“And he said unto them, Go ye into the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved……..” This last injunction of Christ to his followers, which he issued just moments before he was taken up into heaven (Mark 16:15-16, KJV), can be said to be responsible for much of the evangelistic outreaches that have been carried out around the globe since Christ’s ascension.
In centuries past, millions have been won for Christ even as hundreds of Christians have from the time of the early apostles lost their lives, been imprisoned, maimed or wounded while trying to take the gospel to some hostile people or communities.
It is this same injunction that has been the driving force in global evangelisation in contemporary age with many churches and Christian organisations going out there to tell the world about the love of God. Bible Standard Christian Ministry, with a church wing, Bible Standard Church and headquarters in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, is one of such churches. For close to two decades now, the ministry has been carrying out strategic evangelistic outreaches to parts of the country every October.
This year’s edition of her “Mission Crusade” held in Kabayi area of Nasarawa State, which was planned to also benefit residents of the Federal Capital Territory, F.C.T, Abuja, will remain green in the minds of all the participants.
The three-day outing, October 18-20, with the theme “Deliverance for the captives” was a rare treat to the people of the area. Clad in activities like group and personal witnessing, preaching of salvation messages, mountain-moving prayers for the sick, oppressed of society, persons trapped in the web of poverty and lack and all manner of problems, the crusade appeared to have been the long awaited antidote to issues that had wearied the people. It was a big relief to many of the crusade participants when Dr. Umoh Ekwo, general overseer of the ministry, in a sermon told them that Jesus was able and willing to solve their problems and fix their desperate situations.
Ekwo read various portions of the Bible including Matthew 5:1-15 and emphasised on the power of God to answer prayers when godly people pray through the name of Jesus. He said that God was interested in the prayers of people who acknowledge their sinful situations, denounced sin and wrong doings and turned over their lives to Christ.
He insisted that only prayers of the righteous could draw the hand and heart of God to deliver suffering people and urged the people to call on God for help and deliverance. He lamented that many pastors and prophets had resorted to replacing the power in the name of Jesus with what they term, “Holy water”, “Holy Oil”, and other substances and objects. He said: “There is no holy water. No oil is holy and can deliver people from their problems.
Most of the oil and socalled holy water used on the people with certain issues in life only go to compound the problems they were intended to solve.” He said many pastors and prophets today were involved in spiritism even as their stock in trade mainly comprised asking people to do “assignments” with most of the victims being asked to buy a number of things and bring them for the said assignments or pay certain amounts of money for prayer.
Ekwo said when Jesus was carrying out his earthly ministry, He did not give people assignment nor oil or water to drink for their salvation, healing or deliverance. He said that demons the world over, are waiting for orders from children of God, sighting the case of the man possessed with legions of demons and living in the tomb for years, that was healed when Jesus commanded the demons to quit and they, obeying, ran into swine. Many people surrendered their lives to Christ, others were healed of various sicknesses while yet another set of participants received deliverance from demonic powers and influences as Pastor Ekwo and other men of God in his team prayed for them and taught them the word of God. In the crusade team were some lead pastors and leaders of the church that travelled from various parts of the country.
They included pastors Simeon Simeon, the overseer of the church in Rivers State, who spoke to the crowd on God’s power to deliver; Edwin Ene, Magdalene Umoh, Edet Raymond, Mary Emah – all senior pastors of the church in Akwa Ibom State. Obong Akpaekong, overseer of the church in Cross River State and Lawrence Jonah, overseer of the church in Lagos and Ogun states also attended.
Pastor Nsikak Udosen, Bayelsa State pastor, Evangelist Godbless Udoh, wife of pastor of the church in Abia State and Pastor Amos Amos, the church’s national youth president were equally there. The host pastor, Asuquo Nyong, said the national mission was the beginning of a new dawn for the people of Nasarawa State and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
•Akpaekong wrote in from Abuja