “Praise the Lord! My name is Rachael Dickson. “I want to thank God for taking away my shame and reproach for 15 years; for 15 years, we had been waiting for the fruit of the womb.
“In 2013, when Daddy (Pastor Adeboye) visited Bayelsa State, he prayed for me, and in 2015, I was here for the Holy Ghost Congress.
“In 2016, the shame and reproach were broken with four children – one boy and three girls. I have come to give this great God of Heaven and the God of Daddy GO all the glory and all the honour. Thank you, and God bless you.”
It was a night of great testimonies – like this other one from a High Court judge.
“In the church, I am A.P. Balogun but in the secular world, I am Honourable Justice Deji Balogun, High Court, Lagos. In February 2018, I fell ill, so ill that I could not go to church or work.
“I visited an expensive hospital in Apapa, Lagos. They said there was nothing wrong with me, but I was not convinced. I went to the US and then the UK, but they said the same thing. I then went to Dubai, where after a thorough check, the doctor shook my hand and said there was nothing wrong with me.”
When he returned, he wrote to Pastor Adeboye about his condition and a few days after; he got a call to meet him very early at the church during a Divine Encounter programme.
He said Daddy G.O. prayed for him, but nine months after, there was no positive change. One night, he got so angry that he tore his clothes to sleep. Then, he heard a voice tell him that he was cured on the day Pastor Adeboye prayed for him, but he did not sow a seed to bring it to performance.
“I asked my wife what a seed is but, she said some judges are too stubborn.”
He said the following day he wrote a check for an undisclosed amount. He dropped it in a box in the church and three days later he got “a telephone box” that whatever he had been praying for had been answered and everything wrong with his body disappeared.
He said to that voice that if made whole, he would plant parishes for the church but forgot soon after. However, he was reminded by the voice, and in November 2019, he planted parishes in Bariga, Egbeda and Ojuelegba.
That same night, two couples also testified with their triplets, and a lady from El Paso, Texas, Olabanke, was thankful for the cure of Stage 4 cancer in her breast; while an 80-year-old woman shared her experience of raising a woman from the dead with a handkerchief Pastor Adeboye had anointed.
Friday was the peak of the Congress, so there was a sea of heads everywhere, with both auditoriums packed. There were delegations from several countries, including Russia, India and Indonesia.
Among the dignitaries from Nigeria were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and wife, Dolapo; Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel; Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and wife, and Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija.
Pastors who preached were Bamidele Sturdvant from the US, and Joe Olaiya.
The atmosphere was enriched with music ministration by the Mass Choir and choir from other countries, and people danced excitedly. You could call it a spiritual carnival.
Fridays of the Congress are days to be celebrated and not rushed. The wife of the General Overseer, Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye preached and prayed with the congregation for a turnaround in all nations.
Determined to leave enough time for turnaround prayers, Pastor Adeboye took the last leg with a short sermon on the timeline for a great turnaround.
He said a great turnaround begins from the moment one decides that enough is enough and needed to take action to stop poverty, sickness, loneliness or move from darkness to light.
Noting that the Bible says whatever is bound on earth is bound in Heaven; whatever one allows on earth is seen in Heaven as one’s choice, and whatever one refuses on earth is refused in Heaven, he said the day it is decided that enough is enough, one should take action by praying fervently to God.
“Your turnaround will come when you call on God; Blind Bartimaeus called desperately, and Jesus stood still to attend to him because God says, ‘call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. … I will deliver you, and you will honour me.”
He continued that as you take action through prayers, it must be bolstered with faith. And if your faith is not strong enough, pray for God to help your unbelief, bolster your faith.
He said just like when Jesus sent for Blind Bartimaeus, God uses divine helpers, who must be responded to immediately. “When God sends you a divine helper respond quickly.”
He, however, noted that in the quest for a great turnaround, one needs to ensure that one’s relationship with God is right!
The amazing night was rounded up with an opportunity for individuals to pray for a turnaround in their lives which he sealed with a divine decree. And to the delight of everybody, he anointed their handkerchief, which was waved at him as he prayed to transmit the anointing.
“All these handkerchiefs and pieces of cloth that have been lifted to You, Lord, saturate it with Your anointing. Let your children be able to use them to perform miracles, use them to heal the sick, use them to raise the dead, use them to prosper businesses, use them for mighty things, in Jesus Mighty Name we have prayed – Amen.”
The Congress formally closed on Saturday night with a communion/ anointing service, which was also heavily attended.
PHOTO CREDIT: Segun Komolafe.